Big Girl by Kelsey Miller - Review
One of the prompts from Hello Neverlands December's Journaling was
"What do you struggle with during the holidays"
Having just finished Big Girl How I gave up dieting & got a life by Kelsey Miller, I have been thinking about my family, specifically my mother and holiday baking. December is the month of get-togethers and yummy food. I have dozens of memories of holiday baking with my mother. I'd like to talk about two things in regards to my memories.
First the Positives
I loved baking with my mother. It was usually just the two of us, as my sister didn't enjoy it. We'd bake for hours and do lots of it. Cookies, tarts, filling our freezer full of yummy goodness to enjoy over the month of holidays. In fact, sometime during this month you can expect a post describing my favorite baked goods to you.
Second the Cloud
The thing with memories of my mother is that every single one of them has a cloud hanging over it. The memory can be a beautiful moment, like us baking together, but the cloud will be there: in comments about how next year would be better for diets and how we would eat better, or in the frown as she passes a mirror. Reading this book made me realize how toxic both my mother and I treat food and how sad it is to live like this, which is the point of the book. However, my relationship with food is very different from the author's and my mother's. From the beginning to the middle, Kelsey's story is my mother's. Except this book has an ending with intuitive eating and a decent relationship with food. My mother is still bouncing from diet to diet just with my sisters instead of me. Seeing Kelsey's gradual realization that she can eat anything she wants, that it's not going to be taken away from her, and she is not going to be judged for it was amazing. Even something simple like the fact that it's okay to leave fries on her plate because she is full was insightful.
Food is my struggle, but it is not my struggle just during the holidays. It's an all-year-round thing. I've written about it lots during the past year, in my Fat, Fat, Fat and Bulimia posts. That's what made this book good. It's not about the holidays, it's about the full journey. The book wasn't something I fully related to though, because I saw more of my mother in it than me. I hope that one day my mother can find that same peace that Kelsey was able to find and learn to love herself. As much as we will never again be able to have a relationship, she still deserves happiness and self-love. Part of me wishes I could package this book up and send it to her. I don't know if my mother reads my blog anymore, but I don't really care if she does. I think of her and my father very rarely and in passing now. Usually happens when I read something like this and think they could benefit from it. I can't share it with them, because I made a choice for my mental health, so I am sharing it with you. And maybe, dear reader, you can benefit from it instead. Maybe that's conceited, but it's my hope.