Tuesday 14 July 2020

Review: Fat Cow, Fat Chance by Jenni Murray

Interwoven with the science, social history and psychology of weight management, Fat Cow, Fat Chance is a refreshingly honest account of what it’s like to be fat when society dictates that skinny is the norm.
At sixty-four, Jenni Murray's weight had become a disability. She avoided the scales, she wore a uniform of baggy black clothes, refused to make connections between her weight and health issues and told herself that she was fat and happy. She was certainly fat. But the happy part was an Oscar-winning performance. In private she lived with a growing sense of fear and misery that it would probably kill her before she made it to seventy.
Fat Cow, Fat Chance asks why we overeat and why, when the weight is finally lost through dieting, do we simply pile the pounds back on again? How do we help young people become comfortable with the way they look? What are the consequences of the obesity epidemic for an already overstretched NHS? And, whilst fat shaming is so often called out, why is it that shouting ‘fat cow’ at a woman in the street hasn’t been included in the list of hate crimes?
Fusing politics, science and personal pain, this is a powerful exploration of our battle with obesity.

Review: This book is made up of a collection of personal stories and a kind of memoir style narrative from the author combined with scientific facts and figures as well at deep dives into popular diets and weight control methods. I definitely preferred the person stories and more memoir like aspect of the book but the facts and figures backed up some opinions that this writer had as well as some of the diet explorations having personal cross overs. 

In terms of coming down on a side as to whether this writer is body positive or trying to help fight the obesity crisis, I would say they are less on the side of body positivity BUT they are definitely not in support of extreme dieting and definitely against aft shaming so this made for an interesting read. I was at points very angry with some of the points made in the book but all of it was definitely food for thought. I come to this book with a lot of experience of the things being explored and written about and so it is natural for me to be defensive of the way I have chosen to live my life. 

The diets and weight control methods discussed and explored in this book are definitely all methods and brands that people have heard of and the fact that this writers has lived through most of them means they are definitely coming from a very informed position and I was very prepared to accept their opinion on these weight loss methods given the fact that it was a practical opinion. This writer also discusses other books on being fat and I have read some and am definitely going to be exploring some of the others. There are a few books and movies discussed in this book that have fat characters where the plot points or the endings are given away so be warned that this book does contain spoilers. 

Overall I think that this book provides and interesting discussion from a very personal point of view but with a good balance of facts and figures. It definitely generated some emotion in me and in my view the balance of facts and opinions was just about right. I definitely didn't agree with everything that this writer discussed but it spurred me to explore further and also made me think about my own weight loss journey. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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