Book Club – The Heavy

It’s been a while since I posted about Book Club and we are on our 4th (?) meeting this month!  I’m awful at reviewing books apparently.  I think I may read too many and all the details get jumbled and I just never remember any specifics.  Of course, I’ve never been that person who can spout off movie quotes but I’m great with plot lines and overal feedback.

Our first two books were actually memoirs about motherhood.  One of our members is pregnant (didn’t know when books were selected) and the rest of us are at that age and have lots of friends who are having babies.  They seemed pretty appropriate for our first books and they were both easy reads.15796987

Our first book was The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.  I was expecting this book to inspire some controversy as it is about a woman who has to put her 7 year old daughter on a diet.  The daughter’s doctor diagnosed her as obese and the book follows the heartache, the decisions, the judgement that the mother/daughter duo go through as they battle to get to a healthy weight.  This book really made me think about the issues from different perspectives.  I mean what would I do if I was told my child was obese?  What decisions would I make in order to get her healthy?  Would I also put my own body issues onto my child?  There were also some diet ideas that the mom follows that made me think about how I look at food and dieting.  Like what is more important when trying to lose weight: eating healthy/nutritional food that may have denser calories or eating low calorie foods that may have less nutritional value?  The book made it seem like the end all, be all way to lose weight was reducing calories, no matter the kind of calories.  I don’t totally agree with this.  I mean, yes you need to reduce calorie intake, but I also think you have to eat healthy, nutritious, well-balanced foods.  And yes, I think you have to cheat every once in a while or otherwise you’ll never stick to the path.  Then again, I’ve never dieted in my life so who am I to have an opinion??  I just try to eat healthy and I’ve never counted calories although maybe I should because I’m putting on that after wedding weight.  (Ugh.)

One of my big issues with the “diet” in the book is the mother’s take on exercise.  She doesn’t think exercise is worth it because you have to intake more calories to get an effective workout… Logically, it kind of makes sense.  I mean, when I do hot yoga I probably do eat more on those days because I’ve burned more but I truly feel like exercise has more than just a burn calories purpose.  Exercise helps with confidence, leveling stress, changing your body, increasing muscle mass and therefore metabolism, toning muscles, heart health, and so much more.

I’m not an expert and the mother in this book doesn’t claim to be either so don’t listen to either of us when making real life decisions about health BUT I do think this book triggered some good thought and good discussion in our little book club.  And isn’t that what it is all about?  I would have loved to have some already parents in our club for this read because I think they would have added a whole other level to the discussion.  None of us have children so we could not realistically comment on what this mother’s struggle was like.  I do know that I will be more conscious of judging any mom’s decisions because of how the judgement of other moms was depicted.  It was sad to see that there is this woman who is dealing with a real health issue for her child and there just didn’t seem to be any support from other mothers.

The idea of being totally responsible for another person is scary.  I mean, how does a 7 year old become obese?  How do you keep it from happening?  How do you protect your child from anything, period?  Parenthood – there are obviously no clear answers but if anyone finds an instruction manual let me know!

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