You reach midlife and suddenly, it seems, your favorite dress stops fitting you.
You are too busy to take action.
Your kids need your undivided attention.
Responsibilities at work continue to increase.
Your aging parents count on you as their health begins to deteriorate.
Some of your friends and relatives need your support too.
For a while, you think you can handle anything and everything, their burdens and yours. You give all you can until you wake up to a body that needs help too, with rising blood pressure, knee and lower back pain, and an expanding belly. You know that your health is at risk. You must make major changes.
This realization set me on a path to learn what was at the root of my weight gain and ever-expanding waistline in midlife. Why were my healthy diet and exercise not keeping me in good shape? What could I do to restore my inner peace and my sleep? What was I missing that would help me to reach optimal results?
It took me nearly seven years of learning, adjusting and refocusing my life to reach a level of balance that I was comfortable with. This book shares the various breakthroughs I reached along this journey. I hope they will inspire you to take action and shrink your waistline as you revitalize your changing body in midlife and beyond. In fact, it's never too early to take care of yourself. The sooner, the better.
Book Review Highlights:
As a busy academic, I rarely find time to read books outside of my discipline. The title Belly Fat in Midlife, by Rose M. Kadende-Kaiser (Ph.D.), however, sent shockwaves to my head. I wanted to have it now. Somehow, I had a “gut feeling” that my sixty-year-old question --Why did I grow up with a “big belly”?-- was about to find an answer. As luck would have it, I received my copy of the book, and with it came precious unanticipated breakthroughs.
To begin with, Belly Fat in Midlife: Practical Steps to Revitalize Your Changing Body is about hope. As I turned each page and experienced the author’s journey to body transformation, I kept saying to myself that not all hope was lost. Through faith, hard work and discipline, Kadende-Kaiser went from size 14 back to her youth size of 4. I feel hopeful that, by applying the same principles, I might achieve the miracle of going from my current size 22W to size 16W that I once was in my twenties.
Belly Fat in Midlife: Practical Steps. . . is a candid tale about the author’s journey to conquering many health challenges to reach a healthier, slim and beautiful self that she was created to be. In the book, the author does not give us the half-truths that women celebrities try to sell to impressionable “girls” that a magic cleanse and a fitness trainer alone can do the trick. I found part three to be the missing link in most of the trade books that discuss weight loss and weight gain topics. Lack of sleep, stress, and sedentary life are among the major causes of belly fat escalation in women’s lives, even prior to the midlife stage.
There is a saying that “we are what we eat”. Part two of Belly Fat in Midlife: Practical Steps. . . breaks down this saying very well. To begin with, Kadende-Kaiser lets us know that too much of anything is not good. Then, she cautions us that every person’s body system is unique, that what works for one person may not work for the other. Just because wine did not work for her does not mean that it will not be a “curatif” of some sort for another person. Conversely, whereas ferments may constitute superfood for her, they may be incompatible with someone else’s body system.
Until I read Belly Fat in Midlife: Practical Steps. . ., it never occurred to me to trace my belly fat back to childhood stress, having grown in a rather violent household due to my father’s drinking habits and my mother’s combative attitude. To that, add early exposure to alcohol due to the abundance of locally brewed wines in the home. My saving grace came from financial insufficiency. “Dirt” food was our main diet, as my parents could not afford luxury foods such as bread, meat, fish, rice, sugar, cooking oil, dairy, and salt (in some cases)! It turns out that we were eating healthy foods, though not by choice.
Finally, by sharing her transformational journey, Kadende-Kaiser shares with us the value in maintaining a healthy gut for a healthy you. Through Belly Fat in Midlife: Practical Steps. . ., she selflessly lets us into her marital home, her childhood home, and her private body so that we could learn from her mistakes and lead a healthy lifestyle. As I reflect on how many hours of research went into this book and how many sleepless nights were spent writing it, I can’t believe it is priced at less than USD 20.00! This is just an opportunity of a lifetime; it is an act of ultimate sacrifice and selfless love. As one of the endorsers remarked, the book is “a must read for anyone who wants to lead a healthier life through midlife and beyond” (Louise Makau-Barasa, DrPH).
- Immaculée Harushimana, Ph. D.
"I vehemently recommend this book to anyone looking to incorporate self-care into their busy routines. Taking care of oneself is so important and so easy to forget. This book helps one learn to nourish her bodies, thereby allowing improved quality of life and better self-esteem. Treat yourself!!!" - Melissa Todnem
"I had been wondering why it had become so hard for me to lose my weight and the fat around my belly since I reached midlife. This book answers many of my questions and more. It offers readers a holistic approach to self-care that includes areas of nutrition and lifestyle that are not always intuitive. I have already tried what Dr. Kadende-Kaiser recommends. My whole health is transformed. She clearly has done her homework. The book integrates extensive research into her personal journey and it is presented in a way that is entertaining, empowering, informative, and practical. There is so much wisdom in it. I actually believe that women of all ages will find lessons in it that are of relevance to their lives. I highly recommend it!" - Lily M (Amazon customer)
"This book was recommended to me by a friend, and after reading just the Introduction, I immediately felt a connection to the author's story. Being in midlife myself, I am experiencing changes in my body and finding it more and more difficult to lose weight. The author's journey to maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle has given me the knowledge and motivation I needed to begin my own healthy weight loss journey. Although I am not ready to ferment my own vegetables, I am ready to "change my mindset" and become a healthier version of me!" - (Amazon customer)
"I loved the book. It provides a mixture of entertaining stories and important lessons. I was surprised to learn that kids may develop sugar dependence even before they are born!" - Nata (Amazon customer)
" A very informative and inspiring book" - TJ (Amazon customer)
"... I recommend this book to all who, like me, desire to take care of their physical and mental health.... I found this book to be rather extraordinary" [translated from French]. - C.K. (Amazon France customer)