This might seem off track for my usual bloggings but in battling my now documented bulge I have come across this book, and I’d like to shout about it a bit.
I should add for the record that I’ve been a bit in love with Jillian Michaels since I was forced to watch America’s Biggest Loser, switching on to see an exhausted obese person falling to all fours after some Satanic work out or other. He was sick and whinging and near tears, then from off screen came some angry little woman, leaping on his back and spurring him on like a jockey with the seemingly real promise that if he didn’t get his ass moving again she really would give him something to cry about….. I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea. I laughed, I recoiled and I half wished for my own angry little Jillian to get me into the gym, then I ate some tortilla chips.
The Biggest Loser franchise is contrived and sensationalised and we all know it but I continued to follow this weirdly charismatic bully of a woman. She’s brazenly mouthy and opinionated, she calls BS where she sees it, she has no concept of ‘excuses’ and honestly yes, she is hot in a strong, shit kicking way. No thigh gaps and visible ribs here. So I became a moderate fan girl. I got a couple of her workouts and enjoyed some podcasts and in a roundabout way came to a recommendation towards this one of her several books.
Master Your Metabolism isn’t a diet book as such, it’s more a low-jargon guide to diet science aimed at illustrating how the food industry and in particular the diet industry can screw with your hormones and hinder weight loss. It shouldn’t be hard to believe that a multi million dollar weight loss industry doesn’t ever want you to actually get thin, should it?
For a sciencey read, it is easy to follow, broken down into some autobiography, simple explanation of hormonal processes and then the horror story kickers about why all the good diet stuff you are doing could well be making you fatter and sicker than you were to begin with.
If you’ve ever been overweight and cried into your diet coke tin when you failed your weekly weigh in, this book is worth reading.
If you’ve ever worked your butt off at the gym and watched every calorie and only managed to get puffy, irritable and angry at yourself, this book is for you.
If you live off shakes and artificial sweeteners and protein bars then this book is definitely for you.
If you have bad skin or PMS or mood swings, allergies or chronic hungry-tired-misery diet syndrome then you really need to read this book.
Michaels herself says it won’t be easy to take on every piece of advice in Master Your Metabolism but there will be at least half a dozen changes in there that you can make and benefit from. Some of it won’t be new but the context certainly will.
Take the example of buying organic. Yeah, you don’t care about beetles and you can’t afford to spend that kind of money on meat, you don’t give a crap about going organic. Still feel the same if those pesticides and antibiotics in your value chicken breasts are causing your body to store fat at a higher rate whilst making you hungry all the time? Maybe not.
Like diet drinks and sugar free toffees and fat free mayo? Even if they are making your arse bigger and wobblier? I didn’t think so.
It is less a diet book, more a lifestyle guide, however there are some eating plans in the end pages if you want to go full on with the advice given. As per most healthy eating regimes it is vegetable heavy but not really suitable for vegetarians. I don’t follow it to the letter but I have taken on many points from the book and if nothing else it gives you the back story sufficient to support making sensible clean eating decisions more often. It also shows an unexpected side to an author who may have previously seemed just a loud mouthed, brash celebrity making money off of our need to stare at fat people.
And if you, like me, harbour a mild girl crush on the Jillian you will enjoy her unmistakable voice in the narrative, spurring you on to eat better food, make better choices and stop being such a pussy about it.
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