Author Jon Gabriel lost 220 pounds and morphed from an uninteresting fat guy into Mr. Yummy, a lean mean muscle machine with six-pack abs. This book explains his weight loss techniques, which he calls The Gabriel Method. According to Gabriel, permanent weight loss is less about diet and exercise and more about the mind-body connection.
The basic idea is that your mind has to be used to undo the default fat program your body is following. Participants have to be willing to invest considerable time and energy in visualization exercises, meditation practices and other mind work. They also need to be prepared to make changes to diet that include eating whey protein and drinking wheat grass juice. This is not the book for the person who wants to take off 10 or 20 pounds in a hurry. The Gabriel Method would most appeal to a seriously overweight person who has tried everything else without lasing success.
That said, any book that gives me a living, breathing role model and a few good ideas is worthy of my reading time, and The Gabriel Method easily meets this minimum quality requirement. For example, Gabriel advises putting your mind into SMART (Super Mental Awareness Re-education Training) mode to eliminate the non-physical causes of obesity. This is an alpha or transcendent state of mind where fears are released, worn-out dysfunctional ideas are changed, and new ideas can firmly take root.
Gabriel also talks about the importance of living with purpose. “Meaning and purpose are soul food and many of us are starving for this essential non-physical nutrient.” He says the ultimate cure for frustration and hunger that cannot be satisfied is to follow your heart and do the thing you’re afraid to do. I absolutely love this idea!
Unfortunately, Gabriel does not always fully develop his good ideas. Rather than going deeply into the direct relationship between lack of purpose in life and lack of care for self, he provides us with a provocative snippet and no clear direction about how to implement the idea. This abbreviated writing style occurs repeatedly throughout the book, and we end up with a mishmash of things to consider that can overwhelm a potential participant and block further action.
Gabriel also talks incessantly about the “FAT program,” where the word FAT always appears in full caps for extra emphasis. Putting so much attention on the condition that isn’t wanted gets very confusing. I wanted to hear about the SKINNY program, not the fat one! More than once I started wondering what the chapter was about and where it was taking me.
And lastly, Gabriel’s eating and exercising direction is too vague for my personal taste. I would prefer more concrete, authentic advice that explains exactly how Gabriel eats and exercises on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis. Instead, he gives an undiet variation of the eat when hungry/stop when full message — one of those platitudes that sounds easy but isn’t. Gabriel also does not share his personal exercise routine and he downplays the importance of exercise. This is highly suspicious because his six-pack abs didn’t get that way by magic.
Bottom line: one thumb up; one thumb down. There’s good stuff here, but you have to dig for it.