Friday, December 20, 2013

The 7th day of Xmas Transformation Book List; "The Swing"

What would a transformation book list be without my own story, The Swing?  I've never really promoted my own book in the sense of hard sell. (which is why it wasn't on the 1st day!)  Maybe because I feel embarrassed about asking, or telling anybody what they should spend their money on, but The Swing is a damn good book!  If you can get through the second part of the book, that explains the hows and whys the kettlebell swing works so quickly and efficiently, and don't want to pick up a kettlebell, then I don't know what to tell you!  All too often I hear people that are overweight claim "I've tried everything!" to which I answer, "yeah, you've tried everything but eat right and exercise consistently"!  "Trying" has nothing to do with changing your overweight life to a normal weight life.  "Doing" is the key.

But The Swing is not about weightloss as much as it is about transformation.  How crazy is it that this formerly life long fat girl now has your attention? That this former fat girl is teaching you how to train the kettlebell swing?  That this former fat girl can look back on the last 8 years and say, with confidence, that it's never been a struggle, a fight, a burden, a drag, but instead it's been a joy.  I've replaced the idea of "maintenance" with a new idea, "permanence"!  I'm finally the person I knew I was, no longer acting out all the perceived wrongs of my childhood (well, most of the time, lol!).  Enough drama.  If you don't own The Swing then please consider getting a copy. If not for you, maybe someone you care about, or if you are a trainer I truly believe it's a book you should have in your library for clients.  It's the perfect substitute when you can't be there to answer all their questions and keep them motivated and excited to train with you again!

Another book that I highly recommend is "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansick.  Sure, there are many good books on diet and exercise, but sometimes too much information paralyzes us.  Mindless eating has a simple approach; learn how the food industry and our own food scarcity mindset can trick us into eating much more than we may think we do....which is why food journalling is so important.  Educating ourselves about retail trickery helps us to identify how much unconscious eating we do based on "feelings", not facts (real hunger).  One of the points Michael Pollan makes in "Omnivores Dilemma" (another good book) is that the food industry doesn't care if we actually eat the food we buy, only that we buy it!  I just ordered another copy of Mindless Eating on tape to play in my car.  I loaned out the two hard copies I had but never made sure to get them back.

Here's the I just mentioned, we can paralyze ourselves with too much information.  I really and truly believe we already know, deep inside ourselves, the answers of how to get, achieve, and create the things we truly want in our lives, including how we want to feel.  We are not dummies.  Calories in, calories out.  Use muscle, don't use muscle.  Move toward our best health, move away from our best health.  We make the choices and there are no secrets.  If you can lose 1 pound then you can lose 100 lbs.  If one person can do it, then it can be done.

A blast from the past!  Here is a short video taken in 2009 when I got the chance to be on The Dr Oz Show promoting Tim Ferriss's NY Times best seller "The 4 Hour Body".

ps last year The Swing was released in paperback, but you can still find hardback copies at a great discount! ie=UTF8&condition=new&sr=&qid= The hardcopy is a grgeous book but the benefits of a paperback are that it's easier to keep open if you are following along with the written decide. Thank you all for your interest and support.  I greatly appreciate it. 

pps  Although I think Ominvoire's Dilemma is a great book, and I do recommend it, I also feel that it can further induce too much paralyzing fear of the foods available in this country.  At the end of the day, organic, not organic, grass fed, hormone free, gmo free, seasonal, pasture raised, etc is for you, your conscious, and your budget to decide.  Me?  I chose not to live in fear.  I managed to lose over 100lbs never buying "organic" produce or grass fed beef and I became healthier than I had ever been in my life.  Preparing and cooking my own homemade foods and meals is most important to me.


Diana said...

I agree...."The Swing" is a good book! It's always just a arms length away if needed for reference.

There are a ton of diet books, as we all know, I've learned that reading what has become my favorite book has been the most beneficial to me changing my habits. All the diet and motivation books, at the end of the day, all say the same thing. The book I read teaches me how to first learn to love and accept myself which will then carry over into anything I want it to. We all, deep down, know that if we "graze" over a table of holiday snacks and "finger" foods we will add extra weight-we know that it is wrong, but any person who has low self-esteem, feels lonely, unloved or whatever, they won't care and they will get the "fix" they need emotionally from the food.
Full transformation definitely starts from the mind-that's my opinion!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I know exactly where you are coming from! But I think there is a misconception about what it means to love yourself.

Loving yourself does not mean settling for things you don't think you are capable of having or that you should settle for "fate", and love yourself regardless.

Loving and accepting the powerful creator that you are is something I totally and completely believe in.

Transformation does indeed start from within. I'm so looking forward to our time together! you have been a huge support over the years and I am truly grateful that you are my friend.

Susan K said...

Food journaling is an astonishing act/discipline to raise awareness of one's own actions.

It was instrumental in my own journey toward fat-loss and fitness. An amazing transformation took place over a 13-week period, well, and it continued from there.

For a variety of reasons (including more unconscious eating, or stress-conscious, excuse-ridden eating), I think that it's time to resume that discipline.

I've been appreciating the series of posts you've undertaken recently, Tracy. As far as it goes with me, no, you are not wasting your breath!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you for reminding me of that blog post 5 YEARS AGO! And sadly little has changed (with the friends I was referring to) In fact when I posted my first "10 x 10" video it was this exact mood I was in and the tone in my voice I was using was one I could barely contain!

I think it's time to repost this the week between Xmas and the New Year! Thank you again. I always learn so much from the comments my readers take the time to post :)

And more about journalling too because it works! It may not work in terms of amazing weightloss for everybody, but it works on so many other levels. Awareness, first of all, accountability as well as responsibility.

Susan K said...

Just thinking out loud here... there are two sets of conversations.

The first are among the people you interact with day to day or time to time. It's face to face. You talk with friends, acquaintances, relatives or whomever who say, "Whoa. Amazing transformation… I wish I…" and for them, the internal mental grammar of that sentence is made of some kinda fluffy stuff, where wishes are flitting fantasies, and not a first step in articulating a path of change. They speak Cotton Candy Melty Intentions.

Those words "Oh, Your transformation, I wish I…" have a different meaning to them than they do to you, the listener. You, one day in your past, said those words, meant those words, and backed up your words with action. A kerjillion times, action. Daily, action. And so you HEAR the words through the lens of your experience.

(oops. synesthesia alert. you hear through something, you see through a lens, but you don't hear through a lens. I don't know the name for the medium through which you hear, so I'll leave the mixed up senses as is.)

Those words, "I wish I…" when you spoke them weren't cotton candy melty words, but daily sweat it, commit it, do it words. You matched those words to practical action, commitment, dedication, and new activities.

And now when you hear those words, you hear them through the lens of your experience. (oh noes. moar synesthesia)

"I wish I…" isn't a vague statement unmoored to any timeframe, dandelion-drifting… (someday maybe but oh not now, not tomorrow, maybe next week, next month, or… )

"I wish I…" for you, is a gritty, practical today is this, tomorrow is that, and the next day is this or that. I wish I is the beginning of a sentence with action, with lived experience. Of commitment.

And, so. Disconnect.

A grammar of vague wishfulness crashes up against a grammar of gut-level daily lived practical thing. "I wish I…" means two completely different things.

You see, so clearly, the lost opportunities of remaining in cotton candy vague someday mindset.

Happily, this disconnect does not describe every conversation you have with every person.

Out in the world (Oh thank you internets. Thanks, Tim Ferriss for making the connection, initially, for those of us who had — and who have— have similar I wish I… and I. Want. To. Change. For Reals, and have google-fu to match) … out in the world there are those of us who are receptive, who wish to create our own changes, and express "I wish I…" in gritty, practical, lived experience of the thing I need to do today to make it so... and tomorrow.

Yay internets. We haven't talked face to face, but we do talk. And connect.

Okay, I thought out loud. A bit long. Oh my, it was flowery. It was a long day. Look at the hour. Recovered from my holiday errands; I've got a 30-minute date with a few ’bells. Because today's the day.