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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
If you are ready to retire from the diet wars, if you are willing to consider a different approach to food and weight, if you are comfortable with Eastern-style mind-body exercises, you will want to turn to Lynn Ginsburg and Mary Taylor's book.
Consider this provocative challenge from the authors: "Stop for a moment and estimate roughly how much time over the years you've spent thinking or obsessing about food and your body. Consider the great things you might have accomplished with the same amount of time and energy."
For many women, this is one scary thought. In fact, statistics show that on any given day, 40 percent of American women are actively dieting. The authors determine that, aided and abetted by the messages in American culture, we equate thinness and happiness all too easily, ignoring the vacuum in our own spirituality and life purpose.
Ginsburg and Taylor, the "Eating Wisely" columnists for Yoga Journal, bring their own tangled eating histories into the open -- one, a yo-yo dieter, the other, an anorexic who came to her senses just in time. For both, their wake-up calls coincided with awakening to a larger life purpose, or finding their personal dharma.
Exercises in each chapter lead the reader into ever-deeper layers of self-discovery, beginning with journal exercises and meditation. There are charts to record what you eat -- as well as when, where, and with whom -- and charts to help reveal where and when your intersection with food goes awry. Do you eat the same food more than ten times a week, for example? How many of your meals or snacks are eaten standing up by the refrigerator? How many times were you hungry before you ate? How many times were you full before you finished eating?
Ginsburg and Taylor want us to pay real attention to our body for signals about when and what to eat, so that we are not following unconscious patterns or habits from previous diets. One exercise instructs the reader to be totally aware of the first and last bite of each meal -- an exercise much harder than it sounds. Another chapter features a set of beginning yoga poses.
You will find no diet prescriptions here -- though the authors do suggest that each meal include a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates -- but you will find plenty of insights about women, food, and spirituality. (Ginger Curwen)