plus-size-model-crystal-renn-releases-book-called-hungryI just came across this book and it’s a must have for me.  Some of the reviews on Amazon include:

“An eye-opening tale for all women, Hungry explores the difference between the fantasy that society projects and the reality of what makes us happy. Crystal Renn’s experience debunks the modern-day Cinderella story of the fat girl who loses weight to get happy. This is a new fairy tale, one in which a young woman embraces the size she’s supposed to be and the world opens up for her.” — Lori Gottlieb, author of Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self

“Crystal Renn is a high-spirited, convincing spokesperson for broadening our notions of beauty. Hungry adds a unique twist to a growing women’s chorus: even if you are young and beautiful, as Renn is, it’s best to give up the addiction to slimness for the sake of personal authenticity, social relations, intimacy, and sexual pleasure.” — Joan Jacobs Brumberg, author of The Body Project and Fasting Girls

Hungry offers an intelligent and intimate look inside the modeling industry and into Crystal Renn’s heart. Renn’s epiphany — that she didn’t have to be a size 0 to find success and happiness — serves as a more powerful portrait of strength and beauty than anything a camera could capture.” — Wendy Shanker, author of The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life

I promise to write my own review after I get it into my hand.  You can buy it online here.

Taking issue with the issue

There is a lot of debate at the moment around plus size models.  Basically, I am for all types of bodies.  Healthy bodies that is.  They are the role models our children need to see in their overly media-saturated lives.

I was just pointed to an article, written by Susie O’Brien, which originally appeared in the Herald Sun this Sunday.

Titled “Plus-size models doing big girls no favours” she goes on to say:

“While these women might make us feel better about our bulging butts and guts, the truth is, few women over a size 14 are in a healthy weight range.  And many need encouragement to lose weight instead of being told to feel good about being overweight.  Seeing big girls might give us healthier self-esteem, but it might not encourage us to lead healthier lives.”

She has totally missed the point here.  It’s not about being OK to be big.  It’s about accepting who you are, what you are, and how you look as being OK.  Only from there can you begin to make positive lifestyle changes that are based in a love for yourself and a respect for you body.  Trust me, I’ve been there again and again.

Take a look at the article and judge for yourself, but I would argue that Ms Susie O’Brien has never had to confront the demons that make us put on weight in the first place.  If she did, I am sure her take on these issues would be very, very different.

In defense of food


I love listening to Radio National.  During the summer series this morning, they featured an American author called Michael Pollen.  He was talking about his new book “In defence of food:  An eater’s manifesto”.

Given I am watching everything that goes into my mouth at the moment, I was interested to hear his thoughts on our [western cultures] dietary habits.

Basically he says that real food – the kind your great-grandmother would recognise as good – is being undermined by science on the one side and the food industry on the other.  He believes that these two groups want us to focus on nutrients, good and bad, rather than actual plants, animals and fungi.  He calls this the rise of nutritionism.

Nutritionism arose to deal with a genuine problem – the fact that the modern diet is responsible for an epidemic of chronic diseases, from obesity to heart disease and many cancers.

What he has realised though, is that a real solution to this problem involves putting the focus back on organic foods and food chains.  You cannot isolate various nutrients (in particular the meteoric rise of Omega 3) from the rest of the food source.  They require the context of all other nutrients in the food to do their work.

His best piece of advice is “If your great grandmother wouldn’t know what food it is, you probably shouldn’t be eating it”.

If, like me, you find this subject fascinating, I would urge you to order his book.  You can buy it here on Amazon.

You can also get more information and hear him talk at his web site