When Your Body Gets the Blues: The Clinically Proven Program for Women Who Feel Tired and Stressed and Eat Too Much

When Your Body Gets the Blues: The Clinically Proven Program for Women Who Feel Tired and Stressed and Eat Too Much

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by Marie-Annette Brown, Jo Robinson

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Millions of women don't feel their best and don't know why. They're not outright depressed, but they aren't really happy either. They eat too much or have gained weight lately. They find it hard to concentrate or have trouble sleeping. They feel tense, anxious, or irritable, or they're highly sensitive to criticism. They're tired and not very interested in sex (or


Millions of women don't feel their best and don't know why. They're not outright depressed, but they aren't really happy either. They eat too much or have gained weight lately. They find it hard to concentrate or have trouble sleeping. They feel tense, anxious, or irritable, or they're highly sensitive to criticism. They're tired and not very interested in sex (or even everyday life).

When Your Body Gets the Blues offers a clinically proven solution. A simple, drug-free treatment known as the LEVITY program-- Light, Exercise, and Vitamin Intervention TherapY-- can help women think clearly, sleep soundly, cope easily with stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and lose unwanted pounds-- in 8 weeks or less!

The author's easy-to-follow program includes self-quizzes, tips for increasing exposure to light and getting mood-elevating exercise even on dark or rainy days, and six recommended vitamins and minerals proven to relieve the Body Blues.

Marie-Annette Brown, Ph.D., R.N., tested the LEVITY program on real women, and they improved significantly-- far more than women who took placebo pills. In fact, many participants cut their feelings of depression in half.

One woman who completed the LEVITY program said, "I know that if I ever feel blue again, I have my own way of feeling better-- I won't have to run to my doctor for a prescription."

Now, for the first time, When Your Body Gets the Blues offers the groundbreaking LEVITY program to women everywhere.

All it takes is a small investment of 20 minutes and a few pennies a day. With this clinically proven program, any woman-- young or old, active or inactive-- can regain control over her mood and her life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Robinson and Brown have given women with the 'Body Blues'-- and all of us-- a gift. I recommend it highly.” —Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author, Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

“I know many people who would benefit from the health advice in this program, men and women alike.” —Andrew Weil, M.D., author, Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

“The importance of the information in this book cannot be overestimated.” —Larry Dossey, M.D., author, Healing Beyond the Body and Healing Words, and executive editor, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

This eye-opening book identifies the "Body Blues" as a collection of common, mood-related symptoms (ranging from fatigue and disturbed sleeping patterns to weight gain) afflicting about a quarter of all women throughout their lives. More prevalent among women because of the way their supply of seratonin is used up and replenished, the Body Blues are too often discounted by sufferers and overlooked by medical professionals. To help women gain control over these symptoms, the authors prescribe the LEVITY plan, consisting of moderate regular exercise (brisk walking), natural lighting, and an affordable regimen of vitamins and minerals. This informative and well-researched effort -- with frequent question-and-answer sections that make it extremely approachable -- will put readers on the road to increased energy, less stress, and effortless weight control.

Product Details

Rodale Press, Inc.
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7.06(w) x 8.89(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
The Body Blues

Women's Number One Mood Problem

Many women with this syndrome have sleep difficulties as well. They have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep--or they sleep too much. The common denominator is that they feel drowsy during the day, whether due to a lack of sleep or general drowsiness. Those times when they feel alert and energetic all day long are a welcome relief.

Difficulty concentrating is another telltale sign of this disorder, especially in women 35 and older. The women have trouble focusing on tasks, absorbing complex information, or finding just the right words to say when they talk. Verbal slips and difficulty remembering names--even the names of people they know really well--can be a source of embarrassment. Curiously, these mental lapses can come and go. For days at a time, they feel mentally sharp. Then, for some unknown reason, their thinking becomes fuzzy or scattered. It's as though their IQs had dropped 10 points overnight. Middle-aged women can be especially troubled by these mental symptoms because they fear they might have the early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Many of the women also feel stressed and irritable. They can be annoyed by simple things such as the sound of construction from a neighbor's house, a partner's eating habits, or being put on hold on the phone. Even when the pressure is off, some women find it hard to relax. A drink or two is a fast way to unwind, but relying on alcohol to relax can lead to alcohol dependency. A more common way to relieve stress is to watch TV or read a book. These two remedies work reasonably well, but they take away from the little time women have to be creative or take on ambitious projects.

But the most common and vexing symptoms of this syndrome are overeating and weight gain. In the morning, most of the women have little trouble controlling their appetite. But sometime in the afternoon, they begin to snack. They also feel an urge to eat whenever they are feeling anxious, tired, or stressed. Women say that certain foods are more soothing than others, especially pasta, pizza, sweets, bread, and chocolate. In fact, a craving for sweets and starches is one of the defining characteristics of this syndrome.

The logical result of feeling too tired to exercise and eating too much is being overweight. Some women manage to keep the pounds off through rigorous dieting, but most plateau at a high weight or continue to gain weight year after year. One reason being overweight is so troubling to them is that they can't cover it up. If need be, they can disguise the fact that they're sleeping poorly, forgetting names, or feeling irritable. But they can't deny that they're overweight. It's the one visible sign of their distress.

There's another symptom that one might expect to find on this list--a depressed mood. But women who have this syndrome do not have serious mood problems. Unlike women with clinical depression, they do not feel sad or tearful all the time. They don't feel hopeless or think that the world would be a better place without them. When something good happens to them, they feel genuinely happy. Most of them perform well at work, even those with high-level, demanding jobs. Nonetheless, they can be very distressed by their fatigue, eating problems, irritability, confused thinking, or sleep difficulties. These symptoms interfere with their relationships, frustrate their ambitions, and rob them of the full enjoyment of life. It's as though their bodies were depressed, but not their minds. They have what I call the "Body Blues."

What Is the Body Blues?

The textbook term for the Body Blues is vegetative depressive symptoms. A woman with this condition has three or more of the symptoms listed below to such a degree that they diminish her enjoyment in life and sense of well-being.

  • Eating too much and gaining weight
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Irritability or tension
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Mild anxiety
  • Mild depression
  • Heightened sensitivity to rejection or criticism
A woman can have the Body Blues all by itself, or it can be a part of other disorders. For example, PMS could be viewed as the Body Blues plus bloating, cramps, or breast tenderness. Postpartum depression, or the "baby blues," could be seen as the Body Blues but with more severe mood problems. Menopausal symptoms could be characterized as the Body Blues plus hot flashes and physical signs of aging. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, could be regarded as a seasonal siege of the Body Blues. Embedded in all these disorders is the same core group of symptoms listed above.

Men can have symptoms of the Body Blues as well, especially those 40 or older. But the syndrome is far more common in women. First of all, most of the disorders that include symptoms of the Body Blues, such as PMS and the baby blues, are exclusive to women. But even the unisex disorders, such as SAD, are three or more times as common in women as men. For reasons I will explore in more depth in chapter 2, the Body Blues seems to go hand in hand with being female.

Meet the Author

Marie-Annette Brown, Ph.D., R.N., is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington who is involved in research, teaching, and clinical practice. Dr. Brown has lectured widely and published more than 60 scientific papers. She is nationally certified as a family and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner and provides primary care at the University of Washington Women's Health Care Clinic.

Jo Robinson is a New York Times best-selling author from Vashon Island, Washington, who specializes in books on mental health and nutrition. She is the coauthor of 11 popular books, including Getting the Love You Want, Hot Monogamy, and The Omega Diet. She collaborated with Dr. Brown in the design of the LEVITY study.

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When Your Body Gets the Blues: The Clinically Proven Program for Women Who Feel Tired and Stressed and Eat Too Much 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a little skeptical at first, but the plan outlined in this book really works. I am happier than ever and even lost weight! I use to suffer from seasonal depression, but since I read this book over a year ago all my symptoms are a thing of the past. It completely changed my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Brown and Jo Robinson have made the discovery of the century. This book is wonderfully written and is so full of helpful information that I find myself re-reading it and learning more each time. I have known all of my life that I have suffered from a mild depression but never quite understood what is was or what would help. Since I read this book and started on the Levity program I find that every day has a positive side and I've lost weight in the first month and a half on the program without really trying. I thank both Dr. Brown and Jo Robinson every morning when I get up for helping me find my way out of the fog I've lived in and I would also like to thank Barnes and Noble for leading me to this book. I highly recommend that every woman who is suffering from the body blues read this book and give the levity program a try.