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Book Review: Nice Girls Finish Fat

My fourth book, NICE GIRLS FINISH FAT—PUT YOURSELF FIRST AND CHANGE YOUR EATING FOREVER (Fireside Books, a division of Simon and Schuster), hits the shelves tomorrow, June 2! It’s the first book to link up doing too much and eating too much, and was written for all of you women who take care of others with your warm hearts and generous natures and take care of yourselves through multiple trips to the refrigerator. “Nice” men who abuse food will benefit from reading the book as well.

NICE GIRLS FINISH FAT developed from my gradual realizations about the excessive niceness of the women I treat for food problems—smiling all the time, dutiful about keeping appointments, guilt stricken when they can’t pay me on time, apologizing for half the session for coming a few minutes late, and spending much of our time wailing about how much they have to do, how imperfect they are, how exhausted they get taking care of other people, and how sick and tired they are of their eating and weight problems. Over time, it hit me that there’s a deep connection between women’s over- niceness and food struggles, including putting others’ first and themselves last and eating when they’re upset, wiped out, stressed or distressed.

True to my first two books, this one is conversational, brimming with humor, filled with questions and exercises to help you identify your “nice” problems, and strewn with tips and strategies for correcting them. It provides a “nice” girl test, manifesto, recovery techniques and case studies of “nice” girls who’re just like you. Chapters include:
If It Doesn’t Have Frosting, What Good Is It? Finding Substitutes to Eating
I Am Woman, Hear Me Chew! Taking Care of Family
Do I Look Like Santa’s Helper? Taking Care at Work
Me, Me, Me, Me, Me…Just Practicing! Learning to Be Selfish

It probably comes as no surprise that the personality characteristics of “nice” girls with food problems include discomfort with confrontation and saying no, feeling responsible for keeping the world spinning, needing to be perfect 24/7, fear of being perceived as selfish, having low expectations of to be treated, lacking clear and firm boundaries, and holding poor self-esteem. The book’s focus is not on getting you to throw out all of your niceness, but to give you an attitude adjustment that puts you in better balance—so that you can be nice to others and to yourself. Trust me, when you start putting yourself first, you’ll see an amazing improvement in your relationship with food.