Are You Ready!

Written by: Bob Harper

Published By: Broadway Books

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus

            Itís the beginning of March and I am wondering how many of us are vanquishing our New Yearís resolution of losing weight.  If you are one of millions of people who chose losing weight as their resolution and have gotten out of the routine, then take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  Each year, by February, most people have given up on the diet and fitness plans that are required to lose weight.  Trust me, there is no magic pill or piece of abdominal equipment available that can conquer the weight demon Ė if there were, I would have found it by now.  If you do not work out and follow diet guidelines, you will never effectively keep off the pounds.  But take heart Ė you are in luck!  Bob Harper has written a great guide for losing weight and maintaining the loss called Are You Ready!.

            Bob Harper is best known for his training of the obese on the hit television series, The Biggest Loser.  Bob has been getting people to eat right and exercise for years quite successfully.  So many people on this show have tried the diets, the workouts, the alternative medicine and surgeries but cannot keep the pounds down.  Bob always manages to get inside the personís mind to find out the reasons behind the eating habits and lack of exercise and breaks the cycle.

            In the first chapters of this book, Bob takes you to the mental place where losing weight begins, which is being honest with yourself.  First, accept where you are right now with your health and weight.  Forgive what you have done in the past to put yourself in this position.  To get past what has happened, you need to forgive and love yourself.  Itís what Bob calls ďSetting Your Inner Compass.Ē - basically speaking, getting mentally ready for the challenges ahead.  In reading the first couple of chapters, I really felt re-energized toward my goals.  It was as if for the first time, I was being honest about my bad habits as well.  Bob really makes you think before you begin any eating or workout regiment.

            Once you are past the mental challenge of gearing up for real change in your life that is lasting, Bob is going to make you understand what food is and does by using his ďEating PlanĒ which he claims is not a diet.  I have to agree that most of the food Bob recommends is not diet food.  Itís food you would normally consume.  The key is portion control, which is clearly explained so there is no confusion.  If you are like me, a portion used to be huge, but not anymore now that I am informed and have also purchased a good food scale.  Bob gives you a food list to choose from that is extensive.  If you canít find something you like on these lists, give up now, because other than processed and junk foods, itís all there.  You can choose beef, poultry, fish and vegetarian options, so no one will be left out.

            There are cooking tips, like not using too much fat in preparation or not smothering your food in high calorie sauces, but instead using heart healthy fats.  He also has Quick Meals suggestions in this part of the book that help if you are not a cook or just plain donít have the time to guess what to eat.  However, no matter how you plan your meals, he suggests a food journal.  I do a food journal and Iíve found that itís very helpful for your annual check-up with your doctor.  They can glance at it and give you suggestions based on your level of health.

            Of course, in the last chapters of the book, we have Bobís signature workout plan.  Bob starts you off slow with four weeks of cardio and gradually adds his workout moves and weight training.  You can modify the moves for beginners and then work up to the more challenging option.  I think these signature moves are worth their weight in gold.  They donít just isolate one muscle group; they work the whole body to build lean mean muscle without having to use a lot of different equipment.  I used to spend hours in a gum on many different machines to do the same thing Bob does with less time and effort.

            If you havenít read this treasure of a book, you need to.  I have tried all the diets and all the workout programs out there and I will tell you from experience that it is not easy.  This plan makes sense.  Itís not a fast track that will help you loose the weight overnight only to gain it back and get more frustrated.  Itís a plan for life.  Itís the healthy way to great health.  You will learn to be honest about your habits.  You will learn the proper way to eat and what you should be eating.  You will learn how to start a real exercise program that anyone can do.  Best of all, you wonít have to do this all at once.  You can start slow and work on one thing at a time.  What do I mean?  Well, I thought it was important to work on my inner compass first and face my real health.  So, I went to my doctors to get started.  Then I added the eating plan and then, slowly, the exercise.  It is a battle we cal all win thanks to Bob Harper and Are You Ready!.


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