Book: Getting Waisted: A Survival Guide to Being Fat in a Society That Loves Thin
Author: Monica Parker
Publisher: HCI Books
Available: Out now
If you enjoy this book you might like: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A mostly true memoir) by Jenny Lawson
Summary: Monica Parker bridges the divide between a serial dieter’s survival guide and memoir, taking readers on a hilariously funny yet bumpy ride from chubby baby to chunky adult. Beginning each chapter which a diet she committed to and how much weight, money and self-esteem she lost, Monica shares her fears and frustrations with society’s prejudices against overweight people, and learns that when you start liking yourself, life is far more rewarding.
Hope you all had lovely weeks – what will you be reading this weekend?
I’ve been completely absorbed in Monica Parker’s Getting Waisted. I’ve read a lot of books about people’s struggle with food, but rarely from the perspective of someone who society does consider overweight. What I loved about Monica’s book is that, despite the comments and prejudices she faces, she doesn’t let herself become a victim. She makes a lot of jokes and is very self-aware that her issues with food don’t simply depend on what people think – she is very open about the deeper emotional issues which lead her to comfort eat.
I will admit that I didn’t believe some of the diets she tried – I actually did a quick google search and was horrified to find out they actually existed, that people would actually put their bodies through such torture simply to try and lose some weight, and that someone somewhere is actually selling these ideas. So I loved that Monica is completely open about the side effects she faced, highlighting how unhealthy some of the diets were – there’s one where she ate so much fruit it started fermenting inside her stomach. I mean… that’s definitely not healthy!
Some of the stories really shocked me, particularly when she recounts people’s pressure to make her thinner. For example, arriving in Canada to meet her aunt, she is subjected to intense scrutiny from her family, who are determined to make her lost weight. Of course this intense pressure has the opposite effect as she turns to food for comfort, and I found myself angry on her behalf that someone felt it was their ‘duty’ to ‘fix’ her body.
The book isn’t just about dieting and food. Monica underlines the way her relationship with food is interlinked with the events in her life – moments of joy, for example when she is pregnant and for once people are accepting that her body isn’t what they consider ‘thin’, to the loss of both of her parents, as she comes to terms with her childhood and family life. Her move to Hollywood was where she really blossomed, as she pursued her love of writing, deciding to define herself by her talent rather than appearance, in a challenging environment where everyone is chasing physical ‘perfection’.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who has tried different diets – it definitely makes you appreciate that confidence comes from loving yourself, not letting yourself be defined by others.
Have a lovely weekend!