A hard-core dieter pokes fun at herself and the diet industry while trying to overcome her own food obsessions.
Millions of Americans have grown up with calorie counts in their heads, tried-and-true diet tips at the ready, and meticulous food journals in their pockets. And yet, as a nation, we’re heavier than ever. We know that dieting doesn’t really work in the long run, so how about just not dieting? What would happen then? That’s what Refinery29 blogger Miller attempted and what she chronicles in this wry, sometimes overly confessional memoir. Food is a big deal for the author, as we see in vivid scenes of calculated dips into the pantry chocolate-chip stash as a child and any number of “Final Pig-Outs” as a young adult about to start the next big plan, whether Weight Watchers, Atkins, or the Type O Diet. It may not be that big a deal for readers, though, and it can be tiring to read yet another list of foods consumed. Miller does take a look at some of the deeper reasons behind her compulsive eating, and it’s in these passages that her vulnerability comes through and her story becomes truly compelling. Readers will cheer for Miller to succeed on her “anti-diet” diet of intuitive eating, her quest to eat according to her mindfully mined needs and desires, not according to a rulebook. It takes a lot of work to change a mindset that radically, and it’s slow going for Miller, who tends to trade one obsession for another. Still, by the end of her memoir, it’s clear that she is writing more often about friends, family, and career and focusing less on the food itself. Further material regarding this part of the journey would have made for a more satisfying closure, but as Miller herself notes, it’s more about the process than the product.
An anti-diet diet book that offers perhaps too much food for thought.