Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Aug 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Food Change

AE_greg_archer_skinny_bitch1GT Editor hopes to tweak the conversations we have about ‘dieting,’ eating disorders and the hunger to be ‘thin’ in the new read,  ‘Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!’
I met him more than 10 years ago. The door in the Good Times office slammed shut and in walked Greg Archer, wearing a black vest, and exuding the type of charm that he’s well known for. For about six months, we sat next to each other, me in a boring cubicle and his section decked out with Christmas tree lights, streamers coming down from the ceiling and so on. We became fast friends. And then he became my boss when the previous editor moved on. Over the years, I’ve been able to watch Greg Archer evolve. He is known for his catchy style with language, his seamless leadership qualities, his genuine concern for his employees and his desire to create a newspaper that the community can rely on. And now, on top of all his accomplishments—a freelancer for magazines such as O Magazine, The Advocate, and others, the numerous awards he’s garnered, and much more—the man has taken on a new endeavor, co-author of the book, “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches! (The Common Sense Guide To Following Your Hunger and Your Heart).”

It’s an “anti-diet” and health book like you’ve never seen before. Collaborating with eating disorder specialist Dr. Maria Rago, Archer has set about to debunk the diet myths that are prevalent in America, and to tell people that it’s OK to “go ahead and eat that cupcake once in a while.” And while you’re at it, have a cup of self-esteem, too. I had the opportunity to read the book and I can say with confidence that it’s witty, smart, well written and necessary. I hope you’ll agree.

GOOD TIMES: YOU’VE BEEN THE EDITOR AT GT FOR 10 YEARS. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

GREG ARCHER: It’s in my nature to write, and I’m a sucker for good causes, and I liked what Dr. Rago was doing with her patients in her eating disorders program. So we collaborated on this book that debunks dieting myths and hopefully gives people an alternative way of looking at themselves, their body size and the food they think they need to eat in order to be thin/happy.

OPRAH OR DR. PHIL?

[Laughs ... because this the type of question that Archer often asks those he interviews.] Oprah. I’m from Chicago, so I saw her rise from ABC morning TV. She’s real and deep.

AE_skinny_bitch4CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?

Chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT LIFE LATELY?

That it flows more smoothly if you have a sense of humor.

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT LIFE?

My Polish aunt used to say, “Sweetheart, kill ’em with kindness.” That’s good advice. And the other is, “Don’t stop believing.”

FAVORITE CHEESY ’80S SONG?

“Don’t Stop Believing” ... with a “Xanadu” chaser.

WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE IN SANTA CRUZ DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

That I’m probably very shy.

OK, BACK TO THE SERIOUS QUESTIONS. HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT THE PROCESS OF WRITING THIS BOOK?
I wrote an article about Maria—it was about a program she had with her eating disorder patients—and it was published in O Magazine. Then she had mentioned that some of her patients were carrying around the book “Skinny Bitch.” She noticed changes in their behavior after reading that book. I know the intention of the book was to be playful, but the message is that you will not be cool or happy unless you’re “skinny.” So, we wanted to say, “shut up, skinny bitches,” but more so to the “skinny bitches mindset” out there prevelant in the media and advertising, and even health industries, that insist happiness can only come to you if you look a certain way—skinny. So, we embarked on a book in the beginning of 2009. The writing of it took six to seven months—because of the small publisher we had—but everything before and after, finding an agent and publisher in today’s publishing industry … it’s a miracle anyone gets a book published if you’re not Snooki or Kim Kardashian.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO WRITERS WHO HOPE TO GET PUBLISHED?

I’m not so sure you need an agent nowadays. With smaller publishers, you can avoid having your 15 percent given to an agent. If you are writing fiction, believe in your story. If you have a great story to tell, tell it and don’t be afraid to tell it. At the end of the day, people want to read good stories. Believe in your story and yourself, and don’t take no for an answer. If it’s non-fiction, be shrewd and practical and wise.

WHERE WILL THE BOOK BE SOLD, AND DO YOU HAVE ANY UPCOMING BOOK SIGNINGS?

Jan. 20 at Bookshop Santa Cruz. We will have some forbidden foods to eat. I’ll explain how the book came into being and elaborate on its themes and read from it. Also March 3 at the Capitola Book Café.

WHAT IS THIS BOOK ULTIMATELY ABOUT?

It’s about moving away from black-and-white thinking and finding a middle ground; an alternative way of looking at yourself and your relationship to your body and food. We address why diets don’t work and why eating regularly and in moderation does. We also go into body-image and eating disorders, and men—males also have body-image issues. Men—it’s a population that nobody discusses. This book is different. It says, “nothing is ‘wrong’ with you and there never was.”

HOW DO YOU EAT?

I used to be a raw foodist, but I felt that I was robbing my body of nutrients that I needed, and I was tired all the time. So, I have included a little more meat in my diet. I do a lot of Bikram yoga, and I eat a lot of veggies and fruit. I like a lot of water going through my body.

WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF LATELY?

That there is nothing wrong with me or the size of my body. And I keep learning that every day. There’s nothing wrong with me. Yet ... knowing that and feeling that don’t always share the same bed together.


A book signing for “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!” takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at Bookshop Santa Cruz in Downtown Santa Cruz. There is also an event at Capitola Book Café on March 3. Learn more about the book ($15.95) at shutupskinnybitches.info or gregarcher.com. Now, go eat something good.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual