Category Archives: News about weight loss

The problem with “nutritional consultants” –

– or, The futility of giving advice to food addicts as though we were normal people.

I am at this moment looking at an article in today’s Globe and Mail that offers sane advice on how to cut calories.  It includes such sensible tips as: “Limit your salad toppings,” “Watch your protein,” and “Count your cookies.”

I happen to live with a person who would likely read this kind of advice, find it logical and useful, and follow it.

I am not that kind of person.

When I am sticking to a weight-loss program, no matter what it is, I stick to it. I don’t trim off a few calories here and a few there … I follow the plan that I have set out for myself. I measure the protein, omit the salad toppings, and steer clear of cookies completely. But when I am NOT sticking to the program, I am not counting cookies – I am devouring them. When I’m not on a diet, I see salad as a bed for iniquity, and the way I take my protein is as peanuts in M&Ms.

I am not a half-measures person, and I think that is one of the things that sets food addicts apart from normal people (of which there are very few in the world, in my experience. Perhaps there are four or five: the person with whom I live, the person who wrote the article in the Globe and Mail, and three others). Before I quit drinking, I remember once being given a lovely wine-bottle stopper as a gift, and looking at it with gratitude mixed with bemusement. I had very little occasion to save leftover wine since there usually wasn’t any left over, so – as I had anticipated – the bottle stopper got very little use.

At this time of year, there are thousands upon thousands of articles by nutritional experts on how to lose weight. They are everywhere (the nutritionists and the articles). However, for most of us, the problem is not the food we eat or any ignorance on our part about what it is about our food choices that is causing us to gain weight.

The problem is what is going on in our heads.

* * * * * * *

And this kind of self-awareness is, my friends, what my main character, Rita Turner, gradually attains in The Whole Clove Diet. You can read the first 65 pages of the novel for free right here.

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Filed under Addiction, Dieting, Dietinig, Eating Disorders, Habits, News about weight loss, The Whole Clove Diet: A Novel, Weight loss

Introducing the One-Book-Only Book Club: January 1 to 31, 2014

What better time to read a novel about a woman who is struggling to get thin than in January?

TWCD_3DJoin other readers and the author for a fun, easy, interesting, on-line book discussion from January 1 to 31, 2014 to read and talk about The Whole Clove Diet: A Novel – the story of 29-year-old Rita Sax Turner’s frustrating and funny but ultimately rewarding journey to rid herself of sixty unwanted pounds (or so. Maybe more. Maybe less).

Each week we’ll read 100 pages, and then we’ll talk about them together. There will be set questions and topics posted at the end of each week, but you can ask the author anything about her thoughts on the book, or talk among yourselves – about the book, families, marriages, walking in the park, your own food-related issues, anything.

If you have ever used food for something besides sustenance – like to make you thinner, or fatter, or just plain warm and comfy – you’re going to love reading about Rita.

The Whole Clove Diet tells the story of a young woman caught in a frustrating marriage with two step-kids, a nagging mom, a whiny mother-in-law and no clear plan for her future… well, at least none that she wants to think about. Not long ago she was a slim young thing with her whole future ahead of her, but as her options decline, she is getting fatter and fatter (her words) – not from hunger, but from frustration and rage, and feelings of despair and sadness. Her husband thinks that her getting pregnant would be just the thing, but this idea only makes her feel more trapped. She goes on diet after diet, and guess what? They don’t work. It appears that reducing your calorie intake does not take any weight off your problems.

Rita’s redeeming features include her ability to hope (true of anyone who has ever gone on a diet!), her wits, and her sense of humour (black though it may sometimes be). When an injury gives her an excuse to escape the home-front action for a week, she starts to figure it all out – and to figure herself out. The novel is ultimately a feel-good story that will leave you cheering for Rita (and feeling even more hopeful for yourself, and for those around you who are battling with addictions of any kind).

Some of the issues we’ll be talking about:

  • Is overeating an addiction – just as bulimia and anorexia are now thought to be?
  • How does the western world treat people who are overweight differently than it does people of normal weight?
  • Do we invite any of this treatment ourselves, by how we act when we are above our ideal weights?
  • What is self-discipline? Can you acquire it, and if so, where?
  • What is the difference between deciding to make a life change and resolving to make one?
  • Do women and men approach food differently? How much does this have to do with our historic roles?
  • Does one diet work better than another?

We’ll also get down to the nitty gritty:

  • Why exactly is Rita sexually attracted to a doctor who has been verbally abusive to her?
  • What can Rita do about the fact that her husband’s first wife keeps getting more and more attractive in everyone’s memory the longer she is dead?
  • What IS the recipe for Nanaimo bars?

As we read, your feelings of despair and sympathy for Rita will alternate with a sense that you want to sit down and have a talk with her, or maybe just give her a good shake. But she’ll also make you laugh and cheer.

Find out what the author was thinking when she wrote the novel, and what her own experiences with weight issues (and other addictions) have been, in this perfectly timed opportunity to join a book club that is reading only one book, ever.

Whether you’ve already read The Whole Clove Diet or have been intending to read it – or have never even heard of it until this minute – join us. (Check out the reviews by other readers first, on Amazon or GoodReads, if you’re so inclined.) If you have ever wanted to lose (or gain) a pound or two, are planning to make a new year’s resolution (about anything – the same principles apply if you’re on a weight-loss program, cutting back on the booze or cigarettes, or training for a half marathon), or just love reading some good writing, snuggle up with this book – and with us – for a truly satisfying launch to the new year.

Note: The WCD One-Off Book Club will meet right here, on the  The Whole Clove Diet blog, but the discussion will be copied to Mary W. Walters’s Author Page on GoodReads. Regular updates will also appear on the Mary W. Walters, Writer Facebook page, and on Twitter (@MaryWWalters). If you are not an on-line-forum kind of person, you can have printouts of the discussions emailed to you on request, and you can submit questions by email each week that will be answered and/or discussed by the group. (mary at marywwalters dot com)

The Whole Clove Diet is available from amazon.com in both print and e-book versions, and as a Kobo e-book.

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Filed under Addiction, Book Clubs, Dieting, Dietinig, Eating Disorders, Habits, health, Healthy Living, News about weight loss, Reading Group, Self publishing, Sugar, The Whole Clove Diet: A Novel, Weight loss

“Globesity”?? Ack! Now INVESTORS are looking at ways to make money off our extra pounds!!

Those of us who have been wandering into the obesity zone are now making at least one group’s mouth water with longing and desire (and I don’t mean people with a thing for big butts): The investment business.

That is reason enough to get rid of the weight. Who wants to be putting money in someone else’s pockets for such an unfortunate reason??? It’s like dying early to help the funeral business. Well, actually it’s almost the same thing.

Even the director of Weight Watchers is trying to climb onto the financial bandwagon, riding on our slightly too-broad backs.

Membership in WW is plummeting due to all the on-line competition, s0 — to take advantage of the huge health-care costs associated with weight issues — the $2.5 Billion business is working its little brain cells out trying to figure out how to convince insurers to subsidize the fees for Weight Watchers attendees.

Remember, my dear readers: It makes NO difference what weight-loss/exercise program you follow (as long as it gives you a balanced diet and makes you feel great!  and energetic! instead of deprived). Weight Watchers? Jenny Craig? The Zone? They all work!  You just have to have your head in the right place: all the rest will follow.

As I have proven, at least temporarily, using the principles Rita discovers in The Whole Clove Diet (which is NOT a diet book. It is a novel!), just eliminating sugar from your diet and getting out for a few walks when you are in the right head space will help you hugely.

I am down 17.5 lbs in two months  (equivalent to the weight of two human heads apparently, speaking of head space, or a sperm whale’s brain) with these small changes (and a few other adjustments to my diet that I’ll be happy to share with you if you are interested.)

Don’t let them cash in on us! But don’t get mad! Just get slenderer!

Thank you. End of speech de jour.

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Filed under Eating Disorders, Fat Is Big Business, Habits, Healthy Living, News about weight loss, The Whole Clove Diet: A Novel, Weight loss

Olympian attitudes towards food and exercise

The top athletes and their junk food

An article from The Week reminds me of the difference between us mortals and the gods and goddesses who are running, cycling and swimming around London at the moment.

“Pizza, beer, and ice cream are actually staples for some elite athletes, who gorge themselves on mountains of unhealthy food to meet 6,000-calorie daily quotients,” it says.

The problem with healthy food? You have to eat too much of it to meet the caloric goals these athletes require.

Then there’s the challenge of getting off the couch

From the same source, an item on an externally posed regime that failed to meet its mark. Apparently, British Olympic organizers pledged in 2005 to get two million U.K. citizens to exercise more before the games. Didn’t happen. This article tries to explain why.

I guess that’s just one more example of Rita’s finding in The Whole Clove Diet: change just has to start on the inside.

… and

In recent additions to the general confusion about exercise and diet, in the past week I have read that

Maybe the best idea is to just go on holidays, as Dave Seminara suggests.

I like that idea.

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Filed under Healthy Living, News about weight loss, Weight loss