I love love love the new Beauty and the Beast movie. One of the best parts, of course, is the Beast’s library, so I wrote “Belle Would Be Enchanted by These 10 Lovely Libraries in Hotels” for USA Today 10Best.Read All Entries
Anne Lamott on Turning “Help Thanks Wow” Into “Hips Thighs Waist”
Beloved author Anne Lamott recently wrote a Facebook post about diet books and self-esteem that resonated so strongly with her fans — of which there are more than 98,000 (that’s just on her Facebook page, which you should “like” because it gives you little nuggets of her wisdom on a regular basis). I am thrilled beyond words that she turned it into an exclusive post for me — to which I can only say “thanks” and “wow.”
This is true:
Last night, Riverhead got the New York Times bestseller list for Sunday, February 3. My book, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, was number nine again on the Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous list, which I’m so, so happy about. But the first eight books are diet books, number 10 is the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe book, and numbers 11-15 also are diet books.
I mean, isn’t that crazy? I know everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, but EVERYONE knows how to lose weight. And EVERYONE knows that diets make you fat and crazy, that 95% of people who lose weight gain it back – plus 5 pounds – then hate themselves.
So people – mostly women and girls – are being preyed on with these books, which make up thirteen of the top fifteen Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous bestsellers. There IS no new secret. But the industry is able to make a fortune on our fear that we are disgusting the way we are, and that IF we all lose some weight, we will magically have great self-esteem and health. Plus, we will keep it off this time, because ONE of the authors of the thirteen books has broken the elusive code and so 95% of people won’t gain it back.
This is a WMD. It is the great palace lie, such an attack on our spirits and souls. We have to stop pushing the snooze alarm and wake up – together.
I could change the title of Help Thanks Wow to Hips Thighs Waist: Three Essential Diet Tips for Emaciation and Wealth, and claim it contained the secret launch codes. (1. Eat a little less. 2. Walk a little more. 3. And an extra glass of water or two a day won’t kill you.)
I could make a fortune.
The only other things that will help you with your weight and body image are radical self-care and help with the struggle. You are deserving of help and healthy food. You get to start your new, more user-friendly way of life as soon as you remember that you do. WILD.
Walking a little every day, if you can, will improve your life by approximately 78%. A lot of us have a TINY problem with sugar, but we all know how to get off it, and that if we do, the cravings and obsession will disappear. So one day at a time, eat protein and whole grains, veggies and a little fruit.
I don’t love water – it’s so watery. But I like it more since yesterday, when I was toweling my grandson off after a bath and told him how delicious he smelled. He said, “Do I smell like water?”
I got help from Connie at beyondsugarshock.com ONLY because she coincidentally came to my church for a benefit the week that I hit a terrible, crazy bottom with sugar. (I had been on a book tour for Hips Thighs Waist – I mean, the other HTW — for a month: i.e., room service.) There’s free advice at that website, and all over the web, if sugar is an addiction for you as it is for me. I haven’t had it in weeks — one day at a time — because I was sick and tired of feeling as sick and tired as a sugar-based life made me feel. I am stable (ish), healthy, and rarely think about food now unless I’m very hungry. Then I eat protein, whole grains, veggies, fruit. If your problem is with salty savories, it’s the same thing: There is free advice all over the web. Don’t buy into the diet lie machine.
Maybe somehow you can help each other right here.
Read Lois’ interview with Anne here and watch the video conversation between Anne and Cheryl Strayed here (and, while you’re at it, read Lois’ interview with Cheryl here!)
This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.