Tuesday, May 13, 2008

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

Mr. Walsh is evidently some sort of clutter-guru from the TLC series Clean Sweep. I've never seen the show, so I'm not familiar with his work. This book actually was turned in at my branch and I thought it looked cute, plus any book about weight-loss usually has at least one good tip to share. This one is no different, but if you're looking for a true weight-loss guide, I'd go elsewhere.

Basically, Mr. Walsh thinks that if you're overweight, you're most likely plagued by clutter, and if you just get rid of it, you'll lose the weight. Oh, if only it were that simple! I will agree with him that clutter can overwhelm and depress a person. I will also agree with him that a great amount of clutter makes it all but impossible to cook in your kitchen, let alone eat on a dining room table. But I cannot agree on his basic principle at all - how ludicrous! Sorry, but I have a fairly clutter-free home and have had for pretty much my whole life. I've also been overweight most of my life, too. What gives? According to Walsh, I should be at a healthy weight with no problem!

Here's where I think Walsh misses the mark. There are just as many reason for why people are overweight as there are extra pounds being carried around. To blame a weight issue on just one thing is to refuse to acknowledge that people are complicated creatures. Sure, a lot of it can be blamed on our own laziness; it's so much easier to order out or run through the drive-thru than it is to cook a meal at home. We all want value for our money, so why not order the supersize and have leftovers? (except it never happens, that is). We eat too much, pure and simple, and you can overeat at home just as easily as you can at Applebee's, McDonald's, or your local dive restaurant. We also eat out of boredom, depression, loneliness, happiness, sadness, etc. We both reward and punish ourselves with food. And the way it's processed these days, a lot of it isn't all that healthy for us.

Most of the "diet tips" are the old tried and true stuff: take your time to enjoy your food when you're eating, don't eat in front of the TV, wait at least 20 minutes before getting second helpings, blah blah blah. Stick with these and you can't go too wrong. Stay away from this book though - it's really just clutter!

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