Review of "You Can Think Yourself Thin"

By Ursula James
Tarcher, 2009
Review by Natalie Kelley-Wilson on Dec 8th 2009
You Can Think Yourself Thin

The title of this book is self-explanatory.  The author is a hypnotherapy practitioner, and this is her therapy program in book and CD format. The goal is to help one to lose weight "without conscious thought or effort...It is not just about weight control-but life control too" (ix). The suggestions in the text and on the CD are to assist in an effort to subconsciously change ones state of mind and effortlessly make the lifestyle changes that will aid in health and weight loss. Throughout the book and on the CD the author makes suggestions for methods of relieving stress and boosting confidence without an unhealthy reliance on food and alcohol. There are three tracks on the accompanying CD. Track one deals with the past. It guides the listener to envision the past and any emotional issues which have lead to an unhealthy attachment to food; upon listening to the track you are supposed to begin to subconsciously deal with these issues. Track two brings the focus to the present and recommends methods to begin effortlessly changing ones lifestyle. Track three provides positive reinforcement and envisioning of the future goal. The entire purpose of the book is to build self-confidence and once one is confident and comfortable in ones current state, change can follow.

This book would be most appealing to people who truly wish to change on a habitual level. Most likely people with a serious weight problem would get more from it than would somebody who simply needs to loose a few pounds, though oftentimes the counsel given is such that even people who don't need to lose weight could benefit.  Much of the seems to be common sense; one should not turn to food for emotional comfort, one should dress in the most flattering way for ones current figure and good posture can inspire self-confidence, etc. Though anybody could make use of the material, much of the information is geared toward women. The author discusses the benefits of high heels on ones profile and confidence and the ability of make-up to make one feel attractive.  Admittedly some of her advice for women could be perceived as rather sexist, depending on the reader. The author also provides a few recipes for healthy but filling snacks and alternatives to some salad dressings. The writing is very accessible and a fairly quick read. The more time consuming aspect is finding the 20-30minute periods to listen to the CD tracks.

The book could be helpful to somebody who is not skeptical of the idea of losing weight through hypnosis and who was actually willing to make the time to follow all aspects of the program and listen to the CD properly. Following the entire program, one is supposed to listen to track three of the CD for 21 nights. The time involved in following this program is only worth it if one truly believes in the hypnosis and is able to really make it work on a personal level. Personally, I was a little skeptical and that may have had something to do with the fact that I haven't seen any noticeable changes in myself. I have started drinking a glass of water before bed and first thing in the morning and before meals though, which is one of the suggestions made on the second track; so who knows? Perhaps it is working despite my skepticism...


© 2009 Natalie Kelley-Wilson




Natalie Kelley-Wilson graduated from Allegheny College with a BA in English Lit. and from Clarion University with a Masters in Library Science. Currently she works at her town's public library and the county historical society. Email:


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