And so I was breastfeeding and as long as breastfeeding is easy for you, breastfeeding is easy. But now she eats like a people and I am like, Crap. Because I have to make decisions now, decisions that will affect her long-term health and body image and relationship with food and you guys it is all so terrifying.
The Heavy did not help. Because Dara-Lynn's food philosophy jives very neatly with MY food philosophy (things like 'made of real food' > 'low-fat but mostly chemicals') and she's more or less trim just as *I* am more or less trim, and yet, her daughter was fat. So Weiss put her on a diet. DID I MENTION THAT THE DAUGHTER WAS SEVEN? This is where the book makes you all like
Even my non-Harry-Potter posts are Harry Potter posts.
But, ok. A year prior, her daughter Bea had been diagnosed 'kind of fattish' so Dara-Lynn tried, you know, casually introducing more veggies and fewer treats and whatever, but then a year later Bea was pronounced 'really concerningly fat' (i.e. 'obese'). And so if half-hearted, subtle measures don't accomplish anything, do you wait until she's THIRTEEN and has a history of being The Fat Kid and is dealing with Puberty? Or do you put your SEVEN-YEAR-OLD on a diet and face the judgement and stern disapproval of family and friends (and the audience of Vogue for whom you, rather inadvisedly, wrote an article about same) and then write a book to explain why you did what you did?
This book made me gnashy to read. What made me the GNASHIEST, though, is that Weiss may not be right, but (as she points out like a thousand times [to her credit, I had forgotten each time until she pointed it out again]) I am in no place to say that she is wrong. And I kept feeling in my GUT how wrong she was. She'd be giving Bea 100-calorie snack-packs and I am like, THOSE ARE NOT FOOD, and then she'd be like, There is a difference between healthy eating and weight-loss eating, and Bea's medical imperative was to lose weight.
And then on top of that, she still wants Bea to have a childhood and a positive relationship with food, so they struggle with birthday parties and play dates and it is HEARTBREAKING and also maddening because all her friends are like, Oh, just let her have a second brownie, she's a KID. And in any scenario outside this book I would be like, DUDE YES LET ALL THE CHILDREN HAVE SECOND BROWNIES but now I'm all up in Weiss' head and involved in her daughter's struggle and you just want her to succeed and you are like, Be strong, Bea! Do not eat that brownie!
After all this waffling felt disturbingly gratifying to finally and firmly disagree with her about something. She's all like, Why would you exercise when that will just make you hungrier? To which I say, Yes, but then you get to EAT MORE THINGS. And her daughter constantly complains about being hungry, which is one of the hardest parts both for Weiss and for the reader, because how do you tell a hungry 7-year-old that she can't have more dinner? Especially in front of dinner guests? And I'm like, MOAR EXERCISE = MOAR EATING. Problem solved. (But again, how would I know?)
This book is giving me the sad-eats.
In a book about something this important and little-discussed (What To Do [Or NOT!] When Your Kid Is Fat), the writing is kind of beside the point. I will say that Weiss is a thesaurus-writer, all '[g]iant eyes with never-ending lashes blinking languidly onto tumescent cheeks,' but I stopped noticing after a while because I had so many OPINIONS.
I don't even know how to rate this, because I disagree with parts of it SO STRONGLY but UNDERSTAND HOW MY DISAGREEMENT MAY BE INCORRECT and I think it's important to open the discussion on Fat Kids And How To Deal, or we're all going to be in Weiss' shoes and I'd rather not.
Requisite ass-covering: book received from publisher.