Anne Lamott on Turning “Help Thanks Wow” Into “Hips Thighs Waist”
This is true:
Last night, Riverhead got the New York Times bestseller list for Sunday, February 3. My book, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, was number nine again on the Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous list, which I’m so, so happy about. But the first eight books are diet books, number 10 is the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe book, and numbers 11-15 also are diet books.
I mean, isn’t that crazy? I know everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, but EVERYONE knows how to lose weight. And EVERYONE knows that diets make you fat and crazy, that 95% of people who lose weight gain it back – plus 5 pounds – then hate themselves.
So people – mostly women and girls – are being preyed on with these books, which make up thirteen of the top fifteen Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous bestsellers. There IS no new secret. But the industry is able to make a fortune on our fear that we are disgusting the way we are, and that IF we all lose some weight, we will magically have great self-esteem and health. Plus, we will keep it off this time, because ONE of the authors of the thirteen books has broken the elusive code and so 95% of people won’t gain it back.
This is a WMD. It is the great palace lie, such an attack on our spirits and souls. We have to stop pushing the snooze alarm and wake up – together.
I could change the title of Help Thanks Wow to Hips Thighs Waist: Three Essential Diet Tips for Emaciation and Wealth, and claim it contained the secret launch codes. (1. Eat a little less. 2. Walk a little more. 3. And an extra glass of water or two a day won’t kill you.)
I could make a fortune.
The only other things that will help you with your weight and body image are radical self-care and help with the struggle. You are deserving of help and healthy food. You get to start your new, more user-friendly way of life as soon as you remember that you do. WILD.
Walking a little every day, if you can, will improve your life by approximately 78%. A lot of us have a TINY problem with sugar, but we all know how to get off it, and that if we do, the cravings and obsession will disappear. So one day at a time, eat protein and whole grains, veggies and a little fruit.
I don’t love water – it’s so watery. But I like it more since yesterday, when I was toweling my grandson off after a bath and told him how delicious he smelled. He said, “Do I smell like water?”
I got help from Connie at beyondsugarshock.com ONLY because she coincidentally came to my church for a benefit the week that I hit a terrible, crazy bottom with sugar. (I had been on a book tour for Hips Thighs Waist – I mean, the other HTW – for a month: i.e., room service.) There’s free advice at that website, and all over the web, if sugar is an addiction for you as it is for me. I haven’t had it in weeks — one day at a time — because I was sick and tired of feeling as sick and tired as a sugar-based life made me feel. I am stable (ish), healthy, and rarely think about food now unless I’m very hungry. Then I eat protein, whole grains, veggies, fruit. If your problem is with salty savories, it’s the same thing: There is free advice all over the web. Don’t buy into the diet lie machine.
Maybe somehow you can help each other right here.