I really shouldn’t have bothered with this book

Review: ‘Talk yourself slim with Dr. Rocket’s self-chatter diet. Behaviour Focused Weight-loss Success’ by John Richardson


Troubadour Publishing Ltd
28th June 2013

[Edit: If you read the comments below you’ll see I have been accused of attacking the author. For the sake of peace and quiet, and because I have better things to do than reply to people who aren’t actually reading what I’m writing, I have the following to add. I do not know the author, I have no personal opinion about them and their work as a weight-loss consultant, this review is my OPINION based on reading this book. Those opinions are based on the impression I have received in my reading of this book. I do not know, nor am I bothered by how successful or not the author is in helping people to lose weight. I write my reviews based purely on the book as it stands. If it offends you that someone disagrees with your guru then go and read someone else’s blog. I’m not going to be bullied and belittled into changing my opinion.]

The author of this book claims to be a ‘behavioural weight-loss consultant’, whatever that is. All I can say is this book is a prime example of condescension and unscientific polemic by a bigot; if you have weight control issues don’t bother reading this book, the author seems determined to knock you down.
I requested this book because I am, as you might be aware, a lady of generous proportions. I have also had CBT in the past. I was mistaken in thinking that this book had made the connection between the principles used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies and their application towards other areas than mental health problems. Excessive eating is one of the symptoms of depression – comfort eating – after all.

But no. The author is using this platform to promote a theistic (“the human body was designed…”), mechanistic (refers to the body as a machine repeatly) view that shames the ‘overweight’ person for not being their ‘primal’, ‘intended’ weight.

And it’s badly written. The spelling and grammar are atrocious, and it sounds like a sales pitch in my mind. The writing style gives the impression that the book is put together from ‘seminar’ notes and recorded speeches.

Don’t bother with this book. It’s not often I give a book 0/5 but this one deserves it.


14 thoughts on “I really shouldn’t have bothered with this book

  1. I think you are so, so, wrong and angry, WHY? I, myself really enjoyed this read and the changes in my eating habits have been dramatic since reading this book, and who cares about gamma ;:., that will not solve your weight problem, I think this book is well on its way to doing so!

    1. I’m not angry at all. If I say I found a book condescending and unscientific then I did. I review books, including their style and grammar; it’s a part of the review process. I was disappointed in the book, especially as it seemed to promise a behavioural approach to weight loss but didn’t meet that promise or expectation.

      And I really don’t think it’s very polite of you to talk about ‘solving my weight problem’ since it’s none of your business, nor do you know anything about the causes.

  2. Well, I think you are so wrong and angry, Why? Since reading this book my eating behaviours have changed so much, and while it was not the best grammatically correct book I have ever read it has served its purpose, make up your own mind….. gamma will never become the unfounded solution to weight loss…. this HAS helped ME!

    1. SORRY FOR THE DOUBLE TAKE, THOUGHT THE FIRST COMMENT WAS NOT DELIVERED….. I was not rude, I just hope you find your OWN solution x

      1. The double take is fine, but please don’t shout on my blog. That is impolite.
        The point of comments is to encourage debate and conversation, I hope, however I do not write reviews to discuss my ‘problems’ but to discuss the books themselves. I’m sure you have only the best intentions and we all have different opinions about books but your assumptions about me personally were rude. If you’d said, for instance, ‘I disagree with your assessment of this book. I have read it and it changed my approach to eating’, I would’ve been happy to discuss with you how it changed your approach and the effects. Instead you made assumptions about me and took my comments out of context. Please don’t do that on my *book review blog*.

    2. I’ve just stated my reasons for not liking the book. In my opinion, as a reader, it is condescending and unscientific. Why are you focusing on the grammar?
      If it has helped you, that’s great, but it doesn’t appeal to me, as a reader, because of the reasons stated.

  3. Why does it have to be scientific? I have worked with John and seen the good work he has done. Just because it’s not written how you personally think it should be do not attack John because you feel it’s not your miracle cure to your weight loss. I doubt anyone could help you

    1. I’m not attacking anyone, although you seem to believe it is fine to insult me.

      Let me be clear, since you seem to miss my point made to an earlier commenter. This is a book reviewing blog; I read books then I write about them. I write my reviews based on the content and writing style of the book. If I say that I don’t like a book it is not because I’m ‘attacking the author’ or ‘it is not written the way I think it should be’, but because it doesn’t meet my personal expectations of content, style, punctuation and grammar.

      You ask why it has to be ‘scientific’. Any book claiming to help people lose weight, especially one which repeatedly criticises other diets, should be able to back its claims with verifiable data. I saw no evidence if that in this book and am therefore forced to conclude that the basis of claims made are anecdotal.
      You are mistaken if you believe I have any personal feelings regarding this weight-loss programme.

  4. Rosie has clearly stated in the review that she found the book condescending and unscientific as well as poorly written. She has made no comment about looking for a solution to her “weight loss problem”. She stated her reasons for requesting the book to review. There is nothing personal in this. Why has this commenter made it out to be? Personally I don’t like to be told there is something wrong with me because of my weight. Most tools towards weight loss that I have found effective are so because they are motivating and encouraging not condescending. If one person finds this book so you may be sure there will be others who do. There will be others who don’t. We all read things differently. I fail to understand the commenter’s issue with this book review.

  5. After reading this blog and reading the comments from its shallow minded readers I have decided against reading this book. I am terribly sorry if this offends the author or his friends who like to comment with blind opinions. Keep up the good work R Cawkwell and keep the honesty even if some people don’t appreciate it.

  6. Hello; thank you for the review Rosie, as in my book any publicity is good publicity, though, I would just like to say that I am no bigot, just a very nice person who likes to help people (with a touch of dyslexia that has been the pain of my life). If this book only helps one person then it will have been worth all the trouble in writing, and that the opinions are only those of mine, as the reviews are only those of yours…. obviously we both have very strong ones. Keep up the good work; Regards John x

    1. Good morning, Mr Richardson, thank you for taking the time to comment, I’m sure you must be very busy. It isn’t often my insignificant little book blog gets a visit from an author I’ve reviewed. I’ve had rather a lot on lately or I’d have answered sooner. I’m sure my readers would be interested in learning more about the writing process, if you have a few minutes? I have a few short questions, if you’d be interested in answering them?

      I noted with interest that the difference between your parental and grandparental attitudes to eating first inspired you to think about weigh management; what other inspirations led you into this area? Do you have a background in weight management?
      Could you tell us about your writing process? I know a few of my readers are aspiring authors and would be interested to hear about the process of finding editors, agents and publishers from a writer’s perspective.
      You make some interesting claims regarding the efficacy of your weigh loss program. We have already heard from a couple of people who have benefited from it; do you follow up with program participants to see if, after several years, they have maintained their weight loss? I have participated in Weight Watchers etc and always found that not attending meetings inevitably leads to weight gain. They are not sustainable programs. What evidence do you have that yours is different?
      On what evidence, beyond anecdotal, is your program based?

      Please don’t think I’m being hostile in asking these questions; I merely wish to give my readers as rounded a view as possible and assuage my own curiosity.

      Thanks for your time,
      R. Cawkwell

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