book review 8-22-08

the island eye news

Volume 4 Issue 8  

Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Goat Island, Dewees Island (South Carolina)

August 22, 2008

Fitness – page 17


Required reading from the fitness category

by Meredith Nelson, M.Ed.



ith summer coming to an end and kids heading back to school, you may be doing some last-minute searching for books on your youngsters’ summer required reading list.  Well, you won’t find me in search of an Shakespeare or Tolstoy, but I was recently approached by part-time Sullivan’s Island resident Dr. Charles Goldman with a book to read: his very own Weight Management for Your Life. Avid reader that I am not (unfortunately, most of my reading comes in the form of short snippets of fitness- related material in fitness magazines and my club management publications), I was apprehensive and hesitant at the thought of reading a book from cover-to-cover within a period of days, weeks, or even months. However, once I opened the book and began reading the preface, I realized that he was actually writing from my perspective.  He was writing to all of my clients who have said over and over, “I know what I need to do; I just need to do it!”  He somehow got into my head, took my most-often-thought thoughts, and put them into words. As I realized that I was reading something I could have written, Dr. Goldman’s book became more difficult to put down.


Weight Management for Your Life is not a book for someone who wants results and wants them NOW.  It’s not a good read for anyone wanting a diet solution to solve their weight loss program immediately.  As Dr. Goldman says, research has shown that diets are by and large unsuccessful.  They are hard to stick with, the weight loss is usually modest (there are some exceptions usually as part of a medical approach), there is no one diet that shows a significant advantage and most diets you hear of result in weight loss that is negated once the diet is stopped.  Many dieters experience yo-yo dieting, losing and gaining weight repeatedly, as a result.


On the contrary, this book provides suggestions and the basis on which to establish your plan to make some changes in the way you think about your diet and exercise.  It gives advice and basic information on what you need to know in order to get started on your journey towards wellness and weight management.  It leaves the details – meal planning and exercise routines – up to you.  Thank goodness for that . . . . Dr. Goldman gave you the tools you need before you come to me for further assistance!


Weight Management for Your Life is for readers who recognize that it takes a little effort to yield lifelong results (although slowly) as opposed to short-term dieting, leading to what could be drastic, but most likely temporary, outcomes.  The author accurately sums it up when he claims that most diets are swallowed whole (no pun intended) by a population that doesn’t totally grasp the concept that permanent weight loss requires a lifestyle change, and therefore a behavior change.  This book helps the reader identify what he or she can change and how to go about setting the stage to make those changes for life.


Dr. Goldman briefly (but sufficiently) reviews the stages of change, having the willpower to make changes, creating a plan for change, and implementing the plan. There must be a reason to change, and that reason must cause one to be disgusted enough to want to change.  Additionally, you must be at a point of discomfort – or disgust – with yourself that is greater than the discomfort of changing your behavior.  Such behavior changes must be part of an overall approach and dedication to healthy living, as opposed to a diet which is temporary and eventually will come to an end.


I especially like the fact that Dr. Goldman supports and encourages basic weight management principles: eat less; move more; eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains; and avoid too much junk food.  Easy enough, right?  He also encourages, along with regular planned exercise, “spontaneous exercise” and “non-exercise activity” – that movement that we perform in the routine of completing daily activities.  He states what I preach to clients, members, friends, and family:  “Moderation . . . is the overriding rule in striving for a healthy lifestyle.”  As one reader said, “It’s a common-sense approach to harness the power we all have.  We are generally capable of taking control of our own thoughts and bodies, and this book gives tools to use along the journey.  If you are looking for a quick fix, big weight loss ‘secret’, or any other magical fix, this book isn’t for you.  But if you want a practical and realistic approach to taking control of your body, this is a useful book to read.”


Dr. Goldman begins each chapter with a “What You Need To Know” section, then follows it with “More Details,” making it easy to get the important highlights and then delve deeper. Resources for the reader to refer to, along with case studies for illustration, are given.  Overall, I found the book to be sensible, informative, and easy-to-read.  I’ve never had a required reading list for clients, but this might be the beginning of something new at PrimeTime Fitness!


Meredith Nelson, M.Ed., is the owner of PrimeTime Fitness, Inc., on Sullivan’s Island.  Offering group fitness classes, PrimeTime Spin, private yoga, personal training, and monthly gym membership, Meredith divides her time between the gym on Sullivan’s Island and limited in-home training on Daniel Island, where she resides along with her husband Mark.  Meredith can be reached with your fitness questions at (843) 883-0101, or


For more information about Weight Management for Your Life go to