Book Review: Death by Comfort by Paul Taylor

As I settled into my new comfy chair on the deck, refreshing drink beside me, sun hat shielding the dappled sun from my face, I got ready to review Death by Comfort by Paul Taylor.

My first reaction was 'ouch' followed swiftly by 'thank you'. It's not the typical way I start reviewing a book yet it had an impact from the very first page. Not once did I highlight any key section to call out in this review, there was no highlight. It was all sensibly, quantifiably, understandingly right. And damn it I'm all about the facts, so the book caught me hook line and sinker. *sigh*

This is a book about the reality of you and me and almost everyone around us. We pat ourselves on the back reaching 10,000 steps yet that farcical number was made up by some marketing exec with no science behind it. We're conditioned to stop when things get 'hard' yet it's here where we develop, excel even, as humans. We need to be uncomfortable to be comfortable

Every chapter is a cracker. I was particularly interested in the chapter on stress. Commonly referenced as the devil in most of our lives, stress can be harnessed for good. Thinking back to highly stressful times in my life, I can see how when harnessed, it has made me stronger. I loved the chapter on harvesting discomfort which perfectly led to the chapter on fueling your ecosystem . The facts around process foods was concerning, although not new news, therefore harder to ignore.

I'm glad I broke up with processed foods last year (certainly reading this book makes my will power stronger). And no, I'm not giving up my comfy deck chair. I just bought it. But I will stretch myself out of my comfort zone every day and offset the impacts of my overly sedentary life.

If you know you need to change things in your life but you're not up for lecture from the self righteous, athletically gifted, perfect lifers, then grab a copy of this book. Do find a comfy chair as you'll find this book hard to put down once you've started.

Review by Melissa Ryan – Head of Trade Engagement & Special Projects at Tabcorp

Death by Comfort: How modern life is killing us and what we can do about it by Paul Taylor is out now.

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