The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier, and Fitter--One Month at a Time Hardcover – December 30, 2019
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About the Author
Jennifer Ashton, M.D., is the Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News, and an ob-gyn in private practice. A known and beloved expert in medical health and specifically women’s health, she is a published author, educator, and popular television personality. She lives in New York City.
- Publisher : William Morrow (December 30, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062885421
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062885425
- Item Weight : 15.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.97 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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January - alcohol
February - push-ups and planks
March - meditation
April - cardio
May - less meat
June - drink more water
July - walk more
August - tech diet
September - reduce sugar intake
October - stretching
November - sleep
December - laugh
The task for you is simple: Change one small thing each month instead of tackling everything at once and then failing spectacularly. “Trying to cut gluten, dairy, meat, coffee, and alcohol all at once, for example, usually means you’ll end up bingeing one night on an extra-large meat lover’s pizza with a few glasses of white wine and a pint of coffee ice cream for dessert. But if you were to eliminate, let’s say, only dairy, and you did it slowly over a sustained period of time while you focused on finding satisfying cheese, milk, and ice cream alternatives, you’d likely be successful.” So change one thing at a time. Then sustain it while you move on to your next challenge.
“[S]elf-care isn’t a matter of having time; it’s a matter of readjusting what you do with that time. Self-care is also something that everyone—from the busiest CEO to the hardest working TV personality with two jobs to the person who works from home—can make time for. … [E]ach month contains a different challenge, a new beginning, and a fresh chance for you to gain control over your health and happiness.”
It is worth noting, though, that this book is more about the author than it is about you. I think you can probably gain all of the benefit from her idea by reading this review and then sitting down and making your own list of what YOU need to tackle. For example, I don’t drink alcohol, I already drink plenty of water, I’m a vegetarian, and I couldn’t do a plank to save my life (and that’s not likely to change). Right there, a third of her book is useless to me. On the other hand, I could definitely stand to floss more. Sit less. Avoid chocolate. Maintain my hypoglycemic diet better. You get the idea. I’m sure you have your own list.
BOTTOM LINE: As you decide which book(s) to embrace in the new year (and the new decade!), you can safely leave this one off your list - although you might want to give some serious thought to her idea of making one change per month.
Each of the areas listed above are broken down into months and the author shares her personal experience and medical statistics/information regarding that topic, how each impacts your overall health and what changes can be made to make improvements. Of particular interest to me was the chapter on walking. I’ve done a LOT of it in the last year and have reaped the benefits as I’ve lost 125 pounds. According to research noted in this book, there is evidence that regular walking may actually help you “loose weight on a cellular level...cut the effects of over 30 obesity producing genes in half...outsmart a genetic predisposition to obesity” Music to my walking ears!
Dr Ashton is double certified in /OBGYN and Nutrition and is a medical correspondent for ABC news. She writes well and is engaging with information that is reasonable, achievable and commonsensical. The reader will find something to grab onto and relate to in these pages and it will be easy to adapt to your individual needs. A good companion for your personal goals in the coming new year📚
Having said this, let me point out what I believe to be The Self-Care Solution's drawbacks, which focus primarily on the author's excessive injection of herself into the narrative. Too much of this book was about "I, Me, and My" with too little emphasis on the scientific research that went into Dr. Ashton's recommendations. True, she occasionally cited various research studies, but the references merely stated conclusions without an accounting of more intricate data gleaned from the research. Frequently, she did not even identify the study she was citing.
Dr. Ashton's numerous personal references compose the majority of her book, a dynamic I found annoying and distracting from the book's original intent. For example, the author referred time and again to her concern about her skin (complexion). Her physical appearance seemed more important to her than her health. In the chapter where she described taking control of her use of technology, I was offended when Dr. Ashton acknowledged having difficulty unplugging when with her children but not when with her boyfriend. Did she not recognize how this may have looked to her readers, especially those who are parents?
Finally, let me say a word about chapter twelve where Dr. Ashton recounts her December effort to incorporate more humor into her life. The author found humor in wearing a tiara. I found this chapter adolescent in tone, lacking in substance, and detracting from whatever credibility the author had established in first eleven chapters. Equally problematic for me was the author's assumption that other persons, including her colleagues, appreciated her expression of humor as much as she did even though they gave no indication of it. At the chapter's conclusion I found myself questioning the author's self-insight, emotional maturity, and ability to read social cues. For me, the final chapter lessened the authority with which I invested Dr. Ashton when I initially opened the book, thus taking away from the book's overall message--and this is the reason I awarded The Self-Care Solution two stars instead of three.