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Book Notes: Never Going Back by Al Roker

never going back


I picked this book up for several reasons. Number one, I struggle with my eating habits and my weight and I need the encouragement to do better. Number two, I heard an interview with Al Roker about this book and Al was so straight forward in sharing things that many people would want to hide that I liked the honesty. I like it when people are real, I believe we are dealing with a generation today that is tired of things that are glossed over and made to look better than they really are. No more fakes please.

In the book Al shares how he has struggled with bad eating habits for most of his life. He shares things that so many of us can understand about the yoyo dieting life. Lose 20 pounds and gain 30. It seems like a lifelong cycle and one that is painful.

Al finally made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery to make his stomach smaller and thereby he was forced to change his eating habits and lose the weight. AT his heaviest weight he was about 350 pounds on a 5 foot 8 inch frame.

In the end Al says if you ask me how to lose weight and keep it off, the answer is eat less and exercise more.

I know this is true, I have seen it in my own life. When I exercise and eat healthy, I not only maintain a good weight, I feel better too. It is just so easy to do the wrong thing. It is not until we decide that we are sick and tired of the yoyo that we finally get on track and do the right thing. If you want to be thinner it is possible and it won’t kill you. Al is proof of this.

I like the fact that he trained and has run the New York City Marathon. That is inspiration for all of us who think that 26.2 miles is only for elite athletes.

Al has taken an approach to eating that I never plan to try, about 40% of the book is devoted to recipes of the dishes he eats on a regular basis to maintain his weight. I applaud Al for finding what works for him and I know what works for me, everyone is different. I will not likely take up his exercise routine, I will stick to running as long as I am able. The thing is, we all have to find what works for us and stick to it.

There is a lot of inspiration in the book and if you are interested in the eating plan there is a lot of information here that you can use. I enjoyed the book and it has inspired me to do better and to get back on track. My plan will not look like Al’s but having a plan is what matters.

Here are a few takeaways from the book.


“In the end, we only make permanent changes when we are willing and ready to make them.”

“People have asked my advice many times on the right way to approach someone when it comes to weight. Here’s the thing. There is no right way. Fat people know they’re fat. They know they need to lose weight. When you’re buying a size 60 suit and wearing a 56 pant, you know you’re fat. There’s no fooling yourself or anyone else. So even though you think someone is too heavy, keep your mouth shut; that person already knows.”

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

“An easy way to remember if a food is clean is: “If man made it, don’t eat it.”

‘Always ask yourself whether you are really hungry or just bored.”

“Remember, food is fuel. It’s not meant to be a panacea for monotony.”

“People always ask me what the secret to permanent weight loss is. My answer is simple: Eat less, exercise more.”

“In the old days, if something came up in my schedule, my workouts were the first thing I’d cancel. These days, I know I need to put myself first if I’m going to stay on my path. Look, if all else fails, try making the family a part of your training as a way to include them in the process.”

“Running is now a favorite time, when I can quietly mull over a problem or just let my mind go blank and take in the scenery of wherever I am.”

“When you eat out, your chances of finding an entrée that’s truly healthy are painfully low.”

“It’s important to remember that exercise keeps the mind sharp and your spirits up, and that’s a benefit to everyone.”

“Most people think that talking to someone about losing weight motivates that person, but it does just the opposite. If merely “bringing up” the topic worked, I would have lost weight a long time ago!”

“95 percent of people who go on diets fail.”

“My weight will continue to be a lifelong battle, but at least I’m prepared to face it head-on and slay the dragon. I know it’ll take hard work, discipline, perseverance and persistence. If I had a choice between going on a twelve-mile run or sitting at home in front of the fire and reading a book, in my heart, I would prefer the book, but I am aware that isn’t going to keep me in shape. So when I look at the alternatives and weigh the options, there’s one thing I know for sure—I no longer identify myself as the fat, jolly, rotund weatherman. That guy is gone. It doesn’t mean he won’t try to stage a comeback. But if he does, I’m ready for him, because I love where I am, and I’m never goin’ back!”


February 13, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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