For Bridget Praytor, every woman’s magazine on the supermarket checkout line rack and every weight loss book on the Internet promised magic: a perfect body in a month, if she just followed this week’s fad diet. But how long could someone eat only grapefruit, only beef, or only cabbage soup? At the drugstore, boxes of “magic pills” promised “Lose 10 Pounds in a Week!” in a huge font that nearly—but not quite—distracted her from the tiny “may cause death or permanent health problems” warning. The gym promised her health and happiness—so why after torturing herself on the treadmill two hours every day, did she feel fat and miserable?
And then, after spending most of her adulthood giving in to the seductive call of convenience-store powdered donuts (small, cute, and six to a cellophane package), drinking twelve-packs of diet soda to try to fill herself up, taking diet pills, buying every kind of magic protein shake imaginable, running in a marathon without training for it, training three hours a day for an Ironman just to try to lose weight, and spending hours at the gym because she felt guilty about her weight (followed by evenings of guilt-eating because all that gym time cut into being with her family), Bridget’s life changed in an instant.
Rear-ended by a driver who hadn’t noticed the light had turned red, Bridget was devastated to learn that she wouldn’t be able to exercise strenuously for months. No more ironman. No more treadmill. No more no-pain, no-gain excessive workouts. The only thing she could even do at the gym (where a little free childcare—salvation for a mother of three children under four—came with the membership) was sit in the hot tub. And so she sat. And listened to people talk as they sat next to her. And started to think.
Beautiful women were calling their toned bodies “saggy.” Buff men were pinching invisible fat. Women who had just worked out for two hours were spending the next hour talking about how they hated the very bodies that they’d just worked out, the bodies that had birthed their children, the bodies that took them where they needed to go. How could all these people think such negative things about their bodies? Bridget wondered. And then, How can I say and think such terrible things about mine?
Over the course of the next several months, as Bridget changed her mindset about her body, her weight, her goals, and the meaning of “healthy,” her body changed, too. Pounds started to melt away. The “magic” she’d been searching for didn’t exist in a fad diet, a pill, a surgeon’s office, or even the gym. The magic had been inside her all along. And it’s inside you, too.
The Hot Tub Diet is a book for anyone who is tired of diets that don’t work, tired of punishing exercises, tired of buying shoes because only accessories “look cute” on you, and tired of feeling bad about yourself—and anyone who is ready to change your mindset, feel confident, and finally have a body you love.