So ok, positive primer: Milano does rather refreshingly (if mostly ostensibly) focus on health and the ability to be carried out of a burning building by no more than two firemen as opposed to seemingly arbitrary numbers like the BMI. And I’m behind that. I fear being sluggish and slow more than being soft around the middle.
BUT! For all that she says words, she’s not very explainy. This is a bad thing! she says. This over here is good! ‘For instance, a famous supermodel had a baby a few years ago. Right after she gave birth, she put herself on a 600-calorie-a-day diet, so she could get back to her pre-pregnancy weight in a few weeks.’ And thennnn? ‘What a bad idea!’ No! And thennnn? Did she get back to her pre-pregnancy weight? Did she slow her metabolism to a crawl and become a plus-sized supermodel? I need to know the ‘and thennnn’ to take anything from this story.
And when she is explainy, she’s not helpful. ‘Eating pasta, bread, potatoes, and rice all day does not qualify as Pritikin…[sentence, another sentence]…Eating a bagel for breakfast, pretzels for lunch, and pasta for dinner does not qualify as Pritikin.’ Clarification, see? And she keeps saying ‘You’ll figure it out’ in her recipes without seeming to realize that her ostensible audience is people who haven’t been able to ‘figure it out.’ People just learning to cook healthful meals don’t have the space to ‘figure it out’ which is why they are reading this book. Figuring it out is frustrating and expensive. Only really keen foodies that are completely blase about the time, effort, and food that is wasted by doin it rong don’t mind being told to ‘figure it out.’
And then she’ll say things like ‘three normal-sized meals’ or ‘as long as it [spreading calories throughout the day] is reasonable’ which, emphasis mine to indicate that IF YOU ARE MORBIDLY OBESE YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS A NORMAL-SIZED MEAL OR HOW TO REASONABLY SPREAD YOUR CALORIES OUT OVER THE DAY!!! THAT IS HOW YOU GOT HERE!!!
And she’s constantly giving inane little pep talks like, Are you a procrastinator? Get motivated! Are you a doormat? Stand up for yourself! Which, thanks for these tips. And in one breath she’s all, Just get moving! Do whatever little bits you can! And in the next she’s all like ‘Walking ten minutes every day won’t help you do much to achieve your goals.’ AIIIIEEE THE CONTRADICTIONS!!!
I feel like she had no second reader to be all, This sounds douchey. When you say ‘people don’t know how to cook fresh vegetables in a tasty way’ you are implying ‘all people except you,’ when what you probably mean is ‘many people,’ though you could probably have gotten away with ‘most people.’ Or when you say that no one belongs to a gym in Canada, and that we all just go outside and, you know, snowshoe? Which is why none of us gain weight? You are failing to take into account our national beverage (beer), our national meat (back bacon), and our national condiment (maple syrup).
Alllllso, when you say ‘But it’s not really a bad diet. I’d starve on it’ I think what you meant was ‘It’s not really a bad diet. But I’d starve on it.’ Your way is pretty low on the sense-making scale. (Also, suggested on this diet she’d starve on is 2 tbsp of hummus with some other things for a snack, and she’s like ‘Who goes out and buys two tablespoons of hummus?…What are you going to do with the leftover hummus? It’s going to sit in your refrigerator and grow green, fuzzy mold.’ Are. You. Serious. You fucking eat the leftover hummus. Tomorrow. When you are still on this diet.)
Also sounding sort of douchey? And disingenuous? ‘If you’re obese or overweight, you are actually starting out ahead. It means you love food. You love to eat. You love life.’ Oho! Obese people! You are ahead of thin people, who love neither food nor life. If only you knew! You do not eat out of frustration or boredom or depression! (Further disclaimer: I frequently eat from frustration and boredom and depression as, probably, do you. Really, only Tilda Swinton does not do this, being past the planes of both emotions and food. So I’m not being finger-pointy, fat people. This is a thing we all do.) And I get that she’s trying to be encouraging, but false encouragement helps no one. Not everyone is the jolly fat guy.
And it’s like she’s just adding things in as she thinks of them or finds out about them, irrespective of subject heading. Oh hey, I just learned something new about grapes, but I’m already finished that bit where I talk about grapes a lot. I’ll just wait until I casually mention grapes again in reference to something else, and then I’ll throw in this grape-related fact. Graaaaapes!
I am becoming shouty and irrational. It is hard enough for anyone these days to find the nexus of motivation and knowledge. This here book provides little of either.
Requisite ass-covering: book received from phenix & phenix.