Book Review: Dietland


Title: Dietland
Author: Sarai Walker
Rating:


The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.

Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.

Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying.

My Review

Ok, my stepmother Brenda read this then told me that I needed to read it. So I did. I want to warn you that this book and it’s subject matter is a very hot topic for me. I belong in that morbidly obese category and have stayed in that category ever since I was a child. I went through all the “bullying” that Plum goes through all the time. It is not something or anything new to me. My school years (kindergarten through senior high) was a torturous hell hole for me with my schoolmates. Needless to say this book struck a cord in me so forgive my language and if I go long in this review. I will explain in the review why this book deserved a five (5) star review but what made it lose a star.

The Five (5) Star Part

So Plum is a obese woman that answers letters to a teen magazine but she doesn’t have an office in the building because of her size. No, the book does not come out and say that but that is the implication and I am sure that is why she doesn’t. Plum thinks she is ok with this cause like most obese women she has been brainwashed into thinking she is not as good as a size 0 woman. Bullshit I say. The opinion that Plum has of herself appalls me but I understand it cause I was brainwashed by society, magazines, tv, and my schoolmates into thinking I was no good because I wasn’t skinny or did not wear the current “in” thing. It took me until I was out of college to finally realize that I did not need anyone’s opinion on how I looked much less on how much I weighed.

I learned to love my double layer stomach “tires”, my breast that were not the perkiest things, my arm wings, my junk in my trunk, and last but not least my jiggly thighs that always tells me that I am moving. You see, I am alive. That is the objective of my life. I am alive and try to make it the best I can. Would I like to be a size 0? No, I would not mind a size 18 maybe, but never a size 0. Would I like to have perky boobs, a flat stomach, less junk in the trunk, no arm wings, and no thigh jiggle? Not really, each of those are parts that make me who I am today. Do I still have self esteem issues? Hell yeah, but I try not to let it bother me for more then five (5) minutes. Do I sit and look at a piece of cake and think of all the calories and fat in it? Nope, I just don’t eat as much. Usually two (2) bites and I am done.

You see, where Plum was planning on having the gastric bypass surgery I had a sleeve gastrectomy. Did I do it to lose weight to make myself thin? Hell no, I did it for my health. I weighed 400lb before surgery. I knew that if I continued I was gonna have more and more health problems. I had tried just about every sensible and logical diet that I could. No, I never did the fad diets like Plum did, but they tried to lure me into trying them, but to be honest common sense (which my parents told me I always had to much of) told me it would never work. So I did my research and decided that even though the gastric bypass would be quicker and I would lose more weight the side effects were not what I wanted in my life. I choose the less invasive version with the sleeve gastrectomy. The doctor removed 70% of my stomach which means I can still eat anything I want but in a lot smaller quantity then I could before. Now do not think that either of these options are easy or a “cop-out”. You still have to work your ass off to lose the weight. I have lost over 100 pounds with my sleeve and I do not regret it. Yeah, some days I miss the fact that I can not eat an entire large pizza in one sitting but does anyone really need an entire large pizza? I don’t think so.

Getting back to Plum though. I think that if she could have gotten help when she was a child or young adult (college) then I think she would have been a lot happier and never would have settled for the job she had. I am not saying just from her parents I am talking about a nutritionist, a psychiatrist, or even a psychologist. Not that support group that just made her feel even worse after going to it. That group was stupid and not healthy it was more into the continued brain washing that society does to obese people. Once Plum got pulled into the New Baptist plan that was where she needed to be. That was a good support group. They taught her to love herself no matter what size she was. Personally, I don’t think anyone should have any weight surgery till they have reached that state. Being skinny is not gonna fix a damn thing for anyone. Honestly, some days I feel worse now that I have lost the 100 pounds then I did when I weighed 400 pounds (I have fibromalygia , several anxiety, and chronic depression). I was used to my 400 pounds and my body was too. Now that I have lost the 100 pounds my body took a long time to get used to the less weight. My bones and joint hurt worse now then they did before. Though I still continue to lose weight (12 pounds in the last six weeks) I am planning on stopping around 250 pounds. Yep, that will still put me in the mobid obese club, but that is fine. I am comfortable there.

I believe that Plum will start to lose the weight now that she realizes that she is not a piece of trash not worthy of being alive. Yes, she went a bit crazy with eating when she first started to realize that she was worthy but if you read the book you notice that she settles down. I have found that if you deny yourself what your body wants then it is just gonna demand it more and more and more till when you do give in you go crazy with it. But if you give it what it want when it wants then you don’t have that problem. If I want some ice cream I have ice cream though not in the same amount as I did before. If I want a cheeseburger then I have a cheeseburger (though I do try to make two meals out of it). It is just common sense and a hell of a lot of will power.

Plum is what most obese women are. Most are brainwashed into thinking they are not worthy of being alive by society, tv, magazines, books, etc. Her journey to realizing that she was well worth being alive and doing whatever the hell she wants is perfect and a wonderful story.

So what made it lose a star?

Everything else in the book. The “Jennifer” story line. Even now I am still trying to figure out how that played any role in the story line. To me it was not needed and quite honestly stupid to put in the book. I do not agree with the actions the females took and would never condone such a thing. If you want to protest then protest without violence or causing injury to another person. There is a reason we have a legal system and if the legal system does not handle it them karma and life will. Never ever take it into your hands to deliver justice. Yeah, there was plenty of times I wanted to plant my fist into the faces of my schoolmates. What good would it have done? None, they still would have tortured me for my size, it just would have taken on a worse torture to see if they could make me physically hurt them. How does that do any good to anyone? It does nothing good.

Because of the “Jennifer” story line I dropped a star on the review. Personally, it seemed like the author wanted to write two books and either was afraid neither would get published or her publisher told her that the only way it would be was to combine them. Yes, they were combined very well, but I still do not think that it added anything to the main story line and only hurt the book. This is my opinion and you are free to disagree and comment here. I no longer care what anyone else thinks of me. I do what I want & say what I want.

 

I purchased this book on my own & receive no type of benefit from this review.

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