December 27, 2009 - The Examiner

Serving Up Humor With Sensible Advice

With New Years quickly approaching, we're all faced with the dreaded resurgence of New Year's Resolutions.

It's always someone - either ourselves or an acquaintance - who resolves to lose weight this year. They'll opt to buy a gym membership. Spend at least an hour a day on the elliptical. Something - anything - drastic enough to help us shake this weight we can't seem to rid ourselves of, only to find that our resolutions were too drastic and too difficult to maintain. In a pool of seriousness about fitness, why not throw a little humor into the mix? Offer someone you love an anti-dieting book.

That's right, anti-dieting.

Ask Leslie Landis, author of The Art Of Overeating, what made her write an "anti-dieting book," and she'll say, "My book is 'chock full of not-too-weighty wisdom.' The diet and healthy eating industries have made us think of food as either poison or medicine. I think finding the funny bone in our eating habits is a healthier approach, and may even be part of the solution."

But, aren't diet books good for people?

"Of course. There is a lot of good information in most of those books. But we are hit over the head – or rather, in the stomach — with this never-ending information, in books, on TV, in magazines. It’s time to have a laugh about it."

The book takes a very light-hearted approach to America's obsession with health and fitness. In fact, should one resolve to do the exact opposite of everything in this book, they might find themselves losing weight.

When asked why Landis opted to take this approach to dieting advice, she says "Through my experience working with overeaters, I’ve learned that shaming doesn’t motivate — people just turn off and tune out. I began experimenting with humor as a tool to deal with food problems. When I got people to laugh about the issue, it empowered them to make changes. I find that humor helps people recognize important truths about their behavior and become open-minded about the possibility of change."

A short read, The Art of Overeating is full of good ol' fashioned wisdom about how we become overeaters. While it might highlight a bad habit or two of our own, as long as we remember the golden rule - resolve to do the exact opposite of everything in this book - we will always know how to correct our bad habits.

Besides, Landis tells you in the beginning of the book what she wants you to do - "Have your cake and read it too!"


By  Erika Nicole Kendall