Even though this was supposed to be a funny or humorous book, I didn't really find it as such. I don't know, may I'm just being sensitive because I'm a "large" woman but have never experienced what the main character of this book did.
I just finished reading "The Lighter Side of Large" by Becky Siame. I don't know if New Zealand or the area of that country that our main character, Bella, is from, but oh boy - she lives around some pretty nasty people!
Now, I have to admit that I have not been heavy my entire life. Actually, as of 9 years ago, I was quite the opposite. I was wearing a size 3 when I became pregnant with my son. It wasn't until after my son was born and had all of these health problems that my body changed and became swollen and heavy. Of course, eating all of those cookies and candy certainly doesn't help. :-) :-) And I like eating those cookies and candies!
So our story starts off with Bella being pretty much thrown out of her house by her husband who no longer loves her - all of this happening two weeks after the birth of their second child. The worst part about it is that Bella's husband, Mika, abandons her for her own sister.
Okay, yes, this is sad, but Bella builds a new life for her and her kids and even though her husband makes a bunch of money having his own law firm, Bella refuses to take any kind of financial support from him. I admire that kind of pride because it takes a lot of strength to turn down the kind of money that he was offering.
So, our dear Bella turns into a character of contradictions that really starts to get on my nerves. She obviously has a lot of pride, but she carries around the baggage that her husband left her when he did like all of the fat on her body. People treat her badly and make faces and rude comments because she's fat and she feel so bad about it - but doesn't really do anything to change the situation! She has these extraordinary supportive friends that try to get her out of this funk to change her life, but it take the news that her ex husband and sister are going to get married for her to finally step up to make a changes in her life. She sets goals - one being to lose weight and achieve that 'perfect' body.
During this quest, Bella meets a man in the grocery store that obvious finds her beautiful and very attractive. At this point I think she's still teetering around the 300 pound mark (the book shows kilos and I'm not going to do the math right now), but she has a good looking man that likes her and sees her for herself, not all of the extra pounds. Then, twice, Bella is convinced that he didn't like her anymore and didn't want to be with her because he didn't call or text her. Sure, I can understand that she would feel a bit hesitant to put all of her trust in this mew boyfriend, heck, she put her trust in her husband and look at what a scum bag he turned out to be! But the worst part is that she didn't even give her new beau, Jae, an chance. She never asked him or talked to him about her insecurities. How can you start off a relationship with these kind of secrets!
Well, the book goes on with Bella working out, eating right and losing lots of weight. During this time, her relationship with Jae continues to get more serious but she is still not satisfied with her body. She's convinced that she's not losing the weight fast enough and goes in for lap band surgery that almost kills her. Even though Bella's friends were against it, they still supported her and were there when she almost died. Jae was there every day while she was in the hospital and even after being in bed and sick for so many days, still called her beautiful.
Yet, this was still not enough for Bella. She starts a blog to talk about her quest of losing weight and because of the popularity that it gains, gets offered writing related jobs and a book offer. She talks about being treated badly when she was still really heavy and how large people get discriminated against even today. She fights for equal treatment for over weight people that we start to see a much stronger Bella, who after all of the positive and wonderful things going on in her life, is still not satisfied with her own body!!!
Well, it takes the whole book and almost losing her friends and Jae, but Bella finally gets it in her thick skull that she could never be totally satisfied until she started to accept herself as she was. She was no longer heavy - going from a size 22 or something like that, to a size 12 - so she as more 'socially acceptable' body, she had a wonderful boyfriend that loved her even with all of that lose skin and bit of extra weight, supportive friends and family that loved her. She finally saw how good her life was but she couldn't enjoy because she was still so obsessed with her own looks and weight.
I'm glad that at the end Bella finally saw the truth that she had to love herself to enjoy all of the good things in her life, but the writer certainly took her time getting there. I was getting tired of hearing Bella whine and complain about being fat and being treated badly and obsessing over a handful of bad experiences. She reminded me too much of Louie from Interview with a Vampire - whine whine whine, blah blah blah. Makes me want to roll my eyes. Oh wait, I can roll my eyes, there's no Fifty Shades of Grey jerks in my life! :-) :-) *rolls eyes with much enthusiasm* :-) :-)
So, as you can see, I kind of liked this story but then it got on my nerves at the same time. I liked where Bella ended up but didn't care for her drawn out quest to get there. I'm a heavy lady and have never been treated even close to what Bella experienced. If I have, i don't really remember - but I really don't care!!! I know I'm heavy, the fact that I don't really work out and enjoy eating keeps me fat. But I'm healthy, not counting the countless number of drug allergies, but I'm not on any medications that are so common for heavy people - like for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or high blood sugar.
I haven't had anyone leave me because I'm fat - as a matter of fact, hubby and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last month and he still sees me as beautiful and sexy. I know that for everyone one else on earth that I'm not, but that doesn't matter. My husband loves the way I look and that's all that matters. Sure, I can probably stand to lose a bit of weight and I probably should... when the weather turns a bit cooler. :-) Yeah, excuses excuses. :-) I'll get there, but I know that I'll stay happy until I do. :-) :-)