Book Review: The Shift by Tory Johnson

I am an avid reader and this year one of my goals was to read a book a month. (I am also a bit obsessed with magazine, I subscribe to 12 of them, hence why I went for a fair, one-book-a-month goal.) I am pleased to note that I am on book 8 already! And one of the books I just recently finished was so encouraging and insightful, that I feel compelled to share with you, specifically my readers looking to make permanent health and lifestyle changes, including losing a significant amount of weight.

The Shift by Tory Johnson

A Book Review

Book Review: The Shift by Tory Johnson | Caroline McKean, Lifestyle Coach | www.carolinemckean.com

“…making good choices isn’t a sacrifice. It is for my benefit. This is my new normal…Taking care of myself is my reality.”

As a Good Morning America contributor, Johnson starts the book off with a powerful, life-altering conversation with an executive at ABC. It involved Johnson’s weight and she came away with the feeling her job was in jeopardy at GMA if she didn’t lose weight, thus started the major inspiration for Johnson’s book, The Shift.

She knew she had to make a change, a permanent one.

The Shift happens when you say, “This time I’m not going to fall for the gimmick or the quick scheme. This time I will stand up for my body and my health and I will keep standing for myself, meal after meal until I figure out my eating issues and get to my happy weight, whatever that may be.

Johnson lays out a fairly simple framework for her shift:

  • Inspiration
    • Finding the reason why you want to change your lifestyle and eating habits
    • This is used for motivation when temptation is strong
  • Priority of Preference
    • Reminding yourself that your health and weight loss is the priority over your preference to eat junk food, indulge, make excuses and not exercise
  • Reframe mindset on sacrifices
    • “Adopting a “don’t” as opposed to “can’t” attitude empowers me to make specific sacrifices. With the Shift, I can eat anything I want, but I don’t.”
  • Setting a clear, concise set of goals and sticking to them
  • Celebrating weight loss milestones
    • Celebrate with something non-food related but significant to your happinessBook Review: The Shift by Tory Johnson | Caroline McKean, Lifestyle Coach | www.carolinemckean.com

Reaching Weight Loss Goals with The Shift

Johnson lost 62 pounds in one year. If you do the quick math at 60 pounds, that’s 5 pounds a month, and 1.25 pounds a week. Which is a healthy level of weight loss. When you break your large weight loss goals down like that, they seem more manageable.

Johnson went for an approach that is different from my own personal weight loss philosophy. She completely cut out carbs, even limiting which vegetables she could eat. Fruit was off the table too. While I don’t love that practice, she has very good reasons. She explained how one of her friends was adamant she not be so restrictive with her diet. He was upset with her, but Johnson was resolute and explained that her friend had a healthy relationship with food and could eat anything in moderation. Her relationship with food was not healthy. She couldn’t stop at one cookie or eat only half of her take out meal and save the rest for later. She abstained from any and all temptation, including carbs until she felt she was able to develop a healthy relationship to food.

What was powerful about the realization for me is, that I can now ask my clients what works best for them: moderation or eliminating a food that has been downright troublesome in the past. What would be the best approach for you?

What is striking to me about this book is her honesty. She talks about her self-image, her success in other aspects of her life, her marriage, her children, and how she garnered support in times of need and even, how she moved forward without support that she would have liked.

The book is also organized well. There are important quotes that are repeated at the end of each chapter that summarize the key points of that chapter’s main focus. The end of the book has several pages of recipes Johnson uses in her daily life.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Book Review: The Shift by Tory Johnson | Caroline McKean, Lifestyle Coach | www.carolinemckean.com

“Just something clear and concise with step-by-step instructions on how I expect to make it happen. I reserve the right to adjust as needed along the way, but abandoning the goal is never an option…My mission is getting to a health weight, and I can alter my plan if necessary, but I’ll never bail on the process.”

“We should be selfish, if only for selfless reasons…You should shift first for yourself, then to benefit everyone you love.”

“When it comes to exercise, start with anything, because it’s better than nothing. Look to be inspired not intimidated, until you find the workout that works best for you.”

“Instead of focusing on excuses, I envision results.”

“I realize that I made my shift through 5 key steps. They all had much more to do with what was in my head than what I put in my mouth.”

The book is a very real, entertaining, and honest approach to weight loss. I like her philosophy about making your lifestyle and eating habits completely shift for lasting change, is on target. I would recommend the book to anyone who had repeatedly struggled with lifestyle changes and weight loss. It’s very encouraging and insightful. Let me know if you read it and what you think.

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