Wednesday, May 29, 2019

My take on: Waisted

There's never a day that goes by when I don't have thoughts about my weight or body image. There's hardly ever a day when I don't see a commercial or some kind of media that makes me question my own weight or body image. I think in the last week alone I've seen several commercials for Weight Watchers. Everyday I say today is the day that I'm going to put down that piece of chocolate and get on the treadmill. But then I remember how much I hate exercise (probably a strong word to use, maybe I just tolerate it) and how much I love chocolate.

I say all of this because the latest book I read, Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers, conjured up all kinds of thoughts about my own relationship with food, weight, and body image. It was the rare book that I saw a lot of myself in the main characters.

Alice and Daphne are two very accomplished women. Alice runs a community center and Daphne is a makeup artist. They're both married to successful men and have children. They don't seem to have a lot of doubts in their professional lives. It's their personal lives that are filled with doubts.

Alice is bulimic and has never gotten treatment for her eating disorder. In her mind, if she doesn't binge and purge often then she doesn't really have a problem. It's only when life gets too stressful or someone makes snide comments about her weight does her eating disorder take over. Weight and food are never far from her mind. Her husband, Clancy, flat out states he's not as attracted to her as he used to be -- especially with all the weight she's gained. This is when Alice decides it's time for desperate measures. Signing up for Waisted, a reality show that's pretending to be a serious documentary. Losing weight in a controlled environment with strangers is an extreme solution to Alice's problems. It's also where she meets fellow contestant Daphne.

Daphne's relationship and obsession with food and body image began at an early age. Next to her two sisters, Daphne was the fat one. Daphne was the one her mother always shamed about her weight. She grew up thinking her mother didn't want a fat daughter. Her mother was always trying to fix Daphne. But perhaps Daphne isn't the one who needs fixing? It's her mother? These are questions Daphne never asked herself, instead she let her mother's feelings about weight occupy space and time in her adult life and relationships. Even in the bedroom with her husband, Sam, Daphne's mother is a wedge in their marriage. It's something that Daphne needs to deal with. What's her answer? Appearing on Waisted!

However Waisted seems like every bad weight loss show rolled into one. There's no encouragement, instead there's intimidation, fear, and criticism. Intimidation by the trainers, who watch every small morsel of food Alice, Daphne, and the other women eat. Criticism if they don't hit their weight loss goals. Fear of being fat forever. Fear of never being attractive. Fear of life without Waisted. There's no chance of these women developing a healthy relationship with food, if they're taught it's something to fear.

At times this book made me hungry, but that went away as soon as Alice and Daphne take part in Waisted. At times it made me angry. It was just a roller coaster of emotions. But the overall message of the book was clear, a program like Waisted is not the answer. The answer is within. They could count calories until they were blue in the face. If they didn't deal with their inner demons, they were never going to change. They had to want to change. I'm sure this book isn't for everybody, but it spoke to me and I enjoyed it.

Rating: Superb

Notes: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Atria Books) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this one too and the overall message in it. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours