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5 out of 5 stars. Never Binge Again was inspiring, straight forward advice with a writing style that reads like a blog post. All the online material screams scam, but it's not!
"Identifying and caging your fat-thinking alter-ego is how YOU finally come to dominate all your food decisions and permanently reprogram yourself to think like a thin person." (11)
Meaningful Quotes and Concepts:
"The ONLY way you're ever going to succeed is if you accept 100% responsibility for every bite and swallow." (24)
"You already have a food plan whether you write it done or not. It's impossible to function each day without making decisions about what you'll never, always, sometimes, and conditionally eat. The problem is, most people make these decisions unconsciously." (37)
You know what you can and can't eat, what you like and don't like - and you structure your diet accordingly. What this book does is flush out those rules, so they don't rule you.
"The key is recognizing there is a very real survival drive which the Pig hijacks and turns against us. Humans are wired to seek sustenance as a major priority in three situations: (1) when nutrients are depleted; (2) when we get too cold and: (3) when our blood sugar drops too low. Sometimes, we also confuse dehydration with hunger. Therefore: You can keep the discomfort associated with cravings to a minimum by staying relatively warm and hydrated, and consuming regular, consistent, healthy meals." (47)
"The philosophy behind "progress not perfection" as a before tool is one of hopeless abandon to the Pig's impulses. To adopt the "progress not perfection" ideology is to believe it's literally impossible to dominate your Cravings. Progress-not-perfection says there will eventually come an irresistible urge which forces you to indulge... it's just a matter of time." (56)
"Perfectionism is only a set up for a Binge when you allow the Pig to use it to retrospectively assign powerlessness to you--After a mistake has occurred." (56)
The nuance of this is not lost on me. I understand this website's name is "Progress, Not Perfection" and that Never Binge Again criticizes the slogan. I agree with Livingston on his point, and I think he would agree with my philosophy.
I believe the two concepts can be accurate at the same time. A passage on page 54 talks about the different philosophies for before and after a binge. It's the difference between "I'm determined not to binge" and "I'm going to pick myself up after making a mistake." Livingston doesn't want you to switch the two philosophies.
When Livingston didn't binge, he discovered he was fully present and content. I found this also. When I don't binge, I feel ten times better. I'm not sluggish or sleepy; I don't want to nap in the middle of the afternoon, every afternoon. I think if everyone knew what it was like to eat a balanced diet, they would never go back to binging.
"No matter what your Food Plan, if you keep Caging Your Pig you should naturally begin evolving towards healthy food. The reason I'm so confident about this is because the places you'll naturally choose to cage the Pig are those in which you experience the most unpleasant side effects of toxic pleasure. As you eliminate more and more toxic pleasure from your diet, you'll naturally gravitate towards getting your nutrition from healthier foods." (85 - 86)
On pages 96 and 97, Livingston talks about how addiction is seen as a disease and creates a victim. This concept was new for me, and though I understand the victim mentality, I'm not familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous or the 12 Step Addiction program. I want to explore the principle further.
"The key is understanding willpower is only necessary when there's actually a choice to be made, but when your options are clearly constrained beyond all reasonable doubt, deciding requires virtually no effort at all." (115)
"Mastering rules and discipline is how we increase freedom in our society, not restrict it! Here's another way to look at it: Freedom isn't free! It's only for those willing to pay the price." (122)
My One Complaint:
I always want people to cite their sources, but Livingston doesn't. It makes me skeptical of him and his methods because I don't know if his claims are correct, and he didn't provide a way for me to investigate.
Pg. 14 "We can't completely eliminate it from our lives because the Pig is intimately connected to an anatomical structure we need to survive (the midbrain)." Livingston does not cite sources for neuroanatomy explanation.
Pg. 41 "But still, in much the same way prisoners of war can be inoculated against brainwashing by pre-exposing them to the techniques their captors are likely to use." Livingston does not cite sources for prisoners of war analogy.
Pg. 47 - 48 "Acknowledge the difference between killing a craving and "getting high" with the hyper=palatable treats our modern food industry has engineered to overstimulate our brain's reward center." Livingston does not cite sources for how modern medicine and the food industry influences our diets.
I like that the food plan has to be unique to the individual. I am a firm believer in individualism and that it works. The ability to work out a special diet is critical to becoming healthier and something that I preach on this site.
There is so much dietary advice that the controversy of providing rules would cause more confusion. The best solution is allowing everyone to explore and find what works best for them.
(Some of) My food rules:
Always drink at least half a gallon of water each day.
No processed foods unless eating out, on vacation, or with family
Eat only designated calorie amount (May be subject to change depending on weight/exercise regiment/etc.)
Never eat less than 1600 calories a day.
Conclusion: Buy this book; it will help you stop binging!
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