Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Removing the Diet Mentality to Bring Success: Book Review of Thinsanity

 I have long written about my love hate relationship with this weight loss journey that I am on.  I love the progress and how I feel when I'm losing (or have lost) weight.  I love knowing that I am doing really good things for my body.  There is a lot that I love.  However, there is a certain loss of innocence.  I miss the innocence of not thinking about my food intake, I miss the innocence of living a life and not having to think about being healthy.   Is a healthier body worth it?  Yes.  But that doesn't mean I sometimes mourn that loss.

This year I made a vow to read a 'healthy life' related book each month.  I read a lot.  My yearly average  is about 125-150 books.  Many of the books are fluffy and light romance novels, heart stopping thrillers or any variety of fictional works.  But this year, I want to make sure that I am reading something to better myself, at least one book a month!  In the past I have randomly picked up this kind of book, but with no real consistency.  So I decided one a month would be a good start to bring more enlightening books into my life!    That's not a lot in the grand scheme of how much I am reading!  (I made this decision in February so I have an extra book to read at some point to make my perfect 12.)

I was looking for my book last month and noticed the book Thinsanity by Glenn MacIntosh.  I read the description and I was hooked!  Losing the 'diet' mentality sounded like a really good thing for me!  Maybe I could regain some innocence within my weight loss journey!  I was so excited that I didn't even wait for the book to become available through my library.  I went to Amazon and bought it immediately.  

This book started out great!  The author instructs the reader to only read the portions that pertain to them.  I was impressed with this.  Most authors indicate the need to 'read the book in its entirety' to get the full rewards.   But not this author, he clearly told us to skip parts if we have already mastered it or if we feel as if we had already gotten the gist of the chapter and quit simply felt done with the subject.

The book is laid out great!   He has it divided into a chapters that highlight the symptoms of thinsanity.   They are things like negative self image, making peace with food, love hate relationship with food, self medicating with food and healthy habits.   Great subjects!  Each chapter talks about the symptom. The chapters are interspersed with personal stories of people that have left the world of Thinsanity to live away from the 'diet culture' and into a more intuitive lifestyle.  So far so good! 

The problems for me started to come when he started to talk about body image.  He talked about the BMI and how it was skewed so if you were going by the BMI and thought you were overweight.  Since the BMI was not a valid judge you were wrong and thus you were not overweight.  What?  I wholeheartedly agree that the BMI is not the best indicator for weight. After all, I had to get a doctors note to exempt me from the BMI restrictions for weight watchers! I actually wrote about that many years ago in this post.    So I agree with the harsh restrictions of the BMI in terms of weight goals.  But at my current weight, there is no way that anyone would not call me overweight.  Yet this author kept repeating his mantra that "The BMI is wrong so you are not overweight".  These comments had me scratching my head and wondering why I was reading this.


My feelings of discontent with this book were nailed home later in the book when he relayed a story about his patient that had worked for 3 months to lose her weight but then gained it back on her cruise.    Really?   She lost all her weight in 3 months?   Three months would be fabulous but without any major illness or medical intervention not even remotely possible for a morbidly obese person.


At that point reading became a bit of a drudgery for me.  I felt as if he was writing this book for the person that had just a few pounds to lose and not someone that was morbidly obese.  I kept reading though.   Maybe he would turn it around.   Each chapter did have good hints and tips that can help someone on a weight loss journey.  But the author lost me totally toward the end of the book.  100% lost me.


What in the world did he say that turned me off completely?   He flat out said that bariatric surgery is an appropriate potential for people living in large bodies.   What?  I thought the purpose of this book was to live healthy and lose weight!   But no, he went on to say that this book would be great to be used as preparation for bariatric surgery.  

I have nothing against the person that chooses bariatric surgery, however it was not what I was expecting in terms of a book to help me get into a better mindset and say goodbye to dieting forever.  In fact, in my limited knowledge, a person that has had bariatric surgery still has to watch what they eat.  That person may actually have to watch their 'diet' even  more to make sure that they get the proper nutrients.   Hmmmmm...

Either way, I was done with this book at that point.  Was it my personal preconceived notions?  Was I soured by one or two comments at the beginning?   Pick up the book, read it and let me know if I was just having a bad day(s) when I was reading!


 So this book was super disappointing for me.  Not a good way to start my reading challenge for the year.  Don't worry though,  I haven't given up.  I already had my next healthy book lined up and have started reading it!  It is proving to be much better!  So stay tuned for that review!!!


peppylady (Dora) said...

I'm a reader, although not as many as you. I haven't read a book related to weight lost or health.

jen said...

Omg what a let down…
I love reading and read everyday

Amy said...

I love Geneen Roth for getting out of the dieting mindset. You can follow her on Facebook if you're not ready to dive into reading her, she writes beautifully and her ideas really make sense!
I used to read a lot of weightloss books before I found my way and so many of them were not great. I'm interested to see what you read next!

Tiffany said...

Wow that sucks but at least you got through it.

Paula C said...

The concept sounded great but the rest? Not so much. I understand longing for those innocent days!