Formerly fat-bottomed girl makes her rocking world go ’round.
Beginning early in childhood, Blech found food a vital source of comfort and pleasure. Unfortunately, we’re not talking fruits and veggies—she gravitated toward ice cream, pastries and chips. By the time she turned 35, she was a binge-eater whose weight couldn’t be measured on a standard bathroom scale. Low self-esteem made it all but impossible for her to maintain a love affair; for a while her most fulfilling relationship was based solely on phone sex. After a physical at which she tipped the doctor’s scale at 444 pounds, she headed down to a weight-loss clinic in Durham, N.C., where she began a remarkable two-and-a-half year transformation. Thanks to the clinic’s “Rice Diet,” she dropped approximately 250 pounds without having gastric bypass surgery, eventually bagged herself a husband and, most importantly, regained her health, her well-being and her figure. A solid, albeit unspectacular and often long-winded memoirist, Blech has an endearing, earthy sense of humor. (She cheerfully recounts the evening when she demanded that her prospective new boyfriend whisper dirty things to her in Hebrew.) Readers will find themselves rooting almost immediately for someone honest enough to unflinchingly reveal the most embarrassing aspects of weighing 400-plus pounds. But Blech also has a tendency to ramble, and the litany of food she loves grows tiresome, ultimately detracting from the book’s momentum and message. Many of the final 50-or-so pages feature calorie-conscious recipes and motivational lists.
A less-than-gripping but still inspirational debut.