Dr. Deah is a professional with years of experience using art therapy to promote body acceptance. She holds a Doctorate in Education, an MS in Therapeutic Recreation, an MA in Creative Arts Education, and a BA in Theater.
Unlike other self-help authors, however, Dr. Deah has the experience of coming to body acceptance herself, and that makes all the difference.
In her Introduction, Dr. Deah shares several highly relatable personal anecdotes about the everyday challenges faced by folks who are just trying to Live Their Lives While Fat. In so doing, she gets me to relax into the content of the book.
The title Calmanac (calming + almanac) is apt.
The Calmanac is divided into twelve monthly segments and opens with “Personal Perspectives” from Dr. Deah, followed by “Predictable Challenges” unique to each month (e.g., holidays, bathing suit season), “Important Dates to Remember” (like International No Diet Day!), and finally, “Proactivities” for the reader to use (or not) to process their own experiences.
The writing is engaging and personal, spiced with puns and funny anecdotes as well as touching stories that bring a tear to the eye.
I bought this book in paper format even though I normally prefer eBooks, and I’m so glad I did. The cover design, typeface and layout are beautiful and hark back to the Old Farmer’s Almanac that lived on the coffee table in my parents’ house, replaced every year. Like that almanac of yore, I anticipate that I will be returning to the Calmanac frequently in the coming year.