Down Size: The 12 Truths for Getting You a Leaner, Healthier, Better Body

4.5 avg rating
( 4 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780147516435: Down Size: The 12 Truths for Getting You a Leaner, Healthier, Better Body

The coauthor of the bestselling YOU: The Owner’s Manual series recounts his own inspiring weight-loss journey
 
Two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and Ted Spiker—pear-shaped and 280 pounds at his heaviest—knows their pain. But even after cowriting numerous health and fitness bestsellers, Spiker still couldn’t lose weight. Then he discovered that the battle is equal parts biology and psychology.

Once he mastered his mental attitude, Spiker lost eighty pounds and decided to compete in an Ironman. Sharing his newfound knowledge, Spiker tackles all the common problems of nutrition and exercise—and the twelve truths that drive success. Whatever readers’ weight loss goals, Down Size will help them achieve a healthier, leaner, and better body.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Ted Spiker is co-author of the bestselling You series with Drs. Mehmet C. Oz and Michael Roizen and the bestselling Abs Diet series with David Zinczenko. An associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida, Spiker has worked as an editor at Men’s Health magazine, writes for many magazines, and is the author of The Big Guy Blog for RunnersWorld.com. He lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction: Easier Said Than Done

As I scrolled through the comments on my semester’s-end evaluations (the place where students can rate their professors anonymously), I stopped the cursor on one sentence. In its brevity, it whispered among the hundreds of other observations. In its content, it sounded like a stadium full of cowbells, amplifying the angst I feel every burger-loving day. Most students use the rating system to praise or slam the class, the readings, or the instructor, but one person, under the heading “Additional Comments,” had noted, “Wear slacks that aren’t as baggy.”

Though I could debate the appropriateness of an undergraduate chirping about my appearance, I couldn’t argue with the comment’s simplicity and veracity. Sure, your class is fine. Your pants? Not so much, big boy.

I’ve lived most of my adult life in an XXL body with a shape that’s genetically and gender-ly damning: I’m a man with a classic pear shape. I carry my extra weight not in my gut, but in my hips, butt, and thighs. Therefore, pants with an accurate waist size fit too tight from belly button to knee, and pants large enough to scoot over my hips droop from my waist like a turkey’s wattle. I have not found an off-the-rack, well-fitted pair of pants since 1989 (probably the same year I last said “belly button”), and if given the choice, especially when on display in front of 275 students, I’ll opt for too baggy over too tight. That means I leave the house just about every day with the question that has hung over my head for most of my adult life: Why can’t I get the body I want?

As early as I can remember, I have directed too much thought and worry toward food, fat, and body parts that jiggle. I have cringed about my weight, wished for a different shape, and dreamt about substituting the s for an n in the word husky. I have spent decades feeling the way I imagine most people with body issues do: a psychological cocktail of frustration, embarrassment, and middle fingers to the mirror. Anyone who has experienced a demonic relationship with a scale knows too well the inner conflict. On one hip, you have the long-term pursuit of a better body. On the other, you have the short-term pleasure of spicy sausage sandwiches.

The worst part of it? It’s not as if I haven’t known what to do. Besides teaching, I’m a health writer who has written hundreds of thousands of words about weight loss, diets, and fitness. As a former staffer at abs-happy Men’s Health magazine and coauthor of the YOU: The Owner’s Manual series of books by Dr. Mehmet Oz (a New York–Presbyterian/Columbia University heart surgeon and host ofThe Dr. Oz Show) and Dr. Michael Roizen (the chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic), I’ve spent hours and hours talking with doctors, trainers, and nutritional gurus about eating and exercise. I’ve interviewed hundreds of leading medical experts from places such as Yale and Harvard, I’ve examined weight-loss studies, and I’ve even tried workouts designed for elite athletes.

I also mainline whipped cream.

That’s what makes the arena of dieting so maddening. Even people who don’t deal with the subject professionally know the what. For the most part, we accept the foundational equations of weight loss. Vegetables fried foods. Exercise the couch. When eating a scoop of chocolate chips, one should not measure that scoop via dump truck. Most of us also know the übertruth, too: What you eat matters the most.

But the reality is that even if we know what’s right, it hasn’t worked. Not for me, not for millions.

Why? Because that simple “what you eat” is determined not only by a chart of good foods and bad foods, but also by so many nuances, complexities, emotions, and psychological and lifestyle factors that make it difficult for anyone to lay out the perfect diet that works for everyone. That’s why I believe that most eating plans can work. And most eating plans can fail.

Along with all the people who weigh more than they want or who have shapes they don’t like, I have spent way too much time being on diets, thinking about diets, and feeling guilty about going off diets—and repeating the cycle again and again. Many of us desperately try to lose weight, and we pledge that we’ll do anything to do so. But something’s not working. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 70 percent of American adults are overweight or obese, the weight-loss industry sees more than sixty billion dollars in revenue every year. These are the two key statistics that perfectly summarize the ping-pong nature of our dilemma: Get fat, get stuck, get going, get stuck, get mad, get sad, get a cupcake. Every so often, whether we’re inspired by a new year or shamed by a double-chinned Facebook photo, we sink our energies into the sexiest of potential solutions—solutions that can work, should work, and do work. But along the way, we forget the most important part of the weight-loss equation: We’re human, and we all have a story.

The short of mine: I’m in my mid-forties, six foot two, and have spent most days unsatisfied with my weight and physique. I’ve lived most of my recent adult years in the 220- to 250-pound range—that’s an overweight-to-obese body mass index of 28–32. I left college at around 180 pounds (a normal BMI of 23) and weighed nearly 280 some fifteen years later (a BMI of 36, which is defined as obese). (Note: BMI is not the only marker for health, and it has its flaws, but it does provide some parallelism for understanding height and weight ratios if you don’t know what a six-foot-two man should weigh.) I love to exercise and have completed mud obstacle races and a marathon. I’ve also won eating contests and broken a bicycle seat. In my job as a writer and professor, I’ve been immersed in health information, so I know the basic facts, as do most of us. Fact: Obesity is really a proxy for other life-shorteners, because being overweight is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and so many other health issues. Fact: Losing weight reduces the risk factors for many of these conditions. Fact: Our health care system is under enormous pressure because of obesity-related problems. Fact: Many experts will tell you that a reasonable expectation for weight loss should be one to two pounds a week, though nobody wants to wait that long. Fact: I ate a bowl of Samoa Girl Scout Cookie–flavored ice cream as I wrote those previous four facts.

For my whole life, I’ve battled to turn an increase in information into a decrease in pants size.

I knew it, but I didn’t get it.

Now I do. Down to a satisfying-for-me two-hundred-pound range, I’ve learned that weight loss and body acceptance are only partially about foods and plans and calories and training. They’re about art, science, and soul.

What I’ve learned is that for any man or woman who wants to lose weight or get healthier or simply learn to accept that his or her body is perfectly imperfect, it comes down to more than grilled chicken salads. Most of us can’t just follow a step-by-step eating plan indefinitely and expect lasting results. It comes down to figuring out not the rules, but the truths—the principles that can guide your actions, that can steer you in the right direction, that can bail you out when things go wrong, that can take into consideration that your brain (and not your belly) is the lead character in the dramatic performance that is weight loss. When you figure out the truths, they’re the ones that can then sustain you when eight of your fingers are knuckle deep in movie-theater popcorn and the other two are tsk-tsking younot to go there.

Though we all know admirable folks who truly can treat food like fuel and not let any baggage influence choices, many of us eat our meals with psychological side dishes—because eating is personal. It’s social, it’s emotional, it’s addictive, it’s fun, it’s comforting, it’s pleasurable, and it involves creating cheese-filled memories with the people we care about.

While it may feel simple to just go on a plan that a doctor, nutritionist, or author recommends, it’s always more difficult than we think, because of the factors that influence decision making. This is why I’ve learned that this whole issue comes down to twelve truths about the body and brain. I don’t believe you can merely take one or two pieces of diet advice, follow a meal plan, and lose weight for the long term. That’s part of the solution, but so is looking under the hood to find what inspires you, what motivates you, what stresses you, what things in your life influence your body shape and size.

In this book, I’ll cover my twelve truths that address weight loss holistically, by examining not just nutrition and exercise, but also things like motivation, inspiration, and temptation. It took me some time to figure out the common principles that successful weight losers share. For so long, I (and maybe you) wanted there to be that one answer that would be it—the secret that could change my body. After years of experimentation and lots of trial and lots of error, I realized this is how it works: In today’s world, the person who wants to lose weight stands in a messy room with a locked door. We all want the master key to unlock the door, because we think that behind it lies the final answer to getting a fitter and healthier body, but our bodies and brains don’t work in a one-problem, one-solution system. There is no master key. To be successful, you have to stop expecting one answer. Instead, look around the room: Some answers will be on a shelf, some will be buried in a closet, and some (which you haven’t even considered yet) will be right there on the floor in front of you. When you put them together, that’s when it clicks. That’s when it works. That’s when we stop flailing. That’s when it makes sense.

Through the stories of others, accounts of my own successes and failures, and the insights of experts who study these issues, I will outline the big-picture truths that help people successfully lose weight. I didn’t have a single epiphany regarding these truths, but a series of smaller ones. It took going through these issues myself, not to mention writing and reporting about them, for me to start getting a handle on how the mind and body work together in pursuit of a healthier, better body.

In the end, when I stopped chasing the easy answer, weight loss got easier.

Science serves as the foundation for many of the truths I believe in; well-studied data do point us to what’s better for us healthwise. Do the strategies studied work? Yes. But you know what? The most sound studies in the world don’t mean squat if you’re in the minority, and the studies don’t mean squat in isolation—that is, it’s never just one thing that will be the answer; you have to have a three-dimensional picture. That’s why it’s so difficult to determine the factors that work, because in order for science to do its job, it has to use controls that will allow us to see the effect of a single factor. Real life, however, indicates that successful weight loss involves many variables. That’s why I put stock into anecdotal evidence—evidence that may have worked for me, for others, and maybe for you, too. Anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean one element is the answer, only that it could be an answer, part of an answer, or could inspire you to think of the answer that will work. Some in the scientific community place lesser value on individuals’ stories, because so many uncontrolled factors may contribute to the success or failure of a weight-loss attempt. But there is power in stories—sometimes in the literal information, sometimes in the metaphors, and sometimes in the subtle lessons that nobody but you sees.

To me, that’s the missing piece in this whole weight-loss puzzle: Can we arm ourselves with proper amounts of information, experimentation, and inspiration so that we—as individuals with our own stories, struggles, histories, genes, and personality traits—figure out what works best for us? Successful dieters create their own programs that are driven by science, lifestyle, and personality.

The truths I’ve identified don’t work alone: Throughout this book, you’ll see the comingling of many of them, with one truth including elements of others. For example, the power of social connections to help people through weight-related issues (detailed in chapter 11) is part of virtually every other truth in the book.

Ultimately, I hope these truths help address the main roadblocks we confront when it comes to losing weight—whether it’s busting through a frustrating plateau or manufacturing motivation. And I hope they offer hints at solutions for eating well, exercising, and creating the best possible physical and psychological environments for your body. I’m not here to push a certain program (such as All Carbs Are Bad!) or blame others for my problems (wait until you hear what happened to me in PE class). What I want to do is take you through the arc of weight gain and loss; that’s why these truths are arranged chronologically, the way many of us experience weight and body issues: from “oh no” to “aha”—that is, from getting stuck, to fixing the problem, to finding lifelong solutions. For me, these truths revolve around all aspects of the quest for your desired body in terms of appearance, health, energy, and performance.

I have a couple of quick notes before I start. First, I tell you my stories and the stories of others as a way to help you think about the struggles and solutions many of us experience. That doesn’t mean that every answer that bubbles up is the best one for you. At the root of those stories, though, are the truths that may resonate with your lifestyle. So when I tell you that flipping tractor tires with a group of friends helped me lose weight, that doesn’t mean this is the program you have to follow. There are greater points to consider—one, I like flipping tires, which is psychologically important; two, flipping tires has some intensity, which is physiologically important; and three, I did it with people I liked, which is motivationally important. That can apply to any activity. Second, the weight-loss industry often does too much delineating between male and female audiences. While, yes, it does make sense to address some issues by gender, because of the genetic and psychological differences between us, I don’t think that means weight loss needs to be a gender-specific pursuit, especially when it comes to the psychological side. Example: While it’s easy to stereotype men as competitive or women as emotional, why can’t one gender learn from the other’s traditional gender assignments? Why can’t a woman want to whoop some butt as a motivational tactic for losing weight? And why can’t a man acknowledge that the reason he ODs on cheese curls is because he’s upset with what’s going on at work or home, or the outcome of a playoff game or The Bachelor? Of course they can, and there are plenty of real-life examples of people who don’t follow gender norms. So, you may read things that feel male or female, but the gender doesn’t make a difference. Fact is, some men do yoga, and some women flip tires. I didn’t write this exclusively for men or women, and I tried to draw on stories from both genders. And, really, some men could benefit from the lessons we ...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Spiker, Ted
Published by Plume Books 2015-12-29 (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume Books 2015-12-29, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780147516435B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
3.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.55
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Ted Spiker
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The coauthor of the bestselling YOU: The Owner s Manual series recounts his own inspiring weight-loss journey Two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and Ted Spiker--pear-shaped and 280 pounds at his heaviest--knows their pain. But even after cowriting numerous health and fitness bestsellers, Spiker still couldn t lose weight. Then he discovered that the battle is equal parts biology and psychology. Once he mastered his mental attitude, Spiker lost eighty pounds and decided to compete in an Ironman. Sharing his newfound knowledge, Spiker tackles all the common problems of nutrition and exercise--and the twelve truths that drive success. Whatever readers weight loss goals, Down Size will help them achieve a healthier, leaner, and better body. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780147516435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Ted Spiker
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The coauthor of the bestselling YOU: The Owner s Manual series recounts his own inspiring weight-loss journey Two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and Ted Spiker--pear-shaped and 280 pounds at his heaviest--knows their pain. But even after cowriting numerous health and fitness bestsellers, Spiker still couldn t lose weight. Then he discovered that the battle is equal parts biology and psychology. Once he mastered his mental attitude, Spiker lost eighty pounds and decided to compete in an Ironman. Sharing his newfound knowledge, Spiker tackles all the common problems of nutrition and exercise--and the twelve truths that drive success. Whatever readers weight loss goals, Down Size will help them achieve a healthier, leaner, and better body. Bookseller Inventory # AAT9780147516435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Spiker, Ted
Published by Penguin Group USA (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Group USA, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VP-9780147516435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

SPIKER, TED
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0147516439

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.65
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Ted Spiker
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The coauthor of the bestselling YOU: The Owner s Manual series recounts his own inspiring weight-loss journey Two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and Ted Spiker--pear-shaped and 280 pounds at his heaviest--knows their pain. But even after cowriting numerous health and fitness bestsellers, Spiker still couldn t lose weight. Then he discovered that the battle is equal parts biology and psychology. Once he mastered his mental attitude, Spiker lost eighty pounds and decided to compete in an Ironman. Sharing his newfound knowledge, Spiker tackles all the common problems of nutrition and exercise--and the twelve truths that drive success. Whatever readers weight loss goals, Down Size will help them achieve a healthier, leaner, and better body. Bookseller Inventory # AAT9780147516435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.14
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Spiker, Ted
Published by Penguin Group USA (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Group USA, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780147516435

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Spiker, Ted
Published by Plume (2015)
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0147516439

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.51
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Spiker, Ted
Published by Plume
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0147516439 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132145293

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Spiker, Ted
Published by Plume
ISBN 10: 0147516439 ISBN 13: 9780147516435
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0147516439. Bookseller Inventory # Z0147516439ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book