It is very rare that I do straight-up book reviews around here. Yes, I read like a maniac and I write posts inspired by some of the books I have read but rarely do I just come to this ole’ blog and flat out gush about something I’ve read.
Today, I’m going to do just that. A little while ago, I read something called Spark & Hustle, which was a book for business women and men that spoke right to me. I really loved not only the writer’s message about what it takes to be successful, but I appreciated her style, which was both no nonsense and soft at the same time. I wasn’t sure how she managed to pull that off, but I was hooked on Tory Johnson from that moment forward as someone I could look up to as a powerful, realistic working woman.
Imagine my surprise when I was pitched a weight-loss book to review and the author was none other than Tory herself. Huh? Tory Johnson isn’t a weight loss person, she’s a money and business person. Besides, did she even need to lose weight?
Now, you may know Tory from her segments on Good Morning America. Admittedly, I’m a viewer of the “other morning show” <ahem> so I don’t see much of Tory except on book covers and websites. The point is I didn’t see her much, so I never thought of her as someone who would need to lose weight which explains why I was surprised at first. Then, after internet stalking her to find more images, the startling truth occurred to me-she looked like I do. She dressed in slimming colors, and she stands tall so she could hide a lot. Also, she was a confident, successful woman in the public eye so who would have thought she could struggle with anything, much less food and her weight? It’s easy to hide extra pounds behind a confident walk and some black clothes. At least I used to think so.
The book The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life is about the day when Tory, through some attention from a television boss, had to really look at herself because she couldn’t hide behind slimming colors anymore. The book takes you on her yearlong journey to lose weight but it is so much more than a weight-loss book. There are no tricks or schemes. There is just a lot of truth-telling, inspiration and motivation to get right with your health through fixing your food.
For me it came at the perfect time. After my own successful weight loss journey culminated with me beginning to coach other people on their own weight loss, I noticed my own scale start creeping back up again until my weight became dangerously high. I went through what amounts to stages of grief over the loss of my loss. I was angry that I couldn’t be “normal” and eat what I want. I was sad that clearly I wasn’t good enough to be thin because I knew just what to do and yet I was fat anyway. I was embarrassed to see my clients, guilty that I couldn’t even follow my own advice and finally, beaten down so much that I started to think that maybe I had to learn to accept myself at this weight as if it was the natural order of things.
Tory’s book reminded me of all the things I knew and told clients but often forgot for myself. Things like weight loss isn’t a quick project, it requires life-long changes in behavior. Also, I didn’t get overweight by eating “normal”. Normal (healthy-weight) people don’t eat whatever they want, whenever they want it no matter how tired, or busy, or happy or sad they may be. To eat anything at anytime isn’t normal. It’s disordered. And finally, The Shift reminded me there is nothing to be gained (no pun intended) from taking time to beat myself up over getting here. It is never too late to change and time is better spent moving forward than looking back.
I know all this stuff. Hell, people paid me really well to help them remember all this stuff. But sometimes, the coach needs a coach and Tory and her book acted as just that for me. The Shift is just what I needed to get back into being the person I used to love to be-happy, successful, confident and thin.
I was given a copy of The Shift for review. All opinions are my own.
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