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Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body Paperback – May 5, 2009
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About the Author
More About the Author
Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010).
Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University
[Photo by Becky Hill]
Top Customer Reviews
Seriously. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy (but I still bought the finished book as a show of appreciation and support). I was 6 months out of a relationship and feeling anxious about putting my girthful self out into the cruel world of dating. I decided I would take the leap in the spring AFTER I'd lost 50 pounds. Then I read Fat-O-Sphere. It made me feel strong. If I was happy and successful and active and feeling great, why not embrace it? Being fat did not negate all those really good things. So I promptly began online dating. And it worked. I'm having extreme fun and meeting lots of men (some amazing, some ok, some crazy) who delight in my glamorous heft. I am beyond grateful to Marianne and Kate for writing a book that helped me stop feeling ashamed and guilty and confused.
Health at every size, peace of mind at every size, happiness at any size--that's what this book advocates, explains and encourages.
The basic premise is that diets don't work long-term for any but a tiny minority of people and that they create more health problems than they fix (if they fix any), and that the beating your self-esteem takes from continual weight obsession is not helpful. There are studies and statistics to back this up, and the authors encourage readers to check out their sources and come to their own conclusions. For me, it doesn't take much convincing. I've seen my weight drop or go up inexplicably, or stubbornly refuse to budge when I'm doing everything "right" based on whatever diet I'm doing at the time. And, hang around any dieting message board, and you will hear from people who are following the plan and not losing. People who are dieting talk a lot about tricks to keep yourself from plateauing--cut calories, but not too much, or give yourself a couple days where you eat "normally" to convince your body it's not starving, or bump up the calories a little but exercise like a fiend. It's a commonly accepted fact that when you try to lose weight, your body will fight you every step of the way. Which is part of why the subtitle is about "declaring a truce with your body." The point is to avoid fighting a war against yourself that you can't win and that will make you miserable.
Another issue the writers point out about dieting is that having foods be forbidden just makes them more attractive, and having things that you are "supposed to" eat makes them less desirable. And it's the same with exercise.
Now, this is where a lot of people get hung up.Read more ›
If you are dead-set on hating yourself, this isn't the book for you. But if you've been thinking that maybe those crazy fat acceptance folks have a point about dieting not working, you are ready to sit down and listen to two honest, caring girlfriends who will tell it like it is.
No, it's not all unicorns and cotton candy, accepting your body and yourself is hard work, it's just a different (and more rewarding) kind of work than what restricting your eating and exercising as punishment are. This book provides some specific direction and resources for feeling better about, and connected to it, taking better care of, your body.
If you aren't female, you might not feel like you are being spoken to directly, the way that I did when I read it, but if you have women in your lives (moms, friends, girlfriends, wives, sisters) who could use some reinforcement in the body love department, this book may make a great gift (but not for someone who will feel insulted by the word "fat-o-sphere").
I know the authors couldn't include everything in the whole world of fat acceptance in the book, but if you want to know more about intuitive eating, I also recommend "The Diet Survivor's Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care."
I know I'll be glad I have this book on my shelf during those times when my acceptance muscles are feeling fatigued -- girlfriends Kate and Marianne (and special guests) will be there to remind me of what I need to do to get back on the path to good self care.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The authors make a lot of good points and paint a very accurate picture of how overweight folks often receive healthcare which is inadequate due to the bias of healthcare... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kay
Everyone and anyone should read this book. The road to self-acceptance starts here.Published 10 months ago by CindyRB
The information is good in this book, but the book is not written well. There are a lot of parenthesis and side comments that are not necessary and too much personal information... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gena A. McGill
A fantastic book that will change the way you think about fat forever. Relevant to women and men of any size and weight, because we ALL live in a culture that surrounds us with... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Thoughtful Reader
Finally---a healthy, balance look at body image and accepting ourself as God made us. True we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves--but God did not make us a size 4 and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by rrb
This is a great book for any size body! It explains a different perspective from what the media and society have taught us. Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by Helene Daniels
I feel much better about my 200+ lbs. body after reading this brutally honest book about accepting one's body in a world that often views fatness as a fate worse than death.Published on January 7, 2014 by Ava Hallett