Recently I read the book Get Off Your Ass and Run!: A Tough-Love Running Program for Losing the Excuses and the Weight by Ruth Field aka The Grit Doctor.
I hate this book.
I mean… REALLY REALLY REALLY loathe it.
And I never thought I would publish a review that was this… disappointed and frustrated in something. But it’s come to this.
I mean, when there is a warning on the very first page (literally, right inside the cover) that says you should talk with your doctor before continuing with the book if you have any medical issues, including EATING DISORDERS, that should have been a red-flag.
The author talks as though she doesn’t really like running at all. I don’t care if you hate running… not everybody is going to like running. Guess what? That means that not everybody has to do it! Everybody should do some kind of physical activity to stay healthy, but if you absolutely hate running… you can find something else to do!
I hate the way the author encourages you to berate yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and rip yourself to pieces. Ridicule yourself, call yourself names… she has some deluded notion that all women look in the mirror and think we look amazing and hot. Most of us think the opposite and we need to be encouraged to treat ourselves with more kindness, respect and love. But apparently this author looks in the mirror and thinks “Damn, I’m hot!” even when she should be insulting herself. There’s even a pledge at the beginning of the book for you to sign where you acknowledge you are a FAT ASS.
I know, the book says you’re supposed to have a sense of humor. It says it right on the cover and the author seems to repeat that every few pages. Almost like she’s trying to convince herself that she’s not being rude and insulting to herself, but just being quirky and funny. But it’s not funny or cute. It’s annoying.
I find it weird that she says that your diet plays no role in how fit/fat you are… it’s all in running. “Running is your diet.” She encourages you to not do any other types of activities beyond running. If you get good enough at that, you can add in a “spot of yoga” or a minimal amount of something else, but running is your be-all-end-all fix.
By the time I got to the section about dining/food/kitchen (which I find totally ironic since she insists that stuff doesn’t matter. If that’s the case, why bother writing all that? Why did you throw away all the “bad food” when you moved back in with your mother at the age of 30?), I was so annoyed with the book I couldn’t read it anymore and resorted to skimming.
And there are statements like this, that are just lame:
I realize the author spent time and energy writing this book (while she was pregnant and under doctor’s orders to not run), but I can’t recommend this book… at all. Not even a little bit. The whole thing feels like it’s trying too hard to be witty and fun, while at the same time portraying a message that is completely against everything I stand for.
Oh, and “The Grit Doctor”? That’s her alter-ego that is a total bitch. Almost like, “I’m being completely rude and encouraging you to be rude to yourself, but it’s all this other side. It’s not really ME.” Don’t worry… she owns that The Grit Doctor is a bitch. I’m not being bitchy by calling that out… it’s stated right there in the book.
Oof, yeah that sounds pretty terrible. Thanks for the heads up!
Wow. That sounds like an awful book. It’s like she’s trying to be a Jillian-esque badass. I’ll have to pass on this one. I appreciate the warning!
Having read this book myself, I fully agree with all of this. The whole “sense of humor” thing, it’s like that person who always says “Not to be a bitch, but…” and then says something bitchy. How about instead of covering your ass (which you obviously know is required or you wouldn’t say that), you work on improving your behavior?
I also love how it’s a book about losing weight, but the author admits she’s never had a weight problem and she has no credentials or training in the area. And anybody with half a brain can tell her advice about weight loss is just horrible.
If you skimmed the end, did you catch the part about shaming your fat, lazy partner about their body? That was really the cherry on top for me.
I could go on and on with all the things I hate about this book.
I almost need to go fish it out of the recycle bin just to read that gem!
Wow, if I treated myself like she suggests I’d feel too bad about myself to even get out of bed in the mornings, let alone actually go for a run!
Sadly, my personal experience is that running won’t help me lose weight unless I combine it with healthy food choices and restricted calories. Sigh. See, the thing is, I run because it’s fun. Yes,I have crappy runs, not every run is fun. But, overall, running makes me happy. Pretty sure this book isn’t for me.
I don’t think the book is for anyone!
The way this book is written seems like the exact incorrect way to write a self-help book. The last thing she should be doing is encouraging her readers to tear themselves apart and feel like they’re not worthy of respect. When I started running, it made me feel horrible when people poked holes in my performance. It still does!
With something as sensitive as weight loss, the tough love method doesn’t work. If I read this book the last thing I would want to do is leave the house, let alone run! People need to be encouraged to run and to enjoy, not guilted into running so they hate it.
Thanks for the review, Jill. We’ll be sure to skip out of this “book.”
WOW- thanks for the review. When I go to buy a book like this, I read some of the extra info boxes on the page and if there are any summary quotes too. If it seams bitchy or just not funny to me, I put it back. I would have the same reaction to this as you.
What a horrible book! I can’t believe she pretty much is saying exactly the opposite of any reputable authority. So glad you warned me because it’s normally the type of book I would pick up but now I say no thank you. I can’t tolerate a book that encourages you to belittle yourself. My whole training practice is built around the exact opposite of that.
Hi Jill. Thanks for the heads up. This sounds like a pretty bad book, not only if you’re a runner, but if you’re trying to workout in general. Too bad. It’s got a great title:-). Thanks for your honest review. It’s much appreciated.