Win the Fat War: 145 Real-Life Secrets to Weight-Loss Successby Anne Alexander
Anne Alexander, the high-profile editor of Prevention magazine and monthly health guest on the "Today Show," has some stories to share200 stories! One of America's leading voices for healthful living tells the individual tales of real people who have won the battle of the bulge, and combines them with insights and advice on adapting successful strategies to readers' own lifestyles. The result is a motivational resource that will complement every weight loss plan, whether the reader follows a structured program or is simply trying to slim down on her own.
Each of these stories addresses a realistic dieting problem, from what to do when the kids want to eat McDonald's to a solution for stress-induced bingeing. This "diet coach" is both an inspiring cover-to-cover read and a timely, at-a-glance dose of encouragement for the reader tempted to forego her daily walk or down a bag of chips. With an empowering "you can do it" message, this unique companion book offers the tools readers need to achieve the maximum results from any diet plan.
Anne Alexander is editor-in-chief of Prevention magazine and a regular guest on NBC's "Today Weekend Edition." She has appeared as a health expert on Fox TV's "Good Day, New York," and "Health Week" on PBS. She lives in Bedminster, New Jersey.
- St. Martin's Press
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- 5.27(w) x 7.23(h) x 0.92(d)
Read an Excerpt
AT DINNERTIME, SHE DESERTS HER FAMILY
Make no mistake: Debbee Serduck loves her husband and her three children. But for 3 years, she refused to eat dinner with them. Sacrificing a little family togetherness was tough, but it helped Debbee take off an astounding 234 pounds.
Debbee, a 38-year-old resident of Spokane, Washington, doesn't remember a time when she was thin. At 5 foot 11, she carried her weight well-for a while. But the scale never seemed to stop climbing upward. By age 33, she had reached 414 pounds.
Self-conscious about her appearance and concerned about the effects that her weight might have on her health, Debbee felt that she had to slim down. She just couldn't get herself motivated to do it. That changed one day in 1994, when she turned on her television and saw rescue workers extricating a large woman from her home and placing her in a special van to take her to the hospital. "The reporter mentioned that the woman weighed 560 pounds, and I was mortified," Debbee says. "That wasn't much more than I weighed."
With the image of the woman fresh in her mind, Debbee launched a self-styled weight-loss program that consisted primarily of eating low-fat foods in more sensible portions and riding a stationary bike. "I knew what I had to do," she says. "I just needed the motivation to do it."
Exercising was tough at first because Debbee was so overweight and out of shape. "I'd just tell myself, I'm going to pedal that bike for as long as I can," she says. "I made myself sit on it for an hour every day, whether or not I was actually riding."
Debbee had an easier time adjusting her eating habits, but dinnertime remained a struggle. How could she eat a carefully portioned meal while watching her family help themselves to seconds? How could she just throw away perfectly good food that her kids didn't finish?
Rather than wrestle with these temptations, Debbee decided to walk away from them. Every evening, she prepared dinner and served it to her family. Then she took her meal into the living room and ate by herself. She didn't return to the kitchen or dining room until everything was cleaned up and put away. "This kept me from dipping into the serving bowls for extra helpings and from finishing off the kids' uneaten food," she says. "It also gave me a few minutes of peace and quiet."
Her strategy worked like a charm. Over the next 3 years, Debbee took off 234 pounds, reaching her goal weight of 180. She has held steady ever since.
Were all those dinners alone worth the effort? Debbee thinks so. Now that she's fit, she has even more opportunities to enjoy life with her family. "I used to be a very active person, but I hadn't been on a bicycle since I was 11 or 12. I really wanted to go riding with my kids, which we now do all the time," she says. "I'm able to do the kinds of things that I couldn't do before."
HER "DREAM BOOK" WISHES CAME TRUE
For years, Sonia Turner went to bed wanting to lose weight and woke up wanting to lose weight.
"Desire wasn't the problem. What I lacked was the belief that I really could lose weight," recalls Sonia, a 43-year-old real estate agent from Timmins, Ontario. "I decided that before I could change my body, I had to change my way of thinking.."
In January 1997, when she weighed 285 pounds, Sonia started a scrapbook called My Dream Book. In it, she pasted images of people exercising, news stories of folks overcoming adversity, and, most significant, a photograph from her husband's company newsletter showing a trim-looking, smiling couple at a Christmas party.
Sonia and her husband hadn't gone to that party. "I wanted to stay home because I was embarrassed," she says. "I cut out that picture and said, 'Next year, we're going.'"
For several weeks, Sonia listened to motivational tapes and poured over the classic book, The Power of Positive Thinking. Finally, she felt ready to address eating and exercise.
Sonia wanted a plan for life, not just a diet. She evaluated her eating habits and started making more sensible food choices. She took up walking, and as the pounds came off, she graduated to jogging. She also signed up for TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), which provided group support to its members.
By the time the holidays rolled around, Sonia had lost 135 pounds. She and her husband went to the company Christmas party and danced the night away.
Now, her sights are set even higher: She wants to run a marathon. "To be able to run is an unbelievable experience," she says. "I just fell in love with it."
Her dream book remains central to her motivation. Only this time, it's packed full of pictures of runners crossing the finish line.
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