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I do not believe in "jobs" but rather prefer to think of all things being activities for some of which people give you money.
I have several projects that pay me various amounts of money.
Most of what I do is centered around writing, speaking, educating and consulting.
I love making videos and don't get to do so often enough. The love of my life is my collaborator and husband, Carl Wilkerson. He is often the object of my cameras eye as well because he is such a natural in front of the camera.
I love seeing new places. If I had everything I wanted in life, I would live on the road most of the time.
For the moment, however, I'm grounded in Las Vegas, which I absolutely love. Desert life is more beautiful than I ever imagined. The only drawback is summer. I'd like to summer in the Yukon or Alaska or maybe the southern hemisphere.
The other object of my affection is my cat, Anawim. Like me, she is disabled. She has something akin to cerebral palsy in humans and because of that she kind of spazes out every once in a while. But she perseveres. I have hyporthyroidism and fibromyalgia. I am in pain almost every day of my life. Mostly in my hands and feet. We both persevere.
I would not be able to do most of what I do in life if it were not for the wonderful care and partnership I've had with Carl. He has sacrificed a lot to be with me and I am totally and completely amazed at this when I think about it, which is often.
You are probably wondering why I haven't talked much about being fat. Well, for one, I talk a lot about it my memoir. But the other reason is that being fat really isn't central to my identity. It is central to the way other people see me and treat me, but I'm pretty comfortable with it on a day to day basis. That is why I call myself a "reluctant warrior." There is just so much else to do in the world.
I used to want to change me. I used to want to change the world. Now I live for peace, love, beauty and pleasure. I know that sounds corny.
People make their choices and some of their choices hurt others and some of their choices create awesome wonders.
Since so much is harmful and painful, I hold onto that rare goodness that arrives when you look for it. In between times, I love, I create, I live and I reflect AND I worry, I cope and I escape. I think it is a great way to live life and lately, I wouldn&39;t have it any other way.
(Disclosure -- I reviewed the manuscript of this book before publication and I have a short blurb supporting the book in the book.)
Dr. Linda Bacon's research and publication of this book should have been front-page news. Her findings should have shaken the scientific world and researchers of dieting, "obesity," exercise, medicine and healthcare should be following her lead and studying how we eat, how our bodies work and how variation of body size affects health with a new paradigm.
What most people do not realize is that for all the advice we receive that we must achieve a certain weight, maintain it and using calorie restriction to do it, no one has actually studied this methodology directly. There has been several large studies that suggest dieting is rarely successful in long-term (beyond 2-5 years) weight loss, no one has actually looked at health outcomes in the manner that Dr. Bacon did in her study that is the basis for this book.
What she found was what every fat person has experienced. Long-term dieting/weight loss is hard to achieve and maintain and health is not necessarily improved by it. What she also found is that if health is the goal rather than weight loss, larger women will improve their health even if they do not lose weight.
This is not a large study. It is hard to fund large studies when the topic has little commercial value. But the results of this study should have shaken up everything we think we know about dieting and weight loss. I would love to see more studies. I would love to see data on children. I would love to see a longitudinal study that follows people for more than 2 years. I would love to see community studies where Dr. Bacon's non-diet approach was used as a way to improve health within specific communities. All of these things should have happened. The fact that they did not. The fact that it is still a struggle to fund further study is a testimony to how deeply embedded in our culture and how economically profitable it is to hate our bodies and fat.
If you think you know all about diet, exercise and weight control and you haven't read this book, you don't know anything.
Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.
Sociology Instructor, College of Southern Nevada
I absolutely love the concepts in this book. I have started using them in my Sociology classes because the ideas are so accessible. I absolutely love the author's blog on Psychology Today' website:[...]
In sociology, "rank" would be called "status." But sociologists discuss status in varying ways. My understanding and the way I teach status is that it is always about power and it is always social in nature. You cannot have a status unless you have two or more people and unless one of those persons wields more power than the other. Rank is simply an eloquent way to express that. Almost everyone understands the concept of rank because we've all been ranked at some point in our lives.
That leads to the other major contribution made by the author -- EVERYONE understands what it means to be a nobody to someone else's somebody. Okay, maybe there are some exceptions throughout history, but even dictators and monarchs meet their match at some point.
For all the wonder of the concepts in this book, I don't recommend it to students (I send them to the blog and the manifesto). The writing was dry and not engaging. That is why I give it 3 stars. These are concepts that could have come alive and the author failed to do that. I understand the rationality of his approach, but I know that for many, the logical, rational argument will bore before it enlightens.
Pattie Thomas, PhD
Sociology Instructor, College of Southern Nevada
I have not read the book and am not a cook, so I offer no information or review for you in that regards.
However, Julie Goodwin did something wonderful today. She told the diet-industrial complex NO. I absolutely love her for this and hope that people will show her the support she deserves. I'm so tired of celebrity deals where people lose weight for a short period of time for a lot of money to lead everyone else down a doomed path.
So I say, Good for You, Julie Goodwin! And thank you on behalf of all us who love the skin we're in! I wish you success in all your endeavors.
I should start with a disclosure. I have a PhD in Sociology and I teach at a community college. These two facts color my reading of Chris Guillebeau's The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World in a way that other readers might not share. (They also have to do with why I was selected as one the people to receive this book free of charge from the author.)
I spend my days reading about and studying the gatekeepers and vampires that Guillebeau discusses and I am aware of even more devious and negative forces than he identifies. As a sociologist, however, one of the things that pleases me most about the book is the acknowledgment that other people exist. Far too many books in this genre forget the context in which one has to live an unconventional life. Guillebeau does not. He not only understands the need for dealing with those who would pressure a person to conform, but the need for a social structure to succeed (a "Small Army" he calls it) and the understanding of how one's actions affect the lives of others ("world domination"). We do not live our lives in a vacuum and Guillebeau's approach meets this context head on.
The thing that saddens me most about the book is that Guillebeau is not really that unconventional. Much of his advice and approach can be found in basic common sense and old fashioned understandings of how human beings should value their life, their time and other people. Most of what I read in this book I've heard before in other places. (Of course, I've lead a fairly unconventional life up to now and I share an influence in Barbara Sher, most notably her classic book, Wishcraft).
This saddens me because in our society this has become radical. It is radical now for a young person to ask themselves questions about their values, their talents, their desires, their legacy. It is radical to live apart from a centralized social and economic structure that is designed to encourage conformity and consumption. It is radical to question and create. It is radical to explore and discover.
Guillebeau is correct. It is radical and it will be met with resistance.
At community college I meet adult students of all ages who often are in school as an effort to change their lives. Unlike university settings, many of these students have already experienced some of their life and have already experienced disappointments. They have children. They have jobs. They struggle.
And as a sociology professor I have more bad news. I have to tell them that it is not the truth that education and a degree are magic entry into the middle class. I have to tell them that they are competing with other workers who have head starts on them because of social class structures and that the data connecting "a good education" with "a good paying job" is spurious because young people from middle and upper-middle class families with economic and social connections already in place get educations and degrees too, and then rely upon their parent's business connections to find the good paying job. In other words, the conventional life that Guillebeau so eloquently describes is often an illusion, available only to the few and the game is rigged in favor of that few.
But I remind them that there is good news in sociology as well. The good news is that the world in which we live is of our own making collectively. Most of what we perceive to be set in stone is merely the sum total of decisions made by individuals who are accepting scripts about life that can be questioned. In the questioning there is power. There is power to resist, power to drop out, power to change, power to be something different. The answers do lie in the unconventional and the nonconformity.
This book will not make you rich in the conventional sense. It is not a "10-easy steps" to life satisfaction. It is an honest account of a life well lived with some excellent pointers on how to get started living such a life. But in the end we must all live our lives as we choose within the context of everyone else living their lives as they choose.
So I am grateful for this book as a teacher and as a fellow traveler. It is a primer that I think anyone who is considering the question "What do I do?" should read. It is a book that I will be recommending a lot, as I have Guillebeau's website since finding it last year. It is a book that has helped me in making some decisions about my own path. It is a book that is needed in this time and this place.
--Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.