I love books about food, weight, health and all that stuff. I've often posted about my favourite health books and vegan books, but never said much about the fat girl stories. So I thought I'd create a list of 'fat girl memoirs'. They're all books I've read or that I'd like to read.
Confessions of a Reformed Dieter I bought this book by AJ Rochester back when I still was a fat girl, in my early Weight Watchers days. It's very funny and I've read it numerous times over the years. I dropped it in the bathtub once and it's totally warped and crumpled. That's the test of a true favourite, I think, at least for me. If it looks like it's passed through the bowels of a goat a few times, you know I've loved and read it over and over.
The Secrets of Skinny Chicks
I reviewed this book about a month ago. I really enjoyed it because it takes a close look at the daily food and exercise of women who maintain a high level of fitness. It's a realistic look at what you have to do to maintain skinniness--and it has nothing to do with Atkins, South Beach or Sugar Busters, and everything to do with overall calorie-intake and exercise-output. That's all there is to it!
Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding Myself This one intrigues me because 1)many reviews are negative; they say the author is very disagreeable! and 2)it turns out the author gained her weight back and is involved with a blog called 'Angry Fat Girlz'! I don't think I'd find this book terribly inspirational, but it would be interesting to see the other side of the coin, I suppose. I mean, just the title, to me, shows that she never intended to stay thin to begin with! Not all fat girls are jolly...
Which brings me round to Fat Girl This one I've read, and I have to say it is NOT meant to be an inspirational I-did-it-you-can-too book. It's more akin to the misery memoirs, such as Dave Pelzer's excruciatingly harrowing and depressingly popular 'Child Called It' books and their dismal copycats. The author remembers what it was like to be a fat kid, a fat adolescent, and a fat woman. Her book is a combination of food porn, painfully detached descriptions of her own body, and anecdotes of varying degrees of emotional abuse. Offering no easy answers for how she got that way or how she might improve her situation, I found it an uncomfortable read. Here's Judith Moore's explanation for why she wrote it. I still can't help but think her 'I am fat and screw you' attitude is just the usual cover-up for wanting to be thin. I don't care what any of them say, all fat girls want to be thin. And while being fat is a very complicated and painful thing, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. And yes, there is a way out of that darkness...but sadly, not for Moore, who died in 2006, at age 66.
The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl Now this one looks really fun. I browsed it a bit in a bookshop a couple of years ago and might pick it up yet! It's based on the blog of a Scotland-dwelling Aussie girl (the second Aussie girl in my list!) who lost loads of weight and was invited to write a book about it! Here's her website.
Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating This one is a classic, and one I read about 20 years ago, long before I got the courage to make some changes in my life and finally lose the weight. It's a must-read for fat girls. If you've ever eaten from the trash can or managed to consume an entire loaf of bread while standing at the kitchen sink, this book will resonate with you. (Yes, I've done both. And more.)
Half-Assed: A Weight-loss Memoir I actually found out about this one while looking for the book Anna recommended, 'Secrets of a Former Fat Girl'. (I will post my review of that one as soon as I've finished it...) 'Half-Assed' is another weight-loss blogger's book! Apparently, her blog was noticed by a book editor and she was invited to write a book, same as Shauna Reid ('Diet Girl'). Wow! That's just amazing. I'd like to give the book a go. Here's the blog.
One thing that surprises me about both Shauna Reid (Diet Girl) and Jeanette Fulda (Half-Assed) is the maintenance weight they set themselves. At 5'8", Shauna settled at 175lbs (79.5kg), and Jeanette, 5'9", has stopped at 180lbs (82kg). While they both look great, I just wonder why they didn't go ahead and lose the rest. According to conventional wisdom, they both have roughly 30lbs to go. I'm just wondering--why not take it all the way? Shaun says she settled for a 'sane size 14.' So, is size 10 insane? I mean, I realise that their ending weight is not far from my starting weight, and each of them has lost nearly as much as I weighed when I started, but still. Curious as to why they didn't just continue with it.
Obviously, I don't have the money to buy all these books which I'll read in 2 days' time and then plonk on the shelf until they go to a charity shop! So it looks like I'm going to be busy making inter-library loan requests!