on 16 July 2009
Jen Lancaster is not for everyone. She has a take-no-prisoners attitude and she loves her life and herself. She makes no apologies and is never a shrinking violet. Some people are uncomfortable with this, which actually amuses me almost as much as her hilarious prose. She's also not popular with those who dislike footnotes. She says what many of us (if we're honest) are thinking, and she says it in a way so amusing that I was not able to read this book on the bus for fear of annoying the other passengers.
In this memoir (for those who are complaining that she's writing all about herself, a "memoir" is when you do that), she finds that, although she is happy with her life and her body, she needs to lose weight or else she'll face a number of health problems. Simple equation and common sense, right? If the sense were that common, people would be a lot tinier. I loved that this book wasn't another tome filled with self-loathing, and even more than that, I loved that Jen shows us how the diet industry is just that. These companies are not in business for us to succeed - if we lose the weight and keep it off, we won't spend money with them any more, will we? Thus there are hard-sell techniques aplenty and a deliberate withholding of useful information.
She points out what we all know, but rarely put into practice; the key to getting fit is eating less and moving more. She is well aware that living in the real world means being surrounded by delicious temptation, and her journey requires her to learn how to make sensible choices and, in her own words, "grow the Hell up."
I don't know that Jen Lancaster and I would be friends in real life. I'm just as snarky, but a lot more quiet about it, and some minor episodes in her memoir indicate to me that she and I would disagree on some key issues. She is, however, a writer that I find refreshingly funny and honest, and I can't wait to read the rest of her books. She lives in the real world. It's a more interesting place to me because of her.
on 3 August 2009
This book made me snort, giggle and full out laugh. Every heavy woman in the world should read this book, certainly, but so should every other woman. It's a very real look at the struggles one must go through to lose weight, but it doesn't weigh you down to read it in the least. On the contrary, it's fun and inspiring to know that somebody else has also gone through the same thoughts and issues with their weight, yet always manages to think positively of herself. Great job Jen!