Friday, November 21, 2008

Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by Peter Walsh

Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? offers a unique approach to weight loss. Peter Walsh, author of It's All Too Much, uses his organizing skills to tackle weight loss. He makes the connection between the clutter in your house and life to the extra "clutter" on your body. It's definitely not your ordinary weight loss book. There are no meal plans or exercise plans, but there are plenty of activities to not only track down the cause of your extra weight, but also to help you lose it. At the end of each chapter, there's a checklist so that the reader can keep track of the activities and quizzes as they complete them.

This really is an awesome book. Walsh offers some excellent advice and plenty of things to think about and do with regards to weight loss. His writing style made the whole book fun and easy to read. Admittedly, Peter isn't an expert on weight loss. However, through his clients, he noticed a trend that when they decluttered their houses, they also lost weight. One of the things I really liked about Peter's advice is that looked at weight loss in a whole new way.

My favourite chapters were 4 through 7. It's in those chapters you learn to take a look at your home and declutter your kitchen, as well as learn the benefits of stocking good food and preparing homemade meals. The first activity (jump up and down in front of a mirror naked) had me gasping in horror, but I soon got over that and really enjoyed reading Walsh's program.

My least favourite part of the book is his use of letters from people who write to him. I don't know if these are actual letters or just represent the types of letters he gets, but I didn't think they added much to the content. At first they were ok, but after awhile, they got old.

The book is chock full of great advice and interesting takes on weight loss. I've selected two of my favourites to include here.
On takeout (page 177):
Think of it as junk mail. It comes into your house pretending to offer you something you want, but if you don't stop it at the door, it just keeps coming...You have no idea whether junk mail contains stuff you want or don't want, but it just keeps coming until it takes over your home.

On enjoying the food you eat (page 167):
We know how to eat--eating is the mechanical action of placing food into your mouth, chewing, and swallowing it. But isn't that exactly what your pet does? If there isn't a significant difference between how your pet eats and how you consume food, then something is seriously wrong.

Like with most self help books, I try to read the whole book first (so that I can get an really good idea about the program before I jump in with both feet and in this case so that I can get my review out quickly) and then go back and tackle the activities and put in the work necessary to succeed. So with the exception of a few of the quizzes, I have not yet done the activities, lost any weight or cleaned up my kitchen. That comes next.

Even though my house isn't drowning in a never ending sea of clutter and I generally eat homemade, nutritious meals, I still think there are areas I can improve and hope to put some of the skills I've learned (and hope to learn on my second pass) to good use.

Recommended, if clutter and weight are two of your issues or if you've tried other "diet" books and want to try something new. I'm tempted to pick up Walsh's It's All Too Much to get other areas of my house in order. It, too, looks like a fun read.

This review copy was provided by the publisher through the wonderful people at Edwards Magazine.

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