The Convent Diet Book Synopsis


My book is about an 18 year old heavy set girl without a whole lot of self-confidence. This young woman enters a convent planning to stay forever living an idealistic life devoted to God. Perhaps deep down she is also looking for peer acceptance while fighting parental disapproval of her decision.  She leaves the convent a lot lighter and those pounds never come back.  This is a story of accidental weight loss told through actual stories of convent life as it was 50 years ago, and how the lessons learned then still work today.

The young woman practices time tested weight management principles without even realizing it because it is just the rule of convent life.  She sits down for dinner and is served a pre-determined portion of a pre-determined food.  The only thing that keeps her from leaving the table ravenously hungry is DESSERT.  There’s homemade apple pie for dinner baked from the apples grown in the convent orchard topped with cheddar cheese, a piece of iced sheet cake for dinner however small, and always homemade sweet rolls for breakfast on Sunday.  This young woman learns in the convent that portion control isn’t all bad when there’s always dessert.  The principle of “Always Eat Dessert” is born and practiced for a lifetime.

The noon meal moves quickly into other engaging activities. It’s a warm Midwestern day and postulant mistress Sister Mary St. Etienne, a tall woman with the figure of a gazelle, leads a gaggle of young women dressed in long black habits, the new crop of postulants, on a hike up and down the hills and through the brambles.  Thoughts of food disappear and focus quickly shifts to enjoying an outing with new friends. Yet is born another principle: “it’s OK to be a couch potato.” Reading and praying some of the day “on the couch” is just fine as long as there are hikes and ball games, bowling and yes, a few toilets to scrub the rest of the day.  None of this is called “exercise.”  Bowling is recreation and scrubbing toilets is one of many duties.  Going to the gym is not an option.

I’m that young girl.  I entered a convent 50 years ago overweight, walked out 50 pounds lighter and kept the pounds off for 50 years. What I learned in the convent about food habits will help other people lose weight and keep it off for a lifetime.

This book, The Convent Diet, identifies holy habits for permanent weight loss including ALWAYS EAT DESSERT and IT’S OK TO BE A COUCH POTATO, and illustrates each principle with short heartwarming vignettes of convent life as it was 50 years ago.  Other Principles include:

  • You’re thin until you’re thin - and what you wear counts. The nun’s habit design made everyone look thin. The book explains how to replicate the habit’s slimming effect using today’s fashions.
  • Don’t eat diet food. The nuns take a vow of poverty. There was no room in the convent budget for low fat TV dinners. The book demonstrates how to lose weight eating the foods you know, love and can afford.
  • Don’t count calories but calories count. No one wants to carry around a calorie calculator for a lifetime. The Convent Diet shows how to make portion control a habit The Convent Way.

More principles will be found in the book...

The book shares the author’s secrets of how these and other holy habits learned in the convent have worked for a lifetime.  Losing weight is usually the #1 New Year’s Resolution of men and women of all ages.  More than 35% of our country today is statistically considered obese and another 40% overweight.  These people need this book. There are many weight loss books and plans on the market but most cannot effectively help people keep the weight off for a lifetime.  The Convent Diet can do that.  This book can also be paired with most any other weight loss system to be used as a lifelong weight maintenance plan once the weight is lost.  The Convent Diet is a lifestyle book.  Anyone who has tried to lose weight and gained it back again will relish this book.  Anyone looking for a lifestyle change will be inspired by the stories from the convent.  The home chef will enjoy the recipes.  Those wanting to reach back and enjoy the wistful charm of a simpler time will read this book and enjoy the pictures.

The Convent Diet shares insights into how to eat less and move more as a permanent lifestyle; not just while on a diet.  The book provides a peek behind the convent wall for those who really want to know about the mysteries of convent life.  Following the principles of The Convent Diet banishes forever the need for the #1 New Year’s resolution: Lose Weight.


Secrets from Behind the Convent Wall to Come

The Stories behind the weight loss system

Recreation (aka Exercise)

Snow ball fights aren't just for kids...and they can be slimming!

BVM Sisters playing in the snow

More to come...

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The Convent Diet...7 Holy Habits for Permanent Weight Loss

by Mary Lou Reid