During desperate times, we call on desperate measures – and author Melanie Tait – a journalist and broadcaster with the ABC – certainly weaves a tale of weight loss desperation in her new book Fat Chance – My Big Fat Gastric Band Adventure.
From the chuckle-worthy title alone, you soon get the sense this book has been penned with humour at its core – I mean, if you can’t get a serious belly laugh (‘scuse the pun) over the quite serious issue of gastric banding, just what can you do?
Tait’s weight troubles began in her childhood when she was placed on a paediatric diet at just seven years old. Over the years, she became bosom buddies with Jenny Craig, and has since tried every ‘diet’ in the book from South Beach to Skinny Bitch.
When all else failed, Tait took up gastric band research and got the skinny on its advantages. Deciding to undergo the operation, she documented her ordeal from go to whoa, revealing what it’s like to now live life in permanent stomach constriction.
An eye-opening book for those struggling with weight issues, but also for those who aren’t, Tait’s candid tale reveals honest, personal and oftentimes hilarious notes on her gastric adventure. The author includes fascinating case studies of other gastric banders, as well as weight loss tips and snippets of information on why Australians are losing the weight war.
This book is a fun and rollicking read but its central messages are most certainly emotional. While the author may call kilograms ‘kegs’ instead of kgs, there’s an inherent sadness and frustration that permeates her story – the story of a woman completely fed up with the body battle. Happily, there’s also the joy of her triumphs, which are hard-earned indeed.
Tait includes personal photos of her weight battle over the years in Fat Chance, though it’s curious that a woman of this stature would be deemed suitable for gastric bypass. I didn’t see one photograph of a morbidly obese Tait – and certainly not someone who needs to revert to such measures. Nonetheless, this is the author’s journey, not mine – and I must say, she crosses the finishing line looking – and feeling – fabulous.
Even if you’re not considering gastric banding, the openness, honesty and candid humour of this book make it a satisfying read, even if it it does make your hand hover with uncertainty over that high-calorie snack mid-read. Not such a bad thing.
And will Tait continue to live her life fit, funny and fabulous? I think she has every possible chance – and not a fat chance in sight.
Fat Chance – My Big Fat Gastric Band Adventure by Melanie Tait is published by New Holland and is available from bookstores from March 2010 (RRP $29.95).