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The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,177 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
For Tory Johnson, weight was always an issue; although she felt ashamed of how she looked, Tory could never find the will to change. When a network executive warned her that if she didn't lose weight her television career could be in jeopardy, Tory experienced something profound: A Shift. She knew she didn't just want to change, she needed to change.

The Shift begins with t
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Diana Siwek
Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Good: The writer is honest, and I could relate to her complex struggle with food addiction. I could also relate to her deciding to make a lifestyle change and making it happen. The more I read, the more I started to root for her. Her tone is likeable, and it was a quick, easy read. I finished it in 2 days.

The Bad: Her advice is simple: Whatever you do, don’t eat. She’s right to some extent. Eating healthy portion sizes of whole, unprocessed foods is a huge part of weight loss. To do that, yo
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I first saw Tory Johnson on my local ABC News station, WABC in New York City, where she did a segment called 'Steals and Deals'. She would have four or five products that people could get for 50% off. I liked her friendly personality and her professional demeanor, as well as her rapport with the news anchors.

Johnson brought her 'Steals and Deals' to Good Morning America and now she had a national audience. But I noticed that she began to lose weight; not drastic, but over the course of one year,
Melisa Taylor
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Best idea from book: Paint your fingernails when having a bad craving.

She seems to have starved herself and lived off salad to lose the weight. I admire that dedication. She seems to be well off so it's a shame she had to be hardcore. It seemed she was very unhappy while losing the weight and felt deprived. Losing weight can be fun.

If I had the money, I would be organic, grassfed Paleo Crossfitting Yogi and I would not be hungry or feel deprived!

I do like that this book stresses that it will
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: health
This was an easy and fast read. I liked that Tory was very honest about the process and what it took. There is this idea that if you just "eat less and move more" that you can be thin. Obviously this works for some people but for the vast majority of overweight people, especially women of a certain age, it takes extreme deprivation. Also, when you are trying to lose weight, your body will fight it and put out hormones that make you obsessed with food (not everyone, but in general) and you will b ...more
Heidi The Hippie Reader
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Instead of The Shift, this could be called 'How I Developed My Eating Disorder'. Tory has a friend who asks her how she's managing to lose so much weight and she basically says (I'm paraphrasing), 'You have to reach the point where you hate yourself so much that you're willing to give up anything, even eating, to make a change.' She manages to starve herself into losing a noticeable amount of weight and then, because of the positive feedback she receives from her coworkers, family, and televisio ...more
Sandy Hall
Sep 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I had pre-ordered this and when it popped up on my kindle I immediately snuggled into bed and began to read! I finished this morning and have already told 2 friends about it. :-) I'm always fascinated by what triggers people to lose weight, so many stories are similar, but the differences are what makes them interesting, it reminds me over and over that one size does NOT fit all. Overall, I liked the book and feel encouraged by reading Tory's account of how listening to her body, recognizing her ...more
Deirdre Keating
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The ipad is proving to be dangerous when it comes to the Kindle app. Saw this on a friend's shelf and downloaded it for $2. Sick but sleepless, I read it in one day, and I liked it. A good read to kick off the new year. I would have appreciated more info on her first days/weeks, as they seem the hardest but quickly forgotten once people are successful. I read some reviews here so I was prepared for the oft putting comments about her daughter' weight and her own sex life. Really though, it is eas ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is one of those books that was on a special daily deal on Amazon. It seemed like it might be interesting. As it turns out, that was a false assumption.

I don't really watch TV so I didn't realize that Johnson is a regular on GMA. Obviously, I didn't really know who she was either. The main gist, she was an extremely obese woman who lost 62 pounds in a year. How? Lots of self deprivation. "What's your problem with that?" you may ask. "Well," I reply, "nothing with that per se." What really g
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
I'm glad she found her way to lose weight but I did not agree with how she went about it. The Shift is more like a woman's weight loss diary. It can motivate you, but I wouldn't do what she did. Totally omitting fruits and whole grains are just silly.
If you are looking for a diet book – with specific instructions and rules and schedules and lists to follow – then this is definitely not the book for you. This is more of a memoir focusing on author Tory Johnson's weight loss endeavor over the course of one year, and how it affected all aspects of her life and her relationships: she details how her weight and her battle with it affected (for both better and worse) her interactions with her boss, her friends, her brother, and most poignantly, he ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, 2014
I appreciated reading about her weight loss journey. It's tough for anyone, even those with support and unlimited resources, like Tory. That said, I didn't take a lot away from this book that I didn't already know from my own experience. And mostly, I just didn't like her, which left me rather cold to the rest of the book. I didn't buy that she struggled with self-esteem. She certainly seemed to me to have plenty of self-regard. Plus, I lost all respect for her as a parent when she seemed ok wit ...more
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I really enjoyed this book. This isn't a diet program or a guide to lose weight. It's more of a memoir of one woman's weight-loss journey. Tory Johnson doesn't so much tell you how she lost weight. Instead, she details the way her thinking changed during the 12 months she worked her program. She shares the emotional challenges she faced. As a reader, I was able to "see" the change happen as the diet she was following became a lifestyle.

I feel this is what is missing from most diet books. By shar
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am a sucker for success stories. I'm also in the midst of rebooting my diet and like inspirational reads whilst working towards supermodel status. This was ok. The highlights for me were the author's persistence and her candor. Her weight loss method seems like torture and I got a feeling that there was some intent of punishment on her part (probably subconsciously). I actually bet she could have lost the weight faster with an easier but more scientifically sound method. Oh well, worked for he ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
This is really a memoir, not a self help or comprehensive diet book. Infact, I think the super low-carb approach that Tory takes is a little hazardous to one's health, but it worked for her. What struck me is how low her self esteem was and how she punished herself for years (undressing in the dark, not letting her husband see her naked, etc....) She continued this pattern of low self esteem even as she lost a lot of weight. The one thing I did appreciate about this memoir is what she calls "the ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved listening to Tory Johnson! I connected with her on her many failed attempts at losing weight, making excuses, self sabotage. She could have been describing me. She puts it out there. It is hard and at times you will really feel the suffering, but what other choice do you have? I may have to read this one every month this year, but it is time to start my own shift! Highly recommend!
Jan 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book proves that Hollywood/TV promotes unhealthy lifestyles in exchange for job security. This woman starved herself, skipped meal, and engaged in unhealthy habits that will most likely come back to bite her in the ass. She is not an inspiration for weight loss or happiness but rather the need for therapy and self-confidence!
Carolyn Somerville
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Although I did not know who Tory Johnson was before I read this book (not a GMA watcher), the book was well written and she told her story honestly. She didn't give any specific diet or exercise advice but told what worked for her. It was very relatable and honest. A good quick read.
Kelly Haverlandt
Interesting read - I admire Tory for her hard work over the year but do not necessarily agree with her take on dieting.
Debra Kingsley
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tory's account of her "Shift" in attitude toward weight loss really resonates with me. I am going to use her way of thinking to get healthy. so there Lisa. I can give a book 5 stars!
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is something almost every woman goes thru. She just said what we all do and think. It was good.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I first decided that I did not like this author on page 53 when she tells her then not-fat 14 year old daughter "you'd probably feel better about yourself if you lost just five pounds" in response to her daughter's angst over her peers' obsession with appearance and it's related stress. Wow. Way to fuel an eating disorder and self-loathing, mom. She rationalizes this by telling the reader she wishes that someone had given her this advice when she was her daughter's age. Double wow.

Tory ensures
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
There was some interesting stuff in here about determination and making a huge change, but it was overshadowed by how unhealthy her relationship with her body was and how relationship with food now is. I think the moment that most showed this is when she wants to take down the picture of her holding her newborn twins because she thinks she looks fat. But decides to keep it up. Not because it was a wonderful memory and part of her life. Nope. Because it will be an inspiration and reminder to hers ...more
Nettye Johnson
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
While I don't agree with Tory's weight philosophy, I enjoyed her story and the read.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found it motivation and fun.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So awesome!

I'm so glad a got to read this book. I will cherish all the lessons learned from this amazing book!
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was encouraging at first, but it got really old and felt like all she would talk about was the food she didn't eat that was in her presence. I couldn't hardly get through it. The weight she lost was amazing, and was hard work, but depriving yourself to do so isn't always the way.
Unintentionally, Tory Johnson brought home for me the many ways people with weight issues are judged and sabotaged. Intentionally, The Shift is not a diet book. It’s a strategy book about the mental shift and strong commitment needed to make a major life change. What’s really important to you? What are you willing to give up to achieve your top priorities? At no point does Johnson advocate that you follow her diet plan. She’s very clear that the plan she devised was based on her own self-knowled ...more
Patrice M.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay nothing really exceptional in this one (But I got it for $1.. what can one expect?) She lost weight by not eating much of anything but the "Shift" was that she decided to do it and stick with it. Seemed to be extreme but apparently has worked for her .
Sally Kilpatrick
I have really mixed feeling about this book.

On the one hand, I think she's absolutely right that weight maintenance is a lifestyle decision. I believe that some of us hang on to weight more easily than others, too. I really liked her idea of preference versus priority, i.e. I'd prefer to eat that chocolate donut, but my priority is to lose weight. I've also come to her same conclusion about telling yourself what you CAN'T eat only makes you want to eat it more; you make decisions. After all, you
Marilyn Willison
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
A good friend of mine (who knows that the Health and Fitness Editor side of me never tires of reading books about losing weight), gave me an early Christmas gift. Once I opened “The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered A Happier Life” by Tory Johnson (Hyperion, $22.99, 230pp) I couldn’t put it down—and that’s always a sign of a terrific book.
If you’ve overindulged on holiday goodies (as I have), you’ll enjoy following Tory Johnson’s one-year life-changing weight loss journey. In add
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Didn't like it 1 6 Apr 17, 2014 03:46PM  
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“I know that the smallest, most inconsequential things can set me off: a well-meaning friend or family member who says, “Come on, just this once.” Off-limit foods served at special occasions like birthday parties, weddings, and holidays. A perceived insult, a bad day, or lousy weather. If there has been an excuse to eat, I have used it to always find my way to food—and the price I paid was staying fat. Those days are over.” 0 likes
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