What Have You Got to Lose?

The Women's Press, London, 2002

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What Have You Got to Lose: The Great Weight Debate and How to Diet Successfully In this cutting edge contribution to the weight debate, Shelley Bovey acknowledges that many large women are unhappy with their size. But when 95% of diets don't work how are they supposed to lose weight?

The size acceptance movement has shown us that our worth is not dependent on our weight and that the pressure to be thin can be a social and medical injustice. But while many large women theoretically celebrate their body, they still cannot accept their size.

What Have You Got to Lose? is a book for large women who may want to be thinner but don't know how to achieve it. More than a diet book, it also examines the politics of health and weight and extracts the truth from the welter of claims that fatness or thinness is best.

Shelley Bovey - who has herself lost 6.5 stone - takes an analytical look at the popular methods of weight loss and their effectiveness, and offers a way out to those women who find that their fat body is a prison.

How I came to write this book
The most difficult book of them all. For some time I had been thinking about losing weight. Turning fifty had given me a sense of urgency; I began to think of all the things I still wanted to do with my life and to realise that now was the time to work towards all those projects that had always remained 'A splendid writer' - Sheila kitzingerin some nebulous future. Certainly I did want to be thinner but like most overweight people I had failed countless times with diets. I'd always regained the weight, plus a whole lot more and yo-yoed my way up to a very high weight indeed. Even while editing Sizeable Reflections I was researching a way to lose weight successfully - to be among the 5% who keep the weight off permanently, whereas before I had always been part of that depressing 95% recidivism statistic. There was the political angle, too. What happens when a prominent size acceptance activist decides to lose weight? Is she betraying The Cause? Is weight loss incompatible with size acceptance? Well, I searched for all these answers and found them; I have lost nearly seven stone and addressed the political implications of that. It was a tough book to write. But I have discovered the secret of being in that elusive 5%!

'A splendid writer' :: Sheila Kitzinger