Now what pushed me to pick up a book with a title like Skinny Bitch to begin with? Well, I won't claim to be easily offended, nor one who can't laugh at pop cultural references, but after diving into this little beauty, the slander is completely lost on me. I'm now asking myself, "WHY did you pick up this awful book?!?" First off, I won't lie when I say that the credentials of the two authors as: "a former agent for Ford Models, is a self-taught know-it-all," and "a former model who holds a Masters of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition," did immediately turn me off. Yes, that meant that two "models" wanted to wave their fingers in my face and call me a b-yotch. Yep...pretty much. In fact, the blurb on the front cover says:
A no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!Partially true. I do want to stop eating "crap," but honestly, would rather start FEELING good. I guess this wasn't the direction I should have headed. Really, I just thought it would be a more fun, less starched approach to diet and health. Boy, did I have my eyes opened! Let's start with the opening lines from chapter one:
Okay. Use your head. You need to get healthy if you want to get skinny. Healthy = skinny. unhealthy=fat...Don't act surprised! You cannot keep eating the same shit and expect to get skinny.Nice. They continue on with references to people with words such as: "losers," "fat pig," "@#$hole," and several others that I found so offensive that I literally stopped reading, and skimmed the rest of the book.
The following chapters dive into myths, or what I would presume are their scary facts, about carbohydrates, sugars, dairy, and meat (or "flesh," as they call it). The two chapters I found most offensive were the ones on dairy and meat. I found it so ironic that just today, while I was watching Dr. Oz on Oprah (which I know is only one doctor's opinion), he was presenting studies they've done on nutrition and its affects on the human body. They showed that people who ate a diet with plenty of calcium, which he definitely spelled out as not just including milk, but also things like figs and prunes, helped bind with fat to improve weight loss/management. It's not an answer to weight loss, but serves as a sort of glue to fats to carry them out of your system. Now I will admit that the book is only touching on milk, but the picture they paint is one where you not only will gain mass amounts of weight (because that's what babies and calves do when they nurse), but will also have mass amounts of mucus and health problems coming down the pike for you! (See p. 56 to 58.) They then went on to strangely include eggs in their diatribe and had these jewels of wisdom, in the middle of their "dairy" chapter:
So if you really believe that eating "just egg whites" isn't fattening, we've got a bridge we can sell ya. Eggs are high in saturated fat and are completely disgusting when you think about what you are eating. Try that for once. Actually think about what you are eating!Wait...was that a transition from dairy to eggs, back to dairy? Nice transition. Totally sold me there! I'm sorry, but that's just BAD WRITING! I've taught writing for years (so yes, let's now tear apart all the bad things I do in writing), but can honestly say that the transitions are awkward, the style is juvenile and conversational (at best), and the tone is replete with negative and degrading language throughout. Not only do they sling around swear words (even the F-Bomb...as if that will motivate me in some way), but also degrading references as shown earlier. The meat section gets even worse. Almost the entire chapter is filled with references to how meat and poultry are slaughtered. I'm not even sure that's necessary for "dietary" concerns, but in this case is used as a way of scaring or grossing you into a life as a vegan.
You will pee in your pants when you see how much weight you lose from giving up dairy... (62)
In skimming through the last thirty pages, I got their "schtick." They're not for all natural. No. They're for a vegan lifestyle, full of products and name brands that can be found in your nearest (expensive) organic food store (and yes, I do actually really like Whole Foods as a store). Rather than possibly focusing on the positive, restorative properties in the things we CAN eat, they chose to focus on scary facts (not even sure if they were "facts"), degrading name calling of consumers and even the medical community, and a refocus on products that are every bit as processed as those mentioned in the book. For instance, in the dairy chapter, they finish off with a high thumbs up for all things "Earth Balance," "Rice Dream," and "Soy Garden." YUM!
Sigh. I'm sorry. As someone who has suffered with pancreatic issues since my early 20s, and a thyroid removal in my late 20s, I have really tried to eat well, naturally, and consciously. Doctors have been quick to point out the health benefits of being moderate in what I eat, and smart in helping me find what works for me! They've also encouraged me to keep cooking at home, and from whole ingredients. I've switched to organic fruits and vegetables that have thin skins or peels, and hormone-free meat and eggs whenever I can afford them. That's not for everyone, but it brings me a certain peace of mind. Having said that, I also LOVE Diet Dr. Pepper, brownies, Dove Dark Chocolate, and an occasional slice of pizza. Yes, I struggle with my weight like many Americans, but this book was just not for me or any of my friends or family. In fact, I would recommend, and actually quite like Bob Greene's approach, with all of its balance and focus on natural products. I also am in the middle of reading Elie Krieger's Small Changes, Big Results, but am taking forever to read it because the advice is just so darn good, and makes sense to me! (I'll share more on this one later, but for more information Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life)
In short, A vegan diet, as healthy as that may be for some, filled with soy products and a sassy attitude, is not the well-balanced guide I was looking for. My bad. I should have been prepared by the title alone! As much as I hate to really rip into a book or guide, I couldn't let this one slide. If it works for you, that's great, but for me...it's just too kitchy and one-sided.