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anon (san francisco, ca United States)

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Think Yourself Thin: The Visualization Technique That Will Make You Lose Weight Without Diet or Exercise
Think Yourself Thin: The Visualization Technique That Will Make You Lose Weight Without Diet or Exercise
by Debbie Johnson
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's about time we felt good about ourselves, July 2 2004
As a person who's been struggling with weight issues all my life, I'd like to recommend this book by Debbie Johnson. A year ago I reached my goal weight of 135 lbs, and I was actually told I looked 120 lbs. You would think I'd be pleased with myself and celebrate my new-found body, right? Well, no. I stared at myself in the mirror, still considered myself fat, and began to pick at "flaws" on my body. A year later, I re-gained 40 lbs.
If any of you have experienced this scenario, then you should read Debbie's book. She emphasizes the psychological issues that overweight people suffer. Johnson's insights can explain why I gained my weight back: I had a poor self-image despite having reached my goal weight. Because of a lack of love and even self-loathing towards myself and my body, I was susceptible to gaining my former weight back, which happened like clockwork. My poor self-image produced an enormous amount of anxiety and stress which provides the psychological framework for gaining weight. Johnson's visualization techniques are simple: If you imagine yourself fat, your subconscious will create hunger to feed this image. If you imagine yourself thin, your subconscious will reorganize itself to maintain your thinness and help you find ways to maintain that image. At that point Johnson postulates that your body will reorganize your bodily functions and metabolism to let go of excess weight. I was a strict disciplinarian who used an enormous will-power to lose weight, but discipline and self-denial aren't the qualities that help long-term weight loss and maintainance, and if you deep down believe you're fat, will-power and discipline cannot erase that fear. According to Johnson, will power is not as powerful as the imagination that ultimately helps you to visualize your ideal image which in turn aids you in appreciating your body. Johnson's visualization technique helps you affirm yourself in the now and trains you to see yourself in your ideal body. In doing so, your subconscious will be fed with positive images of your present self which will in time help you develop your own system of weight loss and not anyone else's. Those of you who have done the Atkins diet, weight-loss programs, and others know that there isn't one system that works for each and every one of our particular bodies. Johnson's techniques will help you find your own personal system that will give you guided signals on what to eat and which exercises to partake via *natural* and not coerced means. Johnson is right: There is no one system that works for millions of overweight people. Dogmatic weight loss systems might help us in a short amount of time but "abandons" us eventually, as Johnson insightfully notes.
As I look at my pictures from a year ago, I am shocked to see how thin I was. But I certainly didn't think I was thin because of the psychological issues involved in it. I kept focusing on my physical flaws and thought myself as a "fat" person, and I certainly wasn't. Thinking yourself fat is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Likewise, thinking yourself thin is also a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it's up to you to choose how to perceive yourself. Ultimately, I realize now that self-love and self-image are the most important components on long-term weight loss and maintainance. Johnson's book will explain to you in detail how restructuring our own psychology is the most vital aspect of losing weight.

Tango (Sous-titres français)
Tango (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Juan Carlos Copes
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 25.80
18 used & new from CDN$ 10.06

3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Impressions, Aug. 29 2002
I've read others' reviews, and while I'm not adverse to this film, I do agree on many of the criticisms articulated here.
I'm familiar with the Latin American tradition of the entwinement of fantasy and reality, but I think Tango takes this to pretension. The anti-narrative structure is still yet a structure (contrary to what the producers intended, I supposed) that imprisons the tango from exploding in its full passionate intensity and exploring the characters' emotional states. The lack of emotional range was a disappointment for me. The detachment from the characters by rendering their subplot as a mere a prop of the pseudo-documentary is a technique I question. The film overly abstracted the human elements of the tango. The running commentary and voice-overs of Mia Maestro and the director were intentionally distracting, causing a detachment towards the characters and ultimately the experience of the dance form itself. I thought that this manipulative ploy made the film fail as an engaging experience for the audience by discarding the human element that is essential to understanding and feeling the tango. Since the quadruple (?) love story subplot is banal and pedestrian, the dance becomes vital. But unfortunately, the finest dancers of the film were not the main characters but the supporting cast of dancers - those dancers deserve to be recognized and be praised profusely for their skill and emotional investment towards their craft. While the choreography of some of the sequences made the heart race, the intrusion of the stupid subplot steals any potential emotional involvement I could have had for the film.
The presentation of the history and art of the tango lacked sincerity. Even if it had told through a hauntingly simple way a la Buena Vista Social Club, it would have been successful and effective. The postmodern pretensions of the production created a bits and pieces of fragments that titillated but failed to punch, surprise, and impassion. It lacked the unity necessary to behold the heart and to encapsulate a well-sculpted memory for the mind. It simply denounced humanity by trying to achieve too much conceptually before it even told its story. I am sure that the story can be told in a simple yet infinitely more powerful way than what has been done, even if the producers of the film are reluctant to tell it in the traditional linear narrative.

Happy Together (Widescreen)
Happy Together (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Leslie Cheung
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 52.27
10 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Tango Blues, Aug. 18 2001
This review is from: Happy Together (Widescreen) (DVD)
Well, the texture of this film is familiar; it's very Wong Kar Wai, and I wasn't so much impressed by the style of the film as by the content. If you want style, In the Mood for Love is probably the summit of Wong's talent, not Happy Together. I read somewhere that Wong was interested in doing a film about a gay couple, a theme that is currently in vogue in worldwide film. Except, Wong wanted a twist or a stark examination of relationships whose nature is the same irrespect of sexual orientation. Happy Together evokes the masochism, the enslavement, and darkness of relationships between two people who are somehow just incompatible. Even though Fai and Ho are in love, they torture and tyrannize each other with vendettas of rejection, violence, abandonment, and feigned indifference. I find this an exceptional film that speaks a deep, dark truth that most people are afraid to confront and overcome. After seeing the performances of the actors and the all too truthful content of the film, I wholeheartedly agree that Wong won his Best Director award at Cannes resplendently fair and square.

Hard Boiled [Import]
Hard Boiled [Import]
DVD ~ Yun-Fat Chow
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 14.48
13 used & new from CDN$ 2.80

5.0 out of 5 stars John Woo Trilogy, July 14 2001
This review is from: Hard Boiled [Import] (DVD)
I watched A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard-Boiled in that order, and each one builds a momentum and quality that the next film tops. I definitely recommend watching these films in that sequence, as the intensity of stunning cinematography, action drama, and character additions deepens.
A poster said that John Woo's dialogue is juvenile - I wonder whether he knows Cantonese or can even grasp the slang and nuances of the urban language of Hong Kong. A Cantonese speaker will probably testify that his scripts are quite savvy and smart. The pity is that Hong Kong slang, as in any foreign language (depending on what's foreign to you), is untranslatable. The timing of the jokes, retorts, and reflections is hard to faithfully translate without disrupting the meaning of the characters' words. Let's just say the English translation for the film is awful. The trade-off of reading a text or even watching a movie of a language different than your own is that a lot is butchered and obscured, demeaning the art piece's full glory.
Well, John Woo himself said he doesn't know much about gangsters. He's merely using his characters - often chivalrous and struggling with their conscience - to express his philosophy of a lost world of traditional values where the believer of those values is destroyed in a heroic tragedy. It's disputable to say that his gangster characters are a parody or not; some yes, some no. The actors portray the gangsters I've come across quite well; the gangsters' grandiose, crude, and ruthless mannerisms and ethics sketch a strong parody of them. However, I don't think the characters of "Alan" (Ah-Long in Cantonese) or "Joe" in The Killer are intentional parodies. Gangstar action films sell, but a straightforward, didactic story about the loss of idealized code of honor and ethics probably won't. But a gangstar flick coupled with some mourning for the lack of forthrightness in a Social Darwinist world by some memorable cops and gangsters sells remarkably well. The main characters are tragic heroes who experience intense agony and strive for honor in a heartless environment.
I'm a big John Woo fan, so can't get too objective. All I can say is - SEE IT!

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