The Fuck It Diet by Caroline Dooner
I read this book while receiving treatment for anorexia and it blew my socks off, while making me giggle my rocks off. Let's face it, treatment for an eating disorder (actually, treatment for anything) is rough AF, and it's hard to laugh when you're locked up, forced to sit down, and face your fear 6 times a day.
One of the dieticians on the ward recommended this book to me, and that same day while out on pass, wasting absolutely no time at all, I went to the, believe it or not - diet section, of my favourite book store and picked up a copy.
Not going to lie, it was really temping to pick up a few of the other books in that section while I was there, you know the ones: Complete Guide to Fasting (bullshit), The Ultimate Keto Diet (ultimate bullshit), and the Never Hungry Diet (complete and utter bullshit)… but then I had to remind myself of where I was and what my goals were.
I am here. At this program. To gain weight. With the ultimate goal to lead a nourished and fulfilled life. Eventually.
And so, I will purchase this book, and this book only. With the hope to gain some insight into how "eating should be easy", as the cover states.
Truth is, eating has never been easy for me. But I placed hope in my dietician. And was hopeful that I would get a least something out of this book. Besides, I had little else to do between groups other than mull over how much weight I was gaining and crochet endless blankets and shop online for hundreds of yards of yarn at Michaels. At this point in my stay, I'm sure my boyfriend was also sick of stopping by craft stores and hauling Amazon packages across town for me. So I'm sure he was chuffed to have a bit of respite while I nibbled away at this book.
Eight years ago, the author, Caroline Dooner, started a blog called The Fuck It Diet. She states that what she learned about food and weight changed her life. She started dieting at 14, and as she reached adulthood, she realized that the more she dieted, the more out of control she felt. She became completely consumed with food, dieting, and what she weighed.
She often found herself on the absolute perfect diet, losing the right amount of weight. And then she would, a few weeks later, be shoveling food into her face, in secret, gaining back whatever she had lost.
This pattern of losing and gaining weight is unfortunately a common theme in the dieting world. And an incredibly tough cycle to break.
Getting back to the book itself.
Caroline says the book is a mixture of humour, science, and self-help.
For me, it was all three of those things.
It was humourous, because in treatment, it's often hard to laugh, and Caroline's sense of humour definitely made me laugh. For starters, she dedicates the book to cheese - an item she will never forsake again.
It's also the cold hard scientific facts that made me believe, at certain points, that I could actually, one day, learn to trust my body. The time wasn't right then and there in that moment as I was reading, but it gave me hope, and it started a new journey for me.
The book is actually so popular that it's been translated into 7 languages (French, Turkish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German). I'm not surprised.
I'm not usually one to gorge on self-help books to be honest, but from the second I opened the Fuck It Diet, I couldn't put it down. It just seemed to MAKE SO MUCH SENSE. Walking around the ward, the staff and other patients were like "oh, you're reading that, so good, right?"
And yes, it was, so good.
Caroline talks in extreme detail about how our bodies are hardwired against extreme dieting and restricting, something I have been doing for the past 17 years of my life.
Not intentionally of course. I mean, having a serious eating disorder isn't exactly the same as following the latest health or diet craze, but you could say that we put our bodies through kind of the same thing. At the end of the day, restriction is restriction.
An individual goes on a diet and therefore deprives themselves of essential nutrients. Through my restrictive anorexia, I am also depriving my body of essential nutrients.
At the end of the day we are both doing the same thing. And at the end of the day, it will catch up to us. It's already caught up to me, through multiple hospitalizations. But I'm in my 20s, and at this age the body is adaptable. What will it be like in my 30s, 40s, 50s, if I keep abusing it as I am now?
I do believe that this book is an invaluable resource both for those chronic dieters, and those, like me, who are struggling with eating disorders.
If you are a chronic dieter, I think this book can really help to catapult you into a healthier relationship with food.
And if you struggle with an eating disorder, then I think, along with your treatment team, this book can be a starting point, and a stepping stone in the right direction.
Thank you Caroline, for bringing this book to market, and for making me laugh so hard that it hurt. I passed this book onto a fellow inmate in treatment who enjoyed it just as much as I did.
You can sign up to receive the first chapter of The Fuck It Diet for free (and no, I'm not getting paid for this - my blog ain't fancy enough for that shit). But yes, it's free. You'll just have to sign up below.