Skinny Bitching

Jill posts about vegans being seduced by Mannon, and mentions Skinny Bitch. (It will get no link love from me.) Its creator has been criticized for publishing a how-to book for especially health-conscious anorexics:

Contributors to the popular feminist blog Feministing have criticized the emphasis of the “Skinny Bitch” books on weight loss, noting that some women with eating disorders use vegan diets to restrict their food intake. Ms. Freedman isn’t buying that critique. “It’s not politically correct to suggest women should be thin,” she said. “But it is healthier.”

And so much more profitable.

I blogged about this way back when. I picked it up in the bookstore a couple of years ago. It’s an unsurprisingly slim read. It’s not an especially creative book, IIRC–its gimmick is that it takes the same advice you get from most other diet books (eat greens and fiber, stay away from refined sugar) and combines it with strict veganism in ways that turn both veganism and healthy eating into a religion in the most Puritan sense of the term.

So it is a sizeist book, unapologetically so. But it’s not just a sizeist book. It’s a book that might as well have been designed to make veganism more appealing to women with eating disorders–and women disposed towards developing them.

It’s a dangerous book from a disordered-eating standpoint for a few reasons:

1) It does equate thinness with health, rather than encouraging people to be healthier. I understand that you can’t sell diet books by encouraging women not to think of themselves as disgusting cows, but that doesn’t make it right.

2) It might not be possible for most people to follow the advice. While most people could probably stand to get more exercise and eat more fiber, most people probably aren’t going to have an easy time getting skinny, and so they should probably not start with that goal in mind. Skinny Bitch goes a fair ways towards proving this–it’s not easy to follow the plan if you have many of the same logistics problems that tend to cause unhealthy eating in the first place.

3) It insists that this is the only efficient way to become skinny and healthy. People who follow the Skinny Bitch plan will almost certainly lean out a great deal, but you don’t need to become a fiberphilic vegan in order to accomplish that goal. This means that readers will have a harder time looking at choices that might work better for them from a lifestyle and an emotional standpoint–say a long walk after a filling meal. It’s not a good idea to teach people to equate healthy eating with misery and failure.

4) It advises people to completely abstain from entire categories of food. This is dangerous for two reasons specific to developing disordered eating habits. It makes your options that much more restrictive–some people who fail to plan cheat; some people who fail to plan starve themselves. Starvation can become a habit, particularly when you notice how much weight you’re losing. It can also make it that much easier for a dieter to introduce other restrictions of equal or greater severity. In other words, it can become unintentional practice for stopping eating altogether.

5) It tells readers that failing to abstain from these entire categories of food will kill them. (No, really–the milk you drink might as well be laced with arsenic. Except arsenic doesn’t make you fat). It’s not a good idea to teach people to be terrified of food. Fetishistic purity dovetails really well with the kind of compulsive behavior that characterizes eating disorders.

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48 Responses

  1. zuzu
    zuzu March 31, 2008 at 6:23 pm |

    And when the authors finally put a cookbook together, it relied heavily on the kind of preprocessed, albeit vegan, crap that does not exactly scream “This is healthy!”

    Which tells you that for them, it’s all about skinniness rather than health. The animal-rights angle is just a shaming stick to beat women with.

  2. Jenny Dreadful
    Jenny Dreadful March 31, 2008 at 6:39 pm |

    I picked up a copy while I was browsing in Borders and perused it–and the thing that struck me was the mean, nasty tone the authors were taking. I think that loving yourself, and seeing yourself as a capable, intelligent person is ESSENTIAL before embarking on a weight-loss and exercise program of any kind. I think it’s an astute observation that this book seems designed to teach people to use veganism as a borderline, or full-blow, eating disorder.

  3. Jenny Dreadful
    Jenny Dreadful March 31, 2008 at 6:42 pm |

    Not to even mention—when I went vegan, I gained twenty pounds. And I gained it very quickly. The pounds did not come flying off. Veganism won’t make you skinny because for most of us, it’s still all about calories in vs. calories out. When I was vegan, I was never full. I could eat an entire vegan pizza to my dome in one sitting and still be hungry. I had to learn a lot about the satiety index of various foods in order to keep my tummy from growling 24-7.

  4. Danakitty
    Danakitty March 31, 2008 at 6:43 pm |

    How about we stop selling skinny=health in the first place?

    Three years ago today, Terri Schiavo died. According to a few different reports, she originally passed out, leading to a lack of oxygen flow to her brain, after she had reportedly been BULEMIC…

    Michael Schiavo won a malpractice suit against her doctor for failing to diagnose and treat the bulemia.

    Why was the bulemia not recognized? Is it perhaps because we think that skinny = healthy? Why do thousands of teenage and adult girls get away with anorexia and bulemia without anyone noticing?

    Why must a person reach “bone-skinny” status to be deemed unhealthy? What about before then?

    Skinny is NOT healthy, nor should anyone say it is. Each person’s individual weight and build is different, leading to differing “sizes” of health.

  5. SoE
    SoE March 31, 2008 at 6:48 pm |

    I read an interview in some newspaper and the authors didn’t strike me as particularly caring about their readers. Only few parents believe that constantly denigrating their kids helps, so why is the book apparently full of it? And all this: “we’re not saying you need to be thin but you need to be healthy and thin is healthy”-crap.

    What they’re doing sounds like a cheap way to make a few bucks (pun intended).

  6. Lauren O
    Lauren O March 31, 2008 at 6:57 pm |

    My brother got one of those books for my mom this past Christmas. I’d never heard of them, but I kind of liked the title, since I often refer to myself as a skinny bitch in a self-deprecating way. I’ve since read a few posts about them roundabout the feminist blogosphere, and these books seem way not cool. I’m glad I didn’t know about them then, or I probably would have ruined Christmas with an obscenity-laced feminist rant that would have offended my conservative parents.

  7. Kate Harding
    Kate Harding March 31, 2008 at 7:03 pm |

    Which tells you that for them, it’s all about skinniness rather than health. The animal-rights angle is just a shaming stick to beat women with.

    Technically, from what I understand, it’s about animal rights first, skinniness as a marketing tool, and shaming ’cause… I dunno, it’s fun for them. It was apparently conceived more as an animal rights screed and only packaged as a diet book ’cause… hello, which one do you think is more likely to sell? But yeah, health doesn’t really seem to be a genuine factor either way.

    The “sassy, in-your-face” tone is utterly abusive, and I’m another whose first thought on reading it was, “There’s a blueprint for an eating disorder.” (Note: this is not me in ANY way saying that veganism=eating disorder. It’s about this book in particular.) I’m not exactly the world’s biggest fan of diet books (was reading this for research), but most of them do not actually make me want to scream. This one did.

    Great post, Jill.

  8. Jill
    Jill March 31, 2008 at 7:11 pm | *

    Great post, Jill.

    Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this bit of genius — this post is Piny’s. But thanks for the positive feedback!

  9. hypatia
    hypatia March 31, 2008 at 7:26 pm |

    I’ve heard mainly what Kate has heard as well. That the book isn’t really about being healthy or being thin, it more a great shaming for people who are not vegan; and then guilt you into veganism. The ‘diet’ is just a front for their ideology.

    Apparently they also really suck at recommending things that are healthy. Like suggesting ‘Rice Dream’ ice cream substitute as a healthy snack. When it has just as much fat and calories as any regular ice cream, and in some cases more. It’s important for people to realize that vegan or vegetarian are not synonyms ‘healthy’, ‘low-fat’, or ‘diet’.

  10. Kacie
    Kacie March 31, 2008 at 7:39 pm |

    Thank you.

    My best friend is a vegan and she lent me this book, and in addition to upsetting me and making me feel worse about my body, it made me realize that her veganism (that’s not to say ALL, but hers, particuarly) is in part, serving her as an eating disorder. It’s hard to categorize, but BDD seems the most applicable, in my non-prfessional opinion. Anyway, the point is that veganism has allowed her an outlet to obsess about what she eats in a format that looks like pure protest, when I think, in her case, she uses it to restrict calories, food groups, ect. Then, I read a book like Skinny Bitch, and it is like the voices that she uses on herself (and maybe in her head?) have been put in a book! It really concerns me, for her, and others.

  11. Laura
    Laura March 31, 2008 at 8:07 pm |

    When this book came out, there was a lot of back and forth in some of the vegan communities I am in about it. Some were happy that it sort of “mainstreamed” veganism, but all of us agreed that the book was pretty misogynist, just some people cared about this more than others (as happens in most not-exclusively-feminist groups.)

  12. Amelia
    Amelia March 31, 2008 at 8:16 pm |

    My younger sister was in a Barnes and Noble with my mother and myself, and some lady was trying to get my mom to buy Skinny Bitch. My sister picked up the book and the very first sentence she came across read something like “Suck your mother’s tit.”

    That’s all I’ve ever cared to read about that book. It seems awful.

  13. Jasi
    Jasi March 31, 2008 at 8:23 pm |

    See, I picked up the book and saw it as two women trying to be funny while convincing people to go vegan. I agree, they used weight-loss as a gimmick to sell a meat-free lifestyle, but I don’t think it was particularly cruel or dangerous. I mean, really, who picks up a diet book called “Skinny Bitch” with the hopes it will be a kind and heartfelt read. PETA uses an awful lot of similar tactics toward their mission and I really don’t think this book is a great big deal. I’d rather see Dr. Phil roasted or some other overrated, over publicized ass.

  14. GallingGalla (fka RachelPhilPa)
    GallingGalla (fka RachelPhilPa) March 31, 2008 at 8:44 pm |

    Danakitty @ 4:

    Skinny is NOT healthy, nor should anyone say it is.

    That’s a pretty broad brush. I’d agree with you where it concerns people forcing themselves to be skinny when that is against their metabolism and body structure.

    Some of us, including myself, are just skinny. My food intake is high – well over 2000 calories a day (I will lose weight if I restrict my intake to 2000 calories a day), and I’m skinny as a beanstalk. I don’t particularly like the implication that I’m automatically unhealthy as a result.

    The thing to do, I think, is to stop ascribing health to a particular body type, rather than engaging in a mutual battle of “this kind of body is unhealthly!” “No, that kind is!”

    I almost feel like the fat acceptance movement is engendering a backlash of skinny-person hating. I do not wish to be made to feel ashamed of being skinny, just as a fat person does not wish to be made to feel ashamed of being fat.

  15. Meowser
    Meowser March 31, 2008 at 9:00 pm |

    Most naturally thin people are not vegans. Therefore, suggesting you have to be vegan to be thin is just plain silly. Moreover, the Atkins-heads have for decades been suggesting that their way is the One True Way to Thinness. Obviously they can’t both be right.

  16. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp March 31, 2008 at 10:06 pm |

    “Skinny” and “healthy” are two circles on a venn diagram. They overlap to some extent — some skinny people are healthy, and some healthy people are skinny — but they are not congruent by any stretch of the imagination.

    I’m rather slender but have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and terribly cardiovascular health; a mugger going at a moderate jog would have me beat in about three minutes flat. The answer to that is NOT to starve myself until I am bone-thin. The answer to that is to increase my activity level and tweak my eating until I’m getting more whole grains and less refined sugar. (She said, while looking at a bag of 50-percent-off Easter candy.)

  17. Smartpatrol
    Smartpatrol March 31, 2008 at 10:37 pm |

    For anyone interested in getting the goods on Veganism that doesn’t rely on sexist bullshit to pique one’s interest, presents information in an utterly engaging way & encourages the best of a DIY/learn-how-to-cook-for-yourself attitude, I can’t recommend Sarah Kramer‘s cookbooks “How It All Vegan”, The Garden of Vegan” & “Le Dolche Vegan”.

  18. Smartpatrol
    Smartpatrol March 31, 2008 at 10:41 pm |

    .For anyone interested in getting the goods on Veganism that doesn’t rely on sexist bullshit to pique one’s interest, presents information in an utterly engaging way & encourages the best of a DIY/learn-how-to-cook-for-yourself attitude, I can’t recommend Sarah Kramer’s cookbooks “How It All Vegan”, The Garden of Vegan” & “Le Dolche Vegan” enough.

  19. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |

    It tells readers that failing to abstain from these entire categories of food will kill them.

    I have a very amusing book called The Bad for You Cookbook that’s pretty much all about very fatty, unhealthy food. They have several screeds in there against the food Puritans that the US tends to breed (and they run the gamut from the vegan Puritans to the Atkins Puritans).

    One of the essays in the book dares you to pour a cup of heavy cream and drink from a glass just to watch everyone around act like you just downed a slug of Drano even though, short of choking on it, there’s no way that a sip (or even a cup) of cream is going to kill you.

  20. Daniel Martin
    Daniel Martin March 31, 2008 at 11:19 pm |

    You know, I hear about books like this one, or see advice that basically says “be skinny Skinny SKINNY SKINNY” and realize that there’s this whole world of people who are either in extreme denial about eating disorders or unbelievably ignorant of their reality.

    I wonder what it’s like to live in that world. In that world, does bulimia even exist, outside of cheap sitcom jokes? Does anorexia exist only in people who look like skeletons? Or are eating disorders only things which happen to other people, like recessions in the die-hard libertarian world?

  21. mythago
    mythago March 31, 2008 at 11:54 pm |

    Isn’t this the same book that tells you not to take painkillers for menstrual cramps, because those are your body’s way of preparing you for childbirth?

    I mean, I’m supposed to take advice on healthy eating from people who don’t have a sixth grader’s understanding of how the body’s reproductive functions operate?

    On the trend of recommending vegan books that aren’t written by spiteful, lying asshats, you can’t do better than Veganomicon.

  22. sophonisba
    sophonisba April 1, 2008 at 12:08 am |

    Isn’t this the same book that tells you not to take painkillers for menstrual cramps, because those are your body’s way of preparing you for childbirth?

    Indeed it is. But that is only one minor, misogynist example of their main thesis, which is that you should not take any medication, for anything. Presumably migraines are your body’s way of preparing you for a brain tumor, or something.

  23. piny
    piny April 1, 2008 at 12:27 am |

    Wait, what? I missed that one.

  24. mythago
    mythago April 1, 2008 at 1:55 am |

    Some kind soul posted a link to the Google extract a while ago, so I will pass on the favor.

    Aside from the teenage tone (“Mooooooom! That’s made of CHEMICALS!”) the control-freaky shit really shines through here. You’re supposed to suffer because only pussies refuse to suffer and suffering is natural.

  25. SoE
    SoE April 1, 2008 at 4:31 am |

    Wait, what? I missed that one.

    Me too.

    *headdesk*

  26. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom April 1, 2008 at 7:51 am |

    One of the essays in the book dares you to pour a cup of heavy cream and drink from a glass just to watch everyone around act like you just downed a slug of Drano even though, short of choking on it, there’s no way that a sip (or even a cup) of cream is going to kill you

    Damn, that’s a sad waste of heavy cream. Strawberry season in a few months.

  27. Astraea
    Astraea April 1, 2008 at 8:25 am |

    But whip some of that cream with sugar and pour it over an Irish Coffee and few people will look twice. Damn, we have ridiculous rules about when/how we can enjoy food.

  28. zuzu
    zuzu April 1, 2008 at 9:27 am |

    Just an FYI: One of the authors is an ex-model, and the other is an ex-model booker.

    So that kind of tells you where their priorities lie.

    And second on Veganomicon.

  29. Lindsay Beyerstein
    Lindsay Beyerstein April 1, 2008 at 10:20 am |

    Skinny Bitch isn’t really about veganism, or caffeine, tee-totalling or any of the bizarre New Age bullshit they throw in for good measure. The core brand idea is abuse. If I remember correctly, the authors berate the reader for taking aspirin, too!

    The rhetoric of Skinny Bitch is that the reader is worthless and disgusting, unless she somehow transcends her weakness through the power of self-loathing. Thereupon, having completely reshaped her body and her life, she gets to be a Skinny Bitch and hate other women.

  30. other orange
    other orange April 1, 2008 at 10:34 am |

    I’d probably throw this book across the room when I got to the “no meds for period pain” section. Before I went on the pill, I had extreme dysmenorrhea for years. Pain, dizziness and vomiting, days out of every month. It was absolutely horrible, and the only reason I could even attend school during those times was thanks to pain meds.

    I’m not a fan of theirs in the slightest.

  31. piny
    piny April 1, 2008 at 11:45 am |

    The rhetoric of Skinny Bitch is that the reader is worthless and disgusting, unless she somehow transcends her weakness through the power of self-loathing. Thereupon, having completely reshaped her body and her life, she gets to be a Skinny Bitch and hate other women.

    Thanks for the input–like I said, it’s been a couple years since I read the book. This is something I probably should have devoted more attention to in my post, since it’s one of the things–perhaps the most important thing–that differentiates eating disorders from dieting or athleticism or overeating. It’s not so much about the specific behavior, but about way you view yourself and your relationship with your body.

  32. bekabot
    bekabot April 1, 2008 at 3:15 pm |

    It’s not an especially creative book, IIRC–its gimmick is that it takes the same advice you get from most other diet books (eat greens and fiber, stay away from refined sugar) and combines it with strict veganism in ways that turn both veganism and healthy eating into a religion in the most Puritan sense of the term.

    That’s an insult to the Puritans. As an Irish Catholic drinking buddy of mine reluctantly used to admit, the Puritans believed in moderation but had high standards of moderation. (Out of a sense of fairness she gave ‘em credit for that much.)

    Whereas both these skinnichix sound as though they’re captive to a low standard of self-denial. Not only that but, as is often the case with people who are rapt up in the midst of some self-chosen course of martyrdom, they insist that everyone who happens to be within earshot bow down under their personal yoke.

    This is the same attitude which, when pursued to its logical but absurd conclusion, has ended up motivating David Frum to congratulate the Donner Party on their toughness (sick joke not intended). IWO, it’s an attitude that the actual Puritans—who suffered and died when they had to but who declined to take up misery as a hobby—were too smart and canny to embrace.

  33. evil fizz
    evil fizz April 1, 2008 at 7:48 pm |

    Isn’t this the same book that tells you not to take painkillers for menstrual cramps, because those are your body’s way of preparing you for childbirth?

    Yeah, and one of them has some kind of degree in diet science from a non-accredited program which leads to statements like “Heating olive oil results in the production of massive carcinogens and thus you can’t cook with it,” (only paraphrased slightly).

    They’re delusional and seem to think that what every woman needs in life is some really catty sorority sister hectoring about every bite.

  34. Kate Harding
    Kate Harding April 2, 2008 at 1:37 pm |

    Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this bit of genius — this post is Piny’s. But thanks for the positive feedback!

    Oh my gosh, what a rookie mistake! Drives me nuts when people do that to my co-bloggers!

    Sorry, Piny! I think I’d just read about 8 posts by Jill. (And sorry it took me so long to see the correction.)

    Also, great post, Piny.

  35. piny
    piny April 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm |

    Oh, no worries! I post so infrequently that it’s a natural mistake.

    And thank you.

  36. amanda w
    amanda w April 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm |

    God, people like this are annoying. I can’t imagine how this would read to some woman who’s immobilized by cramps every month.

    *waves hand*

    I take fourteen pills a day, minimum, to be able to function — that is, you know. Shower semi-regularly, prepare my own meals, do some ridiculously small portion of the household cleaning, and work part-time. That’s without having any periods. I wonder what these folks think I’m supposed to do about the little problem of my endometrium growing outside my uterus. For that matter, I wonder what they think about “natural” when it comes to reproductive functions, period — they should be easy converts for the Quiverfull movement, shouldn’t they? Oh, wait.

  37. anna
    anna April 3, 2008 at 9:42 pm |

    Like GallingGalla above i am also naturally skinny, and people assuming I am ill just because of my body shape, is frankly, getting old. i have been taunted and commented at since I was about 12 for the way i look and im 26 now, wouldnt you think i would have lost some weight in these 14 years if i was anorexic? what i can say is that everyone is different, and if someone is healthy and slim or healthy and a bit bigger thats all good, its just when people try to be an unnatural shape for their body type when its bad, and making it seem that being vegan is the way to that is just wrong. im not vegan but my friend is and she gained weight when she became vegan, but didnt mind whatsoever. i have not seen this book but it seems just another way into forcing women into a shape that they are not, which creates a bad name for vegans, not all vegans are because they want to be skinny.
    isnt it kinda odd that you are hated when you are actually skinny, but made to hate yourself if you are not? its like women cant win, we are just supposed to hate and be hated whatever we look like.

  38. Laura Banks
    Laura Banks April 15, 2008 at 6:54 pm |

    The Skinny Bitch message is an ULTIMATE PUT DOWN TO FAT CHICKS EVERWHERE. They go out of their way to make sure that you don’t think for one minute that they were ever fat or one of “us”, the reader. Their message: “Let us show you the way, losers, and we’ll give you inside dieting tips.” What about accepting emotionally and physically your body type? Today! Then, you can do whatever you want – lose weight, who cares?

    Hey, skinnybitch! I have the counter-point to your book. Go read my book, Embracing Your Big Fat Ass. (Simon and Schuster, June 2008) We say celebrate your fat ass, hang streamers on it. Take medication if you need to. And by all means, stop trying to get skinny. While you are attempting ‘skinny’ you become exactly like these to chicks – grumpy.

  39. Ann
    Ann May 10, 2008 at 9:29 pm |

    Have any of you read the book? You are all talking bollocks! It does say in the book that being a ‘skinny bitch’ means being fabulous whatever your weight, loving yourself, being healthy. It explains that it is an animal rights book, but that the weightloss aspect sells. And do you expect a book called Skinny BITCH to be kind!??! I read this and loved it. It was a laugh. It really was. I’m mentally stable. I’m secure and have self esteem. And an author who, in her own words, swears like a sailor, isn’t going to make me cry into my coffee, begin to hate myself, and become anorexic. I’ve been vegan since reading it. I lost a little weight, I’m a stable 68kgs. I feel fantastic. I don’t starve. The main idea of the book is not becoming a skinny bitch, weight wise. And while skinny may not equate to being healthy, being FAT doesn’t either. It is so politically incorrect to suggest that having a huge lard-arse may not be the best thing for your bones, heart, all of your body! Seriously, it isn’t healthy. Neither is being super skinny in most cases, but neither of these women are. Ok, the medication for cramping bit, fair enough…I thought that was a little unwarranted. But that is a couple of lines in the whole book. Get a grip, get your lard arse off the sofa, think about what you are putting in your body. This is the main idea in the book.

  40. Allison
    Allison June 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |

    Piny: There are vegan books and vegan cookbooks out there that are based on veganism as a moral choice, a health choice, or an art form. They might not sell as well as Skinny Bitch (or any other fashion, makeup, or diet guide), but they don’t insult their audience.

    I’m not pro-Skinny Bitch, but I just want to point a few things out that I believe are positive about the book.

    First, the book starts with discussing how unethical the FDA and USDA are, how many products they’ve approved that are clearly sketchy, and how important it is to read labels, do our own research and be informed about our consumer choices. They specifically talk about how aspartame was denied FDA approval for food usage eight times. I don’t find anything about this tenet of the book to be insulting, anti-feminist or pro-eating disorder.

    Another chapter is devoted to narratives from “Slaughterhouse,” a book about the cruelties in the dairy and meat industries. This chapter discusses how gross these industries are, and specifically connects that back to distrusting mainstream health information (and bad science) especially when studies are funded by these industries. This chapter sounds a lot like the logic employed by a recent online article by Bitch magazine about bad science used to reinforce sexist stereotypes.

    I do find it ludricrous that the book contains a one page disclaimer at the very end of the book about how they’re ‘just kidding! The authors don’t really care about being skinny!’ Also, they do suggest an ideal eating plan that is extremely low in fat and calories, and mostly fruit and veggies. But every other vegan cookbook (healthy-moral-or-art-related) suggests the elimination of several food groups as well! That argument can’t only apply to Skinny Bitch. The book also says that exercise in moderation is good, but going overboard is a serious problem because its relationship with eating disorders.

    Ultimately, the book has certainly has problems and, I believe, some topics that are good for mainstream diet book-readers to know about.

    P.S. These are great comments, ladies! I love this forum!

  41. Aimee
    Aimee June 20, 2008 at 8:02 pm |

    How about you just read the book, don’t get offended about how they talk, and use your brain to decide if what they are saying (not how or why) makes sense or is true. I have read it, purchased it and I’m glad that I’ve been given this information. I don’t need to feel angry or offended, just informed. I don’t believe that its wrong to eat animals, but I don’t want to eat sick ones- gross. I just want to know what I’m putting in my body- I’m just not sure most people on this post got that. Try to just read the words, forget about the authors and how skinny they are or aren’t, whether they are feminists or not, and whether they love or hate animals too much. Just read the facts and then decide- with no emotion.

  42. Sunny
    Sunny June 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm |

    I saw the book on a T.V. show a few weeks ago. I was bored and in Barns and Noble, so I took a look at the book. I did find a lot of the information was good, and some of the reasons for it. I didn’t know that alot of the artificial sweetners are as unhealthy as they are. No did I know how bad sugar was.

    In college, I did the vegetarian thing (It was the cool thing to do), but I never went vegan. I don’t plan to go vegan either, but I will probably go vegetarian again after reading this book. ~

    I found the book very tongue in cheek, and sarcastic. It was a tough love approach, and for some women, that is exactly the kick they need to feel motivated to start a diet.

    Overall, read it. Take the advice you need, and ignore the rest.

  43. Tishku
    Tishku June 30, 2008 at 5:05 am |

    One of my personal training clients gave me this book, just to get my take on it. Pages and pages of verbal and emotional abuse does nothing to motivate an individual to graduate toward Wellness! Yes, Wellness…optimal health and vitality, which is what becoming physically fit SHOULD be about. Not being “Skinny”. “Skinny” is a dangerous word and this book is filled with dangerous suggestions. Starving one’s self for “10 days” or more does NOT lead to fitness. Fitness is a behavior, NOT a body size. I work with many different trainers and clients, comprised of various body types and sizes. I’m proud to say, none of us are “Skinny Bitches”.

    The physical journey toward Wellness/Fitness should be well balanced, taking into one’s account emotional, intellectual and spiritual wellness. Love yourself and love your body. Real knowledge is power. Would you attempt to build a computer or anything for that matter, without first knowing all the parts involved? Educate yourself! Get to know your body, it’s anatomy and physiology. Your body is a fuel efficient, adaptable therefore moldable machine. Learn what your body has the ability to become and how it responds to the environment.

    All in all, bad book. Dangerous advice.

  44. Shakti
    Shakti July 4, 2008 at 8:20 am |

    I found this book positive in my life, because it compiled a lot of food info in one place. Sort of a “Best of” of why to eat organic, no refined sugar, the unhealthy aspects of meat, dairy, etc. Most of the information was not new to me, but some was, in which cases I checked the authors’ information elsewhere.

    I personally found their tone humorous, not offensive, but a) I do not have an eating disorder and b) I have a sarcastic sense of humor anyway. I think this book would be completely inappropriate for someone with an ED. However, does that mean it should not have been written? Must all literature be for all people?

    I do, however, think that the authors completely abandoned the whole “health” thing for the “vegan” thing in no time flat, which was disappointing whether one is vegan or not. As one million other people have already observed, they spend a whole chapter on how refined sugar and artificial sweeteners are unhealthy, and yet their “shopping lists” are full of sweet vegan foods. Yuck.

    All in all, This book helped me make some good changes. I would recommend it to some friends but not others. And as for a good vegan book, I would recommend voluptuous vegan or vegan with a vengeance over this one 100 to 1.

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