Anne Lamott on Hips Thighs Waist vs. Help Thanks Wow

This is true: last night, Riverhead got the NY Times best seller list for Sunday, Feb 3. My book Help Thanks Wow: the Three Essential Prayers, was # 9 again on Advice, Misc Etc, which I’m so, so happy about. But the first #8 books are diet books, #10 is the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe book, and #11-15 also are diet books.

I mean, isn’t that crazy? I know everyone’s New Years resolution is to lose weight, but EVERYONE know how to lose weight. And EVERYONE knows that diets make you fat and crazy, that 95% of people who lose weight gain it back, plus 5 lbs; then hate themselves.

So people—mostly women and girls—are being preyed on with these books, 13 of the 15 Advice, Miscellaneous, Etc book. There IS no new secret. But the industry is able to make a fortune on our fear that we are disgusting the way we are, and that IF we all lose some weight, we will magically have great self-esteem and health. Plus, we will keep it off this time, because ONE of the authors of the thirteen books has broken the elusive code and so 95% of people won’t gain it back.

This is a WMD. It is the great palace lie, such an attack on our spirits and souls. We have to stop pushing the snooze alarm and wake up, together.

I could change the title of HTW to Hips Thighs Waist: Three Essential Diet Tips for Emaciation and Wealth, and claim it contained the secret launch codes: ie, 1) Eat a little less, 2) Walk a little more, and 3) An extra glass of water or two a day won’t kill you. I cd make a fortune.

The only other things that will help you with your weight and body image are radical self-care, and help with the struggle. You are deserving of help, and healthy food. You get to start your new, more user-friendly way of life as soon as you remember that you do. WILD.

Walking a little every day, if you can, will improve your life by (approx) 78%. A lot of us have a TINY problem with sugar—but we all know how to get off of it, and that if we do, the cravings and obsession will disappear. So one day at a time, eat protein and whole grains, veggies and a little fruit. I don’t love water—it’s so watery. ( But I like it more since yesterday, when I was toweling my grandson off after a bath, and told him how delicious he smelled. He said, “Do I smell like water?”)

I got help from Connie at ONLY because she coincidentally came to my church for a benefit the week that I hit a terrible, crazy bottom with sugar. (I had been on book tour for Hips Thighs Waist—I mean, the other HTW for a month, ie room service.) There’s free advice at that website, and all over the web, if sugar is an addiction for you, as it is for me. I haven’t had it in weeks, one day at a time, because I was sick and tired of feeling as sick and tired as a sugar-based life made me feel. I am stable, ( ish), healthy, and rarely think about food now, unless very hungry. Then I eat protein, whole grains, veggies, fruit. If your problem is with salty savories, same thing: there is free advice all over the web. Don’t buy into the diet lie machine.

Maybe somehow you can help each other right here.

PS: thank you, Connie Bennett, thank you, Jesus—and They say that coincidence is God working anonymously.”



(as appropriated from this page)

  1. Write regularly, whether you feel like writing or not, and whether you think what you’re writing is any good or not.

  2. Give yourself short assignments. Keep it manageable so you don’t get overwhelmed.

  3. Write shitty first drafts. Don’t expect a piece of…