The point is to forget about the BMI chart. Don't worry about what the Department of Health wants you to weigh. There are more important questions: Can you walk up and down a flight of stairs? If there were a fire in your building, how many firemen would it take to carry you out? If it would take more than one fireman to save you (all right, two at the most), it's time to take action! Let's get motivated and do something about it! (from Skinny Is Overrated, page 9)
In Skinny Is Overrated: The Real Woman's Guide to Health and Happiness at Any Size, Danielle Milano, MD, says it's more important to focus on becoming healthier, not reaching an "ideal" weight as spelled out in a chart. She offers some tips to get motivated, and while focusing on a goddess is not my cup of tea, it might work for someone else. More useful tips include setting goals, getting on a schedule, and exercising.
Milano writes in a conversational tone, like you were having an informal chat with a friend who cares about you, isn't afraid to tell it like it is, and just happens to be a doctor. She brings in stories from years of working with patients struggling with both obesity and diabetes, and even if you don't fit into either category, the book offers some valuable information -- and there's a lot of it, despite having only 243 pages.
Among other things, Milano breaks down the different kinds of exercise (aerobic and resistance), but the most helpful chapters for me where those that explain what kinds of foods we should eat , what kinds of foods we should avoid, and why. Much of the information is well known (for instance, how soda and high fructose corn syrup are bad for you), but the lists of do's and don'ts really opened my eyes. By explaining exactly why trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and fast food are bad for you, Milano makes it easier to start on the path toward improved health and weight loss. When I read parts of this book aloud to my husband, he shook his head and asked only half jokingly, "We're not allowed to eat anything, are we?" But Milano provides lists of replacements for the junk food and even several healthy recipes (which I haven't yet tried but don't sound half-bad).
I don't usually read books like Skinny Is Overrated, but I've struggled with weight issues for years and have been looking for a plan that doesn't involve a diet that won't work for the long term. Milano doesn't offer a diet plan but a plan for a healthier lifestyle that involves changing how we think about eating and learning to accept our bodies even if skinny isn't healthy for us. Milano's advice makes sense, and I appreciate that she provides detailed descriptions about the nutrients our bodies need and why junk food doesn't cut it. The kinds of changes Milano encourages readers to make aren't made overnight, so I can definitely see myself turning to the recipes and food recommendations down the road. The most important thing readers should take from Skinny Is Overrated is that one's goals for exercising and weight loss should be reasonable and eating a balanced, healthy meal doesn't mean starving yourself or spending a lot of money or time in the kitchen.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Skinny Is Overrated from Phenix & Phenix for review purposes. I am an Amazon affiliate.
© 2010, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.