Monday, July 20, 2015

Skinny Habits by Bob Harper

Skinny Habits:  The 6 Secrets of Thin People by Bob Harper is a follow-up book to his Skinny Rules.  Now I should confess that I am not a fan of The Biggest Loser and I skimmed his other book briefly in the bookstore and tossed it aside because some of the advice is just not that profound or maybe it just seemed obvious.  But when I saw an ARC offered for this book I thought it might be interesting to read because even if I don’t like his show Harper seems like a likable guy. 

I’m actually glad I read this book because it reinforced some of my own perceptions about my weight struggle while also helping me get some clarity about why others struggle.  Some of the things said in the book helped me experience more compassion for some of the struggles I hear others share.  Now, it’s not that the habits are all that profound but I can see where some of them might be difficult if only because they are not necessarily innate.  The habits themselves are explained in the context of scientific research—from neurological to psychological—to explain why each habit is necessary and effective. 

But the real benefit of this book lies in the Habit Homework at the end of each chapter. Harper doesn’t discuss the power of journaling and that is unfortunate.  I would imagine some readers might brush aside the “work” that writing implies, hoping to still benefit from reading the ideas.  However, putting your truth into words is important. It is not enough to recognize yourself in one of the habits, to say “Yes, this is an area I should work on.”  Taking the time to respond thoughtfully to the homework can take the idea from off the page and into a daily practice so that it can become a personal habit. 

I enjoyed this book very much in spite of my personal reservations.  Yes, Harper alludes often to the show and to some of the contestants.  He’s honest about the struggles these people have after they leave the environment of the program and return to their normal lives.  Referencing the show is to be expected.  After all, most of the people who are likely to read this book are probably fans of the show.  But you don’t have to be a fan of The Biggest Loser to enjoy and make practical use of this book.  Don’t just read it; use its ideas to empower yourself.   Truth is, these habits put into practice may not change everything but they certainly can’t hurt and may be the difference between experiencing long-term weight loss success and regaining weight that’s been lost.  I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who has lost and regained weight in the past or is currently struggling to lose weight at all.  Make a commitment to read the book and do the writing and you may break through some resistance and see success at last!

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