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An Intimate View of Personal Struggle - If You Like Al Roker, You Will Like This Book
on December 31, 2012
Although this might appear at first glance to be another celebrity weight loss book, it is really a book about life. Instead of the usual "This is how I did it and you can do it too", it is more of a "I ate my way through life until I was ready to explode". Starting with the death bed promise to his father in 2001, Al takes us on a journey of personal challenges and self discovery that made me think about my own life.
This is almost an autobiography of Al's life. He talks about everything, from growing up in a lower, middle class family in Queens, to his career and marriage. At the heart of the book is Al's life long struggle with his weight. Being in the public eye, there is no way to hide it, and to Al's credit (and our reading enjoyment) he is completely open about everything in his life - especially his feelings. He talks about being a "closet eater" and not feeling good enough. The "Jolly Fat Weatherman" was not really the image he wanted.
At 5 foot 8 inches and 340 pounds, he worried about his health. In 2005, he underwent bariatric surgery, resulting in a 100 pound loss. Dealing with his mom's illness and death caused him to gain back much of the weight. It wasn't until he really came to grips with his emotions and eating, that he realized he had to change not only how much he ate but what he ate. Thanks to a friend's nutritionist, Al has had a major shift to "clean" food. He tells us what his typical menu is now, and ends the book with a section on healthy, delicious looking menus.
The key for Al's success was getting in the right mind-set. If you are not ready or you're doing it for someone else, you will fail. His two rules are:
Rule 1: You must do this for you.
Rule 2: See Rule 1.
This is an easy book to read, Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed Al's writing style. It was not at all like a journalist as I had expected. It was more like a personal conversation with a friend. I think everyone can relate to his openness and honesty. In the end, it is a feel good book about embracing life and feeling good about yourself. As Al says about his surgery, "Losing weight will not take away your problems any more than it will make you more popular, funnier or more successful, or fix your relationship. If you were a miserable fat guy, you will be a miserable thin guy".
Bill Cashell - Author of "The Emotional Diet - How to Love Your Life More and Food Less"