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These Self-Help Authors Coach You To Your Personal Best

Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." After a day trying on bathing suits in unforgiving florescent light, I'd have to disagree with him-at least in the literal sense when it comes to the examination of this 40-something body in too few clothes in front of too many mirrors. No matter how great one’s physique is swim suit shopping is often a much-dreaded task. For most of us, it is also just the inspiration we need to take stock and get to work. Of course, even fueled with the image of white sand beaches and bathing suit-clad bods, some of us find it hard to get out of the starting gate. Have no fear; the proverbial cavalry is here–albeit in book form.

If you are looking for new ideas for getting stronger, eating healthier or following your bliss, self-help authors are superb coaches. They motivate in full, clear sentences, allow you to go at your own pace, and are there permanently for referral So before you spend another moment lamenting the sins of cheesecake or feeling like the zip has fallen out of your dee-doo-dah, stop wishing things were different and start reading–these three books will definitely improve your outlook and your life!  

As long as we're quoting the Greeks, when it comes to wishing the needle on the scale would stop sooner, "Just do it."--Nike

Bob Harper

Shape up your life and your body with a pro from TV's "The Biggest Loser."

He's got his hands full with the contestants on TV's "The Biggest Loser” so where did Bob Harper ever find the time and energy to write ARE YOU READY? (Broadway, April 2008)? Follow his regimen and you too could pull off some amazing feats. Harper doesn't have you lift a finger much less a hand weight until you've dug for, pulled out, examined, and tossed out the negative thought patterns that clutter your life like that carton of fuzzy, green-gray yogurt in the back of your fridge. With his encouraging attitude, the step-by-step photos of relatively easy daily exercises and sample menus for eating at home and on the run, in no time, you'll be striding with pride into the dressing room with an armful of up-to-the-minute tan-kinis.  

Hand over the Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Raspberries and no one gets hurt. 

Ellie Krieger

Eating healthy was never easier or more delicious than with this cookbook. 

If you've seen Ellie Krieger on her Food Network show, "Healthy Appetite," you know that she's as approachable as your long-lost best friend from grade school and as up-to-date in her knowledge of nutrition as Andrew Weil. Her first cookbook, THE FOOD YOU CRAVE (Taunton Press, January 2008), is a smash hit. While I would substitute whole wheat noodles in her signature dish, macaroni with four cheeses, the recipe satisfies anyone, weight-, or health-conscious or not. Everything in this lavishly photographed-book looks luscious (including Ellie, a former Wilhelmina model). Bring her oven-fried chicken and zucchini Parmesan crisps to your next picnic or pot luck and you'll be as popular as Derek Jeter at a Little League convention.  

Why is this woman smiling?

Marci Shimoff

How to be happy–it might be simpler than you think! 

Marci Shulman knows true happiness is not about getting your book onto the New York Times bestseller list, but since her message in HAPPY FOR NO REASON (Free Press, January 2008) is out there being talked about and shared, she's counting her blessings. The book is a quick read, not blow-your-mind original, but the scientific studies and personal stories are solid proof that you don't have to be born a cock-eyed optimist to get happy. I found myself underlining quote after quote from the "Happy 100," men and women whose cheerfulness never, thank goodness, crossed the line into annoying, preachy perkiness. The seven steps to raising my happiness set point are straightforward enough and I can honestly say I'm less irritable. With even that small change, I'm making everyone around me happier, too.

As Bobby McFerrin so memorably sang, "Don't worry. Be happy!" Now you have a map to guide you through the sprawl of self-help titles out there. If your goal is to improve your health and self-image or just give your already positive outlook a little boost, you can let these three experts’ words carry the weight, not you!

 

A note from Beth Goehring: "I am so excited to write about books for CESLIE-The Women's Network. Reading is not only a lifelong passion, but it's my job. As the editor-in-chief for a group of book clubs that includes Book-of-the-Month Club®, The Literary Guild®, Doubleday Book Club®, Mystery Guild®, and The Good Cook®, I hear the early buzz about what will soon be hot in everything from autobiography to zoology. In any week, my colleagues and I review hundreds of upcoming books to choose those that really deliver, whether it's with fascinating characters, an unforgettable story, a vicarious thrill, a wealth of useful information or compelling inspiration. Hands-down, the best thing about my job is finding that hidden gem, a novel that wasn't lavished with a huge marketing budget, not for lack of charm or quality, but because of a publisher's limited resources. When I can make a match between one of these unsung heroes and a grateful reader, then I've done my job well!"

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