I finished Big Girl by Kelsey Miller yesterday and I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Big Girl is Kelsey Miller’s personal memoir in which she shares her decision to stop dieting, what lead her to that decision, and what helped her to maintain that decision.
Instantly I fell in love with Kelsey’s spirit and her drive to change. I related to Kelsey’s experience and the realization that enough was enough. I went through the same thing last spring. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t go on one more diet. It was time to stop dieting and I appreciated hearing someone else’s experience with the same feelings and emotions around dieting.
Kelsey starts her memoir sharing the moment she decided to stop dieting. I thought from there Kelsey would talk more about intuitive eating, the emotions that came from not dieting, and the benefits of not dieting. Instead, Kelsey dove head first into what lead her to chronic dieting, sharing deep and overly personal experiences and stories. I appreciated Kelsey’s openness, but thought Big Girl would focus more on the life after the decision, not what led her to the decision.
Some of Kelsey’s experiences were disturbing and I’ll be honest, it was a little depressing. I didn’t finish the book feeling happy for her. Sure she had stopped dieting, but I felt sad for the things that led her to that point. To me, Big Girl was less about not dieting and more about the therapy needed to heal from the life that lead to overeating, emotional eating, and compulsive dieting.
Kelsey, as a blogger/writer, had the benefit of receiving free nutritional therapy in NYC. To hear all she went through, and the support she needed to stop dieting, I was left, as the reader, feeling like you can’t stop dieting without a ton of support. Especially if you have a lot of baggage, which I think most emotional eaters have.
I personally made the decision to stop dieting last April, and I appreciated relating to some of the milestones Kelsey shared in Big Girl, but it was scary thinking of whether or not people can stop dieting without therapy, a personal trainer, and a platform to share their experience.
I think Big Girl is worth reading, especially if you’re a chronic dieter, but it is not a self help book. You will not finish the book with a list of steps to take in order to walk away from dieting. Big Girl will get you thinking and will make you question whether or not dieting is helping you to live a happy and healthy life.
For me, dieting is a vicious cycle that never leads to true change. I related to the the time it takes to redefine life after dieting and am grateful for Kelsey’s story, I just wish her book was a little more uplifting.