>I have my own personal trainer and she doesn’t cost me a dime.

Backstory: I have been obsessed with The Biggest Loser since it came out. I’ve never missed a season. Shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since I’m practically a professional dieter. And, well, I’ll just say it…I am a huge fan of Jillian Michaels.

She does a radio show on Sundays and the podcasts of it are free on iTunes. So the other day I downloaded all the posted podcasts and then uploaded them to my iPod. I started listening to her yesterday during my walk and loved it. Seriously, it’s like having a personal trainer give you all the good tips and tell you what’s crap and what doesn’t work for an hour. There are 22 shows archived…that’s 22 hours with one of the best fat-burning trainers in the world. Love it.

“Free” is important to me. As I’ve said before, I have a veritable library of diet books and magazines. Some I love and still use as references (I’ll share those titles below) and many, I just skimmed through because they were either boring or had disguised themselves so that I didn’t recognize the gimmick from the cover (I’ll share those titles too).

I promised myself that I wouldn’t purchase another book or spend more money on the diet industry because I feel like I’ve wasted so much money on stuff that just didn’t work out.

I started going through a lot of my stuff…I want to go through a kind of spring cleaning, de-cluttering and get rid of all the stuff I have that I never look at or use. It’s amazing what all we end up collecting. I have so much stuff and so much of it diet related. I was going through all that stuff the other night and realized that I actually have some good resources that I could use right now.

Favorite Diet Books:

Anything by Jillian Michaels (see above!): the last diet book I bought, before starting this blog, was her Master Your Metabolism. LOVE it! Much of what she says resonates me and supports where my eating habits have been moving.

The Eat Clean series by Tosca Reno. If you’ve been dieting a long time and you know all the ropes, then you won’t find anything earth shattering or new here. It’s all about eating whole foods and leaving behind all the processed crap. Honestly, the best one of the series is the cookbook. Lots of great recipes. People bitch about the recipes being high fat, but if you look at the ingredients list, the fats are from healthy sources like Olive Oil and avocados and nuts and seeds. And beyond that, they really aren’t high in fat…most all the recipes that I’ve tried are lower than 10 g of fat per serving. Oh, and the magazine is great! Wonderful recipes and, to be honest, one or two of the magazines will tell you all you need to know about clean eating.

Weight Watchers Cookbook. With the caveat that there are lots of recipes with processed crap in them and that use of a lot of fake food ingredients (non-fat sour cream, butter spray, nutrasweet or whatever that fake sugar is that people love to use). However, many of them are easily adapted to whole ingredients. One of my favorite recipes is a beef stew that is so savory and flavorful…YUM!

The Beck Diet Solution. I really like this one because she tries to get you to look at your weight through a cognitive therapy model. Lots of good exercises and things that you might wish to do to help you make lasting changes. In the end, it was just too much work for me. I’d rather spend that time writing this blog or exercising or doing something I enjoy! Still, I did pick up a few little gems and I think this plan has probably helped many people.

The Wish-I-Had-NOT-Wasted-My-Money List

The Bitch series. I can’t remember, for the life of me, the name of these books. Oh Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. Okay. I kind of like the attitude of these books and they have a lot of good information, much of it about going organic and eating whole foods…which I like…but it’s also about going vegan…and that’s not where I want to go. Yet. I mean, maybe one day I’ll give up red meat and maybe chicken too but I don’t see that happening soon. And, at first I laughed and thought their, “You sassy bitch you!” attitude was cute but after awhile I was just like, “yeah, I get it already, I’m a sassy bitch!” I have to say…I do have the journal of this series and like it.

The Writing Diet: Write Yourself the Right Size by Julia Cameron. This is from the same author of The Artist’s Way. If you’ve ever read AW, then this book is like that only focused on how to use writing to help you shift your thinking about food addiction. On the surface, it sounded good. I did the Artist’s Way years and years ago (wow! am I really that old?) and loved it, but this book…it’s kind of condescending and lame. I mean, whatever. Write yourself skinny, eh? I don’t think so. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I’m still fat. You know it’s really the attitude that you just have to do this, this, and this, and you’ll get it and finally not be fat! Bleh. If you’re a fan and are intrigued, at least buy it used on Amazon (or whatever).

Neris and India’s Idiot-Proof Diet: A Weight-Loss Plan for Real Women. OMG. I was so pissed at myself for having bought this book. It was an impulse buy, seriously. I was so mad that I didn’t, at least, skim it before buying and can’t believe I was swayed by the cover. Pink? I must have been in a mood or something. This is all about doing the Atkins. I hate the Atkins for so many reasons…but mainly because it’s such a bad nutrition plan for humans. Anyway, this book, it’s like a Skinny Bitch wanna be. They try and try to be hip and cool but they are touting the Atkins sooo…yeah, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I wonder if they meant “Idiotic” instead of “Idiot-Proof”…

I think, what I’ve finally figured out is that after a while, you have to put down the books and get up off the sofa and go for a walk. I mean, reading is fine, and god knows I love a good book…but living in my head, instead of living in my body is not getting the fat off. And the best thing about going for a walk? It’s free. (Well, if you don’t count the shoes…gotta have good walking shoes for this!).