Thursday, January 07, 2010

Book Review: The Spark

The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your LifeThe Spark, written by the creator/founder of SparkPeople.com is a new fitness book building on the success of SparkPeople.com and introducing it to people who aren't necessarily online. It brings the site to the Luddites out there as it were. Having read it on my kindle I can only say I'm very glad I didn't have to carry the thing around with me. It's ORANGE! Wow is it orange. I included a picture to show just how orange it really is.

SparkPeople.com is a fitness website that focuses primarily on baby steps, small steps you can make to improve your health. Chains of small steps will add up to big steps. Falling backward from a small step isn't as daunting as falling backward from a big step. That really is a huge part of the system and it's huge. It also makes a distinction between dieters and people changing the way they live. The book beats this into your head as well. A lot. Over and over again. The thing is... it has to soak in. Diets are temporary things that people go on until they fit into a swimsuit or wedding dress then in a weekend of pizza, nachos, and chicken alfredo they are right back where they were before. Either hoping to maintain or happy that "that's over with!"

The book starts off asking us to write down what we eat. Honestly, that's been what I've been doing for three weeks now and I've lost weight. I know it sounds stupid but it's true. Just writing down what I am going to eat makes me reconsider what I shove in my face during the day. Without using the very advanced menu building tips in the book (and on the website) or any of the recipes in the appendix of the book I've managed to lose weight doing just the stuff in Chapter 4. "Ah," you're saying, "but Rich... you've been running!" That's true. I've been running for 3 months though and not lost any weight because I was eating more.

In the book it mentions that 70% of people polled say that they are inspired by reading other people's success stories and that it's a powerful motivator for them. The Spark will help those people feel motivated and inspired then because barely a page goes by that doesn't have something blockquoted. Here's the thing. I find those to be as distracting as the songs and singing were in The Lord of the Rings books. I skipped them to. I'm not big on anecdotes. This, from a blogger... yeah. I get the irony here OK? I'm not a slave to being consistent, don't try and make me one.

The suggestions in the book are clear-cut. The action steps are easy, plentiful, and many. They work too. I've used the site and talked about it before.If a person had  no access to SparkPeople.com I would absolutely recommend this book. If they have access to SparkPeople.com I would say go there first. If they like the site I would then recommend the book. If their complaint about the site is that it's too busy and frenetic I might still recommend the book because it's  less cluttered. Certainly an advantage to the printed page!

Honestly had I never encountered the website I wouldn't have bought the book. I won't lie. The cover doesn't speak to me at all. Have I mentioned it's ORANGE?!? I'd have missed out though. It's worth the money. If it hadn't been I wouldn't have littered this post with affiliate links aiming you at it in the hopes you will buy it.
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