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The Fat Girl's Guide to Life Paperback – February 10, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This send-up of the thin-is-in mentality is funny enough to make even diehard dieters consider replacing their baby carrots with Krispy Kremes. Shanker, one of Us Weekly's Fashion Police commentators and a self-proclaimed fat girl, estimates she's spent 16 years trying to lose weight: "I've met with seven weight loss specialists, worked with three nutritionists and three personal trainers, tried a dozen weight loss programs, taken thousands of pills, joined six gyms, read thirty-one books and spent enough money on weight loss to buy myself an Ivy League degree." Out of this context, Shanker takes on the media, corporate America and even the medical establishment, arguing with their belief that it's impossible to be both fit and fat. "Let's take the focus off 'fat' and put it on health," she lectures. "Let's take the focus off 'skinny' and put it on good common sense. Let's take the focus off body image and put it on education, women's rights, human rights, the economy, baseball cards, anything." Although Shanker's opinions on full-figured fashion and feminist philosophy are entertaining, she's at her best writing about her stint at Duke Diet and Fitness Center, one of the country's oldest and most successful weight management centers. As her optimism about the hardcore Duke University Medical School program flags, her diary of adventures becomes increasingly irreverent, refreshing and human. Anyone who has ever tried to lose a pound will gain confidence and a sense of humor from Shanker's story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This bold, brainy book debunks obesity myths, examines society's prejudices and tells heavy gals they can be fat, fit and fabulous!"
"Jagged little pills of body-image wisdom."
."funny enough to make even diehard dieters consider replacing their baby carrots with Krispy Kremes."
"This frank and funny look at living large in America will resonate with any woman who has obsessed over her body image."
""The Fat Girl's Guide to Life" is chicken soup for the big girl's soul."
"The Fat Girl''s Guide to Life is chicken soup for the big girl''s soul." -- Jennifer Weiner
"The Fat Girl's Guide to Life is chicken soup for the big girl's soul."--Jennifer Weiner
"Funny, feminist, fat, friendly, and fierce. It's food, it's fulfilling."--Eve Ensler
"Put on your seatbelt and enjoy the fun-filled, wacky ride!"--Emme
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She tells it like it is, and she knows she is fat, and she isn't going to let anyone get her down. She lives life in the fat lane but that doesn't mean she is going to slow down. NOt wanting to conform, she stands up for herself, and tells the readers about her experiences with diets, diet book camp, shopping, dealing with comments from pretty much everyone, and you know what? I related, laughed, and loved this book.
It was a sudden suggestion for my book club and i read it in just a few days. I will probably read it again and again. It made me feel better about myself and not want to lose weight to please someone else.
It's one thing to be fat and not happy with it, but if someone is comfortable in their own skin and body overall, good for them!
I recommend this book to girls of all ages who has ever felt looked down upon cuz of a mere 15 pounds over her high end of the weight watchers range. I recommend this to anyone who has a bad body image. The way media has worked us all over the past few years, I can imagine there are many of us out there with a less than good image of ourselves and our bodies alike.
My primary disagreement with Shanker is that she claims that compulsive eating is a problem for almost every fat person. So very very wrong! Some fat people are compulsive eaters, some eat moderately. Some thin people eat like horses and some thin people pick at their dinner. Read Laura Fraser's "Losing It" to see the research that backs up these statements. Some of us are fat, some of us are thin, and for almost all of us our size is not a lifestyle choice. Shanker does her readers a disservice by overgeneralizing on this issue.
Overall "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life" is a decent book to introduce someone to size acceptance. It's a fairly good combination of information, opinion, light and dark tones. But I would say that as soon as you've read it you should immediately buy Fraser's "Losing It" to get some scientific information on dieting and body size, and Marilyn Wann's "Fat! So?" to get a more optimistic take on size acceptance and living a full life in a full body.
Just a great book - a keeper. Yes, i'm fat. So it's even more important and special to me. Read it.
But this is not just a personal diet memoir. There's a lot of great information about living your best life in the body you've got, that FITness is more important than FATness, that there are fashion options out there to make the most of what you're got, and that attitude is everything, baby!
For seasoned fat acceptance activists, this book may seem like "size acceptance lite." But for those women who might be contemplating another round of Weight Watchers or Atkins, this book is a fun and accessible intoduction to the ideas of size acceptance. Read it and smile, read it and join the ranks of Fat Girls everywhere!
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