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The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude Paperback – December 30, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I liked the idea of a cartoonized weight loss story from someone with Lay's snarky sense of humor. I like very much how well she explained calorie counting. The calorie totals she's got in the back of the book are useful and some of her recipes look really tasty.
It turns out that Carol Lay wasn't actually fat when she began her weight loss program. She weighed about 160 pounds and, at 5'9" -- pretty much every responsible authority agrees -- she would have been, at worst, only slightly overweight. Now her weight averages 125 pounds. Even for a small-framed person, that's just plain skinny.
Her message of eating reasonable portions of healthy foods really gets lost when placed in the context of her, apparently very unhealthy, obsession with thinness. Instead, what comes across is a sad story of one woman's daily preoccupation with eating the small number of calories necessary to keep her (at 5'9"!) in a size 4. That's sick -- and it's not an example anyone should be following.
Don't get me wrong. AA and other groups have saved countless lives, including his perhaps, but when you are so caught up in your abuse or recovery that you do not recall who is vice president, I don't think that's healthy either. I found Ms. Lay's book at a local bookstore and what intrigued bu the title-- I am working on losing weight. and I know attitude has everything to do with success. I am glad I chose to get the Big Skinny at the library before purchasing it, as I would not now buy it, and I can't recommend buying it to to others.
Ms. Lay has some good things to say, and the graphic novel is a unique way to present her message. I like how she urges us to look closely at labels and to avoid overly processed food. There is a ridiculous story about a friend who sprays a piece of toast to death with cooking spray, however. Not butter spray, cooking spray. Why would anyone do that? Lay lost credibility right there.
The reason for bringing up the ex in AA was that although I admire Lay's ability to keep her weight under control, she is still obsessed with food. Why can't she just eat health and not have to write down every bite she puts in her mouth? I want to master my food issues too-- but I don't think I will if it means I have to think about food all the time.
To sum up, The Big Skinny is just okay. Don't read it expecting to change your fatitude, unless you think trading one obsession for another is good.
There was a pretty noticeable absence of real relationships in her story, and she didn't share very much about herself except for her fixation with calories. I was disappointed.
I do think this book would be helpful for someone who was just setting out on their weight loss journey and didn't know much about it, because there are a lot of good basic tips included.. but for someone looking to be inspired, I'd skip it.
Secondly, her diet is just way too extreme. She consumes between 1350 and 1500 calories per day and has to record every single thing that she eats. I don't know how her metabolism got so screwed up that she can gain weight on a 1500 calorie diet, but there you are. While I agree that eating less and eating healthier foods are the way to go, her behavior of measuring amounts and counting calories seems to me to border on an eating disorder. She becomes so obsessed with fitness and only eating certain foods that she now does push ups on the counter while waiting for her tea to brew, and has to justify eating a s'more at Burning Man.
Overall, even though she was able to lose 40 pounds and keep it off, I don't think that her methods are healthy or practical, nor would I recommend them to anyone else.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Carol Lay's "Story Minute" and have recently lost a lot of weight from healthy lifestyle changes, so this graphic novel piqued my interest -- then promptly... Read morePublished 5 months ago by J Park
It's an excellent book on diet with great insight into nutrition, with wonderful illustrations. It’s a book many Americans these days need to take a look at.Published on September 20, 2013 by pastorbedtyme
There are some great comic book memoirs out there - "Fun House" by Alison Bechdel, "Epileptic" by David B. Read morePublished on February 2, 2012 by Sam Quixote
This book is hilarious and very informative. I run a women's fitness facility and one of my members brought the book to my attention. Read morePublished on October 16, 2010 by Amazon Customer
I don't actually OWN this book but took it out from my local library. The author's style of "comic book story telling" was refreshing and kept me engaged in a way that MANY diet... Read morePublished on August 10, 2010 by KeepMoving815
I'll admit to being more than chubby although I was once pretty darned thin. But I picked up the book more for the author and less for the sermon. Read morePublished on May 14, 2010 by knittsky
I was disappointed. Based on the title and the cartoon format, I had hoped for more humor. After a light intro, the same old "calories count, etc". Read morePublished on January 21, 2010 by Calais Loudon
I think all the negative reviews here are from people (like the chubby friend in the opening panel who doesn't want to hear that Lay lost weight through calorie counting and... Read morePublished on January 17, 2010 by Sabrina
This is a graphic novel about the author's life-time battle with weight and how she eventually achieves nirvana through a drastic low-calorie diet. Read morePublished on November 28, 2009 by Lisa Mary