Down Size is a very personal account of a health struggle, intended to motivate and inspire through its pathos. It’s more the antithesis of most diet books out there – very little in the way of facts, studies, call outs, science, meal plans, recipes or hard topics. This is a soft approach – something for those who have read many diet books/tried many plans but have yet to find the motivation they need to succeed. Author Spiker interweaves his own personal story throughout while also adding the experiences of others. From a Spartacus actor’s health regimen to his wife and kids antics. It’s a chatty book but it is also very approachable.
Contents: Introduction. Part 1 – Up Size Getting Stuck: Foundation, Temptation, Frustration, Humiliation. Part 2 – Down Size: Inspection, Motivation, Nutrition, Perspiration. Part 3 – Your Best Size: Dedication, Inspiration, Connection, Resolution. Acknowledgements.
The points Spiker makes here are manifold. First, that we are constantly fed misinformation and need to find our own truth. Temptations are tough but there are strategies we can effect in order to eat smarter. We can’t let the things that have hurt us in the past affect our eating in the present (emotional eating, etc.). Find motivation and create our own diet that works for us personally. Stick with our eating plan and keeping to it in the future. Let the process be slow and steady, get online and work with others to keep us honest and motivated, and don’t set a final goal – life is our goal.
The tone is very conversational – it really is about the author putting his life into perspective – from writing for Men’s Health and teaching classes while overweight to being erroneously told when he was 8 that his eating problems were due to having an ‘extra gland’. Metaphors fly; e.g., taking his kids to the beach and getting their truck stuck in the sand – told as a parallel to how we get stuck in bad eating habits but it might be fairly easy to get out of it if we only knew better. As well, individuals from the famous to the average joe provide their own stories and frustrations with health issue due to eating poorly, keeping the book grounded and reminding readers they aren’t alone. If Spiker quotes a fact, it’ll likely come from the mouth of someone he knows rather than a random study. It’s a conceit that works well here and keeps the book personable.
As noted above, this is a soft topic book meant for inspiration from someone down in the same bad eating trenches. The use of wry wit and self deprecating humor laced with a strong pathos make it a friendly and easy read.
Reviewed from an ARC.