As I mentioned earlier, I did enjoy this book. At the same time, I wouldn't completely, 100%, wholeheartedly recommend it. :) (Of course, I could probably say that about a great many books!) I'd heard many good things about it, but if you look at the Amazon reviews you will see that they are pretty mixed. Some people loved it, others really did not. The author, Candace Cameron Bure, is an actress (best known for her role on the show Full House when she was growing up), and is also the sister of actor Kirk Cameron. Both Candace and Kirk are Christians who are very open about their faith and love for the Lord, which is a refreshing change compared to the lives of many Hollywood stars.
Anyway, on to the book. :) Here are some of the things I really liked about it:
- Candace is upfront from the beginning about her faith and how it shapes every part of her life, including her eating habits and her desire to keep herself in shape. She also shares candidly about her struggle with bulimia early in her marriage, and how she was able to overcome it with God's help.
- I appreciated her "chatty" writing style--some reviews that I read complained that she seemed to be bragging throughout the book (especially with some of the fan letters she shared) but I didn't feel that she came across that way. Yes, she did share about her experiences as an actress, but that is to be expected since that's her life. And lots of the fan mail was singing her praises, but again--that's to be expected from fan mail, and she only shared letters that were asking questions related to diet, fitness, and spiritual things. In my opinion, the book was a fun and easy read because it felt kind of like she was just having a conversation with you about her life and things she's learned along the way.
- I appreciated how much Scripture she used throughout the book. (Although I will add that I thought some of it may have been taken out of context.) She shared verses throughout every chapter and a recap at the end of each chapter with all the verses listed in one place.
- I felt encouraged and motivated in my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle--not because I want to look just like Candace (not going to happen! ;)), but because I know it really is important to glorify God in whatever I do, including what I eat and drink, and how I keep my "temple." I was also reminded that it's important to teach my kids healthy habits too--something I really need to work on. :)
- I liked the fact that she shared some of her family's favorite recipes at the end of each chapter.
Now, for a few things I didn't like so much about the book . . .
- Although this was not a diet book, per se, Candace did share some examples of what she might eat in a given day. Honestly, I'm glad that works for her--but when I read it to my husband, he commented that "she eats like a bird!" or something similar. Lots of veggies and salads, which are good things--but it did seem like she didn't have a really balanced diet--very little healthy fats, etc. I personally wouldn't want to limit my diet quite to that extent.
- My husband also commented that he thought Candace might be a little "too skinny." Obviously that's just his opinion. :) I didn't think she looked like a stick or anything--just trim and very fit. But it was encouraging to me that a mom of three kids, who is around my age, can get in that good of shape.
- I was a little confused by the photo of Candace on the back cover, where she appears to be eating a bowl of Fruit Loops. :) I guess maybe this was to emphasize that she does indulge in treats once in a while? I just thought it was funny--if I was going to indulge in a treat, it probably wouldn't be Fruit Loops! :)
Anyway. I know this has probably been a kind of disjointed review, but if you're interested in the book, please read some of the other more in-depth reviews on Amazon before you buy it. I was able to get my copy at the library (I actually requested it through inter-library loan but they couldn't get it, so the library bought it--how nice is that!) and I found it beneficial, but probably wouldn't buy my own copy unless I could find one cheap. :) Mostly I was looking for some motivation for my first month of trying to "reshape it all," and I appreciated this book for its encouragement in that regard!
I also wanted to clarify a few things about my sugar fast last month because I've had some questions about that, too. The blog seemed like a good place to write out my thoughts about it. :) I did not cut out ALL sugar. I still ate fruit, homemade bread containing brown sugar and molasses, and I still had pancakes with maple syrup. :) I tried to keep to more natural forms of sugar, like putting honey in my tea instead of a spoonful of white sugar. I cut out all sweet treats like ice cream, cookies, cake, candy, chocolate chips, etc. Some people, when they do a sugar fast or "detox," eliminate all forms of sugar (even fruit) and carbs such as white potatoes and bread. I didn't go that far. My main goal was to see if I could live without sweets for a month, and curb my cravings for them, because I had really fallen into a bad habit (esp. over the holidays) of eating lots and lots of junk. I could see and feel the effects of that, and I knew I needed to do something kind of "drastic" to reprogram myself. :) My sugar fast ended Weds. and I indulged in a very small scoop of ice cream that night. And you know what? I savored every tiny bite of that ice cream, whereas before I would have scooped myself a big old bowl of it and devoured it quickly. I'm learning that I can save the sweets for a special treat and that I can be content with just a little instead of a whole bunch. I am a work in progress! Yes, I would still LOVE a big bowl of ice cream. Chocolate cake will always be a temptation! I'm not saying that I am going to completely cut these things out of my diet, nor am I saying that everyone else should do what I'm doing! My goal is not to make anyone feel guilty if you haven't cut back on sugar. :) I just hope my experience might be an encouragement to someone else along the way, and I hope that posting about my progress here will help keep me accountable as I strive to be more healthy.