Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous! Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous! by Rory Freedman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Written in a brazenly aggressive tone, this book reads like a mouthy older sister who knows what’s good for you and won’t shut up until you admit it. The word “bitch” is in the title, so I wasn’t surprised to see phrases like “a list that’ll make your nipples hard” and “so good your pubes will fall out”. In fact, the conversational style made it an exceptionally easy and enjoyable read one Sunday afternoon.

However, writing this way comes with a certain set of risks. In order to be taken seriously, the two former modeling industry veterans who authored this book were careful to cite their sources frequently; the bibliography goes on for miles and there are more than 200 footnotes. Was this tedious documentation done in vain? Perhaps. Everyone knows you can’t be smart AND pretty. (Ladies and gentlemen… sarcasm!)

The overall message of this book is great: Be in control of your body, make conscious decisions about what you put in it, don’t eat whatever is around “just because”, etc. However, they devote a large chunk of real estate to denouncing the USDA and the farming industry. In fact, if you subtract the pages of helpful ingredient definitions, daily menus, and added resources, more than half of the actual reading material consists of disgusting anecdotes about slaughterhouses and shady government practices. It’s important that the public knows this stuff, but Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation does it better.

I was expecting a little more science peppered with inspirational guidance. We get some of that through explanations of how your body metabolizes certain foods, why you need different vitamins, and the physical danger of consuming things you can’t pronounce. And I appreciate their direct, proactive approach to delivering common sense (e.g., read the ingredients before you buy something, if you don’t understand one of them, call the company and ask, etc).

I don’t read most diet books and magazines because they tend to coddle their pudgy readers, telling them exactly what to eat and what stupid little exercises they can do to “get tighter abs in 8 minutes a day!” As someone who recently toed the line of being overweight, I can attest to the formula for weight loss being as simple as “eat less, move around more”. Seriously, we’re not building rockets here, and this little book makes no such claims. Use your damn head.

These ladies push a vegan diet, and depending on how sensitive you are, their descriptions of the meat industry might gross you out enough to try it. I’ve found that making a point to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day is a simple way to guard against filling up on junk food. You have to do what works for you, and they recognize this. But be ready to cut out coffee, alcohol, sugar, and pretty much anything that brings a tinge of joy as you cram it down aching gullet.

Toward the end, the authors nicely include a note warning against going overboard, which I don’t doubt some people need. Even if you don’t go full anorexic, how much fun is it talking to someone obsessed with losing that last 5 pounds? Don’t be that bitch.

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