Judy Condon discusses her new book Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny
The first thing readers may notice about Judy Condon’s new book, Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny, is the statement on its cover: “This ain’t no diet book.”
Why the disclaimer? Because according to Condon, the word “diet” implies a beginning and an end; meaning when you reach your target weight, you are finished and can revert to your normal eating habits, however ill-advised they might be.
Not so with Condon’s program for weight loss, which she describes in the book’s introduction, as “A new way of eating that you can live with forever.”
The focus of Condon’s new tough-love message is her insistence that people wanting to lose weight must first get their minds in the right place. Condon maintains that we must hold ourselves accountable and see that “it’s not my fault” is not getting it done. The alibis we have used in the past must now be seen as obstacles to overcome. Facing the truth may not be easy, but Condon tells us that the truth can be used as motivation to succeed.
Condon answered a few questions about her weight-loss plan.
Question: What is the vital ingredient for us to understand in order to successfully reach our weight loss goals using the Judy Condon weight-loss program?
Answer: First, we must see that what we are doing isn’t working. If anyone is going to be successful with a weight-loss program, it will require total truth, total responsibility and total accountability. Your past excuses must now be seen as obstacles to overcome. You must never be defensive and justify your excess weight by blaming your genes, your busy life, stress or your slow metabolism or thyroid. You can no longer deflect or minimize your excess weight by accepting yourself as “plus-sized” or “full figured.” You must be able to embrace the observations of others regarding your appearance. We need a little blunt language, and blunt language can be painful. And it’s especially important that husbands and wives learn to express their real feelings about one another’s bodies. By expressing their feelings truthfully, couples allow one another to see themselves as they really are. Only when you see a thing for what it really is are you then able to change it into something truly better. Successful weight loss often requires a lot of tough love. Don’t be afraid to use it.
Q. Judy, you’ve written and published 28 books, but Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny is your first book in the category of dieting and weight loss. What prompted you to write it?
A: I’ve always had an interest in diets and weight loss because I personally struggled with weight most of my life ~ over 50 years. As a child, my dad nicknamed me “Pudge.” As a teen, I attended meetings for Overeaters Anonymous. And later, Weight Watchers. My weight went up and up, and I became clinically obese. Finally, I was able to discover which foods I could eat and which foods I couldn’t eat, and by proper food selection, I was able to shed more than 65 pounds and drop about five dress sizes. So, to answer your question, I wrote the book because I saw many other people struggling with the same weight problems I struggled with, and by putting my experiences and successes into a book form, I’m able to empower others with enough information to take control of their food and their lives.
Q. Was there a turning point when you looked at yourself and said, “My weight is totally out of control. I have to do something about it right now”?
A: I saw pictures of myself that were unsettling, and my diet was giving me intestinal problems. I also had esophageal issues and such extreme gastric reflux that it burned my vocal cords, so I was taking lots of Prevacid. I thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” So I began to examine what I had been eating and discovered that the amount of fat I was eating was causing major intestinal issues and made me very sick. I also discovered that once I eliminated processed carbs, I no longer needed Prevacid. In fact, a couple women who have read the book and are on the Three-Part Program have experienced the same thing. They told me that after ridding their diets of processed carbs, they no longer have gastric reflux, either.
Q. Can you explain the book’s Three-Part Program and how it produces weight loss?
A: During the first part of the program, one eats only protein for seven days and reduces his or her fat consumption as much as possible. Acceptable proteins include eggs and poultry and certain lean red meats. Non-fat dairy products high in protein are also allowed. No sugar is permitted, but sugar substitutes are OK. Plenty of water ~ at least three 8-ounce glasses ~ must be consumed. The book offers quite a few helpful tips, such as what you should eat if you crave sweets and so on. The first phase also suggests a little moderate exercise. The body’s burning of protein actually assists in the burning of fat cells, so you get weight and size reduction from the protein meals in part one.
Q. How much weight can one expect to lose during the first part?
A: From 2 to 10 pounds. The key is that there is no hunger during these seven days.
Q. What happens during the second part?
A: You’ve jumpstarted your weight loss by eating only protein during week one, but now you need to add some variety to your meals; so every third day, you can eat all you want of certain vegetables, like lettuce, celery, green beans, peppers, onions and a few others. There are some forbidden vegetables, like carrots and corn, as these are high in sugar and carbs. Twenty-five minutes of daily exercise, such as walking, is recommended. During this phase of the program, one can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Q. The third part of the program is named Celebrate You. What does this part consist of?
A: Now you’ve reached your weight goal, so your menu opens up and offers more choices. Your weekly plan consists of two days of protein only and five days of protein and vegetables, accompanied by a portion of an allowed fruit (berries, apples, pineapple and others) and a portion of allowed starch (bread, pasta, rice or baked potato). Here you can do some experimenting with your food choices. The third part represents the basic template for eating you will use for the rest of your life. There is one critical rule: If you see the scale creep up, go back to part one of the program and eat only protein until the scale drops back to your ideal weight. It should be noted that by the time one reaches the Celebrate You stage, one’s energy level should be out the top. All the little aches and pains ~ and even many of the bigger ones~ will vanish, as food intake becomes healthier as a result of following this program.
Q. What other useful advice will readers find in the book?
A: There are many useful tips. For example, how to protect yourself from overeating at restaurants by slowing down and eating a salad prior to ordering an entrée. You might decide the salad was enough. If you do order an entrée, split it with someone at your table or take it home. And remember to begin each meal with a big glass of water.
Q. What do you hope to accomplish with your book, Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny?
A: I hope to help people see that the medical field and the weight-loss industry have failed us. We are not getting the message, or rather, the message has to be brought to us in a different way. So many of us think, “If I look like everyone else, what’s the problem?” I know that, deep-down, millions of us want to lose weight but have lost our way. This new tough-love message of personal responsibility can seem very personal and a little blunt at times. The intent is not to offend, but to use the truth to our advantage. Come along, if you dare.
For more information, visit asgoodasskinny.com.