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Writer helps with weight loss

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Shannon Hammer

by Robb Fulcher

After Shannon Hammer lost 110 pounds – and continued to keep that weight off – she found that if she wanted the ideal companion book for her ongoing adventure, she would have to write it herself. The result is The Positive Portions Food & Fitness Journal, which can be used as a gentle, consistent helper on the weight-loss path.

She will sign copies of the book 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at Gold’s Gym, 200 N. Harbor, Redondo Beach, and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at Borders bookstore, 3700 Torrance Blvd. in Torrance.
Hammer, 40, began to address her own weight 10 years ago.

“I had always been overweight, and it kind of kept creeping up, and I stopped weighing myself. Then I saw these pictures from a Christmas party, and I was shocked to see myself weighing 230 pounds,” she said. “It was like someone superimposed my face on a fat woman’s body.”

She joined an overeaters’ support group. She began writing down what she ate every day. She began to meditate, bringing a greater calm into her life and reducing her stress.

It took her about three years to lose the weight. Along the way, she surveyed books on the process.
“I found meditation books and food diaries, but I didn’t find any books that combined both, so I decided to write one myself,” she said.

She created an easy-to-use eating and exercise journal focusing on mindfulness — remaining attentive to our actions while we perform them — as a key to a healthy lifestyle.

Each turn of the page reveals one day’s diary space for calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber and exercise, along with additional information and a daily item of focus, such as “Today, accept that healing has its own timetable” or “Today, eat and enjoy your food.”

There is much warmth and gentleness in the book, and nothing of judgment. Hammer stresses that weight-loss pursuers can tailor their exercise plans to themselves, their own needs, their likes and dislikes. She said they can enjoy getting to know themselves better.

“You have to make friends with your body,” she said.

Her book, published by Fairview Press and costing $14.95, is available on Amazon.com, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, on positiveportions.com, or by calling -1-800-544-8207, where a 20 percent discount and free shipping are offered.

Hammer, the former Shannon Gizzarelli, also wrote the “La Exploradora” column which appeared in Easy Reader. ER

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