Book review: Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid (Crown Publishing Group, 2013)
From internationally renowned intuitive counselor, life coach, motivational speaker, and author Colette Baron-Reid, a four-step, eight-week program for managing empathy overload–the hidden cause of unwanted weight gain
Through her own personal experience and work with thousands of clients, Colette Baron-Reid understands the real reason many of us struggle to lose weight and keep it off. It isn’t that we don’t know what to eat or that we don’t have enough willpower; it’s that we are responding to feeling too much.
Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much focuses on the keys to weight loss for sensitive people: managing empathy, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, eating to support well-being, and dealing with challenging situations that can trigger disordered eating. With a simple, practical program, Colette shows you how to release the extra pounds and create a new, healthy relationship with your body, your weight, and food.
Billed as a book about weight loss for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs), I thought this would be a great read. It both is and isn’t. The first half of the book I got through very quickly, and then I got bored, as the book felt like it was just repeating itself.
There are some pointers for HSPs in general that are very good – like how you should learn to relax, for instance by using salt baths. But then it also says how you should have a 20-minute salt bath once a day. While I would never complain about having baths, because I happen to be rather fond of them, it’s still something I indulge in maybe once a week. Baths use a lot of water, after all, and I’m cautious of my water usage for environmental reasons. If you’re on a water meter, you also have to pay for all the water you use.
No doubt this book can help some overweight HSPs get a better feel for when food is food, and when food is just used to cover up feelings. I got to think about it first-hand when I came back from a funeral and the first thing I wanted to eat when I came back home was Swedish yellow pea soup … which I associate with my grandmother. While the funeral service itself wasn’t emotional for me as such (it was for an elderly neighbour that I didn’t really know at all, but still felt like I should attend the funeral), obviously it brought up a lot of unprocessed feelings.
Another thing that bothered me was that the author clearly has a dysfunctional relationship with food. If you have to instruct hotels to clear out the minibar for you before you arrive, lest you scoff it all, that’s not a healthy relationship with food. I wholly sympathise with the sentiment of “if you don’t have it at home, you don’t have the temptation”, because if you know you have a bar of chocolate or something lurking in a drawer and fancy chocolate, the temptation is there and the chocolate bar is likely to be devoured. If, on the other hand, you don’t have a chocolate bar in the house when the fancy strikes, you’re unlikely to pop to the shops to get one. If I go to a hotel room, though, I don’t even glance at the minibar. If I get a sudden craving for a tiny can of Pringles, I’m not raiding the seriously overpriced minibar.
So to me, at least, this book is a bit of hit and miss. Parts of it are brilliant, other parts are a bit strange, but each to their own, as they say. If you’re a fellow HSP, it’s worth checking out and making up your own mind about it.
3 out of 5 salt lamps.