The One Memoir EVERY Binge Eater Needs to Read

Anyone who’s trying to lose weight loves a good old-fashioned before and after, and Andie Mitchell certainly delivers a powerful one in her weight-loss memoir, It Was Me All Along. I actually stumbled upon her memoir when I was looking for books about food addiction. I saw a post about her cookbook over on Skinnytaste, but I had never heard her personal story.

From the moment I listened to the book excerpt on Amazon, I was hooked. I ordered it and read until the wee hours of the morning, sacrificing precious sleep to finish it.

It’s not your typical weight loss story.

To be honest, I expected it to be more about her weight loss. Things like: Eat this, give up that, do this workout. Stop eating while you watch tv. That sort of thing. The typical stuff you hear from someone who’s lost 135 pounds.

Instead, she paints a picture of the broken childhood that led to her obesity, and the shock she felt when losing weight didn’t fix everything. Her background may be a little different from mine, but her struggles with food struck a deep chord with me.

I nodded my head as she talked about eating candy in secret and stuffing the wrappers in the bottom of the trash can so no one could see how much she had eaten.

I felt her pain when she described that time in Italy when she binged on Kit Kats and sugar wafers. Big salty tears poured down my face somewhere around  1 a.m. as she described the shame she felt afterward.

“I thought about writing the whole day off as ruined and promising to start anew tomorrow, the way I’d done in the past. In seconds I had a mental list that began and ended with gelato….It would have been easy. But I realized that I couldn’t knowingly look to food for a way out when it had so clearly led me here. It wasn’t hunger that beckoned me to eat more. It wasn’t my stomach that needed to be reconciled. It was shame. It was guilt. And food can’t remedy such things.”

-Andie Mitchell, It Was Me All Along

With every turn of the page, I saw a little more of my own story emerging.

I know firsthand what it’s like to lose a lot of weight. I lost 75 lbs ten years ago and swore I’d never gain it back. But I did. So here I am. Plugging away at weight loss yet again, but with eyes wide open to the deeper issues that brought me here. The stuff that food can’t remedy.

Andie talks about learning to eat her “trigger foods” with mindfulness as part of her recovery.

The cold hard truth of the matter is that losing the weight is only part of the story.

I love the fact that Andie shares with such painful honesty what life is really like after you lose 135 pounds. (Spoiler Alert: It’s not all sunshine and roses.) She describes going from compulsive eating to obsessive dieting and exercise, and the toll it took on her body, emotions, and even her relationships.

One moment in the book really stayed with me, as Andie describes a moment early in her weight loss journey. She was sitting outside the YMCA, wrestling with the urge to head next door to McDonald’s instead of working out. She asked herself this question:

Can you do it today?….Can you exercise today, Andie? Not tomorrow, not the next day, not even a month from now. Today? Eat the best you can, work your plus-sized heart out…today?

– Andie Mitchell, It Was Me All Along

I’ve been asking myself this same question. And more days than not, the answer is yes.
It Was Me All Along is more than just a memoir; it’s a powerful message about learning to love and accept yourself.

You can grab your copy of It Was Me All Along here, and don’t forget to check out Andie’s cookbook, Eating in the Middle. (I love the homemade granola recipe and the breakfast egg salad!)

For the record: I purchased my own copy of Andie’s book and have not been compensated in any way for this review. This post does, however, contain affiliate links.

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