Today 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!).