It’s Bikini Season!

April 10, 2008

Today’s guest blog is from the indomitable Sheila Roberts. Her new book is a guilt-free, no-calorie, sweet froth of a story.

Favorite book of the month!I am constantly in the trenches, fighting the battle of the bulge . . . except for when I take a cake break or make a doughnut run. (Fighting fat is hard work. A girl needs sustenance.) But I’m not quitter. I keep fighting. I even teamed up with my girlfriends Kathleen and Kimberly, forming a diet triage, in an effort to regain my girlish figure. I’m still not there yet, but I have hope. (Don’t ask me how long I’ve been in “I have hope” mode – that might prove embarrassing!) Anyway, all this dieting had to lead to a book eventually.

Hence the arrival of my new book with St. Martin’s Press, Bikini Season, which follows the adventures of four girlfriends who turn their cooking club into a diet club. And each woman has her own issues to deal with. Kizzy needs to find a new healthy lifestyle – not an easy task with her husband, who likes her just the way she is, sabotaging her at every turn. Megan needs to change the way she sees herself if she’s going to change the way she looks. Angela needs to realize that, while she might not like herself, her husband loves her no matter what. And then there’s Erin, who is beginning to wonder if the fact that she’s outgrown her wedding dress could be some kind of omen regarding her upcoming nuptials. I had a great time writing this book, and I’m hoping my characters will inspire me to work harder on getting fit. (If nothing else, the recipes in the book should help.) If you’re fighting the fat monster, here are some diet tips that might help you:


  • Find an eating plan you like and can stick to. This lets out fad diets, which you are bound to get sick of in a hurry. Better to cut carbs than to eat eggs and grapefruit for three weeks followed by a banana bread meltdown.
  • Make it easy. If you have to work a second job preparing your food every day, your resolutions to improve your diet will go out the window. Buy pre-measured, pre-fixed menus like Lean Cuisine. Pre-cut your salad veggies and bake up a batch of chicken breasts on the weekend for the week ahead so you have something healthful and ready to use in the fridge every day. Buy salad in the bag.
  • Have a mantra or canned pep talk you can recite in the face of food temptation. In BIKINI SEASON one character regularly reminds the others that nothing tastes like thin feels.
  • Pick a form of exercise that suits your personality and preferences so you will enjoy and stick to it. For example, if you’re a social person, don’t take up some solitary form of exercise. And if you value alone time, don’t take an aerobics class. That path leads to boredom, which leads to exercise mutiny.
  • Put up your diet shield when going into dangerous social settings. Eat something substantial before that big party so you won’t arrive ravenous. Scope out the food table and pre-select what you will eat. Shrimp. Yes. Veggie Platter. Yes. Chocolate cake. Stay away from that end of the table.
  • Give yourself an occasional treat. You’re really changing life habits, not dieting. Diet is a four-letter word and if you diet you will feel deprived and binge. That little (LITTLE) weekly treat will help you be good the rest of the week.
  • Get support. Overeating is not a problem to conquer alone. Find family or friends who will support and encourage you and keep you on the road to good health.
  • Know your biggest temptation hour and keep your hands and mouth busy. If you get snack cravings at the office, keep sugar free gum in your desk drawer for a quick fix for your taste buds and some chewing action. If you tend to snack in front of the TV at night, make sure you have something to do while you’re watching Grey’s Anatomy, like knitting. Dance along when you’re watching Dancing with the Stars.
  • Pick your friends carefully. According to an article in the New York Times (July 26, 2007), our friends can influence our eating habits. According to this article researchers found that people who were overweight had close friends who were also overweight. If one friend became obese, the other had a 171 percent increased chance of also becoming obese. Chose friends who want to develop and keep healthful lifestyles and you’ll increase your own chances of success for a more healthful lifestyle.
  • Never give up, never give in. You are the heroine of your own life journey, and sometimes you will stumble. But don’t give up. Toss the rest of that candy bar (yes, toss it!), and go buy a bag of spinach and some oranges. After all, like Scarlett O’Hara said, tomorrow is another day.



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