William Leith’s book is something new for me. At first I thought it was an autobiography which would be of interest because it speaks of dieting and, to be frank, that is something I’m keen on right now. I saw a review in the Globe a few months back and thought this book sounded like a critical look aimed at dieting. So I put a reserve in at the library and received the book soon after. As I read of Leith’s experience and quest (starting with him hitting his heaviest just before meeting Dr. Atkins) I realized this book was much more.
It was slow going… reading The Hungry Years. It’s not Leith’s style, which is punchy and information-rich and funny: it’s that it was hard to read. Not the language. The subject matter kept me thinking and some of it needed lots of digestion. And although I haven’t picked up and may not pick up one of Atkin’s famous dieting books, I have been telling friends that I’ve been trying Atkin’s diet. I just like it. Now I’m only 200 lbs so I’m not grossly obese, but I should be somewhere around 165-175 even if I am ‘big-boned’. This ‘diet’ or ‘lifetime food choice’ makes sense. I haven’t gone through the induction phase yet… I’ve been setting things up slowly. I’ll be doing it starting this Monday for 2 weeks. But, again, not because of Atkins… it’s because of Leith.
It was so hard to read this book that it took me longer than 3 weeks. I had to return it unfinished and then wait… wait… wait… for my new reserve to come up at the library. But now I’ve finally finished the book. And I have to say it was worth the time. From what I’m seen on the web, Leith is one of the more honest journalists out there. Reading his book changed my life and I think it’s an important book to read. It really goes to the heart of the matter … that it’s not just about debunking our cattle-yard-carbohydrate-enriched-fattening program (hey that’s what they do to cattle to fatten them up: restrict their exercise and feed them lots of carbohydrate… sound familiar, hello?), it’s about why we’re stuffing our faces. It’s about happiness and our lack of it. Have you ever really closely looked at why you are overeating? I hadn’t. But Leith has done it and published stuff about himself I would be afraid to whisper to my best friend.
So buy, borrow or steal a copy of this book and take the time to read it carefully and you won’t regret it.