Friday, February 07, 2003
Guru Jonny Bowden
posted by Julie |
I got a lot of help along the way to losing 100 lbs. (many diet programs, many fitness writers, counselors, and so many people in support groups on the Internet), and I mean to spend the year talking about my most helpful gurus, one at a time. Once a month or so.
I'll start with the most challenging of the diet gurus I've encountered, Jonny Bowden, a nutritionist and fitness guru, and the iVillage diet coach. Really. This guy did it for me.
I lost and gained weight over and over again from the time I was 13 and went on my first diet until a year ago when I finished losing my extra 100 lbs. I never tried to calculate the total trafficking of tallow, but I'm guessing I gained and lost and gained enough human flesh to populate a small village. A small, jolly village.
While my weight still fluctuates by a few lbs., I no longer fear, as I did for years, that I will get really big again. I feel equipped. And I feel equipped largely because I read Bowden's book and followed his advice to work hard, try many different things, learn and find my own way.
I did learn. I stopped dieting and learned to eat. I mean I learned to eat in little bits all day long, because that's what *my* body needs. What to eat. How to chew. How to taste my food. Which food makes me feel what. I mean I learned to eat.
I learned just how much exercise my body really needs, and what my mind needs to keep my body exercising. I "rewrote my story," as Bowden suggests, and began to see my body and its abilities in a completely new light.
I mean, really, I could have never imagined myself getting as much exercise as I do. Not without whining a lot, at least. Or complaining. Or apologizing for how much time it takes. Or feeling guilty about the expense of my gym membership.
Nope, all of those excuses disolved.
Bowden has a kind, firm, no-nonsense, informed, and really fairly tough voice. If you're looking for a sure-fire, fat-melting, cellulite-erasing, age-reversing, face-lifting, carb-blocking, new gimmick, you won't find it here. Bowden won't lure you with easy answers.
What he does give his readers and the thousands and thousands of folks like me who enjoy his work on iVillage, is a slow and sure ride to their best possible health. His plan is a carefully constructed two-month program of incremental self discovery, diet changes, exercise therapy, and positive reinforcement. By the end of your two months, you have moseyed into a very sensible eating plan based on your own body's needs, health, challenges, metabolism. You'll pick up new fitness techniques and habits, and have experience with journal-keeping that form a basis for ongoing weight loss and health maintenance you can sustain for the rest of your life.
Not bad for $25US.
His most important principle: We are all different and must figure out for ourselves what will work and what won't. His most endearing quality: the way he champions other people and keeps leading you to learn more, always.
Well, I can't recommend his book highly enough, or if you're tight for cash, his free iVillage pages. Read slowly. Reread everything. It's good stuff.
Can't wait to see what he does next,
Jonny Bowden's website
Jonny Bowden on iVillage
Jonny Bowden's Shape Up