"Joining the Thin Club" by Judith Lederman and Larina Kase (Three Rivers Press, $17.95)
Judith Lederman lost 90 pounds eight years ago, and she writes about the psychological ramifications of her weight loss in a fascinating new book.
At her heaviest, she weighed 225 pounds, and she offers tips for "toning your mind after you've trimmed your body."
She emphasizes that "Joining the Thin Club" isn't a diet book but a book that helps those who have already lost weight to "stay on course, adjust to their new bodies and understand why they may have been fat."
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Lederman was forced to start her diet after doctors thought she might be having a heart attack. She got an angiogram to check for blockages in her heart.
"That angiogram started me on a program of self-realization," she writes, and the self-realization "led to a drastic lifestyle change."
That lifestyle includes taking lots of supplements (calcium with magnesium, glucosamine with chondroitin sulfate, omega-3 fish oil pills and ground flaxseed), lots of green tea and nutritional breakfast shakes. Sugar is no longer a part of her eating plan, she writes.
"I feed my body what it needs when it needs it. Food is no longer a reward; it's fuel."
She exercises to keep weight off, and she never watches television without exercising at the same time.
In the book she tells of unpleasant situations that she experienced as a fat person, such as:
- The stares (and whispers) she got from passengers when trying to sit next to someone on a crowded commuter train.
- The fear she felt when trying to sit on a folding chair. ("I always wondered if it would break.")
- The embarrassment when she thought about eating at a buffet and what others would say.
Now, at 135 pounds (and a size 8), she sees "friendly gazes" when trying to find a seat on a commuter train.
"I've been accepted into The Thin Club," she says.
She admits that "there's a part of me that judges overweight people and wonders why they choose to bury themselves in Oreos instead of hitting the treadmill."
She writes that she has trouble "reconciling the inner me with the other `new' me."
"As confusing as fat was," she adds, "now that I'm thinner, things are even more confusing."
In addition to starting and succeeding in her weight-loss program, Lederman also left an "abusive and painful marriage after 22 years."
She urges readers to join her Web site, www.TheThinClub.com, and record their successes and failures as they try to improve their health_biologically, psychologically and physically.