#2 – Such A Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster

7 01 2009

such-a-pretty-fatThis memoir was my non-fiction selection for January.  Since I enjoyed it so much, I really feel as if I should choose another non-fiction book to read – a hefty tome that will leave me better informed about the Salem Witch Trials or help me to understand the mystery of DNA.

Don’t get me wrong, I learned a very important lesson from Lancaster.  Other people have the same struggles as I do. 

The author attempted Atkins eight times and spent a lot of money on the Jenny Craig program before finally finding a program that worked for her – Weight Watchers Online.  She used their flex point program to be able to eat whatever she wanted (in moderation).

In a way, I was disappointed that she never shared her actual weight, though she did expose her size and total loss.  It would have interested me to know how close to my own weight she was when she started dieting.  I don’t know why I care about this, as I am currently on a quest to give up my scale and focus on feeling healthy instead of worrying about a digital readout.

Lancaster’s prose is hilarious and her snarky footnotes make the reader feel as if they are hanging out with their best friend.  The complete title of the book is Such a Pretty Fat:  One Narcissist’s Quest to Determine if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big or Why Pie Is Not the Answer.  Chapters include “Olive Garden, I Wish I Could Quit You” (don’t we all?) and “Et Tu, Valerie Bertinelli?”.  There are a lot of witty pop culture and literary references for your reading pleasure.

Her husband, Fletch, reminds me of Craig.  Although he is supportive he does not struggle with his own weight.  Fletch is the oft ignored voice of reason, as is my own husband. 

Her tales of starting to exercise after a long fitness drought are hilarious.  I laughed aloud at her interactions with her trainer, Barbie.  The list of songs she chooses to put on her workout mix are true classics.  Who didn’t secretly love Kriss Kross, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice?  Her stories about her visits with the Jenny Craig counselors and her one Weight Watchers meeting make it clear that everyone has their own journey.  Weight loss is not one size fits all.  If it were, the dieting industry wouldn’t take in many billions of dollars every year from the hopeful.

Pick up this book if you are currently or have ever attempted to diet.  It will serve as a great reminder that you are not alone.

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