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Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self Prime –

An Intimate And Darkly Comic Memoir Of A Woman Who Does A With Her BodyWhen She Was In Her Early Forties, Frances Kuffel Lost Half Her Body Weight In Passing For Thin, Frances Describes With Unflinching Honesty And A Wickedly Dark Sense Of Humor Her First Fumbling Introductions To Her Newly Slender Body, Shining A Light On The Shared Human Experience Of Feeling Uncomfortable In One S Own Skin She Gradually Moves From Observer To Player Enjoying For The First Time Flirting, Exercising, And Shopping As She Explores The Terrain On The Planet Of Thin As Frances Gradually Comes To Know And Love The Stranger In The Mirror, She Learns That Her Body Does Not Define Her, But Enables Her To Become The Woman She S Always Wanted To Be

10 thoughts on “Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

  1. says:

    I would not describe this nasty manifesto as darkly comic This woman is one bitter fritter The book reminded me of an incident that happened to me in 1999 I know the year because I was in a department store shopping for a bathing suit for a Caribbean vacation I was very lean at that time, from sheer hard work and sacrifice There was a woman, about forty years old and fifty pounds overweight, rummaging through bathing suits on the other side of the same rack I was looking through She had a miserable ten year old girl with her, who would not shut up and stop fussing The two bickered back and forth Suddenly, with absolutely no prior words exchanged between us, the woman looks at me and says Oh, you re so thin What problems could you possibly have WTF I said nothing Ms Kuffel, like many fat women, blanketly assumes thinner women have no problems, and lead mystical lives in tune with their perfect bodies Yet she never bothers to ask them She makes judgments about her own acquaintances instead of finding out their true feelings Several times throughout I wondered if she was a complete sociopath I could go on and on about personal choice and its consequences I also, as a New Yorker, wasn t crazy about the way she coldly inserts her problems into the backdrop of 9 11 But the worst thing about this book by far was the corny, hackneyed, eye rolling prose And her strange anti gay agenda For instance And I was sober, with nothing to prove except everything The last time I d been out dancing I d weighed three hundred some pounds, had been drunk, and had a roomful of gay boys join me in the weird ritual rondo of fags and hags I had been thrilled by my sip of popularity, while the fags were thrilled to be queer but, by association and comparison to me, not freaks And this one I was startled when I overheard her talking about a boyfriend I d assumed she was a biker dyke and that someday she would order me up in front of the Lesbian Tribunal for Failure to Be Gay Draw your own conclusions from those two outbursts Kuffel herself admits that she doesn t know a lot about joining The Planet of Girls I ll say This is how Kuffel defines the epitome of cool chic rebelliousness in another woman Jennifer wore sunglasses at night Wow She also goes on and freaking on about her loose leftover skin For Christ s sake get some plastic surgery already And I know this will probably get me into hell that much quicker, but 170 pounds is a lot to lose in one year That coupled with her mysterious emergency stomach surgery makes me wonder if it isn t just possible she actually has had gastric bypass While still going to Weight Watchers of course Which is a wonderful organization Not like gastric bypass in which about 3 out of 10 people will gain it back Richard Simmons claims it s like half.

  2. says:

    This was a very interesting book The author documents her emotional path to thinness, and pretty much no little time is spent on how she loses the weight It s a very personal and intimate story, but unfortunately the author is unlikable She s judgemental and mean about herself and others, and I didn t enjoy being in her head.

  3. says:

    I was disturbed by how much this woman appeared to hate fat people once she had lost her weight It paints a much harsher picture of successful weight loss than you usually find celebrated in a book.

  4. says:

    I picked this book because I wanted to read about someone else who has struggled with compulsive overeating and who has recovered is recovering from it with some success I really did appreciate the descriptions the author, Frances Kuffel, gave of her life as a compulsive overeater her thoughts, her feelings, her food associations, the secretive nature of this problem, the amount of time, energy and money taken up by food eating it and thinking about it I could identify with so much of her experience ButThere was as much about the book that I disliked as I liked Frances Kuffel is a writer by trade and she seems to have written this memoir with an audience similar to herself in mind that is, for other writers and people in the literary circle In my opinion, her use of big words detracted from the message of her story Despite the fact that I have a graduate level education, I found that on most pages of this book, there were either words or references that I did not understand I came across so many words that I have never heard of that I lost count I wasn t far into the book when I lost the desire to look them up as well I ended up doing my best to approximate the meaning of unknown words using context clues, then moved on In addition to so many big money words, there were countless references to classic literature which I will admit, I did not get There were also many relates to plays, Broadway productions, classic movie stars and gay icons Barbara Streisand, etcSoall that was annoying enough, butToward the end of the book p 228 out of 257 total , Ms Kuffel drew a comparison between the end of a 3 month relationship and the loss of a child I d been disappointed in love when I was fat, but it was the grief of miscarriage, a deformed possibility of mostly unadmitted love that couldn t survive gestation This was a funeral for an infant It had a name and a personality and a future And it was dead I found this so offensive, it s hard for me to put into words how I felt when I read it My jaw dropped It was one of those, Oh, no she didn t moments I could hardly believe it I mean, where on earth does she get off comparing the end of a three month relationship even if she did fall in love to the death of an infant I get that she was making a point, trying to explain the pain she felt over the loss of her first love relationship But comparing it to the death of an infant Even comparing it to a miscarriage would have been outrageous in my opinion I read that passage over several times and shook my head, marveling over the fact that Ms Kuffel had the nerve to even think those words, let alone write them out for the world to read And on top of that, her words presumably had the approval of an editor and a publisher as well I don t get it Imagine my surprise when just 12 pages later, I found another stunningly inappropriate comparison regarding that same failed relationship City Hall The fountain where the Boy from Connecticut and I had kissed such a long kiss that I could probably find our shadows seared into the concrete like the immolated citizens of Hiroshima OMG I don t even know what to say to that.I think it s a shame that this memoir contains such glaring drawbacks because Frances Kuffel s story is such a touching one She conveyed her struggle with compulsive overeating and obesity and the challenges of recovery that face her every with such honesty I saw myself in so many of the things she did and recognized my own feelings in so many of the feelings she described Even though I disliked her writing style and was appalled at some of the comparisons she drew regarding her suffering during a breakup, I was deeply touched by Frances Kuffel s story It is such a comfort to know that there are other people in this world who interact with food in many of the same ways that I do, and that at least some of those people have found a way to leave their addiction behind.

  5. says:

    I wanted to love this book I have so much respect and hope for folks who share their stories It takes a lot of courage and even grit to share these journeys, to open up and share your life with complete strangers.And yet, this story was alternately boring, redundant, shallow, trite, full of assumptions, and hard to follow.This is going to assure me a decent table in hell, but she was not overly likeable I never cared about her, or her friends, or her journey, or really anything It was a very whiny, self indulgent story.

  6. says:

    I really enjoyed this read.While I m on my own WL journey I haven t faced anywhere near the struggles that Francie did because I have significantly less to lose Her OA meetings are an interesting parallel to my WW meetings, although I think she takes far out of it I d love to know where she is 10 years later She yo yoed so much on her last trip home that I truly wonder if she kept it off if she got to the root of her problems related to eating.Like a previous reviewer, I agree this fell apart in the last section She seemed to lose her voice

  7. says:

    Tackling the last frontier of acceptable prejudice, Kuffel examines her life before and after she is transformed from morbidly obese to healthy of body and mind Although 12 steps are mentioned this is not the focus of the book Instead we learn what life is really like for those who are very obese and what lessons are in store for anyone who changes their outword appearance without changing w in Kuffel is a fun and funny writer She deflty handles the twin demons of self pity and self sabotage in a way that makes the reader want to see what happens next w o selling program or making her success into a redemption story Good book.

  8. says:

    Interesting account of the mental changes she went through after losing a large amount of weight What struck me is my own emotional dependence on food, and what a ludicrous concept it is to think I can derive emotional security from food I grew tired of her studying inhabitants of The Planet Girl like an anthropologist I know her intent was to observe what she had missed socially and physically due to her obesity, and to discover herself, but it came off as studying what a girl should be like Gender stereotypes just perpetuate the trap she was trying to escape before and after she lost the weight.

  9. says:

    This book was fantastic The only reason I didn t give it 5 starts is because there were a few moments that I thought it was a little boring, but for the most part, I loved it It was refreshing to read about the AFTER effects of losing a lot of weight rather than a how to kind of weight loss book I ve recently lost about 85 pounds and I ve found myself feeling a lot like Frances Kuffel did the same person inside, different body For someone who is going through a large weight loss, this book is PERFECT It s nice to know that I m not the only one having these thoughts about my weight and weight loss.

  10. says:

    The first part of this book was something I could have written myself, save for the differences in the numbers weights between the author and myself The feelings, perceptions and some of the experiences were absolutely accurate to me It was uncomfortable to read in a good way for that very reason I have not lost half my weight, however, so the second half was easier to read in that sense I m still processing my feelings and thoughts on much of it The author and I have other differences that made the second half feel less personal to me, as well Frances Kuffel writes in a way that worked for me which made this book work for me, too I d definitely recommend it.