5 Minutes for Books – Part 1 – “Mind Over Body”

5M4Bsidebar.jpgToday is a double feature here at 5 Minutes for Books. We have separated the reviews into two posts however, so that you can enter your comments separately. (Both of the reviews include contests.) To read the second review, click here or scroll down. We announce the winners from last week’s book giveaway at the end of the second review.

Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss is All in Your Head

This review is authored by regular contributor Jennifer Donovan, book lover and mother of two of book lovers, who blogs at Snapshot.

Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss is All in Your Head by Nordine Zouareg does not tell you how to get that summer beach body. No, he focuses on helping you decide what will really motivate you to lifelong health and fitness, whether the obstacles are due to being overweight, under-fit, or overstressed, or negative thought patterns.

In the pages that follow, I will lead you on your own journey, so that you too can arrive at a place where your mind and emotions are driving your desire to lose weight and become fit on both a conscious and a subconscious level. You will be using your mind to direct your body and working toward fitness from the inside out. As a result, I can promise you that you will become thin, trim, fit, and as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside (page 6).

Nordine Zouareg, the professional fitness coach at the world-renowned Miraval Life in Balance Spa and author of the book, answered three of my questions concerning getting fit:

I doubt I’m the first person to say that I don’t enjoy exercise–primarily finding and making time for it. Is the secret just finding something I really enjoy doing, or is there another way to fit exercise into a busy mom’s schedule?

What really inspired my clients to both finding the time to exercise and finding what they truly enjoyed doing, is getting to know why they wanted to be fit and healthy. They’ve connected to their “true core desire” which emanates from the inner you. Once you can see and feel the YOU you want to become, nothing and no one will stop you from achieving your goals. You must first see it in the screen of your mind. Always think of the end result rather than the work it takes to get there.

This was one of the overriding principles in the book–finding your core desire and visualizing the new you. Some of you might be concerned as I was initially that the teachings regarding this might be overly spiritual in nature, but I honestly did not find that to be the case. Most of us acknowledge a spiritual aspect to our personality. I know the God of the Bible, and I know that He has changed me from the inside out, so why not consider the spiritual element in regards to fitness and weight loss, which is nothing more than a self-control issue at heart?

I love to eat healthy foods, and I’ve been successful with losing weight and maintaining weight loss when I focus on eating lots of whole grains and fruits and vegetables without worrying about counting calories. But I also overeat, and I love eating ice cream and fried foods, too. Is the key to eliminate those food for which I’m not controlling my intake, or is balance possible when I’m trying to reenter a healthy lifestyle?

You can eat a balance diet and still have a “cheat” day every couple of weeks, it’s perfectly fine. Just make sure you don’t have more than one cheat day every couple of weeks.

This was one of the theories introduced in the book that helped me believe that Nordine really understood what it was like to be an overworked executive or a mom with too little time for ourselves. In fact, early on in the book, he helps you understand the difference between being “interested” in fitness and “committed” to it. The book is written in an encouraging tone, but is not overly judgmental or pushy. He knows that each person must decide for herself when she is ready to make this change of attitude.

The title of the book really resonated with me because I know that the times when I’ve gotten serious about exercise and a healthy diet have definitely gone hand in hand with a certain mindset. The surprising thing is that I haven’t been motivated when I was thinking, “I’m so fat and out of shape that I have to do something.” It was when I felt better about myself (regardless of what I actually looked like), that I had the motivation to do better. How do we get over the obstacle of thinking that we are never going to be successful?

You must accept any situation you are currently going through for what it is, and then visualize a better one. You must BECOME successful first in your mind. What you see on the outside is merely a manifestation of what you have created in your mind.

On page 14 of the book, he also gives scientific evidence about the power of the subconscious and its part in forming new habits:

Your subconscious mind accounts for 83% of your brain mass and is responsible for 98% of your perceptions and behaviors, including habits and beliefs, memory, personality, and self-image. It accepts as true every thought or image you send it.

In addition to extensive reasons why you must change your thinking in order to effectively lose weight and get healthy, further chapters provide a general weight loss plan and fitness plan.

The publisher has provided three copies of this book that can be shipped to the U.S. or to Canada. If you’d like to win, leave a comment below.

Now how about a little girl talk? Share your biggest obstacle to getting fit or healthy if you don’t mind (c’mon, I did!).

And remember to click here or scroll down to read the second review of today’s 5 Minute for Books. (Leave your comments separately though, since both reviews include contests.)


  1. says

    I would instantly say my greatest challenge is time. With two toddlers at home, that’s the excuse I give myself. But I think there must be something more to it. The part about motivation intrigues me because I KNOW I should eat better and exercise (and lose about 50 lbs.) but I can’t figure out how to get my mind in the right place.

  2. says

    Just like Amy K above, my biggest obstacle is TIME. With a 2 and 4 year old, it is tough for me time. And then all I want to do is read. I’m going to the gym 2 x a week now though. A step in the right direction. Now if I could just find shorts that don’t ride up in the middle when I run!

  3. says

    I haven’t heard of this book before, but it does seem like a sound principal. Obviously if your mind and heart aren’t in the game, or if you don’t understand what your goal is, it’s going to be so much harder to accomplish anything. Why would weight loss be any different?

  4. says

    Hey Jennifer! My obstacle is definitely POTATO CHIPS!!! I love them and must stop eating them….bad…very bad!!! I totally need this book :)

    Thanks for the review!!!


  5. says

    My obstacle is motivation…it is so easy to give into to convenice and not be motivated enough to stick to a plan. I need to read this book!

    Thanks for the review

  6. says

    Time is probably the biggest obstacle for me. That and my love, um, I mean obsession, with chocolate. Though I don’t think I’m too terribly overweight, I’d like to gain control and lose 15 pounds now rather than 50 pounds later.

  7. says

    Honestly, I’m pretty good at keeping up my exercise routine. BUT, I’m human and the times I fall short are simply because my mind decides I’m tired, the world isn’t treating me fairly, I’ll die one day anyway, yada yada yada…and such foolishness.

    I’d love this book.

  8. says

    My biggest obstacle to staying fit, like so many other moms to many, is definitely TIME… I guess I should make it more of a priority!
    Enter me, please. :)

  9. says

    Let’s see, my biggest obstacle is exercising. I hate to exercise. I do much better trying to eat healthier but I know that’s not enough.

    Please enter me for this book giveaway. I’d love to win!

  10. says

    My BIGGEST obstacle…I have more than one! I live in chronic pain, so each day is different. Add to that an addiction to chocolate, coffee & Coke…and a lack of commitment. There’s the TRUTH.

    I loved this part of the article “I know the God of the Bible, and I know that He has changed me from the inside out, so why not consider the spiritual element in regards to fitness and weight loss, which is nothing more than a self-control issue at heart?”

    POWERFUL! I am keeping that quote and applying it to my weight loss success!

    Thank you!

  11. Ashley Nichole Navarre says

    Count me in! At the moment, my obstacle is having the oomf. Knocking on 8 months pregnant in the Louisiana heat is not getting me moving at all. And with an 18 month old that constantly wants her mommy to “play,” the last thing i feel like doing is hauling myself to a gym in between all of her energy. I’m trying, though!!!!

  12. says

    Count me in!

    My biggest obstacle is emotional eating. My family has a habit of feeding each other when emotions are riding rough. Have a bad day? Eat. Having a wonderful day? Celebrate with Food. Everything evolves around food. I have done it before but feel the need to get past this again. This book could be the thing to remind me what my original motivation to be lighter and healthier was.

  13. says

    Add my name in there too!

    Right now – right now at this very time – my biggest obstacle to gteting fit is the heat. It’s a very humid 80 degrees by 8 am. Air conditioning is expenisve! Who wants to exercise in those conditions?

  14. says

    My biggest obstacle is boredom. When my hands are not busy constantly , even for 1 or 2 minutes I eat. I am slowly fixing this , it is a struggle every day. Please add my name!

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