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Butterbabe: The True Adventures of a 40-stone Outsider

by Rebecca Golden

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Edit: Forget the review and jump to the last paragraph.

Sometimes people who are good at one thing are induced by either their own desires or someone else's urging to try another, related thing. Rebecca Golden was apparently a successful journalist who was urged by an editor at Salon.com to write a book about her experiences of being an obese girl and woman in a normal-sized world.

I wouldn't like to go out to lunch with Rebecca. Before she had her gastric bypass all she did was stuff herself with fast food, in triplicate, at every opportunity, and since then... Well lunch with a smug, self-satisfied person isn't going to be interesting conversationally.

What I so dislike about this author is that she is such a fake. She makes out that her childhood was horrible but it wasn't, it was pretty much an ok childhood. Her mother came to her rescue whenever she was bullied, tried to set her up in weightloss programmes and was the general chauffeur and shopper that all mothers are. Her father was sarcastic! He made a lot of references to her weight (so she'd go to her room and munch munch) and how she needed to make an effort (like go along with all her mother's help) but that just set her to eating again. Just about every thing did. She has a false self-image, the opposite of anorexics, she always felt normal until she caught sight of herself.

Very young she thought she would naturally lose the weight as she got older so no reason to stop the supersize MacDonald's and triple coke. Older, she researched diets and saw that no one could stick to them and even if you did, you'd put all the weight back on and more so what was the point? (Munch munch).

She bemoans all her problems, can't get into Japanese cars, can't get a date, can't keep a job, can't do housework, no-one wants to share a flat with her except weirdos, can't this, can't that, can't the other, and her super-intelligent, scholarship-winning self just goes for solving all her problems (really just the one, 250lb excess fat) by, yep, you've guessed it, munch-munch-munching some more. Along the way she tells us that there is nothing wrong with her health, that she's not putting on weight because of some morbidity.

Eventually of course, she has some supersize health problems and decides to get a gastric bypass. Realising that anaesthesia and an operation of this seriousness is very dangerous in one of her size, she immediately starts to diet. In a very short space of time she has lost over 3 stone (42lb) ready for the operation. HELLO? IS THERE ANYONE HOME? Why didn't you just bloody do this before?

She has the operation, loses masses of weight and then tells us endlessly that she hates all the people who tell her that she took the 'easy way out' by having a gastric bypass and not dieting. My thoughts exactly. Having lost a lot of weight she then gets plastic surgery for the excess skin, buys new clothes, gets a job and starts going out looking for men. I wish her luck.

What annoyed me so much about this book was her entitled attitude and the fact that she thought she had great insight and conveyed her psychological state and events in her formative years with clarity. She refused to see herself as others saw her, refused to give any credence to their feelings, refused to take advice and eventually... took the easy way out.

Golden made a huge mistake that I bet she didn't when this book was going to be published. All along she had felt that people shouldn't be judged by their appearances, that it was what was inside that counts. Of course with books, covers are very carefully designed, and often redesigned for different editions, because we all know that we judge books, first, on their covers.

The book was remaindered. I might look at some of her writing on Salon.com and I wouldn't judge it by the book, writing an article is very different from a book. But I'd never buy another book of her's just by judging it from the title and cover, I'd be very careful to check reviews first next time.

Edit
This article is apparently the origin of the book. Its a good article and is essentially the book in one page -275 pages of whining and other uninteresting verbiage. http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2006/08/08/gastric_bypass
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  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
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A personal story about weight loss though gastric bypass surgery. Written with a down to earth style and a healthy dose of humor.
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