The Writing Life Thin in a World of Chocolate

I Have NEWS! My Book Is Being Published!

Published

What? Weren’t You Writing Some Blog Thing Somewhere?

I was, thanks for noticing. So then here’s what happened.

A couple of years ago I wrote a very short, kinda funny little book called How to Be Thin in a World of Chocolate.

It was based on my psych research and personal experience trying to find a way to lose weight while not also losing both my mind and my very will to live.

Could you lose weight and also enjoy chocolate without guilt?

Could you look and feel great without missing out on life’s pleasures?

Could you be svelte without some bootcamp bully bellowing at you?

Yes you could, I discovered, if you knew about some cunning strategies.

As someone who’s spent much of my adult life trying to shift a coterie of overly attached extra kilos, I’ve experimented with many approaches to weight loss. And it strikes me that, in the weight-loss minefield, there there are two kinds of people.

Outside-in Or Inside-out?

One kind wants something extreme to motivate them. They’re drawn to those 12-week challenges that require you to really push yourself. Or to eating regimes that cut out entire food groups. Or to all-out exercise programs that take no account of what you enjoy. I think of these as outside-in approaches: they focus on external rules and not on how you feel or what you enjoy. There are all kinds of people in this world and maybe this approach works for some, at least in the short term. I don’t know. It definitely doesn’t work for me.

I’m in the second group of people who wants to eat what I want to eat. Who can’t motivate myself to do exercise I dislike. Who doesn’t want someone else telling me what to do.

I wanted something inside-out – an approach that let me enjoy what gave me pleasure and took account of my preferences. I could find heaps of books and programs and solutions for people of the first kind, but very little for the inside-out likes of me.

I’ll tell you more about how the contents of the book came about in another post – it’s a rollicking adventure involving near-failure during my psych degree and beach ball injuries and people’s heads starting to resemble Snickers bars. But here I want to tell you about the publishing part.

Weight Loss & Pleasure, Not War & Peace

As I started to research the literature and experiment on myself and formulate my strategies, I lost the weight (and for years it has stayed off). I didn’t have to give up anything that gave me pleasure – in fact I found my pleasure in life noticeably increased. People asked me how I’d lost the weight, lots of people, even total strangers.

Although I don’t particularly want to be a poster girl for weight loss, I realised I’d found something worth sharing. So I started writing the little book.

I didn’t want my book to be one of those anecdote-filled tomes that have 20% great content stretched out with repetition or filler. In fact I hate it when I’m reading a non-fiction book and I open a chapter to something like this:

George entered the room with a frown on his wizened face. The dappled sunlight burst through the windows…. VOMIT! This is not a novel! Tell George and his wizened face to go find some fiction, then tell me the information, and let us both move on with our lives.

So as I wrote my book I really just stuck to the strategies I’d found and left out anything that felt like padding. Especially as my book was explicitly about removing unnecessary padding. #boomtish

I also wanted to make it fun to read. WHAT?! A book about weight loss that’s not dreary and heavy? #boomBOOMtish Although sleep does factor into one of the strategies, I’d rather it didn’t take place while you were actually reading my book. So I tried to make it very unsnoreful for you.

And I wanted to have cute illustrations (they’re done by the uber-talented Kim Schwede). They amplify the ideas without more words and they make you smile. Are you smiling now? See? And you haven’t even seen them yet.

So basically I wrote the kind of self-help book I like to read. Succinct, lighthearted, fluff-free.

Ta-da! ‘How to Be Thin in a World of Chocolate: The Anti-Fad, Anti-Misery Guide To Losing Weight For Life’

I did the usual wannabe-author thing and sent the manuscript to various publishers. I tried different approaches. I asked for advice from people I respected. I was pretty determined!

So I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled I was when the wonderful people at Finch Publishing liked it and wanted to publish it. I’ve met a bunch of them and they are without exception smart, diligent, experienced, and really really good looking.

I am so excited and happy!

How to Be Thin in a World of Chocolate: The Anti-Fad, Anti-Misery Guide To Losing Weight For Life comes out 1 November 2017. Pre-orders open soon.

The printed book will be a beautiful illustrated gift book, making it charming to read and also a perfect stocking stuffer for your chocoholic friends who are fed up with dieting and deprivation. The printed book will be available in bookstores in Australia (if not in your local store, you can ask them to order it for you). And the e-book version will be available online.

If you want me to keep you informed about the book you can sign up for updates here.

So, that’s my big news!

Well that’s quite enough about me. What have you been up to?

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