Tuesday, July 8, 2014

10 Months Later

It's been over ten months since I published American Women Didn't Get Fat in the 1950s. I ran a week-long Kindle Countdown sale that ended yesterday which really boosted my sales rank!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Success! Thank you!

The end of February will mark six months since I published my book and over four years of blogging here. My book's reach exceeded my expectations. Beyond my regular blog readers I didn't think I would sell many copies of my book because I lacked an advertising budget and was a brand new, self-published author. Yet for almost three months my book was in the top 100 diet books on Amazon Kindle, dropping off occasionally, and at one point was a top diet book on Amazon, not just Kindle:

I also stumbled upon THIS:

It's great to be wanted, and for a brief period of time my book was ahead of Our Bodies, Ourselves?!

I have dedicated a good part of my life during the past four years to putting forth an alternative view of dieting because I'm very passionate about it and helping others. Of course, not everyone loves my book! According to the published reviews some people hated it or said it contained "nothing new." But the fact that it did help so many people who have commented here, emailed me or left reviews, I stuck with my goal to completion and gave it my best shot with the resources I have is what I feel good about. I have also learned a great deal from this experience.

I have many other topics I want to cover in my writing career other than the 1950s diet, and simply can't afford to do it all. I have also reached a point where I feel that I've said all I can on the 1950s diet in both my book and blog, so I need to close this chapter meaning I will no longer update here. I am truly sorry for any disappointment!

I'll be blogging over at Outdated By Design which is my personal blog (with some posts being of interest to ladies of a certain age/over forty/one day will be forty).

If you are new to this blog there are over 250 blog posts about the 1950s diet archived for you along with the film Cheers For Chubby, so please stay a while!

I hope you will follow me at my other blogs; otherwise I will miss you! Thank you for reading and all of your support along the way!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Weigh Cool Ideas

When I actually dared to step on the scale before I went 1950s, it wasn't unlike stepping down into a dark abyss. If I didn't like my weight, I stayed in a funk the rest of the day.

Creepy basement in the house I lived in before buying my current time capsule house.

Feeling low, I sought solace in junk food and would daydream about starting a diet "tomorrow."

It wasn't until I stopped seeing my scale as the enemy and realized that my weight wasn't a measure of my worth but rather a piece of information I needed to make informed choices that I made my peace with it. I realized I could suck in my stomach to fit into that pair of jeans, embrace vanity sizing fantasyland as factual and never use a three way mirror, but it's my scale that will tell it like it is.

Just like my eating and thinking about food, I went retro with my weigh-ins. I  donated my battery-operated digital scale to Goodwill and bought this 1950s Detecto at a flea market a few years ago. By adding a little sparkle and glam it made weighing myself seem more dignified.

Blog reader Tammy shared this pic of her super-cute pink Detecto.

I like to lighten my weigh-in, and last year I added this "patriotic" 1970s scale to my collection.

Vintage scales usually didn't register past 300 pounds whereas new scales today go much higher.

What about you? Do you step on your scale as if it's an exercise in masochism? Can you think of ways to make your weigh-ins more fun, or your scale your BFF? I exaggerate, but...

Update: Here's a novel idea for a scale!

Friday, January 31, 2014

FAQ: Is your book a diet book?

I have learned from reading the reviews since I first published my book five months ago that some readers were hoping for a specific weight-loss plan with a detailed outline of exactly what to eat along with exercise routines (even though my book clearly discusses integrating movement into your daily life). I have also learned that some people see counting calories and watching what they eat as incompatible with it being something they would do for the rest of their lives as a lifestyle.

"Diet" literally means "the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats." In my book I go into detail about food groups, methods and vintage guides for deciding what to eat and how much is right for you. "Diet" is NOT the same thing as what was referred to as a "reducing diet" in the 1950s or what we know today as "Weight Watchers" or "Nutrisystem." 

There were plenty of gimmicky reducing diets in the 1950s only it was a tiny fraction of today's billion dollar industry because the overall need was significantly less. It would be a disservice to my readers to offer you those plans that tell you EXACTLY what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why? They didn't work then in the long run and they won't work now. We have no shortage of specific plans that are NOT tailored to individual dietary needs. I feel comfortable stating that if I included a specific eating plan with recipes that that would become the focus, and the temptation would be to simply follow it and not think more deeply about our relationship to food and our health, clothing, and moving. Also, we all have unique health issues and demands that call for different choices. If you watch Cheers for Chubby you will notice that the solution was a diet of general guidelines recommended by a doctor, counting calories and making permanent lifestyle changes. Having said that, I share free healthy vintage recipes on my blog which is linked within the book.

Our culture of dieting has become so twisted that we now think "diet" always means a magic plan to follow instead of an overall lifestyle of relating to food in a balanced and healthy manner.

My book outlines the average 1950s diet and compares it to what and how the typical American woman eats and evaluates her health today. The 1950s diet worked for millions of American women-- a decade of hard evidence of an overall thinner nation is hard to dispute! It also promotes a healthy lifestyle and by applying it to my life I lost weight as have many of my readers. Making permanent lifestyle changes is what works, and my book gives readers the tools to make those changes.

So, is my book a specific plan with detailed recipes and rules? No.

Is it a diet book that can help you lose weight by giving you the tools to make healthier choices, the most important tool and weapon in your arsenal being your attitude and understanding of fit living with the motivation to follow through with behavioral changes? I hope so!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Labeling Obesity as a Disease May Have Psychological Costs

In my book I make a case for the impact of the disempowering messages of "today" on our waistlines and psyches. Now, here is some evidence that being inundated with defeatist messages from the medical community may really be a form of enabling: 
Messages that describe obesity as a disease may undermine healthy behaviors and beliefs among obese individuals, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The findings show that obese individuals exposed to such messages placed less importance on health-focused dieting and reported less concern about weight. These beliefs, in turn, predicted unhealthier food choices.
The other day I was reading a discussion on LinkedIn between a physician and professionals who work with obese individuals. The consensus among them was that until "society" offers better "choices" for healthy eating, that any talk of "personal responsibility" is a form of fat-shaming.

What about offering better THINKING choices that EMPOWER people? What's so shameful about educating ourselves to make healthy choices in a sick society? If any of us waited for the world to become a better place to make better choices, wouldn't that be choosing to give up our personal power?

I really believe the key to fitness is to stop consuming junk in all forms: science, food and thinking. When I step on my scale and look in the mirror more than four years after I began the 50s diet, the validity of the outdated belief system of can do is positively reflected!