Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How We Did It by Nancy B. Kennedy

If you are like me, you struggle with your weight. A 2010 survey by the CDC found 68 percent of Americans are overweight. And of that, 34 percent are considered obese, meaning they carry 20 percent or more in excess of their ideal body weight.
Kennedy knows that our hunger is often much deeper than food. Our souls cry out and we eat food to assuage the pain. Eating what's good for you is a learned behavior.
Kennedy wrote this book to celebrate determined people who have triumphed against incredible odds. Researchers have found that it is not the plan but the sticking to it that is important. (18) Choosing the plan one can stick to dramatically increases the success.
She asked several people to not only tell their story, but also identify the people, books and thoughts that influenced them. Some used a personal trainer. Some took time off from their job to go to a diet and fitness center. Some just persevered on their own.
She organizes these stories into categories, such as those requiring group support (such as Weight Watchers, 12 step programs), those balancing carbs and fats (such as the Zone), those emphasizing exercise, brand name plans (such as Atkins, South Beach), faith based plans, and surgery.
Kennedy also includes information about the particular plan used. She gives websites and names of books involved. She also notes the personality traits that would make each plan a person's choice. One program might be right for you if you spend lots of time in front of a computer and are self-motivated. Another might be best if you love creating meals from prescribed recipes. Yet a different plan might be your if you love to track calories.
She includes sections on children and weight loss, as well as losing weight because of other medical conditions.
Her conclusion, “But if I've learned anything through writing this book, it's that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. The more sources of information you have, and the more ideas you hear, the more likely it is that you'll stumble on the strategies that will work for you.” (202-3)

There is a wealth of information in this book. It includes what people learned from other books and programs. What is most important about gaining health is finding the routine that works for you. Kennedy's book gives you the information you need to do exactly that. An added plus is reading all of the encouraging stories. If they can do it, so can you.

Nancy B. Kennedy has a degree in journalism from Penn State University. She has served as an editor and has had articles published in various magazines. Her most recent book, Miracles and Moments of Grace, was published in 2011. She lives in Hopewell, N.J., with her husband and son. You can read more of her writing at www.nancybkenndy.com.

Leafwood Publishers, 224 pages.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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