Those who have struggled with weight will resonate with this book. I did. There were so many times, as Mitchell told her story, I'd say, “That's exactly how I feel!”
She grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and a mother who was absent, working three jobs or more to pay the bills. Food became her baby sitter, her best friend. Her mother would reward her with food. She used food to soothe her boredom, anxiety, and even anger. She was called names by her class mates. She tried to lose weight. She bought plus size clothes to hide her rolls of fat.
Then, one summer during her college years, at twenty years old, she stepped on the scales to find the number was 268. She knew she had to do something. She did Weight Watchers. She journaled her food. She began to learn about herself. She hit plateaus. She had setbacks. She binged. She realized it would be a long, long journey.
She made the gradual but deliberate transition from one who ate to capacity to distract her mind to one who purposely savored every morsel. She eventually met her goal, losing 133 pounds. But then came the troubling thoughts, wondering if others found her attractive because of her body, wondering if she could maintain the weight.
Mitchell continued working through her relationship with food. She went to a therapist, then a psychiatrist. She realized she had used food as love and comfort for twenty years. Losing weight meant she had turned away from her best friend.
She became passionate about healthy eating. She started a blog (see below) and now she has written a book. She still struggles with weight from time to time, as her blog entries reveal.
I devoured this book. It was so reassuring to read about someone who had the same struggles with food that I do. It is so encouraging to read about someone who came to an understanding of the proper role of food in life. Mitchell does not provide any guaranteed wight loss techniques or make any promises. She just shares her own story. It is well written and captivating.
If you have struggled with your relationship with food, this book might just give you some insights. If you want to understand more about how food comes to have an inappropriate role in your life, this is a good book to read.
You might want to check out her blog, Can You Stay for Dinner. She posts periodically, including lessons learned about weight loss, and has lots of recipes.
You can watch a TED Talk she gave here.
Andie Mitchell is a 29 year old passionate writer and recipe developer. She is working on a recipe book that will be coming out in the fall of 2016. She lives in New York City, where she is the social media director for ShriverReport.org.
Clarkson Potter (a division of Random House), 240 pages.
I received a complimentary digital galley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.