A young blogger shares the story of how she overcame a lifetime of bad eating habits, lost the weight that threatened her health and began her journey to self-understanding.
Mitchell came from a working-class “family of eaters.” But beneath the “heaps and sloppy gobs and spilling surplus” of food she consumed was a dysfunctional home situation that included a chronically unemployed alcoholic father and a mother who struggled to support the family with wages from multiple jobs. Food—especially cookies, cakes and other sweets—became the author’s source of comfort and the way her mother could assuage her guilt for being unavailable. It also helped her forge a bond with the troubled, overweight father who drifted from the family and eventually died in poverty. The perennial target of schoolmate jokes about her size, Mitchell weighed 200 pounds by the end of seventh grade. Her sense of humor eventually made her popular among her peers, but her weight continued to increase. Mitchell signed up for medical studies and weight loss programs, but nothing worked. In college, she reached 268 pounds. Not just obese, “but morbidly so,” Mitchell began a strict regimen of exercising, dieting and journaling. A semester in Rome showed her a whole new way of eating that was as delicious as it was healthy. During her senior year of college, she eventually reached 133 pounds, only to realize that she now had to tackle a whole set of psychological issues that, in her drive to lose weight, she had ignored. Overeating had only been a symptom of a far deeper problem. To manage it, she had to learn to love herself and her body, understand the meaning of life-balance and ultimately accept that life had far more to teach her than she ever realized.
A candid and inspiring memoir.