Upon the recommendation of a friend, I picked up the “self help” book “Skinny Bitch”, which – as the cover promises – is supposed to be a “tough love” guide on how to stop eating crap and start “looking fabulous”.
I wasn’t so much enticed by the “looking fabulous” part as the “stop eating crap” thing, as I made the decision all those months ago to strive for health by no longer eating junk. I went into this thinking the book would only reinforce what I’ve already learned and give me more information to help me on my journey.
If only it had worked out that way.
Essentially the book pushes a vegan diet that gets the reader off of things like soda, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and the like, which I totally support as those things have no real nutritional value, and ditched all on my own.
Naturally one of the benefits of adopting this lifestyle is that I’ll look better. I’m already thirty pounds lighter and two sizes down and so I’m a definite believer in doing what you need to do to honor your body and your health.
You take care of your body and it’ll take care of you.
But my primary goal is not that I’ll be “skinny”, or how I’ll look. It can’t be, because it doesn’t work. The reason for this is because as someone who has spent almost three decades dieting and fretting over not being skinny, I know the pitfall of all the negative speak that comes from hating who you are as a motivation for change.
If the hate of how you look motivates you, and it’s not likely to change for a long while, then that will overshadow any kind of love of yourself you need to maintain these lifelong healthy changes. You still have to face yourself in the mirror every day, good, bad or ugly.
If the numbers don’t move, or the inches don’t drop away, as quickly as you will need them to (i.e., you won’t be able to accept yourself until that weight is gone), then you will spiral into a bottomless pit of self loathing that means you won’t care what you put into your gullet.
The truth of the matter is you’re not fat because of what you eat – not completely.
Many people can eat hamburgers, cheesecake, drink margaritas, Ben & Jerry’s and are not overweight.
You’re fat because of *why* you eat, and that *why* is more inclined to pick the very worst foods you could possibly eat, and gorge yourself until you’re sick.
If you’re anything like me, you eat crap as a form of self hatred. You don’t respect your body, obviously, and so you’re more than likely filling that ugly, hateful Chatterbox full of negative talk about your size and all your perceived flaws. Drinking a soda, eating a pizza, killing a bag of Oreos then becomes a method of beating yourself up, which is a helluva lot easier to do when you hate who you are rather than honor who you are, no matter where that may be.
Hence why this book misses its mark ENTIRELY.
If you’re already thin and scared to death of being fat, this book may work for you.
But if you’re really heavy and need to be motivated to love yourself enough to change, it ain’t happening.
The reason is this “tough love” book is written without an iota of respect. Apparently being a “bitch” means you get to trash all over your fellow woman by your own limited, narrow view of what is “acceptable”. For one woman to insult another woman based on something we all have to *fight* in our society to overcome (looks vs. merit), it feeds into girl on girl abuse that far too many accept as “normal” – when it really is nothing more than superficial cattiness.
The hateful language that is used in the first twenty or so pages I could muster through manages to call you ugly, lazy, stupid and a variety of other insults that – quite frankly – I wouldn’t tolerate from the closest of girlfriends… much less a couple of smug strangers who make the huge mistake that just because you’re skinny means you’re healthy.
Ehhh… strike two.
Just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re eating properly or not abusing your body. The only difference between a fat unhealthy person and a thin unhealthy person is that you can *see* the effects in one and not the other.
That’s another reason approaching from the standpoint of something as superficial and temporary as your looks is misguided.
So while I can appreciate the philosophy “Stop eating junk”, the delivery seriously blew major chunks.
Especially since it came from a former model and a former modeling agent.
Strike three…. YOU’RE OUT!
Now the friend that recommended the book has the very astute and evolved opinion that no one can make you feel bad without your consent. But lemme tell you… if you’re over a hundred pounds overweight and are looking to make positive changes to reclaim your health and your body, you’re not there yet. You’re taking baby steps to get there, but every day of the weight loss process is a journey to change yourself from the inside out. Many of these steps are tentative and unsure and for a lot, a desperate last resort so you don’t end up in a coffin before your time. Therefore each of these insults hits like a bullet, and underscores the problems that got you where you are.
Instead guidance is needed that starts with at least an iota of understanding what your issues may be.
The occasional kick in the pants is fine and sometimes even necessary.
But here’s just some of the adjectives and insults used in the first 15 pages you can view for yourself at Amazon.com:
Fat, Bloated & Farty
Peppered in between the unapologetic hatred of all things fat (apparently even the reader themselves), are little nuggets of useful information.
But guess what? You can go to ChooseVeg.com and get the same information without all the disrespect.
And it’s free.
There are plenty of folks who believe you have to break someone down to build them back up again, but for a lot of us who have spent our entire lives tearing our own selves down that approach quite simply doesn’t work. My first husband, raised by a Marine, often tried this with me and I gained a hundred pounds in the duration.
You have to love yourself, folks. It won’t work any other way. And the first thing I did to love myself was I closed this book and promptly gave it right back to the library – thankful to GOD I didn’t shell out the money to buy it, which is really the final insult of the book to me.
Being a bitch doesn’t mean you have license to treat people with that level of disdain or disrespect. And if it does, that’s not the bitch I want to be.
And skinny? Once you get to my age the weight loss process is more about life verses death than whether or not you can fit into Victoria’s Secret. Frankly I’d rather be healthy. Tops of that list is to never allow anyone to do *anything* that makes me feel lesser than what I am by their definition of who I should be.
I get to decide who I am. It may not show in my body yet, but that’s okay. I have no one else to prove it to anyway.