Sunday, February 1, 2015

It Was Me All Along

It Was Me All Along, by Andie Mitchell, © 2015, Clarkson Potter Publishers

Back in November I found myself a winner to one of Read it Forward's book giveaways. I enter their contests most weeks and this is the second book I have won. What with Christmas slowing down transport, I didn't receive the book until into January, but I was pleased to receive it nonetheless. As nonfiction has been tempting me as of late, I decided to move Andie Mitchell's book to the top of my TBR pile.

It didn't stay there long.

I cracked the book last week and finished it this morning over coffee. And as much as I have never personally struggled with weight issues, I really enjoyed this book. Mitchell draws in the reader with her candid stories and uncompromising accounts of her struggles with obesity. By the time she was 20-years-old, she weighed a staggering 268 pounds. It was her tipping point.

What she didn't realize though was that weight loss was far more than just losing a few pounds. Well, over a hundred points is more than the average dieter, but there was more to it than that. For her, the journey was about looking at the patterns of her eating and the why of it. We all have skeletons in our closets and hers turned her to food to comfort herself from them.

I couldn't help but think back to high school as I devoured this book. I was the skinny girl in my group of friends, surrounded by several overweight girls. I bet three of them were over 200 lbs and a few more were also big girls. We all went out for coffee, fried food, and other unhealthy options that didn't make a dent on me, but certainly didn't help my friends. Listening to Mitchell's tale, I suspect that her struggles were possibly similar to theirs.

The similarities didn't end there. When Mitchell decided to tackle her weight, she didn't anticipate her new struggle with food and her new image of herself. I remember one of my friends who lost a similar amount of weight trying to wrap her head around people all of a sudden "seeing" her for the first time. She was no longer the "fat" girl, but didn't know how to react to the way people treated the new person she turned into. Transformations can be incredibly hard, especially when you don't know who you will be at the end. Mitchell's story gives hope to anyone facing weight loss issues, but even more so to almost anyone who has struggled to figure out who they are, where they belong and how to get from here to there intact.

A great first novel and a story that reminds us we are all in control of our destiny. Thanks again to RIF for sending me a copy!


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