A Thumbs Up Book Review
A Life Unburdened: Getting Over Weight and Getting On With My Life
by Richard Morris
Review by Sally Fallon
What happens when a fat man who should have been a stand-up comic loses over 150 pounds and then writes about it? You get a book that is funny, sad, insightful, interesting, readable and inspirational.
What happens when a fat man who’s failed at all the diets stops blaming his lack of willpower and figures out that all the expert advice on dieting is wrong? You get a truly practical road map to successful weight loss.
What happens when a fat man wakes up to the fact that the only way to achieve real health is to eat real food? You get stunning, inspiring life-style transformation.
A Life Unburdened is a myth-breaker. Richard Morris demolishes them one after one: the myth that eating fat makes you fat, the myth that no food is better than any other food, the myth that junk food in moderation won’t hurt you, the myth that all calories are the same, the myth that no one has time to cook, the myth that losing weight will automatically make you healthy, the myth that exercise will cure disease. Morris sheds myths the way he has shed pounds, emerging as a new man from the fog of misinformation.
His program is simple. . . and absolutely radical: don’t eat processed food. Ever. Eat only real food and only when you have prepared it yourself.
And what is real food? All the foods the experts have told us not to eat: butter, lard, beef, whole raw milk, eggs, liver, coconut, cream.
His message is absolutely liberating: the only way to lose weight and be healthy is to eat foods that are satisfying. Satisfying foods are foods that contain the F word—fat, old-fashioned fats, which our ancestors ate. Satisfying foods are foods prepared the way your grandmother made them, with soup bones and love. Satisfying foods are foods that give your body what it needs, so you’re not hungry an hour later. Satisfying foods grow in gardens nearby, not monocropped furrows in far-off places. Satisfying foods come from animals that live outdoors, not in factories. Satisfying foods have not been adulterated, embalmed, emulsified, sterilized, pasteurized, irradiated, manipulated or standardized.
Morris arrives at his breathtaking epiphany by asking the right questions. Why were the members of his family getting fatter, and fatter sooner, with each generation? Why were they dying so young when his grandparents lived so long? Why did he keep hearing that food should be convenient? Why did dieting make him depressed and lethargic? Why did the “experts,” the MDs, PhDs and RDs, keep promoting the same dietary advice when it obviously was not working?
Morris does not have a bunch of letters after his name but he has a different kind of credentials–he’s been there, been in the trenches. He has lived the physical and emotional agony of being fat. He has lost weight on all the diets–before gaining it back and more. And he has achieved the supreme accomplishment of transforming himself from an obese to a normal man by making one revolutionary change: real food instead of processed food. Everything else followed from there–slow and steady weight loss, a rebirth of optimism, the end to cravings, resolution of health problems, enthusiasm for exercise, new goals, improved family life, hope for the future.
A Life Unburdened is more than just a diet book, it is a saga, and more than a saga of one man only, but of a couple and a family, a saga in which the discerning and supportive role of Richard’s wife Mary emerges as an example of quiet heroics. It is a modern epic of self-transformation, one that unfolds with suspense and drama, as one suburban family replaces commercialism with wise principles. It begins in despair and ends in triumph.
Read, learn and enjoy!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2005/Spring 2006.