I just finished reading Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. All I can really say is… wow… for so many reasons. First, I’ve never read a book this fast in my life. It was an easy read. Maybe because there were so many curse words, I felt like I was at a more comfortable reading level? I can’t say for sure, but it was short, to the point and extremely informative and I appreciated that. It kept me turning pages without even realizing how involved I’d become. I was a little apprehensive during the first couple chapters… there’s a lot of “So, you’re tired of being fat and lazy? Then get off your fat a** and f*ing do something about it.” I’m all for being blunt, but I was definitely taken aback. However, I also feel like some people definitely need this swift kick in the rear-end to make some changes in their lives. There’s no sympathy in this book, that’s for sure, but it is filled with so much great information that my highlighter ran out of ink. Rest in peace pink highlighter.
I’ll try to keep this review short, because I do feel that you should read this book for yourself. I’d say I agree with most everything that this book says. There’s some information the authors give at the end which are their personal opinions on when/how you should eat… for example, they tell you to not eat breakfast until you’re hungry, don’t eat lunch until you’re “ravenous”, etc. I’m not sure I agree with that. I prefer to eat some small, healthy snacks during the day to ensure I don’t get to the point where I’m “ravenous” because let’s face it, if I am in fact ravenous, someone is going to get hurt. Hungry Melissa = Scary Melissa.
The book talks about how you need to give up your unhealthy vices if you want to get “skinny.” I wish the word “skinny” wasn’t used as much as it was, but… the authors did the right things to get people’s attention. Sadly, I can name 10x more people that have told me they’ve read “Skinny Bitch” then have read “Clean.” Anything with “skinny” in the title and you’ve got an immediate audience. I just question people’s motives though. It’s always about getting skinny. Get HEALTHY people! The weight loss will come with being healthier inside and out. Although, this book is more geared towards becoming healthier, they just use the word “skinny” instead. It also discusses carbohydrates, how sugar is the devil (which it is, in processed form… but if you’re talking about the sugar in fruit and things like that, then it’s good). Also discussed is the Atkins Diet and why it’s a terrible idea (thank heavens someone is calling it out, finally) and protein and how Americans get more than double the amount we really need. Lastly, but certainly not least, it discusses meat and why you shouldn’t eat it and how the government cannot be trusted. These two chapters changed my outlook on food more than I thought was possible at this point in my quest to become more knowledgeable.
A few months ago, I cut red meat out of my diet. No real reason. Had nothing to do with the way animals were treated, just sort of lost my appetite for red meat and decided to roll with it. A few weeks ago, I cut out dairy products. I had more of a reason behind this… which came from reading CLEAN, by Dr. Alejandro Junger. Up until this afternoon, I was still eating chicken, fish, and would have the occasional egg. Well, that’s all changed. I got to the chapter where they discuss the way animals are treated and I totally lost it. I’m honestly embarrassed that all this time I have been turning a blind eye to all this talk of animal cruelty. Granted, when possible, I would buy “free range” poultry and beef, but I always had growth hormones and antibiotics on my mind more than I did the treatment of the actual animals. Skinny Bitch has changed all that. The details they go into are pretty disturbing, but I’m glad they wrote about it, and even more glad that I read it. They actually quote workers from some of these slaughter houses and it’s just so sick. I was in tears reading this, while picking the chicken out of my spinach salad and tossing it in the trash. It’s really, really awful. For those that are interested, it’s Chapter 6: You Are What You Eat. I will spare you the details in this blog and let you read it for yourself if you decide you’d like to.
The other chapter that I found mind-boggling was Chapter 9: Have No Faith: Governmental Agencies Don’t Give a Shit About Your Health. And they don’t. I started to get an idea for how political everything is when I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives, where they explained how messed up the food pyramid is. The FOOD PYRAMID! Kids learn about the food pyramid at such a young age! Yet, it cannot be trusted. For example, dairy and meat have been linked to all sorts of diseases, but there’s no way it will be removed from the pyramid because there are very “high-up” people from huge dairy companies, for instance, that would never let that happen. Skinny Bitch talks about all the corruption within the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and more.
“According to its web site, now, among other things, the USDA is responsible for “the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.” Hmm. That’s weird. ‘Cause many high-ranking staff members at the USDA were employed by, or are otherwise affiliated with, the meat and dairy industries. And if the group responsible for “the safety of meat, poultry and egg products” is run by people from the same industries they’re supposed to be protecting us from… well, that would be a conflict of interest. And it is. An enormous, ridiculous, outrageous, catastrophic conflict of interest.” – Skinny Bitch
There are plenty of examples in the book in regards to what terrible things these agencies have pulled, but that’s another post. In short, everyone’s in bed with everyone else. The milk industry is a $19 Billion industry. So… they pretty much have enough money to get what they want, and do what they need to do to ensure people think milk is critical to their survival. Have you ever wondered why school lunches are required to serve milk? Food for thought. Pun intended.
The reviews on this book are definitely mixed, with good reason I believe. The language is strong, so if that’s something that offends you, steer clear of this one. It also advocates a vegan diet, so be prepared for that. They talk a lot about soy products, which I currently believe people should do their own research on before diving head first into… as there are mixed reviews on whether or not soy is good for you. I personally don’t feel I have enough information to make a case for either side at this point in time. One of the reviews I read mentioned that although these tips will work for weight loss, they are too difficult for the average woman. Which may in fact be true. But… even if they take a few key things away from this book… for instance, get rid of those cigarettes and sodas and read the ingredients of what you’re about to eat… then I feel like it’s worth reading.
Baby steps should not be overlooked. Even small successes are worth celebrating, as it’s those small successes that lead to the bigger ones. I didn’t change my eating habits overnight, this has been a LONG, but extremely enjoyable and even more rewarding process. I started years ago, by giving up soda, and stuck with just that for a while. I didn’t realize that I was even on a “journey” until I recently thought about all the changes I’ve made, and started to realize it. I was just living day by day, taking in information and adjusting my diet. Next, I swapped out my typical lunch for a spinach salad everyday, incorporating more veggies into my diet. I’ve made so many changes since kicking that soda, too many to list. Now I’m at the point where I’m learning so much about the impact food and other products have on not just my intestines or my weight, but also on my emotions, that I can’t stop learning! I want to be the best version of “me” that I can be, and that means every day learning more and more and constantly growing and changing. I hope you can take small steps for yourself as well, because you’ll soon notice that they weren’t small at all, that they were pivotal in making you become who you are today. Eating vegan or cutting out dairy isn’t for everyone, but I do hope everyone can have enough knowledge to make their own, informed decisions. It’s your body, it’s your life. Take control.