The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight, and Be Happy by Bob Greene

“The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight, and Be Happy” is the newest book by fitness author Bob Greene, who also wrote “Make the Connection: Ten Steps to a Better Body and a Better Life,” “Keep the Connection: Choices for a Better Body and a Healthier Life,” “The Best Life Diet,” and a number of others. This book, written with psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke and nutritionist Janis Jibrin focuses on common barriers to weight loss success and provides practical tips in regards to emotional eating and lack of motivation.

After an introduction, where Greene tells a personal story that involves his looking into the emotional and psychological side of weight loss, and what this book can do for the reader, it begins with a chapter on barriers to weight loss success. Greene addresses eight barriers, and none of them are eating or exercising, but rather mental or emotional aspects.

In chapter two, Kearney-Cooke addresses overcoming emotional eating. This is a big problem for many, and this chapter reveals some simple ways to find your motivation, overcome barriers, and find replacements for eating to deal with emotions. It’s a practical chapter with advice on how to achieve your goals in these areas.

The third chapter is by Jibrin, and it focuses on rewiring your sugar, fat, and salt loving brain. There is some interesting information on why we eat what we do, eight reasons why we should get control of our eating, and her nine step program for sticking to a nutritious, calorie appropriate diet.

Greene is back with chapter four, where he covers conquering exercise aversion. If you have trouble getting up and getting going, this chapter may just help you find some motivation to move. He lists thirteen reasons to exercise, and you really only need to pick one to motivate yourself to do it. He addresses many common excuses and to overcome them, as well as different types of exercises you should be including into your workouts.

Chapter five is on transforming your body image, and in it Kearney-Cooke addresses a topic that many people need help with, especially with the images we are bombarded with on television and the print media.

Greene is back again with chapter six, which covers maintaining weight loss. He looks at what works and what doesn’t, and provides some good suggestions and tips in making sure when you lose weight, you keep it off.

Being happy is important, and Kearney-Cooke looks at what it takes to be happy in chapter seven. I liked this chapter and think a lot of people could benefit from following the simple guidelines set forth in these pages.

Following chapter seven, there is Appendix 1 which contains The Lifestyle Log. This is an encouragement with a sample worksheet, to record important things about your lifestyle such as your sleep, hunger, food and drink consumption, etc. Appendix 2 covers Body Mass Index, while Appendix 3 has the Goldberg Depression Scale. Appendix 4 has instructions on goal setting worksheets with a sample, and Appendix 5 has The Motivational Interview to help you assess yourself. Appendix 6 is The Best Life Approach to Exercise by Greene. Simple plan with suggested exercises. Short descriptions of the exercises, but no pictures.

Overall, this is a good book for many people who are having difficulties losing weight, or keeping it off, due to emotional hangups or the lack of motivation. The authors offer simple and practical guidance to overcome such barriers, get motivated, lose weight, and be happy. If you need assistance in these areas, check out this book, but more importantly, apply what the authors teach.