Review of "The Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' Waist"

By Deborah Low
Bonneville Books, 2001
Review by Liz Bass on Jun 29th 2002
The Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' Waist

This weight loss book breaks no new ground despite the author’s energetic efforts at convincing the reader otherwise. With the determination of a telemarketer, Deborah Low tells us everything she thinks we need to know in order to lose weight and thereby lead a full life.

To be sure, Low isn’t as annoying as a dinnertime caller. Lurking at the edges of her "you-can-do-this-you-little-boobchin" script are expressions of sympathy for all the souls encased in rolls of fat. She wants to help free those souls -- no doubt about it. She wants to sell her insights and methodology too -- no doubt about that either. She gives her email address at the close of her bio notes, and urges you to get in touch for info about workshops and lectures based on the book.

The premise of the book is that unhappy people eat too much, so in order to eat less (and therefore lose weight) a person has to become happier. To press her case, the author uses an upscale vocabulary, including words like visualization, motivation, issues, spirituality, and flow.

She makes reference to scale gods, and describes a success story this way: "Her heart and mind were aligned with her physical goals." One can assume that the author’s target audience consists of people with the resources to purchase the services of personal trainers such as herself.

There is nothing new in The Quest unless you like to compare window dressing. I think everyone in Low’s line of work ought to take the time to study the Richard Simmons’ sales pitch because he makes no secret of his magic bullet, which is empathy. Low sometimes breaks through with something resembling it, but over all, it is the same old parental mish-mash with a smiley-face on it.

Scale gods? Now that’s an interesting concept. I wish she had done more with it.


© 2002 Liz Bass


Liz Bass is a retired teacher and principal who lives in Northern California.


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