Skinny Bitch,The Complete Bitch

Skinny Bitch
A no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!
by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

I do not recall how or when I first heard about Skinny Bitch, but I decided I wanted to check it out last year. I ordered a copy from Amazon’s Marketplace and within ten days I was settled down on my couch, ready to take notes. I was more than a little dismayed. The “screeliciousness” tone of the book was so off-putting that I was asking myself whether or not I wouldn’t rather be happy being fat than a “skinny bitch.” I only made it to Chapter 3 (“Sugar is Evil”) when I decided I had had enough. Big DNF.

The Complete Bitch
Skinny Bitch: A no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!
Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls who want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)
by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
narrated by Renee Raudman

Okay, so now flash-forward to this year and a couple of weight-loss campaigns later. When The Book Lady (from tweeted about the Game On! Diet, I was interested. As I mentioned in the preview of The Game On! Diet, I was reminded of Skinny Bitch as there were some similar common sense tenets in both approaches. I wanted to compare the two books, but was disinclined to purchase another copy of Skinny Bitch. So Yay! for Laura Colebank, co-founder of Tantor Audio! She delivered and MP3-CD of The Complete Bitch!

Now the contents of Skinny Bitch, whether audio or print are the same, but Renee Raudman’s delivery made all the difference. Instead of feeling like I was reading the rantings of unhappy, albeit skinny, bitches, the scree factor was toned way down and I felt like I was listening to a girlfriend tell me what she had just found out about the crap most of us call “food.” That said, if you are put off by vulgar, crass and downright rude words and phrases, this is probably not the book for you. There are a lot of “asses,” “fucks,” “craps” etc. peppering the book and, since I have a 7-year-old running around the house, I listened to this on headphones.

Skinny Bitch, like the Game On! Diet, is an approach book rather than a traditional diet book. Traditional diet books tend to be fully articulated eating regimes whereas approach books are about overall health and lifestyle choices that help you become leaner and fitter. In Skinny Bitch, the approach is that much of what people in the US eat is not only not good for you; but is really, really bad for you. The arguments supporting this supposition are informed primarily through internet sources and other popularly noted books and; oftentimes the supporting arguments seem slanted and the logic strained. For instance, in their stance against eating meat, Ms Freedman and Ms Barnouin argue against the idea that proteins helped inhuman evolution by countering that we, as modern humans don’t have sharp teeth like a lion. Um, huh?

What Skinny Bitch and The Game On! Diet have in common are the emphases placed on the ideas that :
  • smoking, alcohol, soda and caffeine are bad for you;
  • you should make healthier choices in what you eat (organic over conventional, genetically modified or processed);
  • refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are bad for you;
  • fruits and vegetable are good for you and;
  • the mind-body connection are is not to be underestimated.
Where Skinny Bitch differs in premise is that it stresses a vegan diet and; that you cannot trust the USDA, FDA or EPA to not screw up your food supplies. Skinny Bitch briefly mentions exercise (vs The Game On! Diet which counts it as an important component) and also passing comments about beauty products.

There is an interactive CD-ROM to The Complete Bitch called Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. This contains a 17-minute audio section (also narrated by Renee Raudman) that simply summarizes Skinny Bitch and; a pdf of recipes. Accessing Skinny Bitch in the Kitch involves the installation of a Microsoft program called Cross Over, which is included on the CD-ROM. I was hoping to find recipes that would supplement the Game On! Diet plan, but Skinny Bitch is a bit too hard-core vegan for my tastes. That said, I have decided to make a switch up from drinking cow’s milk to soy milk. I’m convinced it’s healthier for me.

Betting on Weight Loss

Have trouble staying on your diet?
Try putting your money where your mouth is
By Sari Harrar
Good Housekeeping, July 2010 (Vol. 251 No. 1)
Good Housekeeping photography Bill Swan and Jean E. Lee

I’m so lame! I totally abandoned taking PETER & MAX (by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Steve Leialoha) on vacation in favor of starting Tana French’s IN THE WOODS . Problem was, once I got to my parent’s house, I wasn’t in the mood for IN THE WOODS and I hadn’t brought a back-up book! So I went looking around the house for something to read only to discover, much to my chagrin, there are NO books in my parent’s house, only back issues of Ladies Home Journal and a recent issue of Good Housekeeping! Okaaay, I picked up the copy of GH and read an article by Sari Harrar called “Betting on Weight Loss.” It ended up being a timely article in my life as I’m about to start a round of the Game On! Diet (08/01) and it served as a sort of gloss about competing with your family and friends in weight loss challenges.

The Game On! Diet
By Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson
HarperCollins e-books, Kindle edition

Anyway, I also dnloaded the e-book edition of The Game On! Diet (by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson) which isn’t so much a diet book, as it is an explanation of the rules of the game. I did feel a little ripped off as it wasn’t really much more substantive than the GH article (unfair I know since the book came out first and I’m sure it was the basis for the article) and, the experts quoted for the book were the medical consultants for the television show, Grey’s Anatomy (The book was written by one of the show’s writers, Krista Vernoff and, the show’s trainer, Az Ferguson.) Hmmm, I might have felt better had the consulting doctors written the book instead, but then I would have probably have complained that the good doctors had no writing skills :-/ Well, at least the information is fairly innocuous (eat better, exercise more and get plenty of sleep) so it’s not going to kill me and, I think it’s a great way to get in the habit of making smarter choices health-wise. Moreover, the book does contain recipes and helpful hints for succeeding in your challenge and the common sense underpinning the book is delivered in a friendly way (unlike the screeching SKINNY BITCH book which I will be reviewing later.) As the challenge approaches its start date and throughout the game, I will be posting more specific comments about the Game On! Diet book as well as other relevant material.

Some of my reasons for wanting to play this game:

  • I am overweight. Four months ago I was obese and currently I am the average weight for my height and age; but I would like to get back to fighting form. For this challenge, I would like to just get back to the normal weight for my height and age;
  • I want to be around for the important milestones in my child’s life. I can’t be around if I’m dying or dead because of diabetes, cardiac issues, or whatever. I envision myself strutting in a vintage Chanel (by Karl Lagerfeld) little black dress suit at my daughter’s college graduation; adjusting the wedding veil right before she walks down the aisle; holding my grandchild/-ren when they’re babies… I want to be around for all that and more.
  • I hate the way I look and feel, which is basically like Jabba the Hutt. I really want to look and feel like a sexy Manga chick wearing stiletto thigh-high biker boots…

In case you’re wondering, I will NOT to posting daily blogs about this challenge. I will instead be tweeting daily and posting weekly. For now, I will leave you with this “Before” picture: