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Body for Life for Women: A Woman's Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation    by Pam Peeke order for
Body for Life for Women
by Pam Peeke
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Body for Life for Women, Dr. Pam Peeke offers a program centered on '12-week Challenge' segments. It encompasses three ('Mind-Mouth-Muscle') aspects: attitude towards life stresses, approaches to nourishment, and physical activities. The book begins with an overview of female health issues and discussion of 4 female hormonal milestones, each of which has 'dramatic implications' for emotional and physical health. Then it moves on to sections on the 3 M's. Real-life success stories are interspersed throughout.

Under 'Mind', Peeke provides 10 principles: embrace adversity, find your motivational "bull's-eye", give yourself joy, get the job done, seek progress not perfection, don't let stress go to your tummy, take a license to chill, regroup, own the right to self-care, and form an 'Estrogen Squad'. Under 'Mouth', Peeke discusses nutritional guidelines in context of hormonal milestones, and outlines health implications of 'Smart Foods' and 'Junk Foods'. Her recommendation (tailored to calculated body mass index) is essentially to eat small portions of Smart Foods (tables of Smart Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats, and Snacks are included) five or six times a day. A sample eating plan is provided, as well as forms (at the back of the book) to track progress.

In 'Muscle', Peeke promotes physical activity, emphasizing 'You have to move to lose weight', and again putting fitness needs in context of hormonal milestones. She recommends exercise for cardio (3-5 days a week for 30 minutes), muscular strength and endurance (2-3 days a week for 30-45 minutes), flexibility and balance (e.g via yoga cross-training). Peeke suggests alternatives for fitness training, with tables of respective calorie burn, and detailed recommendations for weight training. Her overall program combines a '12-week Weight Removal' segment with 'Weight Maintenance'. Peeke suggests using either a tape measure or the 'Clothes-O-Meter' to measure progress (the latter works well for me!) Appendix A includes a detailed Exercise Guide with black and white photographs; B is a Q & A; C has blank 'Progress Reports'; and E tells success stories.

There's nothing faddish about the common-sense approach promoted in Body for Life for Women. Rather, Dr. Peeke combines optimism, enthusiasm, and inspiration with very detailed instructions on addressing 'Mind-Mouth-Muscle' on an ongoing basis, to achieve physical and mental transformation.

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