Q&A: Dear Jenni

The Question:

I don’t know if you would have seen the Jenni Murray article about why she’s getting a gastric band (basically because of years of the diet prison) but after seeing how gastric bands haven’t worked for people like Anne Diamond or Vanessa Feltz, I was incensed enough to contact Women’s Hour and suggest Jenni attends one of your seminars. I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight for 4-5 years now after being obese for most of my life. Hopefully she will give your teachings a go before resorting to such drastic measures. 
(Also 8.5 years since I stopped smoking using your book.) What do you think?

My Answer:

Dear Jenni

First of all, many thanks from me for being so public about all of this. The considerable confusion and hopelessness about weight loss in our culture is well worth every bit of time, effort and examination, in my opinion. I know it’s a brave move, but (as of course you know) you speak on behalf of so many about an important problem.

I’m going to address two themes in your recent article, and hope to shed some light and suggest ways forward.


The title of Chapter 2 in my book, EATING LESS, summarises one of these themes: “Control Your Eating, Not Your Weight”. In this chapter, I describe a problem with developing sustainable motivation:

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