Monday, May 27, 2019

Book Review: Waisted

It's Memorial Day! I hope your holiday is sunny and you're doing something decent. We're hoping to drive to Fort Snelling (a couple of hours away) to go see my grandparents' resting place, but we'll see what the weather does for us today and the temperament of a couple of toddlers takes us. In the meantime, here is another book review (have you noticed my mojo is back??) and I'm hoping I will have a few more for you later this week. I know it's supposed to be Weight Loss Challenge day, but I'm giving you this instead, which is kind of related.

Waisted - Randy Susan Meyers

Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.

Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.

The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.

The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability...until they decide to take matters into their own hands.

In this book we focus mostly on Daphne and Alice and their journey to this boot camp. Both come from vastly different backgrounds and families, but they ultimately have the same thought: if they could just lose weight, they would be happy and their lives and the issues in them would be fixed. Alice is mixed race but is told that a black woman needs to be "strong" (which is a nice way of saying "large"), and her husband is successful but she suspects he has a wandering eye. Her family loves her just the way she is and can't understand why she's unhappy with how she looks. Daphne's situation is totally different, her family (mostly her mother) is very critical of her weight, she realizes her daughter is fixated on her own weight because Daphne has modeled unhealthy behaviors, but Daphne's husband loves her unconditionally- but he lets her know that because she accepts all of this criticism, it's hampering their sex life and that's a problem for him.

In order to get a grip on their life they agree (with other women, all strangers to each other) to enroll in this boot camp/documentary (think The Biggest Loser) in order to lose weight fast and hopefully gain the skills/knowledge on how to keep it off. The only problem is that it's immediately clear that something is amiss because the trainers are incredibly cruel and the rules are outrageously strict (if you speak when not spoken to you get a "shot"). To be honest, those parts of the book were difficult to read because I know how I would feel in that situation, so I could absolutely relate to this women as if I were in camp with them.

After camp though, they have harsh truths waiting for them at home because the problems they had wasn't really with themselves, but they were also putting blinders on to avoid the other issues. Failures in parenting, issues with their marriages, being a selfish friend, etc. They discover the work isn't done just because you lose weight, that isn't a miracle cure all for the problems, it just puts a nicer picture on them.

Overall? I really enjoyed this book. It's a fast read and I found myself invested in these characters, both who were easy to like but also easy to be annoyed by. We all have that friend, the one who complains about needing to lose weight while eating nachos with you. I really think this is a good book club book but also one to add to your list for this summer.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Atria Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post also features affiliate links, which helps this blog keep going. Happy reading! 


Erica Robyn said...

Oh gosh, The Biggest Loser is such a tough show to watch. I used to watch it with my mom all the time. It was awesome seeing people get healthy and seemingly happier, but knowing how FAST they force you into that by being incredibly intense and living a lifestyle that isn't necessarily easy for most to keep up is quite sad. This sounds like an interesting read though! Great review!

coach-daddy said...

What an awesome premise! And I love when shows/books/lessons demonstrate that the thing we think will bring us happiness isn't always in line with what we want.

(I did notice you've had your groove back - and I'm loving it!)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm glad you liked this one! I know that I have issues with my weight so I'm sure that's something that I'd be able to relate to. The actual boot camp sounds super tough though!


Anthea said...

Great review - I've just added this book to my TBR list on Goodreads.