Book Study – 7: Chapter 1… Food

I originally purchased this book because I was interested in reading Ms. Hatmaker’s lessons she had learned about eliminating waste from her life. She wanted to clean out the extra, unneeded clutter in order to make more room for God. A very noble undertaking. I seem to collect stuff so I thought that this might be a good exercise for me.

I’ll admit that after a friend told me that she had left a two star review for this book on Amazon I was a bit worried about what I would be reading. After all, our tastes usually run parallel when it comes to reading. We both wanted to slap Scarlett O’Hara for being so spoiled and short-sighted, and neither one of us could stand the simpering Jane Eyre. So when she told me that she hadn’t been impressed, I was worried. I had just spent good money on this book and now it might possibly have been a mistake. Oh well. Perhaps this is one time where my tastes will differ from my friend’s.

After reading the first chapter, I’m not so sure that this book is truly what I thought it was going to be. The author wants to clean out the excess and teach her children that life isn’t about materialism. As a nation we have a lot of stuff and so many other people around the world would be happy with half as much as what we are used to having. Thus the author, and her group of friends, decide to embark upon this journey. They started with food. This is where the author and I would have differed in our angles of attack.

Ms. Hatmaker chose five foods that she would eat all month. She did a lot of reading to make sure that she wouldn’t mess her nutrition up, but the five foods that she chose were the only ones she was allowed to eat. She didn’t even allow herself the use of condiments. She managed to get through the month for the most part, only cheating a few times when the rules were bent for a couple of odd situations. I give her credit for sticking with it for so long. My issue, though, is that after the month was over she went back to eating as she had before. I’m not sure that she really cut a lot of the waste regarding food out of her diet. Maybe she did learn some lessons and just didn’t bother to expand upon them. If she wants a challenge with cutting food out of her diet, she should go on a gluten-free challenge for three months. Let’s see how she deals with that scenario. And absolutely no cheating allowed.

Perhaps this topic hits a little too close to home for me. I had no choice in what I’ve had to give up when it comes to food. You have no idea how much I miss eating a Burger King Whopper. Or how sometimes I would love to be able to bite into a thick crust pizza from the local pizza shop. Or even just being able to stop into Subway for a vegetarian sub. Do you have any idea how much I miss those things? But I can’t cheat and I can’t go back to eating them after a month. Let’s just say that I had very little sympathy for Ms. Hatmaker’s self-imposed limited diet.

That was my main impression after the first chapter. I’m hoping that it gets better, but I somehow doubt that it will. On to Chapter 2…. clothes.

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One Response to Book Study – 7: Chapter 1… Food

  1. Jamie says:

    I hope that as she goes forward you’ll like the book more than I did! But you already hit on two of the things that irked me most about the book. (1) A lot of her choices seemed arbitrary – it would have made much more sense to choose a diet that represented something (like living GF or on a severely limited budget). (2) The impact evaporates at the start of the next month! While no one expected that she would continue eating only handful of foods, the experience seemed to have little impact on how she/ her family looked at or handled their food choices moving forward.

    Incidentally, I can’t help noting that it super annoyed me that she tried to make the organizers of the conferences she was speaking at accommodate her food choices. She gladly ditched her rules to eat out at an African restaurant with her friends (that wasn’t going anywhere and could have been enjoyed after her restricted month) but then tried to get those poor organizers to jump through hoops late in the game. Legitimate dietary needs explained up front are one thing; arbitrary last minute changes you can’t effectively explain are highly inconsiderate. Just my two cents, having worked in food service and appreciating the behind-the-scenes work involved.

    *Steps off soap box*

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