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Authors: Alice Randall

Ada's Rules

BOOK: Ada's Rules
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CONTENTS

Title Page

Dedication

Epigraph

How to Use My, Ada Howard's, Novel as a Diet Book

1. Don't keep doing what you've always been doing

2. Make a plan: Set clear, multiple, and changing goals

3. Weigh yourself daily

4. Be a role model

5. Don't attack your own team; don't let anyone on your team attack you

6. Identify and learn from iconic diet books

7. Walk thirty minutes a day—every day

8. See your doctor

9. Do the DNA test

10. Budget: Plan to afford the feeding, exercising, and dressing of you

11. Get eight hours of sleep nightly

12. Eat breakfast

13. Self-medicate with art: Quash boredom and anxiety

14. Consider surgery

15. Keep a food diary and a body journal

16. Add a second exercise three times a week

17. Drink eight glasses of water daily

18. Eat sitting down

19. Eat slowly

20. Find a snack you like that likes you

21. Access the power of quick fixes: poems, fingernail polish, and waxing

22. Add a Zen exercise: hooping, water jogging, watsu, and yoga

23. Don't be afraid to look cheap—in restaurants

24. Manage portion sizes

25. Eat every three hours

26. Savor Hot and Cold, the power of herbal teas and flavored ice cubes

27. Don't initiate change you can't stick with for five years

28. Find and create DNA-based go-to meals: a homemade and healthy house specialty and a healthy and palatable frozen dinner

29. Use consultants: trainers, masseuses, nutrionists, and priests

30. Massage your own feet

31. Drink cautiously: no juice, no soft drinks, no food coloring, no corn syrup, no fake sugar; examine alcohol and caffeine intake

32. Bathe to calm or bathe to excite: recipes for baths

33. Invent DNA-based care packages that work for you and yours

34. Don't stay off the wagon when you fall off the wagon—and you will fall off the wagon

35. Get therapy

36. Create your own spa day

37. Get better hair

38. Fake it till you make it: fine foundations and wide smiles

39. Update beauty rituals and tools

40. Shop for your future self

41. Take one bite of anything and never more than two bites of anything decadent

42. Uni up: get yourself a uniform, for day and for night

43. Front-load: Eat before you go to parties; drink water before meals

44. Draw a map of your body

45. Update your goals

46. Create your own spa week

47. Get better hair down there

48. Seize the proper props: scarves, shoes, purses, sunglasses, and respect

49. Don't stop short of your goal

50. Celebrate dappled beauty daily: the power of the imperfect and good-enough

51. Cultivate new interests

52. Make a health and beauty calendar

53. Do it for you

Acknowledgments

A Note on the Author

By the Same Author

Copyright

To Fannie Lou Hamer and every big and beautiful black
woman who has carried far more than her weight more
times than was noticed.

So the very first rule of this diet book is, If you want to be skinny
easy, pick skinny parents. If you can't pick skinny parents, read
my book. And if you picked skinny parents and you want to stay
skinny in this new fat world—read my book.

HOW TO USE MY, ADA HOWARD'S,
NOVEL AS A DIET BOOK

I lost seventy pounds writing this book. I imagined myself thin. I used what I had to get what I wanted. And you can too. My way, the Ada way.

“Eat less, move more. I know what to do, I just don't do it.” Maybe what we're supposed to do doesn't work. And by doesn't work, I don't mean, you do it and you don't lose weight. I mean, girl, you do it and get hungry, grumpy, and less productive—so you stop doing it.

You go back to feeding yourself the way you fed yourself before—to make up for treating yourself so bad in the pursuit of superficial stuff like beauty, and important stuff like health. You tell yourself, “If this is what I have to do to have a long life, I don't want one.”

What if there's another way to go? What if we combine folk wisdom with targeted DNA science and then throw in a few new pleasures and old comforts? What if we form superior habits that crowd out the ones that have served us so poorly? What if we stop appealing to our self-discipline and start appealing to our hedonism?

Ada does, and gets skinnier.

What if you reconnect exercise to play, and substitute sex for dessert and prayer for chicken soup? What if you start rewarding yourself with reading a great poem, or listening to a great song, rather than eating ice cream? What if you start treating yourself to a foray into a foreign culture by downloading a zouk song in French, watching a steamy Telemundo melodrama, rewatching
Tampopo
, or taking in a Bollywood extravaganza instead of chowing down on fajitas, or saag aloo, or pancake house crepes, or California roll and tempura and miso and lettuce salad with sweet and fat, orange, never-seen-in-Japan dressing?

If you did any, or all, of that, you'd be living by Ada's Rules.

Ada, me, and Ada, the star of my book,
Ada's Rules
, who is almost exactly like me. Except, for example, my husband's church is called Shiloh Baptist, not Full Love Gospel Tabernacle. And I didn't drop out of divinity school; I graduated from the American Baptist College, but never entered church work. I do work at KidPlay but it's really called KidPlace. This is fiction. With a whole lot of truth in it.

So many people daydream about what their life would be like if it were exactly the same—except thinner. Which is a lot like daydreaming about winning a lottery. What happens if one thing changes out of the blue? Usually not much. Lottery winners who were broke at the get-go are broke five years later. What happens when everything changes? Most everybody.

Finding, adding, and chasing new pleasure changes things.
Ada's Rules
pokes us to stop trying to be stoic and start trying to embrace our inner epicurean—our love of all that is delicious and celebrates life—while keeping up with the humdrum daily. And we all got a whole lot of humdrum daily.

Read as a diet book,
Ada's Rules
will lead you to and through creating a healthy liaison with food—and with exercise and body and beauty and youth and age and work and even death—a liaison that will leave you happier when you look into the mirror, more confident when you face a routine blood lab test, more joyful when you close your eyes, no matter what else is going on. And there's always a lot of mess going on.

As you read
Ada's Rules
and root for Ada as she uses what she has to get what she wants, I hope that you will be inspired, as I was inspired writing Ada, to go on your own health and beauty hunt. Seventy pounds later, I'm not a babe and I'm not a blob. I'm good-looking—and that's plenty good enough for me.

This novel will help you lose one to two pounds a week. If you have less than twenty pounds to lose, the fifty-two-day plan repeated should help you get there. If you have twenty to a hundred pounds to lose, try the fifty-two-week plan.

Whether you have seven, or seventy, or a hundred and seven pounds to lose, if you read this book and work Ada's Rules, you're going to be more fit and less fat. And you're going to help balance the national budget.

How's that? Fat is a multibillion-dollar problem for America. That's a lot of money spent on dialysis, heart surgeries, and medicines that would not need to be spent if everybody followed my rules.

So if you don't have weight to lose—read Ada's story anyway.

It will help you create your own little invisible Eden where you eat and exercise with beauty, which, for me and for Ada, means with grace and power. And my very own slogan:
Pitch Your Beauty Revival Tent: Come and Get It—Ada's Rules: 53 Steps to Your BSN—Best Self Now!
One rule for each week of the year and one to grow on—or one to trade out if there's one you can't stand!

Ada's Rules: Fifty-three Perfect Rules for an Imperfect but Excellent Health and Beauty Revival

1. Don't keep doing what you've always been doing.

2. Make a plan: Set clear, multiple, and changing goals.

3. Weigh yourself daily.

4. Be a role model.

5. Don't attack your own team; don't let anyone on your team attack you.

6. Identify and learn from iconic diet books.

7. Walk thirty minutes a day—every day.

8. See your doctor.

9. Do the DNA test.

10. Budget: Plan to afford the feeding, exercising, and dressing of you.

11. Get eight hours of sleep nightly.

12. Eat breakfast.

13. Self-medicate with art: Quash boredom and anxiety.

14. Consider surgery.

15. Keep a food diary and a body journal.

16. Add a second exercise three times a week.

17. Drink eight glasses of water daily.

18. Eat sitting down.

19. Eat slowly.

20. Find a snack you like that likes you.

21. Access the power of quick fixes: poems, fingernail polish, and waxing.

22. Add a Zen exercise: hooping, water jogging, watsu, and yoga.

23. Don't be afraid to look cheap—in restaurants.

24. Manage portion sizes.

25. Eat every three hours.

26. Savor HOT and COLD, the power of herbal teas and flavored ice cubes.

27. Don't initiate change you can't stick with for five years.

28. Find and create DNA-based go-to meals: a homemade and healthy house specialty AND a healthy and palatable frozen dinner.

29. Use consultants: trainers, masseuses, nutrionists, and priests.

30. Massage your own feet.

31. Drink cautiously: no juice, no soft drinks, no food coloring, no corn syrup, no fake sugar; examine alcohol and caffeine intake.

32. Bathe to calm or bathe to excite: recipes for baths.

33. Invent DNA-based care packages that work for you and yours.

34. Don't stay off the wagon when you fall off the wagon—and you will fall off the wagon.

35. Get therapy.

36. Create your own spa day.

37. Get better hair.

38. Fake it till you make it: fine foundations and wide smiles.

39. Update beauty rituals and tools.

40. Shop for your future self.

41. Take ONE bite of anything and never more than TWO bites of anything decadent.

42. Uni up: get yourself a uniform, for day and for night.

43. Front-load: Eat before you go to parties; drink water before meals.

44. Draw a map of your body.

45. Update your goals.

46. Create your own spa week.

47. Get better hair down there.

48. Seize the proper props: scarves, shoes, purses, sunglasses, and respect.

49. Don't stop short of your goal.

50. Celebrate dappled beauty daily: the power of the imperfect and good-enough.

51. Cultivate new interests.

52. Make a health and beauty calendar.

53. Do it for you.

Blessings,
Ada

P.S. You may want send off for the DNA test before you even start reading, so it is there when you finish. And make an appointment to see your internist. Or stop in at a doc-in-a-box. Nobody should start a diet or exercise plan without seeing a doctor first.

P.P.S.
Home Training
is coming. It just didn't come first.

1
DON'T KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN DOING
BOOK: Ada's Rules
13.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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