Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Where I Give A Deeply Conflicted and Probably Completely Irrational Book Review

I've spent the last few weeks reading this one book.  Actually, I've read lots of books, but this one... I need to talk about this one.

Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath.  Have you read it?  Did you hate it?  Did you love it?  Has it stirred angst in your innermost being like it has mine?

It took every single day of the three weeks I had it from the library to read it.  That never happens to me.  I'm a fast reader, and have no problem spending long periods of time sitting and reading, reading, reading (according to Tom Rath this will kill me; but then, according to Tom Rath most of the things I do will kill me).  I could only read a few pages at a time.  After each chapter, I would either nod my head in agreement with Tom Rath and his utter sensibility or hurl the book at the couch calling down a rain of fire on Tom Rath's head.  (You should get used to me saying Tom Rath.  I can't seem to make myself use just his first or last names and pronouns won't stick to him.  I bet even his children call him "Tom Rath," which is charming only if your name is Atticus and you dwell in the book To Kill A Mockingbird.)

It's just too much.  The entire book- which is pretty short, by the way- is too, too much.  The whole book is Tom Rath telling you the healthiest way to live your life.  He tells you what to eat and what not to eat.  He tells you when to move and when not to move (according to Tom Rath if you're not moving right now you're purposely killing yourself).  He tells you when to sleep and when not to sleep (according to Tom Rath I'm killing myself right now because I haven't gone to sleep for the night).  The real kicker?  There is no denying he's right about almost everything in the whole, God-forsaken book.

But you know what?  I can't live like that.  I can't exist solely on leafy greens, a handful of nuts here and there, and fish for supper every night.  And getting exactly 7-9 hours of sleep every single night of my life?  Even forgetting for just a second about Atticus's night terrors (which is impossible, by the way), I can't do that.  Okay, so I won't do that.  Do you know how many children I have hanging on me needing something right now?  Zero.  I have zero needy parasites constantly invading my personal space.  (I'm just kidding, my darling, darling children!  Except not, because very little about our relationship is symbiotic right now.  You are indeed parasitic at this point in your lives, children.)  Tom Rath wants me to shorten that glorious time every evening.  Tom Rath is a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.  (Just kidding, Tom Rath!)

The only part of Tom Rath's whole super-healthy life plan I'm able to execute with any success is daily exercise, and that's only because I am worthless without exercise.  Daily exercise is the only consistent cure that's ever worked for my moderate to severe stomach pains (I know, Mom, someday I will go to the doctor for it- just not today... or tomorrow... or pretty much anytime I don't think I'm about to die from it.  YOU MADE ME THIS WAY, MOTHER), my depression, anxiety, knee pain, back pain, and everything else that's wrong with me, mental, physical, and emotional.  Pain and the threat of mental illness are excellent motivators, as it turns out.

Everything else he talks about- and he talks about A LOT OF THINGS- I completely and totally suck at.  You know my whole New Year's non-resolution to eat more fruits and vegetables?  That's not an effort to be healthier (not for the most part anyway), but pure, Tom Rath-induced guilt.

I know he means well.  He's imparting hard-earned wisdom and knowledge about how to prolong your (miserable, as any life is without complex carbohydrates and sugar) life.  He has this rare disorder where he's missing some kind of gene that suppresses tumors in the body.  His body is constantly riddled with tumors, any of them potentially malignant or benign.  He combats this disorder by getting regular MRI's and CT scans to head off anything cancerous ASAP, and by living the absolute healthiest lifestyle possible.  Seriously, the absolute healthiest.  After reading his book, I'm not completely convinced the man isn't a robot.  (Or, based on the jacket photo, a mannequin and/or homicidal psychopath.  I said as much to Derek, who stated it was just a bad photo and he should have a word with his publisher about that.  I stuck with my mannequin/psychopath stance, but to be fair at that point I was almost done with the book and just looking for reasons to hate Tom Rath.)  (Just kidding, Tom Rath!)  (Kind of.)

Now, for any of you annoyingly healthy people who might be reading this:  I get it.  I really do.  If I were to eat healthier, and get more sleep, and move around more, it would become a habit, and a lifestyle, and blah blah BLAH.  Please just don't.  I am not putting this out there for you.  I am putting this out there so all my like-minded Oreo face-stuffers can rally behind me and then engage in a glorious opinion-validation loop (I've been on the internet enough to know that that is the true reason for its existence: it provides opportunity for anyone to find validation for their opinions, no matter how idiotic).

The problem with everything I just said is that it was a good book.  Like, I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads good.  And I know I'm going to have to check it out and read it all over again, because I was so caught up in a guilt/hate spiral most of the time I was reading it.

You guys should read it, too!  Join me on this crazy train, won't you?


  1. It seems obvious to me, without having read the book (!), that Tom Rath is not a mother. Eat what you want when you want? Ha! Even more ludicrous - sleep when you want? HA HA.

    Your reaction to this book reminds me of my reaction to 'Walden' which in testimony to my inadequate public school education, I never read in high school. Here is Thoreau lecturing the rest of us on how to lead the simple life, while he is living by himself on property that somebody loaned him, without the responsibility of a family. The only thing that kept me from throwing the book across the room in outrage was that I was reading it on my kindle.

    Proud to be first in the chain of opinion validation,
    Carolyn aka The Common Household Mom with Horribly Unhealthy Habits

  2. I do often wonder about people who focus their lives around JUST being healthy. (Although maybe having a life-threatening condition would change my attitude.) It certainly does seem counter-productive to make your life longer by making it miserable. A shorter, happier life? Or a longer, deprived-of-all-tasty-things, life? Hmm . . .

  3. "Deeply conflicted", "irrational", and "book review" all in the same title? I couldn't click on it fast enough. . .

    And what a FUN review! I smiled throughout the review--references to TKAM, cotton-headed ninnymuggins, parasitic children, homicidal psychopath. . .what's not to love?

    But I think I'll pass on the book. I prefer to live a short and happy life (taking another sip of Pepsi in between words).


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