8/7/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Mama Book of the Week: Finished Being Fat by Betsy Schow


This book is so hilarious! I wanted to read it all in one sitting but didn’t have the time. So I had to read it in chunks over several days. It was like forcing myself to space out eating a box of chocolates, savoring each one so the pleasure could be spread out over a long time. Reading it at night was my reward, for doing hard things during the day, like treating myself to ice cream. It was just as delicious as that favorite frozen dessert of mine but had no calories. Some people on goodreads.com think the author is whiny and pitiful, but I didn’t at all. I loved her candidness. This is not a “how-to” guide on how to lose weight, but a memoir/story of how Betsy decided to finally finish her decades-long goal of losing weight.

Anybody who has never struggled with weight loss probably won’t relate to it. As someone who has struggled, I totally related. She tells of feeling fat from age 12, when she was five feet tall and weighed 120 lbs. She didn’t fit in with her family of sisters because they were all short and petite and she wasn’t. Her dad took her aside to basically tell her she was fat and offer to help her lose weight, having just succeeded himself (with Fen-Fen). The way she tells it, he wasn’t diplomatic at all, and she felt shamed.

So the book is about five main things:

1. Healing her relationship with her father, i.e. getting up the courage to tell him she felt hurt when he he told her to keep her fat clothes in case she put the weight back on after she lost it.

2. Convincing herself that she is a finisher, including a finisher of losing weight. Along the way, she finishes a bunch of projects, including…..

(SPOILER alert!…quit reading, close this page if you don’t want to know the ending)

running a marathon with her husband! Wow!

3. Learning how to parent her young daughter who has some issues going on. She is wonderfully patient with her.

4. Deciding that she is thin and dealing with the “Ghosts of Her Fat Past,” including wounds from being bullied as a teen. I nearly cried when she told stories of how other kids treated her in high school.

5. Deciding that she is a runner.

It’s an amazing story of change. I’m always fascinated by what motivates people to change and how they do it. If you are too, you will love this book. You will probably have several LOL moments and wish that Betsy was your neighbor, best friend, or both! Betsy, thank you for writing a charming, inspiring, impactful book!

Fun tangential fact: Caleb Warnock, gardener extraordinaire, and coauthor of the sourdough book I love, is her writing mentor. She acknowledges him at the beginning of the book.

(If you want help with losing weight, I suggest two things. 1. You do the HCG diet like she mentioned in the book. She did it for one round. I’ve done it for three and lost 70 lbs on it. If you don’t want to spend the money to do that, then 2. you read my post here and then practice the principles I share. They worked for me!)

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