I have been legitimately excited about reading Andie Mitchell’s memoir since 2011. Seriously, since she wrote this post. If you’ve never visited her blog, Can You Stay For Dinner?, it’s a combination weight loss/ recipe/ food photography/ lifestyle blog that is unlike any of those things individually. I totally dig her writing style, her sense of humor, and her completely down-to-earth perspective on losing and maintaining weight, in which she always advises dessert. Always.
Andie has been really open on her blog, about losing 135 pounds, about growing up with an alcoholic father, about struggling with depression, about the end of her long-term relationship, and recently, about re-gaining and re-losing weight. Having read her earliest posts through the current ones, I feel like I have also witnessed Andie’s growth as a writer. Perhaps that’s why I keep referring to her as “Andie” in this post, because using her last name seems far too impersonal, given all that I know – and adore – about her.
So all that brings me to her memoir, It Was Me All Along. In the book, Andie shares her experiences from her childhood home – short on money, long on love and food both – through high school and into college, leading up to the summer when she committed to losing weight. From there, she documents the highs and lows of becoming half her size, and the struggles of learning to cope without turning to food.
If you’re trying to read about weight loss, there are a million and one options. What makes Andie Mitchell shine is the genuine love she has for creating, sharing, and eating quality food (well, that, and her lovely descriptive writing). She’s not limiting herself to “diet” food, and she certainly doesn’t want you to do that either.
“Maybe the difference between a standard meal and a great meal has as much to do with its taste as it does my perception, my energy in devouring it. And that was the difference in me. The change I’d undergone – from someone who ate to capacity to distract her mind, into someone who purposely tasted every morsel – was not unconscious. It was a transformation that had taken deliberate effort.”
I am glad I read this book, and, like all of Andie’s writing, it gave me a lot to think about. I did enjoy the second half of the book, the during- and after- weight loss stories, much more than the early years, though I understand why she also focused so much on her childhood. If you are looking for a laugh-out-loud weight loss memoir, this is not that book (try Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster), but if you have even a passing interest in reading about weight loss, health, or finding joy in the kitchen, then check out this book. (And the blog. And Andie’s Ted Talk.)
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley for review consideration. Quote taken from an advance uncorrected proof.