Authors: Alice Randall
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 worldâread my 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 productiveâso you stop doing it.
You go back to feeding yourself the way you fed yourself beforeâto 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
, 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,
, 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 sameâexcept 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.
pokes us to stop trying to be stoic and start trying to embrace our inner epicureanâour love of all that is delicious and celebrates lifeâwhile keeping up with the humdrum daily. And we all got a whole lot of humdrum daily.
Read as a diet book,
will lead you to and through creating a healthy liaison with foodâand with exercise and body and beauty and youth and age and work and even deathâa 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
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-lookingâand 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 loseâread 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 ItâAda's Rules: 53 Steps to Your BSNâBest Self Now!
One rule for each week of the year and one to grow onâor one to trade out if there's one you can't stand!
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 dayâevery 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 cheapâin 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 wagonâand 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.
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.
is coming. It just didn't come first.