Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body

Ignore the title. Kinzel writes astutely and movingly. Soon you are caught up in her thoughts and musings on fat acceptance, body politics, a lifetime 'wasted' dieting as well as the importance of fashionable clothes. A very human call to action that we should accept all bodies.

Two Whole Cakes Author - Lesley Kinzel

Review by Jeryl Scurr

Published by The Feminist Press in 2012, Two Whole Cakes has no chapters (for those who like that sort of thing) and is obviously based on posts from Kinzels’ blog. The title is misleading because this is not a ‘how- to’ book. However it does work on a number of levels, and is a good entry level book for someone new to body acceptance – at any size.

Describing herself as a ‘fat woman who loves clothes’ Kinzel writes bitterly of her efforts to dress fashionably and her decision to ignore the ‘fat girl’ dress code: no to horizontal stripes, bright colours and yes to disappearing into the background.

Kinzel advocates ‘fatshion‘: increase your visibility, she urges, don’t mask your body. She was one of the first to urge this – credit where credit is due, please, from those who came later.

Her experience of diets based on delivered, pre-packaged meals is priceless and ironic, unlike her deadly serious criticism of weight loss drugs.

As for her observations on the many euphemisms used to describe a fat body? They echo my own; I’ve always disliked the way we hide behind such words as overweight, curvy, plump, etc. Kinzel has helped many reposition the ‘fat’ word away from its use as a term of derision and scorn.

Who hasn’t felt that her body ‘would hold on to its weight’ despite all efforts? Is the effort worth it? Why?

Kinzel has come to terms with being fat, supported by a like-minded community online which she movingly describes in the book.

Quotations

‘Your body is not a tragedy…the tragedy is the effort required to build a loving relationship – or at least one of tacit acceptance – with your body…we learn to criticize and dissociate from our bodies. Then we must spend our remaining years trying to rebuild that relationship.’

“… Your body is the only one you get, no matter how much it may challenge, confound, frustrate, or thrill you, and fighting your body isn’t worth the hurt and the divide.”

Why I chose ‘Two Whole Cakes’

Whilst it is relatively short don’t let that deceive you – it packs a powerful punch.

You don’t need to have what Kinzel calls ‘death fat’ to be affected by a culture which demonises and stigmatises those whose body size is outside a cultural norm. Anyone who has suffered from poor body confidence – whatever their size – will find something to help them.

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