Tales from the Scale: Woman Weigh in on Thunder Thighs, Cheese Fries, and Feeling Good…at Any Size by Erin J. Shea

Posted April 28, 2013 by Lisa Mandina in / 0 Comments

A few years ago, when I really got into losing weight, and lost about 35-40 pounds, and I was actually at a weight that would have been easy to manage, and I was walking 20 miles a week, I was in a diet/weight loss memoir book obsession.  I would even search the book database whenever I was working part time at Barnes and Noble to find and order more books to read.  Tales from the Scale was the last one I had to read, and it was basically full of short stories, or I believe actually blog posts from 7 different weight loss blogs.  The stories were pretty good, although many were harder for me to relate to as they were women who had been overweight their whole lives, and for me it only started once I got out on my own and was able to begin eating whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, and whenever I wanted.  I started this book back in 2010, and it ended up sitting in my downstairs half bath, to be read whenever I didn’t bring a book with me.  Sorry if that is TMI, but I feel like if there isn’t a book there, that time is wasted!  Soon other books joined it, and then magazines, and it got to be the back of the basket of things to read in there.  Lately I’m back to the point weight-wise before I lost all that weight, and so pulled it out to try to help get myself motivated again to get back to work on being in shape and healthy again.  As I read through it, I know that I marked several different stories that had things that really stuck out to me.  So since this isn’t a story for me to give you the synopsis of, I’m going to just talk about a few of those marked passages in this post.
One of the first passages, by Julie Ridl, talks about how the weight doesn’t just appear suddenly.  But as it does, you begin to feel people treating you differently. As if because you can’t control your weight, you must not be able to control the department at work you’re in charge of or trying to get a promotion to be in charge of.  And then, to get out of it, you have to completely change things.  This is something I did back when I was losing weight.  I began cooking, a lot.  And really, since I am single and live alone, cooking is not something I’m big on doing.  And as I quit cooking for myself, the weight has come back.  So going back now and looking at that really helps.
An early entry by Heather Lockwood talks about how she didn’t learn much about nutrition or portion size when she was a kid.  And I feel the same.  My mom served us healthy meals.  But I don’t remember anything being said about portion size, and actually, other than basic vegetables like green beans and peas, we never had the really weird (to me anyway) vegetables that I still won’t eat to this day, like broccoli, and cauliflower, asparagus, etc.  And back then it didn’t matter.  I didn’t worry about food, because since most of it was controlled by my parents at home, I didn’t seem to gain weight, I was in no way “skinny” but I wasn’t in any way overweight really either.  I’m short though, so the not exercising, and not watching portions once I got on my own, soon caught up.
In one part by Lori Ford, she talks about how she’ll start off really good, but then if something gets stressful, all the hard work for the day/week can be just lost to having a junk food snack just to make it till the next planned meal time.  Part of the problem is what she, or I, bring to work for eating.  What sucks is when I get there, and I don’t want to eat what I brought.  It doesn’t sound good.  So then, I’m ruined for the day, which often leads my brain to be done for the week, to say I’ll start over and do it right next week.  When I was begin successful I was able to start over the next day, or even as soon as I caught myself.  And that’s where I need to get back to.
I won’t go on too much more about my struggle, I will just say that this book is good for feeling like you aren’t alone, there are others out there struggling like you are.  It may not be the “success” story some of the other memoirs I’ve read have been, not to say the authors haven’t been successful, but it is often just about how they feel during the process, and it is good to share those feelings I think.
Not the best weight loss book I’d read, but still has some very good parts.  I have a ton of bookmarked pages at the beginning.  I intend to go back and read through those before I decided what to do with this book, garage sale, pass it on through a giveaway, etc.

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