Dumping Diets and Focusing on Fitness

A good friend recently confessed that she has been dieting for nearly 50 years.

She’s a beautiful, healthy woman who carries herself with grace and self-assurance, so I was shocked to hear her years of personal sacrifice and denial began when she was just eight years old.

photo-15Over tapas downtown Seattle, I probed the how’s and why’s of her long journey, and discussed her successes and lessons learned.

The good news is the answers are clear in an eBook she published on Amazon.com yesterday. 50 Things I Learned in 50 Years of Dieting offers Laurie Fritts’ tips, experiences and philosophy on what has become an international obsession for women.

It’s rare to find a woman who has never, ever pushed herself to diet. In fact, a quick Google search revealed these statistics:

– The average American woman spends 31 years on a diet;

– The average British woman has tried 61 diets by the age of 45;

Eighty-three percent of college women diet regularly, whether they are overweight or not;

Sixty five percent of American women between the ages of 25 – 45 report they have engaged in unhealthy purging activities (e.g. diet pills, laxatives, vomiting);

– Nearly 48 percent of women who are NOT overweight think they ARE;

– And, despite all the dieting and our $60-billion diet industry, some 64 percent of women remain overweight or obese.

In her pithy, practical and philosophical guide, Fritts suggests that the focus should not be on “getting skinny.” In her book, she gives women permission to forgo trendy diets and instead “eat healthier, exercise and adopt an attitude that allows them to discover their strongest, healthiest and most beautiful selves.”

Fritts writes about which foods to eat and which to avoid, how to develop an exercise habit and stick to it and ways to change old thinking into a new mindset. And, because she minored in philosophy in college, Fritts throws in a bit of deep thinking, too.

“It’s about being comfortable in your own skin,” she says. “I think you should strive to have as good a body and as healthy a body as you can. The book is about supporting your health and your well being.”

Fritts definitely speaks from experience. From that moment at age eight, when she stood on the toilet, looked at her bathing-suit-clad body and determined she was overweight, she has tried virtually every conceivable diet.

However, she adds that over the past five decades, “I have not just been obsessed with dieting, but also with health and exercise.” Her goal has never been to wear a size 0 jeans, but at the same time, she doesn’t think women should feel good about being overweight, either.

50 Things I Learned in 50 Years of Dieting kicks off with Lesson 1: “You eat what you are” – meaning “mind comes before body, and thoughts determine actions and eating habits.” Other chapters include advice on good and bad foods, running, toxic friends and getting rid of old baggage.

With humor and aplomb, she tackles topics including:

– “Why sugar is worse than heroin” (it’s as pure and just as addictive, and has no nutritional value)

– What God has to do with cellulite

– How to “stop whining and start winning” (“if you want to live up to your full potential…start treating your body like a temple”)

“I talk about clean foods, what foods and food combinations are good for you, how to get inspiration to exercise and how to avoid excuses,” Fritts says. “My goal is to inspire and motivate.”

50 Things I Learned in 50 Years of Dieting is available as a Kindle edition on Amazon.com for $5.99: http://www.amazon.com/Things-Learned-Years-Dieting-ebook/dp/B00BBZBUIY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360223268&sr=1-1&keywords=laurie+fritts

– Linda Williams Rorem, 7 February 2013
To subscribe, email PermissionSlips1@gmail.com


  1. Carrie Lovsted says:

    I can’t wait to get and read Lori’s book! I am sure it will be funny and inspirational! Thanks for telling us about it! Carrie


  1. […] Dumping Diets and Focusing on Fitness – Permission to make peace with your body / Review of Laurie Fritts’ book (Linda) […]

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