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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; 1 edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399534970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399534973
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kate Harding founded Kate Harding's Shapely Prose (kateharding.net), a blog about body acceptance and the treatment of fat people in the media.

Marianne Kirby's is dedicated to body politics and fat acceptance. She is co-moderator of the Livejournal community Fatshionista, which has more than 2,500 members. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Kate Harding is co-author of "Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body" and founder of what was for a time the internet's most popular body acceptance blog, Shapely Prose. She has contributed to numerous online publications, including Salon, Jezebel, The Guardian, and the L.A. Times, and published essays in the anthologies "Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape" (a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009), and "Feed Me: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight and Body Image."

A graduate of the University of Toronto and the MFA in writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, she lives in Chicago with her husband and an old mutt. She is at work on a novel.

[Photo by Becky Hill]

Customer Reviews

This book is funny, witty, engaging, and most of all educational.
R. C. Gold
And, if it's something you do for its own sake, when life gets in the way one week, you'll find yourself really looking forward to it.
Kelly Tessena
The two authors have had very dissimilar experiences with their bodies and acceptance, and I like reading their differing viewpoints.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 160 people found the following review helpful By elemenoP on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book got me a date.

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.
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116 of 126 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Gold on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is funny, witty, engaging, and most of all educational. As the authors say, a lot of what the book is about seems like common sense, but it's so hard to start thinking that way about your body, especially for women. Whether you are are fat or not, whether you are a chronic dieter or not, this book is really fabulous for helping you let you of your self-hate and starting to accept yourself and your body for who and what they are. I hope it's a trend that catches on with more women in media.
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110 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Corinna on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am so excited to read this book. Kate and Marianne's blogs are leaders in a movement that is key for women's sanity and the general culture's sanity around body image and health. Thanks to them I stopped obsessing over food and started practicing intuitive eating and guess what? I haven't gained weight and I feel much better focusing my energy on other things. (BTW, I have never been what comment trolls would probably consider "fat," but I have never felt like my body is socially acceptable either. I still don't think so, but these wonderful bloggers have taught me it's much more fun not to care.) I'm buying four copies of this book to share with women who are dear to me.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Tessena on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not a ton of new information if you read Shapely Prose and The Rotund (the blogs of the two authors), but lots of good stuff.

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 ›
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful By S. E. Sarliker on May 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book made me giggle, cringe in self-recognition, nod in agreement and cheer.
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.
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