Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Review: How We Lost Weight and Kept It Off

A Fair Trade Book 

Title: How We Lost Weight and Kept It Off

Author: Jim and Tammy Bakker

Jim Bakker's web site:

Date: 1979

Publisher: self-published

ISBN: none

Length: 63 numbered pages plus about 40 unnumbered pages of photos and appendices

Illustrations: black-and-white photos and drawings

Quote: “Actually, it was more that I felt healthier, than it was that I wanted to lose weight.”

Is this a book, you might ask, or a collector’s item, a celebrity souvenir? Or, would I take those Bakkers’ word for anything any more?

It is indeed hard to trust people who’ve embarrassed themselves as thoroughly as the Bakkers did in 1987. One wants to believe that God can help Christians change their behavior, but when you’ve seen someone stand up and rant about the sanctity of marriage and then admit that everything a slutty younger woman says about him is true, the feeling persists that if this guy told you it was raining you’d look out the window.

So I looked out the window and it was raining. Through all his publicized trials and his partial comeback, Jim Bakker’s face changed considerably from the little-boy look he has on the cover of How We Lost Weight, but he kept that trim and dapper figure. Tammy Faye’s bottom-heavy figure continued to fluctuate, but she never bloated back up to 130 pounds. (There’s a picture of tiny Tammy Faye at 130 pounds in this book. Many women look their best at 130 pounds, and some look skinny at 130 pounds, but Tammy Faye looked porky.) What they did to lose weight obviously worked.

Their dieting success is not surprising when you read the book. What they did was what doctors were starting to advise everyone to do. Don’t go on a starvation diet; just eat sensibly and get plenty of exercise. The health benefits of exercise go beyond making sure that weight lost will come from the right places.

This book was not sold in stores; it was a souvenir offered to those who visited the Bakkers’ home church and theme park. If you feel empathy for the Bakkers, or would like a souvenir of their rapid-upward-mobility years, you want this book.

If you want more specifics about a diet for normal weight maintenance, I recommend visiting one or both of two doctors who’ve offered maintenance diet books with excellent recipes, who now have web sites. Stephen Sinatra offers Mediterranean-inspired recipes for those who don’t want to go vegan but need encouragement to reduce their animal fat consumption. John McDougall offers vegan (and frequently gluten-free) recipes that are reasonably easy to prepare, and have enough flavor and substance to satisfy carnivores.

If you do want to read about the Bakkers, send the usual $5 per book, $5 per package, and $1 per online payment to this web site and we'll send $1 to Jim Bakker or a charity of his choice.