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Naturally Thin

naturally_thin_book_pic2I have mixed emotions about this book, like many other friends and bloggers. But, like ANY how-to book or political book, for example….I don’t think we have to agree with every word in the book in order to pull something from it to apply to our lives or to learn something. So, my opinion on this book is that it is well worth the read, but you have to look past some things in the book to get to the part that is relevant and applicable to your life.

To be honest, also, I did not read the second half of the book, which is the first week’s plan on her “diet” because I am working with a trainer and can’t apply this diet to my life yet anyway. I AM trying to apply some of Bethenny’s principles to my life as I am working on “healthy eating habits.” I am working on a healthy relationship with food and some of the items in this book have helped give me a great perspective on some aspects of food and eating.I think some of the aspects of this book are a bit obsessive and I’ve heard that the last half of the book has Bethenny eating so little that it’s almost sickening. I also do NOT envy her physique. As you have all seen on my blog, the ideal body type that I envy and am striving for is muscular, strong and lean, not skinny fat! BUT, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have some principles that apply to my life and my relationship with food.

She has some great “Heavy Habits” and “Naturally Thin Thoughts” that are neat and though provoking. She also has some great recipes in her book that I have yet to try but will blog about them after I try them!

As you can see on Amazon under the Table of Contents, the Rules are as follows:
1. Your Diet Is a Bank Account
2. You Can Have It All, Just Not All at Once
3. Taste Everything, Eat Nothing
4. Pay Attention
5. Downsize Now!
6. Cancel Your Membership in the Clean Plate Club
7. Check Yourself before You Wreck Yourself
8. Know Thyself
9. Get Real
10. Good For You

Some great quotes from the book that I have highlighted for myself…

* “I don’t believe in eating mediocre food just because it will supposedly make you thinner. It won’t. We should all aknow that by now” (p. 4)
I apply this to my cheat days when I don’t waste my cheat meals on anything I’m not truly craving.

* “They [Europeans] value food more than Americans do, but obsess about it less.” (p. 11)
I find this interesting because I find that those of us who try to stray from the American way of eating are looked at like we’re crazy though other countries have discovered that there is a better way to eat and a healthier relationship with food exists.

*I LOVE her “Point of Diminishing Returns” (p. 28) “The point of diniminshing is what I call that point when a bite you take isn’t quite as good as the bite before it.” I am really working hard on apply this and I have been successful with some things….but not my trigger foods (more on that in a later blog entry on food addiction).

* “Pick what you want, what you really want most, and enjoy it.” (p. 35)

* “If I can’t stop thinking about it, I probably want it, so I decide to have a small portion. The key is that I decide to have it. I’m in control…If you decide you really want somethikng, then indulge. Otherwise, you will eventually rebel against the unfair restrictions you are putting on yourself, and you’ll end up eating twice the calories you would have eaten otherwise. But (here’s the key), when you do indulge, really enjoy yourself….And if you don’t stop? Give yourself a break. Shrug it off. Chalk it up to experience, and move on.” (p. 36-7)

* She spends a lot of time in chapter 3 talking about Italy and their eating habits. It is so interesting! Americans use fat-free and sugar substitutes, while Italians use real sugar and full fat millk but they don’t eat the quantities that we do! And, the idea that I don’t have to finish everything shouldn’t be that hard for me to grasp but IT IS!!! I have to work very hard at this one!

* It’s a give and take…I have often said that I don’t choose to drink because I’d rather have dessert and it’s the same principle applied in her book.

* “(Celebrity Secrets) To me, it makes a whole lot more sense (and costs a whole lot less money) to eat right every day. Then you never need to go to such extremes.” (p. 46) It’s true that it’d be WAY better to maintain your weight rather than splurge and gain 10 pounds and hate yourself and then diet that 10 pounds off, be happy with reaching your goal and then going back to eating everything in sight and gaining weight again. This is a goal for me to work on…maintenance!

* Conscious Eating….spend time preparing beautiful food, take time to take your food and enjoy it, chew your food, be ok with being a food snob, sit down and enjoy your food.

* Downsizing your food says it all….I have to work on this when it comes to filling a plate or bowl with more food than I need because I’m starving or it looks good. “There is never any reason to eat a huge oversized portion of anything. There is never any reason to stuff yourself until you feel sick.” (p. 65)

* A great point that she made is how you disrespect your dinner guests (meaning ME) when the food comes and I am so obsessed with the food! “If you focus on your friends and having a good time, you’ll focus less on the food.” (p. 67) It’s a great point!!! “HEAVY HABIT: Are you a person who stops everything the second the food arrives and focuses entirely on eating? Well, stop it. It’s just rude, for one thing. And think about it: is food really that important? You can relish and enjoy every bite of your food without acting as if you are having hte last meal of your life. If you focus on the company, the conversation, the environment, the atmosphere, and having a calm and relaxing time, you will have a much better experience, and enjoy your food even more. Balance your dining experience. It’s not all about the food.” (p. 80) [bold/underline added by FItori].

* My favorite chapter, I think, is the one on binge eating. I have recently realized that I have a “food addiction” towards certain foods and “binge” on those particular, favorite foods. I plan to blog on that later.

* “improve your relationship with food, so you never have to waste another day immersed in negative thoughts. I want you to be able to enjoy food and not be chained to it like a prisoner. It is posible to get there. I know, becuase I did it.” (p. 92)

* “I was also obsessed with food. I used it for comfort and to dull strong emotions. It took me a long time to realize that food was not my friend or my enemy…It’s also not your girlfriend who will always be there for you when you are feeling stressed out, depressed, or emotional. It doesn’t love you and it doesn’t hate you. It’s food...I always know I can stop, and I always know tehre will be plenty of other chances to eat french fries again. I quit my bad habit by recognizing that it’s OK to eat, but it’s not OK to hurt myself with food. Binging is self-lothing, anxiety producting, and bloating, with no upside.” (p. 93-5)

* “It’s a great feeling when you first learn how to stop binging, especially when you recognize that you are in the situation where you might have binged, but didn’t. When you can taste something good and stop, or when you decide not to eat at a certain moment because you are particularly anxious, or when you learn to fill up on healthful food first and they calmly and happily enjoy something that once would have triggered a binge, you’ll know you’ve made a huge step in the right direction.” (p. 96)

* “Obsess about more important things–cleaning your house, wearing a great outfit,…long-distance running,…or whatever it is.” (p. 96) This is so true! I’m learning to put the focus on things that are SO much more important! It has been freeing to me to have a plan written by LBC so that I just follow it and quit obsessing over what to eat, when, how much, etc!

* “It’s time for you to make your own peace with food. The journey toward a healthy relationship with food can start today, but it won’t end today. Be kind to yourself, and if you slip up and wreck yourself with a binge, forgive yourself so that you don’t make it any worse. Step back and look at where you are going and what role you want food to play in your life, and then gently return to thep ath.” (p. 97)

* “You can’t be a size zero when you are six feet tall.” (p. 101) Hello! Why don’t tall girls realize this??!! We will never be 100 pounds!!! Our 145 pounds is shorter girls’ 125 or whatever!

* KNOWING YOUR TRIGGERS!!! This is a huge one for me. I’m learning I have a few dessert triggers that I simply cannot control myself around! I tried on one of my cheat meals to see if I could handle it b/c I have done really well with a lot of items during my cheat meals, but I’m learning that there are some that I cannot control myself around. I did not beat myself up!!! I learned this lesson about myself and may try again later down the road.

* “One person might not be able to keep chocolate in the house because she knows she can’t possibly control how much chocolate she eats. Another might be able to keep it in the house with no problem because the simple recognition that chocolate is OK is enough to put the brakes on. Which one are you?” (p. 103)

* I get made fun of for this all the time…..I have portion-controled baggies of foods in my pantry. It’s a great way to watch your portions!

* “If you follow the ten rules, you’ll be able to participate in anything life thows at you without fear that you are breaking your diet.” (p. 137)

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Becca - Interesting. I just finished the Paleo Diet and will be writing a review on that too one of these days. Maybe once I get done with Master Your Metabolism (being shipped to me now, I can’t wait!) I will read this one.

Good points, good post.

Tori - I am halfway through Master your Metabolism…interested to see what you think! I’m no aware of the Paleo Diet so please post on that and let me know! Hope you’re doing well since your WIN! 🙂

- s h a w n a - - thanks for the cliff notes! this is great!

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