It’s taken me two years to read this book. Two years.
Maybe its because its the first memoir I’ve read in a while. Maybe its because I was waiting for a dragon, or romance or anything that was similar to the YA that I love. It was probably because she’s a real person. I don’t like intentionally judging people or the life they live, but I found myself doing so with this book. Meh. It may just come with the territory.
At first I couldn’t read this book passed the first few chapters because I identified with her too heavily. I relieved my childhood mornings of mindlessly stuffing myself with food in front of the T.V. and being caught in the cycle of binging, dieting and exercising in unhealthy ways. I remember and sometimes still feel like eating 10 cupcakes in a row. Even going to Costco and buying a bag of chocolate covered pretzels and devouring them. The food addiction is something that hit too close to home and I couldn’t get through it. I was just getting close to understanding my difficult relationship with food and this memoir was like pouring salt into an open wound. I felt and understood her childhood. Mitchell turned to food when she thought no one else could be there for her. It was her companion, her rock.
The end of 2016 was a time of healing and attempting to understand my cravings. That in part, helped me to pick this book up again. But again, I wasn’t really impressed as I was the first time around.
Mitchell stepped on the scale, realizing she was 300 lbs and that something-anything needed to change. And she did what she had to, and struggled to gain control of what is impossible for many people: food and food disorders.
A while this memoir is suppose to center around her weight, it goes off target. She is almost 300 lbs in college and then suddenly she loses 135 lbs but the audience isn’t too clear on how she did…just that she managed to do it. She includes a lengthy piece on meeting Leo DiCaprio. A it seemed like it was one of her big dreams but it doesn’t exactly fit in with her theme. It truthfully seems like a series of separate blog posts pasted together into one book and named a memoir.
With the weight loss struggles aside, I did not connect with Mitchell as an adult. She gets her dream jobs and is gifted money for plastic surgery from her mother but still isn’t happy. She studied in Rome, and had many moments or privilege. The title of this memoir was “It Was Me All Along” but it doesn’t seem like she really believes that. Mitchell blames her weight gain on everyone and everything. I didn’t see her take responsibility for herself and I left the memoir feeling that she still had a horrible relationship with food.
I respect Mitchell for overcoming her struggles and maintaining her weight. Still, she ends the memoir at 29. She is young and still has a whole life in front of her. The format of the book is better suited for someone much older. Her attempts at being deep and profound come off as flat and whinny. She has a great concept, I just wish she would have given herself more time to develop it.
If I was basing my rating on the first few chapters I’d give her a 5/5.
As an entire memoir I’d give her a 2.5/5
What are your thoughts on this memoir? Do you have any memoirs to recommend?