I follow Candace Cameron Bure on twitter because what girl in her late 20s didn’t love Full House when it was on? Friday and then Tuesday nights were my favorite nights of the week. Candace was known as the chubby-cheeked girl on the show, and that label really stayed with her and bothered her. Candace talks a lot these days about how she lost about 25 pounds by some positive changes in her life, and I thought, “She does look great on Make It or Break It” (her new show), so why not give her new book a read? It’s one of the first books I bought for my nook and I just finished reading it this weekend.
I’m very torn about Reshaping It All. Here’s my one sentence summary: it’s alright, but if you aren’t a religious person (particularly of the Christian faith), you are not going to like this book very much. I’m a Christian and I thought it was pretty meh the entire way through.
But first, the good. I do think the fundamentals of weight loss that Bure shares are good. For instance, she says repeatedly that for her, weight loss isn’t about cutting out certain foods entirely, it’s about moderation of those “certain foods.” Have a small slice of cake every now and then. Enjoy creamy pasta dishes, but get a smaller portion and only eat it every once in a while. Be aware of what you’ve had for breakfast and lunch and use that to guide your dinner. Her attitudes toward food in general are pretty healthy and she strives to find the medium of balance. For her, food is not an enemy because it’s all about our self-control. I think this is a really practical approach to take to eating food.
I also like a lot of the stories she told – pieces of her childhood and Full House memories.
But there were things that made me shake my head. First of all, there are some parts of this book that make me wonder if an editor was even involved. In the beginning, Bure talks about how as the youngest, she was always in the kitchen, taste-testing her mom’s cooking, and that things like peas appeared regularly on her plate. But a few pages later, it’s her dad who eats healthy food that tastes like cardboard and her mom takes her to get McDonalds before auditions. Later on, she says she wasn’t allowed to eat fast food all the time, and that her mom served healthy meals – despite the fact that in the early chapters, her mom was the one who struggled with letting her kids eat healthy. I was so confused as to what her mom did in regards to her eating habits, because she says she both encouraged and didn’t encourage junky eating.
It seems to me that she oversimplifies how easy it is to gain self-control over eating habits. For some people, it is, but for many, it is not, and her “Just give it to God!” attitude makes me nervous. That might sound terrible coming from someone who identifies as a Christian, so please don’t misunderstand me. I think giving it to God is a big thing — the biggest. But it takes a lot of work to even get to that place to begin with, and this book makes it seem like that is just about the easiest thing to do ever.
Also, this is an aesthetic thing, but I hated how each chapter ended with the same four little segments (with identical headings so you knew): a summary of the chapter, an “inspiring” quote, a recap of the Bible verses used, a practical hint, and a recipe. I thought this was just a waste of space. I liked the recipe. The rest of it was just repetitive and irksome to me as a reader. Get to the next chapter already!
Overall, I think I’m most bothered by the sloppy editing of this book. It’s very repetitive, and in some places could really stand some more explanation. For instance, Bure has admitted to struggling with bulimia. I think her willingness to discuss it is amazing, but in this book it’s boiled down to “I had some struggles with making myself purge, I realized I was trying to be in control, and God made it better.” Um, that is not enough. Even if God made it better, we as readers need MORE than a few brief paragraphs explaining how you got through it!
If you’re looking for a Christian diet book, you will probably like this. If you’re looking for a Full House biography, buyer beware.