101 Things To Do Before You Diet is a how-to guide for any woman that has tried every fad diet to no avail. Author Mimi Spencer attacks the issue of dieting with humility and understanding, and a splash of quick wit. Dieting is not for everyone and, according to Spencer, this is 95 per cent of the population. She says diets only truly work for the remaining five per cent of those that attempt them. Spencer instead offers a “live-it.”
A “live-it” changes your lifestyle as a whole rather than just what you eat. The first step in the program is to accept yourself. Yes, we’ve heard this all before and it’s much easier said than done. But Spencer uses her own experiences to make it all the more relevant to every woman.
For example, Spencer points out that when most women with image issues think of weight, they think of just their problem areas, and not of themselves as a whole. Your weight as a whole includes your eyelashes, your feet, etc. This issue is only aggravated by the intense media scrutiny of celebrities which in turn projects a completely unrealistic body type (the bionic woman) to the general population. Spencer suggest putting down the tabloids, stop wasting your time, and go for a jog instead.
Once you accept that you will probably never be a size zero, you are ready to move on to the next step. Spencer continues her program with an information-laden guide to eating and fashion. In this guide, she includes rules that you wouldn’t expect.
For instance, she recommends getting fitted for a new bra (it will make an amazing difference!), walking properly and tanning yourself thin (apparently, sunless tanning is your best bet for looking thin and staying healthy).
The method in which she rotates the two topics prevents the book from becoming too dry and boring. She also inserts little stories throughout the book which make her totally relatable. In one instance, Spencer’s good friend Carla has a crisis. She asks (wails) “Who am I?” Spencer uses this to show that developing a trademark look, that is exclusively you, will cut out the need to try each and every new trend.
The anecdotes show that the lifestyle choices Spencer is promoting will work for anyone. One of the first pieces of advice: do not stop eating! And most tips she gives are common sense, which is useful since one gets so absorbed with dieting that all common sense goes out the window. For example, “proper chewing is said to be the cheapest form of weight management, and if that doesn’t sell it to you, nothing will.” This attitude is the reason the book is so entertaining.
101 Things To Do Before You Diet is an excellent how-to guide for getting healthy, especially if you are tired of the same old thing over and over again. Spencer makes it clear that it is unnecessary to attempt every step, and stresses that these steps are not rules, simply guidelines. Almost every step is simple and easy to keep in the back of your mind. If they are so simple, how could they not work?
Top 5 Best Tips:
1. Don’t read diet books: They don’t work anyway.
2. Understand hunger: Have you ever eaten a meal, then realized you were not even hungry, just thirsty?
3. Never be hungover or stoned: Not what we all want to hear, but have you ever thought about what you’ve eaten while under the influence? Eek.
4. Have more energetic sex. Do it with the lights on: I think this one is self-explanatory.
5. Smile more. Laugh. It uses up energy: easiest dieting tip ever.
Top 5 Worst Tips:
1. Eat a decent breakfast: This tip has been lauded for years and people still don’t seem to be listening.
2. Omit nothing, forbid nothing: It’s all about moderation. But forbid nothing? Not even fast food? Yeesh.
3. Do a Diana and get a colonic: Ummm.
4. Wear heels. Always: This contradicts the section on good posture….and good health in general.
5. Buy a corset: No thank you.