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Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!

ae_shutup“Shut up, and eat something!” That’s my new motto for 2011. It’s also one of the messages found in the new book, “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches—The Common Sense Guide to Following Your Hunger and Your Heart” (NorLightsPress), which I co-wrote with an eating disorder specialist Dr. Maria Rago.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: It’s the new year; we should all be “dieting.” We should limit our food consumption. Dammit … we should just get skinny!

Think again. Eat! Skinny is not the cure.

Blasphemy?

I assure you that I’m telling you this because I’d love to lead you toward a more delicious new way of thinking—about yourself and the food you consume and, hopefully, you might even finally change some of the internal laws you have in place, the ones currently governing your every move when it comes to the size you think you should be, or the food you think you have to eat. (And dear Lord—let’s get this out of the way now: I’m not encouraging people here to be a glutton. I dig you too much. So read on …)

The backstory: “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches” came into being after I wrote an article for O Magazine about one of Dr. Rago’s unique treatment programs for her eating disorder patients—she took those with food issues and had them feed the homeless, thereby giving them a greater sense of the universal value of food. I loved the concept. After all, the minute you start giving, you have very little time to be overly self-involved with your “stuff.” It frees you up. After the article was published, Dr. Rago and I decided to collaborate on a book, mostly because we were amazed by the amount of diet and health books out there, not to mention the media, perpetuating one message: that you can only be happy if and when you are thin. There was also another culprit that irked us. The book, “Skinny Bitch,” which, in my opinion, basically encouraged readers to launch into restrictive eating plans, all the while encouraging them to just get skinny … because that would mean they would be happy.

Dr. Rago and I felt that book was, in essence, a manifesto for getting an eating and/or body-image disorder. And so, we wanted to take a stand for anybody that has felt pressured to look or be a certain way, alter their size, or forced to severely restrict their food consumption—whether it was to fit in or obtain “happiness.”

The result is “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!” In the book, we offer an alternative outlook.

“Stop dieting and start loving yourself!” we write. “If you can’t stomach one more day of being told you’re too fat, then you’re ready to try some delicious new brain candy. Skinny is not the cure! Thin is not in. There’s nothing wrong with you! There never was.”

That last part is significant. We live in a culture that bombards us with advertising images insisting that we must correct our “flaws.” We’re part of a society that pressures us to believe that a certain body weight or size is the only acceptable weight or size. We can’t all  be skinny. Each of us has a different body, a different body type, different metabolisms. People who aren’t “skinny” can actually be healthy the size they naturally are.

Some of the things our book addresses:

•Why dieting doesn’t work.

•Tapping into/relearning your natural hunger and fullness cues. (Eat when you’re hungry; stop when you’re full. It really can be that easy.)

•Eating and body image disorders. Chronic dieters and severe food restrictors set themselves up for one, or both. When you do something like eliminate all carbs from your new “diet,” guess what you’re going to end up binging on later? HELLO CARBS!

•Why the scale is not your God.greg_archer

•Moving from black-and-white/severe thinking to the middle ground—Eating foods you cherish (yes, even those “forbidden” ones) in moderation can eliminate that binge fest.

There’s more. (There’s always more.) But for now, I’ll leave you with this: In a day and age when we seem to all be on board for “self-improvement, I propose that one of the best ways to actually do that is to begin listening more to our (inner) self. Feeding ourselves is a vital part of survival. Liking ourselves, loving ourselves, accepting ourselves—no matter what the size of our jeans may be at the moment—is, really, in our inherent nature. And anybody that tells you otherwise?

Two words: Shut Up! | Greg Archer


It’s a sign(ing) “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!” is available at local booksellers. There will be a booksigning from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20 at Barnes & Noble in the Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell; another booksigning and talk is slated for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Capitola Book Café, in Capitola. For more information, visit capitolabookcafe.com, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Learn more about the book at shutupskinnybitches.info. Now … go eat.

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written by Kathy Sandidge, February 19, 2011
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