Tired As F*ck by Caroline Dooner

“I am sharing my story because I know I am not alone. You are not alone.” 


My review for Dooner’s debut, The Fuck It Diet remains the most read book review of all time on my platform. It's garnered tens of thousands of views since I posted it last year.

I picked up Caroline’s second book the day it came out, and had been waiting for a day when I really needed her words of wisdom to guide me. 

After a long week of appointments, research, and writing, that day had finally come. 

The realization hit me that I've been in full time treatment for my eating disorder for more than two years. I've either been in a hospital, or staring mindlessly at the Zoom application on my laptop. 

And quite frankly, I'm tired as fuck.

“You must always be productive. You must always be improving. You can only relax once you reach your goal and become more impressive. I never felt like I was allowed to just…be. And I didn’t think I could accept myself the way I was because I wasn’t good enough. I was deeply flawed,” Dooner states on the opening pages.

I can relate to Caroline right away. I’m always chasing that one thing that will bring me closer… to the next thing. Be it submitting pitches, chasing stories, publishing work, and yet never quite feeling good enough

I’ve spent hours in self-compassion training, and at the end of every workshop my goal is, “I’d like to work more on self-compassion.” I’ve reached a point of wondering if self-compassion and self-love actually exists. Logically, I know it does. However, my disordered thinking patterns drive me to believe otherwise.

As a society it’s woven into us to have this compulsive work ethic, and we must hustle in order to succeed. 

As Kim Kardashian recently said, “Get your fucking ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”

As Caroline states, “we live in a culture that doesn’t really understand or respect burnout.” 

Moving through the book, Caroline touches on her relationship with food as a kid. When talking about visiting friends houses who had snacks she didn’t have at home, “it became crystal clear to me that I was obsessed with snacks, and they weren’t.”

Then Dooner goes on to talk about the cycle of dieting, and how we're hardwired against it. “Thinking about food nonstop wasn’t a moral deep failing, it was because of the diets I was constantly putting myself on.”

Caroline lays it out in simple terms which many will appreciate. She’s not here to tell us the scientific facts of starvation, which can be helpful, but are also overwhelming. If you want to know more, I recommend reading about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, which is what many eating disorder recovery centres base their treatment protocols on.

Dooner also touches lightly on trauma in the book, although she doesn’t dive too deep into the subject since she's not an expert, and she's not going to pretend that she is. She shares her own personal experiences and recommends two fantastic books, Waking the Tiger and The Body Keeps the Score

My heart ached for young Caroline at points, trying to hold herself together with diets, medication, catholic prayers, and a bottle of Krazy Glue. After years of failed diets, she shares in the book, “This is it. This is the end of the road. This stupid diet hasn’t healed me of anything. And if I don’t stop this miserable diet cycle, this is never going to end.”

As a society, we’re recycling diets, and we always have been. There’s no new or revolutionary cutting edge diets. There hasn’t been for years. 

As sad as I found parts of the book to be, I did love the story of how The Fuck it Diet came to be, imagining Caroline reaching her wits end and purchasing the web domain from her New York apartment. She wrote the blog post Why I’m Going on Two Years of Rest in September 2016, and I highly recommend reading it. 

To conclude, Dooner kept me company well into the night. Despite being very tired when I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. I found similar themes to The Fuck It Diet, with some familiar storytelling, which was fine with me because I loved that book, and so did my readers. 

Tired as Fuck is another reminder that diets do not work. It's a show of just how caught up our society is in diets, cult-like mentality, and hustle culture. 

Just like The Fuck It Diet, Caroline’s writing style is effortless throughout. I don’t know if she’d agree with me or if it actually felt that way for her, but as a reader, her prose flows, is engaging, and is brimming with her unique humour. 

Courtesy of Caroline Dooner

Caroline Dooner is a humorist and storyteller. She spent years as a performer and dieting like it was her job (because it kind of was). After healing her relationship to food, she's been sharing what she learned ever since. She lives with her anxious bernedoodle in Pennsylvania, and they’re just trying to live the simple life. She believes wholeheartedly in the healing powers of food and rest.

Tired as Fuck is available for purchase in hardcover from Indigo or e-book from Kobo. Check HarperCollins Canada for additional retailers. 

Check out my review of Caroline's debut, The Fuck It Diet!