People who can eat whatever they want…and not put on weight.

I’ve been flat out trying to get my head around various aspects of marketing and promotion and publishing, while also working on the sequel to my fantasy novel, doing my usual editing work, and looking after my family.

But it’s still a lot of fun, and it’s rewarding to have it all focused so clearly on ideas that mean a lot to me. It doesn’t take much to get me excited about my weight-loss book!

I just posted on facebook that The Weight-Loss Paradox temporarily hit #3 in its categories on Amazon.com.au. That was quite a thrill!

To help get it back up there, I’ll continue publicising it, and sharing some of the insights that make up my enlightened approach to body weight and diet.

For example:

Those people who can eat whatever they want and not put on weight… there’s a chapter about them in The Weight-Loss Paradox.

I’ve since confirmed with a number of these people that while they can eat whatever they want, the simple truth is that they usually don’t want to eat a lot. They might regularly skip meals, or eat only a token amount of food.

What fools the rest of us is that they tend to eat more on social occasions, because social eating has its own logic…and its own chapter in the book.

So while we see these perpetually thin people scoff down impressive quantities at parties and social gatherings, we tend not to follow them around 24/7 to confirm their actual caloric intake.

We watch them eat huge amounts when we’re all socialising, and when questioned they will say they eat whatever they want, and simply don’t gain weight.

How cruel that sounds! If I eat whatever I want, I’ll end up severely overweight if not obese. Yet these people can eat whatever they want, and might even struggle to stay at a healthy weight.

The problem is that “whatever I want” means different things to different people.

If you ever did find someone who could eat objectively excessive amounts of food and still not put on weight, you should encourage them to see a doctor, because that doesn’t sound normal.

If you’d like to read more about it, it’s all in my book The Weight-Loss Paradox – available on Kindle and in paperback.

 

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My first non-fiction ebook!

When I tell people I’ve been writing a diet book they’re typically speechless.

I choose to interpret their reaction as one of awestruck silence.

Awestruck is incidentally how I felt when I came across the photograph that now adorns the cover of my new ebook, The Weight-Loss Paradox: an Enlightened Approach to Body Weight and Diet.

I’m also pretty proud of the book itself. It’s not a long book at only 14,000 words, but it’s the culmination of several years of thinking about body weight and the psychology and ethics of eating.

But more than anything it reflects my own success in using my insights and reasoning as a philosopher to help me lose weight without trying. That is, I lost 20kg without feeling like I was trying to lose weight, and I did it in the firm conviction that if I truly understood the whole dynamic of eating and body weight it would change my mind, my relationship with food, and my whole life.

A quick shout-out to my former PhD supervisor Dr John Quilter: this probably isn’t the continuation of my work on free will, intellectualism and voluntarism you were expecting, but on the other hand I bet it’s the only diet book in existence that explicitly asserts “To know the good is to do the good!”

Like anything in life, this book won’t be for everyone. But if you or someone you know is thoroughly sick of the confusion and mixed-messages surrounding dieting and weight loss, or despondent and demotivated at the very thought of losing weight, my book may be exactly what you need.

I’ve been overweight for more than half my life, all my adult life until now. At my worst I was over 100kgs, right at the cusp of obesity according to my BMI (Body Mass Index). I’m now well into the normal range, and my weight stays consistently at or under 85kg.

In hindsight, I used to be someone who valued the enjoyment of eating so highly that I would never turn down good food unless I was physically incapable of eating it. I never understood people who could say no to a second helping of something delicious, or who could refuse a treat. I never even imagined I could be one of those people.

I finally found an approach to eating that makes sense, and I gradually changed my eating habits. I still enjoy food, and I still occasionally overeat. But most of the time my eating habits reflect my body’s actual needs in that moment. Isn’t that the ideal?

But for me the best part is that it’s not about weight anymore. In fact my weight loss really took off when I stopped thinking about it, and focused instead on the deeper motivations and dynamic that was driving my dysfunctional attitude to food.

In the end, being overweight was a symptom of that dysfunctional relationship with food. Weight loss is such a struggle because we expend most of our energy fighting a symptom instead of looking at the root cause.

The Weight-Loss Paradox: an Enlightened Approach to Body Weight and Diet is available exclusively on amazon kindle. If you don’t have a kindle, you can download a free kindle app that lets you read kindle ebooks on your PC or Mac, android or iOS devices. So you can buy the book at Amazon and then download it to the app on your preferred device.

Ebooks aren’t books, don’t have covers

I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to design an ebook cover for my new novel.

Who would have thought that over ten years of writing have done nothing – nothing – to improve my graphic design and drawing skills?

But I really want to get this book out there. So while I submit my manuscript to the few traditional publishers in Australia who actually welcome submissions, I’ve continued to research and experiment with cover designs that might not destroy all hope and curiosity in the would-be reader.

After investigating a number of options from crowdsourcing to having no cover at all, I finally succumbed to despair.

Fortunately, despair is where I do my best work.

I concluded it was hard to decide on a cover because I actually don’t care much about it, despite everyone saying a good cover is one of the key determinants of success.

But what does a book cover mean to me? I admit that a good cover is a wonderful thing…but I never before considered how these covers were made or where they came from. Now I know that publishers employ artists and graphic designers to create covers, but that’s part of the publisher’s trade along with printing and book binding.

Despite the prospect of “self-publishing” on Amazon, uploading an ebook doesn’t really make me a publisher anymore than playing a guitar on youtube would make me a recording company.

What I’ve actually done – and all I really wanted to do – is to write a story. It’s the publisher’s job to print books, and despite the neologism, an ebook is not a book.

To be precise, what I’ll finally be distributing on Amazon is a .mobi file containing my story. There is no cover, because there is no book. What we anachronistically refer to as ebook covers are simply advertisements.

Looking at it this way helps demystify the ebook cover a little. Plenty of people have already explained that an ebook cover is different from a physical book cover, and how the latter often fails to transfer successfully into a digital form. But it’s so different, perhaps it’s better not to think of it as a cover at all.

If nothing else, this helps me lower my expectations. At this stage, I don’t want to hire an artist to create something for my book.  Nor do I want to leave it blank or text-only. That leaves plenty of room for compromise.

At the very least, it only needs to not scare people away. If it draws some people in, better still. But we’re a long way from the ideal of having an amazing artist read your book and create something that captures the very essence of your story.

Maybe one day.