´╗┐This week we received a couple of new books that might help inspire those of us who are dealing with the struggle to lose weight. The library has many resources that can help with this, including diet and exercise books and DVDs, but sometimes it is beneficial to read about others who have been through the same thing and have succeeded.

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir is the story of the author, Andie Mitchell, and her triumph over morbid obesity. All her life she had found comfort in food and mindless eating. She had a difficult childhood with an alcoholic father and a mother who was a caterer and encouraged her to overeat. She never learned about a healthy relationship with food and developed an eating disorder. This continued and worsened when she became an adult. On her twentieth birthday, after eating her entire cake, she realized her weight was out of control. She knew her life was in danger and she must change in order to survive. With the help of a therapist she learned how to love food, but in a healthy way. She managed to lose half of her body weight and is now dedicated to maintaining healthy eating habits along with balance in all aspects of her life. This is not a diet book. It will not tell you what you should or shouldn't eat. It will inspire you and give you hope. Seeing how she struggled and yet was able to make these changes in her life, even when it seemed that she was too far gone, can help others in similar situations to take steps to change their lives for the better.

.

For a totally different look at the weight loss experience, check out Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette. The well-known magician and television personality shares his journey to weight loss. Nearing his sixtieth birthday he weighed over 330 pounds and had extremely high blood pressure. He had difficulty moving and even talking. He realized that he had to do something. Then he met a former NASA scientist called "Crazy Ray" and was introduced to his wild "potato diet". Jillette was skeptical at first, but soon was inspired to make changes that transformed his body and mind. He shares this journey, along with his experiences performing his Las Vegas shows and dealing with Hollywood executives and other eccentric celebrities. He also manages to weave in his views on many other issues in his unique outspoken style. His use of "adult" language, humor, and situations might be too much for some readers, but the book is certainly a departure from traditional weight loss stories.