HOW WE DID IT, by Nancy B. Kennedy, is not your typical diet genre book. Every book I have read, that is categorized in the diet genre, has been written with one goal in mind—to sell the reader a specific diet plan and explain why that diet is the best diet out there and that no other diets can compare. In HOW WE DID IT, Nancy B. Kennedy does just the opposite.
I love blogging. I love the feedback that I get from fellow bloggers and readers. I used to get so frustrated with the variety of feedback that I would receive—“you need to stop eating so much fruit,” “Weight Watchers is a terrible diet,” “you are eating too many carbs”, “you need to eat more fruits and veggies”, “you shouldn’t be eating any dairy”, “stop eating so many grains”, “bananas are bad for you,” “bananas are good for you,” “Eat more protein at breakfast”, “eat less at supper time”, or “don’t eat red meat”. One piece of feedback often contradicted another piece of feedback and I was left feeling helpless and confused. And then I realized, we all have to do what works for us as individuals, and each of us will probably find something different that works. And that’s ok. We are all complex human beings and there is no “one size fits all” plan out there.
In HOW WE DID IT, Kennedy writes about a variety of weight loss plans. We all love reading those success stories, and the book is basically a compilation of success stories from individuals using a variety of plans. There are success stories from those that followed low carb plans like the Atkins Diet, plans like Weight Watchers, South Beach Diet, basic calorie counting, food addiction recovery programs, faith-based programs, bariatric surgery, individualized plans, among many others.
They are stories of real people finding real and lasting success. I liked reading the stories of fellow bloggers including Lori Kimble and Roni Noone. Many of the stories within the book were relatable and I could connect with many of them, even if I did not agree with the plan that they found success on because it would not work for me. But ultimately, we all have similar struggles and stories.
The last chapter in the book titled, “If Only I Liked Grapefruit: Do’s and Don’ts from Those Who Did It”, was especially helpful to me. It was a summary of the common themes of all of the people that Kennedy interviewed for this book. Many of them described their weight loss as “life-changing” (191). I couldn’t agree more. Most of the individuals also experienced a “triggering event”, a “single moment in time that forced them to face their dilemma” (192). I was able to relate to many of these ideas.
Kennedy sums up the theme of the book towards the end when she writes, “what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another The more sources of information you have, and the more ideas you hear, the more likely it is that you’ll stumble on the strategies that work for you” (202). And that’s why I loved HOW WE DID IT. It helped me learn about the strategies of other weight loss success stories out there and while I may not follow their plan to a T, I found helpful information that I can incorporate into my own plan.