5.0 out of 5 stars
Deals with much more than food..., 1 Dec 2013
I bought this book on recommendation from a friend whose mother had tried for many years to shift excess weight. Zoe Harcombe's simple messages worked wonders and the lady has managed to lose several stones.
I am only a few pounds over my optimum weight now however I have battled with this weight issue constantly since I was a teenager and especially since I married and had children.
This is the very first book regarding this subject that I have read from cover to cover, every word. From the first chapter, I regressed into an 11 year old in her first biology lesson at high school, learning about the different food types and how they are used by our bodies. If I'd have really thought about that lesson as deeply as I consider things now, I would never have been overweight and more importantly would have been much more able to cope with the hormonal changes I would face in subsequent years (let alone pregnancy and all that comes with it!).
This book is filled with common sense; Zoe does repeat subjects over and over which might annoy some readers, but I could see that she was emphasising the importance of her statements and it sat well with me.
Once we are clear what happens to food when we eat it and how our bodies use it, we can begin to understand what is necessary for a healthy life and what is not. The scientific explanations blow all the current 'low fat' thinking completely out the water! As an experiment, I dipped into phase 2 of the diet for 5 days. I enjoyed my favourite of all foods - cheese. I didn't over do it, but if I wanted some, I had it! I reduced the amount of fruit I ate each day to two pieces and generally ate a healthy but much lower carb diet than usual. I avoided all low fat (high sugar) products and ate hardly any processed food. I lost 4 lbs.
I guess the reason I am reviewing this book today is that I sat in tears yesterday. The last few chapters about 'why' we overeat and why we have our individual relationships with food were a revelation to me. I have always thought of myself as a strong, resilient person with no psychological issues of any kind. 'Zip up your man-suit and crack on' is my mantra. However, once I began to read the chapter about relationships with parents, I was that child. Not only was I that child, but also the wife who struggles for reassurance, respect and affection. This is when I realised that eating rubbish is not making myself feel better when I am low (which is most of the time at home), but that I am actually harming myself by putting complete crap into my body. I suppose it's a mild form of self-harm or punishment! Some of you might think I'm crackers, but I have actually come to realise that when I eat something full of chemicals and sugar and not much else, it is bad for me. So why would I eat it, if not to punish myself? If I was given a tube of face cream that was proven to increase wrinkles, would I put it on? I think not.
Zoe, thank you for waking me up - for remembering that our bodies are not dustbins, but finely tuned machines that need quality fuel to work at their optimum. Thank you also for helping me to acknowledge that I have been punishing myself and that it's time to change things.