I think that most of us who read and write weight-loss blogs really want one simple thing: To be thin without having to think about it too much, to enjoy food without becoming obsessed with it, and to feel good about ourselves and not feel like we're being punished. Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself From a Lifetime of Dieting promises to make you "naturally thin" without dieting. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
When you actually read through the book, it has a lot of same advice given by Judith Beck in her two books, though I think the tone here is a little less "Mean Mommy" and more "Girlfriend and Guru." It's hard to imagine that you could get sane advice from someone who made a name for herself on reality television, but all the gratuitous celebrity name-dropping aside, this book has a lot of commonsense suggestions about how to have a less-fraught relationship with food and enjoy everything in balance.
None of this is particularly new, but it does give some insight on the way someone who might seem to "eat anything she wants and still stay skinny" might really accomplish that. Bethenny's 10 rules are all about balance. "Your diet is a bank account," she says in Rule One. "You can have it all, but not all at once," she says in Rule Two. And so on... My favorite rule is "Know Thyself." It says to forget about the rules that say to eat every four hours or to always eat breakfast... that those rules were created by someone else. Figure out what your own personal preferences are and listen to your body. You don't have to put someone else in charge.
The easiest way to understand this advice is to imagine you are already thin and beautiful. You love food, but it's most the only important thing in your life. You enjoy eating a a variety of healthy food and being active in your daily life. Now live like that person lives.
This all sounds great, though especially in the second part of the book, "The Naturally Thin Program," there are some more specific, diet-y recommendations and recipes (like the faux cheesecake, which will seem very familiar to South Beachers). Still, I knew that eating like a naturally thin person was going to involve changing more than just my thoughts. One tip that made me think: "If you usually have two pieces of toast for breakfast, would you be perfectly happy and satisfied with just one? What are they, bookends?" I thought about it, and I think the reason I always have two slices of toast is that there are two slots in the toaster. That's kind of a dumb reason, isn't it?
I picked up a copy of this book because I had seen an article on these rules in Health magazine and thought they made a lot of sense. After reading through this book, I'm willing to give my inner Skinnygirl a chance to run the show and see if it makes a difference. I will keep you posted on the results.