Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review - Life Inside The "Thin" Cage

I first heard about this book at the .mom conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

This book was great!

I have decided to include an excerpt of the book that really impacted me while I was reading it. This is when it hit me that the way I was looking at my eating habits and the way I was putting myself down were not healthy. Seeing someone else write the same things I was thinking really put things in perspective.

In chapter 17 Constance Rhodes, the author, mentions something called the "message tapes". She says that these message tapes play in our heads constantly and never give us rest. These tapes play over and over in our minds regarding food, what it is to be attractive, how we mess up regarding our food intake and so on. 

These are the "message sound bites" a lady shared with Constance. It can be found on page 147 of the book:

If  you eat this, everyone will think you're a pig

If you eat this, you are childish and unhealthy.

If you eat this, you will show weakness.

If you eat this, you will cancel out any exercise you've done this week.

If you eat this, you have no self-control.

If you get fat, you will not be respected at work.

If you get fat, you won't have any physical beauty.

If you eat this, people will think, "No wonder she is overweight"

If you eat this, you will disappoint God.

If you eat this, God won't love you as much.

If you eat this, God and everyone at the table will know what  a bad person you are.

If you eat this, people will think you're ignorant.

If you eat this, you won't be special because of your size.

If you eat this, you will have to pay for it for the rest of the week by not eating breakfast or lunch.

If your clothes fit too tightly, it means you are a horrible person who should have known better than to eat too much.

If you eat dessert, you may as well give up on having any self-control ever again.

If you start to get fat, you will not be able to stop. You will lose control.

Any unhealthy food is like poison in your system that you will never get rid of.

Does this sound familiar? It did for me. I couldn't believe someone else thought like me! And seeing it in black and white and on paper, I realized how demented this way of thinking was. What a horrible way to live. This book helps a lot in finding peace. The world has really twisted what the true image of beauty is. It puts things in a perspective that makes you want to snatch any little girl and tell her what real beauty is all about. 

If you hear any of these "messages" when you eat, then this book is going to help you. There is no secret formula or diet to follow. On the contrary you get to enjoy your life and not live in slavery of the latest diet craze.

One thing I didn't like about the book though is that it recommends seeking therapy or counseling. I am not really into that too much. Prayer seems to work best for me and taking my questions, fears, concerns and everything else to God - I believe - is the best help I can get. The Holy Spirit you usually guides me in what steps to take to better myself and of course, God's Word guides my path.

I read the book in about a week. There are steps to take to help you cease with the "message tapes". Frankly I haven't lost any weight since reading the book, but neither have I gained any. BUT!!! I have enjoyed foods that before were off limits. I have cooked my favorite recipes and have enjoyed them with my family. I cook more for them and they actually love  my food. I don't berate my kids or my husband in not eating this or that. If my clothes feel snug because of my period, I don't panic and go on a starvation-binge cycle. Eventually, the water retention goes away and I feel fine again. Before I would have lost maybe  1 to 5 pounds then would have binged and starved and not enjoyed anything and would have ended up at the same weight. This time, I didn't have the roller coaster of emotions, and I am still at the same weight. Go figure!

I recommend this book to any woman struggling to be comfortable in her own skin. To the woman who hurts her own feelings all the time. To the woman with negative "message tapes". To the woman caught in the "thin cage".

I give this book 8 out of 10 stars
Total pages: 227