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It Was Me All Along: A Memoir

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A yet heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.   All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped o A yet heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.   All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake. It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.


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A yet heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.   All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped o A yet heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.   All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake. It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.

30 review for It Was Me All Along: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    3.5 Stars I closed this book and literally went, out loud, "Huh." I have very mixed feelings, and just a warning, this is a highly more subjective review than my typical ones because this book is so hard hitting. There were parts of it that I loathed because of the tone used, but then later on I would realize why she did that and how it supports her message. Nevertheless, this was a bittersweet book for me. At the beginning, this book made me highly uncomfortable. (See my update for this book when 3.5 Stars I closed this book and literally went, out loud, "Huh." I have very mixed feelings, and just a warning, this is a highly more subjective review than my typical ones because this book is so hard hitting. There were parts of it that I loathed because of the tone used, but then later on I would realize why she did that and how it supports her message. Nevertheless, this was a bittersweet book for me. At the beginning, this book made me highly uncomfortable. (See my update for this book when I was on page 22.) It seemed like she was writing it for skinny people. She was constantly talking about how she had to battle an eating disorder and the importance of eating and being content with your body, but in the same breath, she talks about how gross it was that she used to eat pancakes with syrup and butter. She created all this gluttonous imagery around the idea of food, always giving very descriptive passages about food as if to make the reader guilty for enjoying those things. Perhaps some people benefitted from feeling the guilt as a result of this, but it just made me feel even shittier about myself and the fact that I indulge in these foods. Even though she was establishing that she used to binge eat and overeat for comfort, it came off in a very shaming way and sort of made me feel like shit. honestly, if you have any triggers with food or fat shaming, i would avoid this altogether. Her writing style was gorgeous. Descriptive images were packed onto every page and I really got to feel the texture of her life. However, almost every image was contingent on describing food, or comparing something back to food. If something in the book was red, she would say “it was red, like strawberry jam” or if something was soft, she might compare it to cake. It got really tiring because, once again, there seemed to be this really pervasive theme that fatty food was the only relevant thing in her childhood, which was disturbing to me for some reason. And although this made it hard to read for the first 100 pages, it began to make me think about myself. Was I just sensitive to this because it made me reflect on my eating habits? Did I see myself in Andie? At one point I was describing this book to my mom and jokingly said, “I feel like she should get thrown out of the ‘fat people feeling sorry about themselves’ club because she was prom queen and she had several boyfriends in this book,” which is now something I can’t stop thinking about. I was kidding, but I think that telling her this made me realize that I harbor a lot of insecurities about myself that I actively suppress, and this book brought a lot of those to the forefront. Therefore, I don’t think this book was meant to be a comfortable read (or, once again, it was written for skinny people or people who have already lost the weight they needed to). I definitely think an editor could have gone through this more thoroughly in order to make sure that the tone of the book wasn’t so critical to the point of being nearly triggering, but once I made it past the difficult scenes in this book, it really did open up a conversation about transformation, finding motivation to shed old habits, and the way that insecurity and self-consciousness can exist in someone who is overweight or obese. It’s just a very, very dark topic for me, so clearly, reading about it in my free time as an activity I do for fun was a bit jarring. I don’t think I was fully ready for the message of this book at the time I picked it up. Mainly, I’m disturbed by the terminology in this book because the blurbs says this book is about Andie learning to love herself, yet she describes her younger self in really vulgar, hateful ways. She shames her old self for the way she ate, the way she looked, and everything in between. I understand regretting or being embarrassed about the unhealthy lifestyle one must have lived before losing weight, but for anyone reading this book who’s still in that stage, it reads as incredibly accusatory and critical. It felt like she was talking to me. Again, this might be my insecurity showing, but I just wanted to reiterate that a book that is supposedly about self love possesses a LOT of body shaming. All of that being said--and once again, those criticisms might be entirely overly-critical just because of the sensitive nature of this book and my weight-- I do think its final message was good. This is more than just a book about her weight loss journey; it talks about her family, her career, her college experience, and other factors occurring around her getting healthy. I liked that part of it. I liked seeing her slow progression of getting better. And in the end, this book did make me think twice about my food choices during the few days that I was reading it. Maybe the first night I read it, I just wasn't ready for it. But I still can't decide if this is a book I would recommend or not. It was such a strange, thought-provoking experience.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Marin

    I read some good reviews of this but it was not my cup of tea. Overwritten. Seriously, some sections were very high school creative writing class style pile of adjectives. While I could relate to struggling with a relationship to food and the beginning chapters about her childhood were sad and compelling, it felt like she kind of glossed over the actual weight loss aspect of her story. It read like, "Poof, then I lost 55 lbs by walking around Italy." Um, okay. I just didn't feel a connection wit I read some good reviews of this but it was not my cup of tea. Overwritten. Seriously, some sections were very high school creative writing class style pile of adjectives. While I could relate to struggling with a relationship to food and the beginning chapters about her childhood were sad and compelling, it felt like she kind of glossed over the actual weight loss aspect of her story. It read like, "Poof, then I lost 55 lbs by walking around Italy." Um, okay. I just didn't feel a connection with her as a teen or an adult (and honestly, often felt annoyed instead of feeling sympathy or like I could relate). I won't nitpick too much since this is a memoir, she is a real person and just because she isn't someone I would want to be friends with in real life, doesn't mean that I get to critique her relationships, way she views herself or life choices so I'll leave it at that in terms of author personality or storyline. One major critique about the book itself, though: Maybe don't spend a chapter talking about the time you met and got a picture with Leonardo DiCaprio and then don't even include the picture! Come on. Show, don't tell. (On that note, I was really surprised for a food blogger and someone writing a weight loss memoir that the book didn't include any pictures. Maybe that was just the eBook version? If so, bad call publishers.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Blah blah boring blah. I had wanted to like this book, but it was meandering and dull. Maybe you will like it more. If you are looking for a good memoir about someone's weight-loss journey, I recommend Portia de Rossi's "Unbearable Lightness." Blah blah boring blah. I had wanted to like this book, but it was meandering and dull. Maybe you will like it more. If you are looking for a good memoir about someone's weight-loss journey, I recommend Portia de Rossi's "Unbearable Lightness."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Andie Mitchell used food to entertain and provide comfort for herself during a childhood with an artistic but alcoholic father and absent (because she was working three or four jobs) mother. This is her journey through the rocky early years and realization that if she didn't lose the weight, she was going to suffering serious health problems for the rest of her life. "What begins as hating the cake for all its multiple layers of luscious temptation spirals quickly into hating myself and all my fa Andie Mitchell used food to entertain and provide comfort for herself during a childhood with an artistic but alcoholic father and absent (because she was working three or four jobs) mother. This is her journey through the rocky early years and realization that if she didn't lose the weight, she was going to suffering serious health problems for the rest of her life. "What begins as hating the cake for all its multiple layers of luscious temptation spirals quickly into hating myself and all my fat cells. I let myself down. I lament not having more control. pg 15, ebook. Andie's overeating starts during her childhood. Her mother went to work on the weekends and her father drank all night and slept most of the morning, leaving Andie to her own devices, which were mainly sugared cereal and cartoons. I'd pull the box down and go about fetching a bow, a soup spoon, and the whole-milk carton from the fridge. I'd fill the bowl- cereal bobbing in milk to the rim- and make my way to the parlor. There I'd turn on the television and begin what would be hours of watching my favorite cartoons. One cereal bowl would empty without my noticing, and I'd replace it." pg 27-28, ebook. So, the loneliness was one of the reasons why she ate. The other was her father was emotionally abusive. She witnessed terrible scenes of him screaming at her mother and brother (Anthony). Andie internalized it and ate away her feelings. If (my mother) fought back, (my father) roared louder. Or he'd throw something she loved across the room. But those were not the times my chubby body trembled. Those weren't the times when my spirit split like the walls of our house. No, it was only when Anthony entered the room, when I heard his small voice try desperately to make itself bigger and less boyish, that the pit of my stomach twisted so violently, I couldn't tell if I was hungry or about to be sick." pg 36, ebook. Andie's mother loves her unconditionally, even when the doctor tells Andie that she needs to lose weight or things are going to get really bad for her. But, when Andie goes away to college, and her mother sees her again for the first time, she can't hide her surprise at how large her daughter has become. And it is really painful for Andie. "Until that day, that moment when I felt like a stranger in her eyes, she had been my sole source of comfort. She was the one who loved me unconditionally, who saw me as beautiful regardless. In the past when she noticed my weight, her worry seemed entirely empathetic, a way of loving me in my struggle. Now, it seemed grave." pg 99, ebook. Anyone who has struggled with their weight will find something to empathize with in Andie's book. She wants to be fit, but she doesn't know how to either eat or exercise in moderation. Her journey may teach, encourage and cheer others on their way to a smaller size. Andie has been there and knows the daily struggles.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I wanted to like this book, because for one I have been in many of the same situations as the author. I got fat and then I got thin and struggled to stay thin. However our similarities seemingly end there. It was hard for me to feel sympathetic towards this narrator. Although she arguably has sympathetic situations she herself is rather unlikable. I thought that her early years were very interesting and I did understand what she was going through, I admit it was a lot for a young child, however o I wanted to like this book, because for one I have been in many of the same situations as the author. I got fat and then I got thin and struggled to stay thin. However our similarities seemingly end there. It was hard for me to feel sympathetic towards this narrator. Although she arguably has sympathetic situations she herself is rather unlikable. I thought that her early years were very interesting and I did understand what she was going through, I admit it was a lot for a young child, however once she reached adulthood it got harder and harder to watch her blame everyone for everything. The woe is me act got old pretty quick. I am not sure that I got anything out of this novel. The writing isn't terrible but it reminds me of diary writing, where you're trying to impress the reader by dramatizing and exaggerating events to appear more interesting than you really are. I can't really blame the author for this, I probably would have done the same thing. There just simply isn't enough meat to fill the pages of a memoir when you're an average twenty something year old. 1.5/5 Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cher

    1.5 stars - I didn't like it. On one hand, it is impressive and inspiring to witness the life changes the author made and I sincerely applaud her success. As an RN that works in outpatient cardiac rehab teaching people to change their dietary habits and begin an exercise regiment, her story touches directly on what I love to do. Sadly, reading about her obsessive compulsive disorder (which seems to have been the root of her eating problem, then see her obsession with Titanic, and current obsessio 1.5 stars - I didn't like it. On one hand, it is impressive and inspiring to witness the life changes the author made and I sincerely applaud her success. As an RN that works in outpatient cardiac rehab teaching people to change their dietary habits and begin an exercise regiment, her story touches directly on what I love to do. Sadly, reading about her obsessive compulsive disorder (which seems to have been the root of her eating problem, then see her obsession with Titanic, and current obsession with food on the other end of the spectrum ala calorie counting) made for an extremely tedious, repetitive and frustrating book for me. While she may be physically more healthy now than she was in her past, she comes across as still mentally ill with a continued unhealthy relationship with food. In recent pictures, she looks to be taking her weight loss to an unhealthy level with her BMI possibly being lower than ideal now. My number one pet peeve is irrationality and the author openly talks about her illogical behaviors and thought processes. By that statement, I am not referring to simple will power which is a struggle that any human can sympathize with. I'm also not referring to her self-image issues as any woman can sympathize with that as well. Unfortunately it seems almost every woman on this planet suffers from a self-perception curse and is not happy with some aspect of the way they look, regardless of how beautiful they are to everyone around them. Her irrationality shows when she is finally terrified for her health and decides to go on a diet starting Monday....but binge eats more than she ever has before Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. I love electronic gadgets but also am seriously hard core about saving money and working towards an early retirement. If I decided to make some sort of financial change, say cutting out a cable bill to enhance my savings starting on Monday, I would never go on massive spending sprees for three days in preparation. Because that would be irrational. Her illogical, obsessive behavior also spills over into things outside of food, such as paying to go to the theater to see the same movie 20 times (literally) when she barely has enough money for groceries. Irrational. Frustrating. 200 pages of frustration. There were other things that bugged me as well such as the mom who has worked 3-5 jobs simultaneously most of her life taking a chunk out of her retirement account to pay for the author's cosmetic surgery, but I'm not a mom and simply cannot relate to that thought process (big saver here, remember). And poor Daniel. I do hope the author meets another man that will love her the way that man did and that she never regrets letting him go and acting like a fair-weather friend. I understand you can't make the heart love someone, but he came across as utterly devoted to her, a rare treasure for sure. I also loved Paul, especially when he was cheering her on at events when he was just her friend's dad. Finally, the conclusion was an overwritten, self-indulgent, failed creative writing piece - a sharp contrast to the attention grabbing first chapter. I found myself looking forward to the book ending as it had simply become too repetitive and vexing, not the reading experience I had hoped for. The author paints herself in an unflattering light, the writing is subpar, and from current pictures and the way she treats the people around her, it seems that while she has become more conventionally beautiful on the outside, inside is a different story. I'm glad she is healthier physically, but mentally she has swapped one type of OCD unhealthy relationship with food for another. I hope she is not truly as vain, shallow and selfish as she comes across in her book. At least she loves herself now, as her prolific selfies seem to prove. One of the many "I love me some me" selfies ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: I am always growing, always learning. And whenever I think I’ve figured it all out, I’ve really only just begun. First Sentence: If you were not able to attend my twentieth birthday party, you missed a fabulous cake.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kitten Kisser

    Despite being able to relate with some of the food issues the author experienced she came across as a rather spoiled individual who I had difficulty relating too. Her mother sacrificed everything for her only wanting her to be happy. She meets a young man who will do anything for her including putting up with her manic behavior. Morbidly obese or obsessively thin, he loves her unconditionally. She loves him for what she can get out of him, not for who he is. Despite being the "fat girl" her life Despite being able to relate with some of the food issues the author experienced she came across as a rather spoiled individual who I had difficulty relating too. Her mother sacrificed everything for her only wanting her to be happy. She meets a young man who will do anything for her including putting up with her manic behavior. Morbidly obese or obsessively thin, he loves her unconditionally. She loves him for what she can get out of him, not for who he is. Despite being the "fat girl" her life was full of friends, parties, college, traveling abroad, working on major movie sets & even meeting Leonardo DiCaprio among others. Yet through all of this she is never happy. It is a constant pity party. She's upset when she's fat. She's upset when she's thin. She's fat because her Dad died. She's fat because she's lonely. She's thin & now she's obsessed with it. Everyone is judging her. She finds happiness blogging about food. The end. She's only twenty something. Her life has hardly begun. These types of books are better written by people who have lived a lot longer & have grown into mature aged adults. "It Was Me All Along" should be titled, "It's All About ME ME ME" Despite my dislike for her as a person, it is for the few times I could sort of relate to some of her struggles that I do not rate the book any lower. If anything reading this book made reminded me very firmly of the type of person I don't want to be.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Loved it. 100% from start to finish. This is a book that I will read again and again, I'm sure of it. Not only for the motivation, but for the emotional honesty and amazing storytelling. I recommend this book not only to anyone who has ever struggled with weight, but to anyone who has struggled to really find themselves and be at home in their own skin. Loved it. 100% from start to finish. This is a book that I will read again and again, I'm sure of it. Not only for the motivation, but for the emotional honesty and amazing storytelling. I recommend this book not only to anyone who has ever struggled with weight, but to anyone who has struggled to really find themselves and be at home in their own skin.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    I am not sure what compelled me to check out this book from the library, but something did. I've struggled with weight my whole life so I know that's part of it, but more so, I just found myself curious about this person's story. The first half is decently compelling. Mitchell's writing isn't complex but interesting enough to get me to the next page. And I felt for the struggles she had a young girl. SPOILERS AHEAD! But then I just found it tough to buy her struggles. In her weight loss efforts, h I am not sure what compelled me to check out this book from the library, but something did. I've struggled with weight my whole life so I know that's part of it, but more so, I just found myself curious about this person's story. The first half is decently compelling. Mitchell's writing isn't complex but interesting enough to get me to the next page. And I felt for the struggles she had a young girl. SPOILERS AHEAD! But then I just found it tough to buy her struggles. In her weight loss efforts, her internal fight never came off as dramatic as she probably saw it. After succumbing to a bag of Kit Kats, she rallied by cooking fresh meals from street markets IN ROME WHERE SHE WAS STUDYING! Then she gets her dream job, then her mother gives her money for plastic surgery, then she gets another dream job and then she says she'll be ok if she gained 5 pounds. Mitchell's story really just read as #whitegirlproblems that didn't fully detail the emotional and physical troubles she likely underwent. Instead, as she said in the book that she wants to make her mom happy, that's how she writes. Her writing is guarded and felt less like it poured out of her and more like "I know mom is going to read this." To add insult, her small before and after pictures are hardly anything to feel sorry for. Her before is merely a woman with a fuller face. Oh, well she doesn't ever show her body. I wanted to be on her side, but instead, she just turned out to be the girl who gets everything she wants and points that out to the reader rather than exploring deeper issues. She tried to go psychologically deep, and yes, some of it resonated with my own struggles, but she didn't say much that probably many people already know or can guess. Skip this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Lindwall

    Whelp -- that was some pretty awful writing. This is Andie Mitchell's memoir about her eating disorder as a young adult, her morbid obesity, the subsequent weight loss, and her finally-stable relationship with food. In many ways, Mitchell's story mirrored my own. I've always had a fucked up way of eating. I yo-yo dieted, binged, exercised obsessively, compulsively counted calories, etc. The whole enchilada of "body hate/diet hate/food love/food fear" was basically my existence for 10ish years. H Whelp -- that was some pretty awful writing. This is Andie Mitchell's memoir about her eating disorder as a young adult, her morbid obesity, the subsequent weight loss, and her finally-stable relationship with food. In many ways, Mitchell's story mirrored my own. I've always had a fucked up way of eating. I yo-yo dieted, binged, exercised obsessively, compulsively counted calories, etc. The whole enchilada of "body hate/diet hate/food love/food fear" was basically my existence for 10ish years. Her descriptions of those behaviors were pretty spot-on. And her descriptions of the addict-level obsession with food, while overdone, were definitely relatable. I remember being 10 cupcakes and an entire jar of PB deep and only thinking about what I could eat next after my mom went to bed. It's euphoric and slightly insane and kind of like being high. Listening to others share their stories of ED moves me, if only to remind me that it's a battle that can actually be won. I mean (fingers crossed), I'm at a point right now where I think I've finally won it, too. Fucking finally I eat almost normally. In fact, the overall advice Mitchell gives about how to live life binge- and diet-free was very sound and closely mirrored my own path. And yet -- this book was miserable. The writing was boring and very amateur. The narrative moments she chose were so cliche, it was painful. (There was a scene where she described the rapturous night she was the fat girl dubbed prom queen, and another where she talked about the life-affirming moment her childhood crush Leonardo Dicaprio talked to her. These plot high-points were without any sense of irony, really. God -- just a painfully predictable and cliched narrative arc.) While she seems like a nice girl, I didn't find her sympathetic or likable. She runs a fairly successful food blog, and this book would've been decent as a series of personal posts. (Instead of what reads like a dreadfully long blog post masquerading as a memoir.) Point being: If stories of conquering obesity and eating disorders speak to you, I'd give it a shot. Just be prepared to slug through a pretty bad book to get to the self-helpyness advice you're actually there for.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ladyslott

    Andie Mitchell is apparently a well known food and health blogger but I had never heard of her until this book caught my eye. I’m very glad something made me pick it up because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Andie’s childhood was difficult; her father was an alcoholic and it fell to her mother to support the family, which also included Andie’s older brother. With her dad often disappearing for months at a time, her mother working four jobs and her older brother largely ignoring her she found her solac Andie Mitchell is apparently a well known food and health blogger but I had never heard of her until this book caught my eye. I’m very glad something made me pick it up because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Andie’s childhood was difficult; her father was an alcoholic and it fell to her mother to support the family, which also included Andie’s older brother. With her dad often disappearing for months at a time, her mother working four jobs and her older brother largely ignoring her she found her solace in food. Food was her constant and always dependable companion. When her father dies it becomes her lifeline. Despite being quite heavy and frequently teased she also had a solid group of friends, and although she longed to be more like them she could not break her addiction to food. Then at the age of twenty she stepped on a scale and found she was almost three hundred pounds. Something had to change. Although this book could be classified as a weight loss memoir it was more than that. It was a coming of age story, a tale of perseverance, a love story, a memoir of friendship and learning to be comfortable in one’s skin. It’s honest and funny and sometimes heartbreaking. I know I related to a lot of it, from her childhood which was remarkably similar to my own and I think most women can relate to her love hate relationship with food. By the end of the book Andie is not eating mindlessly, she is minding everything she eats and savoring every single bite. Beside losing weight the book is also about finding one’s self and being true to who you are even if it means sometimes hurting other people. I feel that women often tend to go out of their way to spare other people’s feelings at a cost to themselves and that is also touched upon in the book. Overall a funny, touching and moving memoir. After reading the book I did go to Andie’s blog - canyoustayfordinner.com - it is a great site and I will be checking in more often.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Heartfelt, chatty memoir by a young women who has a unhealthy relationship with food. Actually less of a relationship and more of an obsession. Although lessons are learned, weight is lost and the end of the book is upbeat, you know she will always struggle with this issue. Interesting, but will not linger long in my memory.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    1.5 stars - I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either This book was just ok for me, because to me if when you are reading a memoir and you find that you ultimately don't like the person that the book is about then your opinion of said book will naturally suffer. As I was reading this book I was already not that crazy about Andie because of her completely irrational way of looking at things related to her weight. For example when she hit her tipping point of sorts and was going to start losing 1.5 stars - I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either This book was just ok for me, because to me if when you are reading a memoir and you find that you ultimately don't like the person that the book is about then your opinion of said book will naturally suffer. As I was reading this book I was already not that crazy about Andie because of her completely irrational way of looking at things related to her weight. For example when she hit her tipping point of sorts and was going to start losing weight, I was like, ok great.....but then she went on a three day eating binge. That's like realizing that you are heroin addict and realizing that you should go to rehab....and then going on three day heroin shooting up and snorting binge. Then when she lost all her weight and the excess skin was then bothering her so bad that instead of working for the cash for the surgery or borrowing it, she had her mom who did not have much in the way of resources take money out of her retirement plan to pay for it. She never indicated this was a loan at all just straight paid for it. By this time she was more than grown (23-24) and more than capable of doing it for herself. I would never ask my folks for 15k for a COSMETIC surgery, hell it would take a massive amount of effort of me to ask for 15k for a life saving surgery. Then the way she ditched Daniel...twice, the first time of which came after she had recently lost all the weight just seemed to be mentioned a little too casually. Granted, that might not have been the reality, but she only has herself to blame for that perception, as she is the one who wrote it. I like it not...I read this for a book club and my opinion of it could possibly result in me being lynched...so wish me luck.

  14. 4 out of 5

    KJ Grow

    Right book at the right time. Andie Mitchell (canyoustayfordinner.com) writes bravely and honestly about her path to a healthy relationship with food, her self, and her body, boldly facing the emotional undercurrents that influenced those imbalances. I really hope that this book finds an audience outside those interested in weight loss, because it is so much more than that - it's a family story of comfort and loss, a coming of age story of adventure and triumph, and a heroic journey of getting k Right book at the right time. Andie Mitchell (canyoustayfordinner.com) writes bravely and honestly about her path to a healthy relationship with food, her self, and her body, boldly facing the emotional undercurrents that influenced those imbalances. I really hope that this book finds an audience outside those interested in weight loss, because it is so much more than that - it's a family story of comfort and loss, a coming of age story of adventure and triumph, and a heroic journey of getting knocked down (or knocking yourself down) over and over again and unearthing the kindness and compassion within yourself to keep going. Count me among the early readers of this book rooting for Andie and her continued success. Recipes at the back of the book look delicious. I'm looking forward to trying one to share with friends.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Williams

    Although Andie's struggle with overeating and food addiction did ring true, some of the basic elements of her story did not match. Her family was so poor growing up that they were constantly worried about the electricity being shut off, but they could afford dinner and a movie every Saturday night, an expensive prom gown and joining Weight Watchers. These are all things that could be expendable if you really were in a dire situation. Also, she states that her mom worked constantly to support her Although Andie's struggle with overeating and food addiction did ring true, some of the basic elements of her story did not match. Her family was so poor growing up that they were constantly worried about the electricity being shut off, but they could afford dinner and a movie every Saturday night, an expensive prom gown and joining Weight Watchers. These are all things that could be expendable if you really were in a dire situation. Also, she states that her mom worked constantly to support her family, but yet had time to "hang out" with her friends for hours & talk about boys, etc. I'm not saying that the author is making these things up, but I do think that she has a penchant for exaggeration that is rampant in today's society. As the book moved on, I did forgive some of these flaws because the parts on learning to be at peace with food & eating were very authentic.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I thought I would read this book and come away with some incredible insights about why so many of us have an unhealthy relationship with food and tips for finding a better path. Instead, I came away thinking that all this author did was whine about how her weight issues were everyone else's fault while her eventual loss of weight was her success, despite the support she received from others, especially her boyfriend who loved her even though she treated him terribly for years with her tantrums a I thought I would read this book and come away with some incredible insights about why so many of us have an unhealthy relationship with food and tips for finding a better path. Instead, I came away thinking that all this author did was whine about how her weight issues were everyone else's fault while her eventual loss of weight was her success, despite the support she received from others, especially her boyfriend who loved her even though she treated him terribly for years with her tantrums and poor behaviors. When he had career issues, she managed to dump him after a few months because she deserved to be happy, all the while whining about how hard it was to "leave her best friend." I found Andie Mitchell to be a self-centered, mean person and the book a complete waste of my time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This memoir was a little frustrating to read. The writing was a bit over-the-top and honestly, I think the author might just be too young to be telling her life story in this format. By the time the story ends she is 29 years old. I read a review that this would translate better to a blog series and I would have to agree. Clearly she had a very difficult and sad childhood, unfortunately many people do. She turned to food for comfort and always had a very unhealthy relationship to it. The frustra This memoir was a little frustrating to read. The writing was a bit over-the-top and honestly, I think the author might just be too young to be telling her life story in this format. By the time the story ends she is 29 years old. I read a review that this would translate better to a blog series and I would have to agree. Clearly she had a very difficult and sad childhood, unfortunately many people do. She turned to food for comfort and always had a very unhealthy relationship to it. The frustrating part for me is that for a book about losing 135 pounds there is very little focused on the details of her weight loss. She got up to 268 in college, decided to lose weight, went to therapy, then suddenly she's down to 133. Some things just didn't make sense to me either. Her mom worked 3-4 jobs and never had time to spend with her so food was her only companion, but later in the book it's revealed they went to see Titanic 20+ times when it came out. They must have had some time to spend together! There was also a very lengthy piece about the time she met her idol, Leo DiCaprio. While this was obviously a lifelong dream of hers, I can't imagine most readers wanted that much detail about the encounter. My final issue with the book is by the end I didn't get the feeling that she truly has a healthy relationship with food today. I know food addiction is a lifelong struggle, but for someone who writes a memoir on weight loss I felt like by the end of the book the reader should feel inspired that she truly came to a healthy place. I didn't feel that way. After I finished the book I googled her blog to see a post popup about her gaining 40 pounds within the last year and then losing 30. It's great that she's honest and upfront, but again...to me it seems like there is still some issues there and maybe this would have been a better book to write later on in her life. However, I give credit (hence the 2 star review) that she was willing to open up her life and share the good, not-so-good, and everything else with the reader.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I am really not certain how I feel about this book. I admire the courage that it took to put herself out there through writing. I also admire the fortitude that I know it must have taken to lose the weight that she did. It is a huge struggle for many people and addictions are never easy to manage. Her early childhood was very sad, I am sure that it has left scars on her and I do hope that her sharing the struggle of her childhood has been cathartic. That too, took courage. With that being said, t I am really not certain how I feel about this book. I admire the courage that it took to put herself out there through writing. I also admire the fortitude that I know it must have taken to lose the weight that she did. It is a huge struggle for many people and addictions are never easy to manage. Her early childhood was very sad, I am sure that it has left scars on her and I do hope that her sharing the struggle of her childhood has been cathartic. That too, took courage. With that being said, the book really did not resonate with me. Perhaps that is an unfair statement, given that I am too old to be in her target audience. However, it is the truth. It is interesting the things that she chose to pity herself over. It seemed to me that she had pretty great teenage years. She got called names a couple of times in high-school, but so what? Who wasn't called a name a few times in high school. I mean, she was voted prom queen for goodness sake...how bad could it have been? It seemed to me the only person really judging her was her. I did have to question a few of her life choices as well. Seriously, leaving her boyfriend who stuck by her through all of her neurosis and unkindness because she felt that he was "now just her best friend." Really? I did not know what to make of that. She honestly struck me as a little self-centered. But, this is just my opinion. When I read a memoir I am expecting some sort of revelation, a new paradigm or perspective from the author. I am expecting to see them grow. I just did not see it here. I just feel as though she is too lacking in judgment to make this a truly compelling read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    Although some parts of her childhood were very moving, this book was so overwritten, it made it difficult to really care. All the food metaphors were irksome, too. I didn't really expect much from the book, but I did expect more about her eating disorder and less just "This is how I met Leonardo DiCaprio". I got to admit, I skipped the ending. Although some parts of her childhood were very moving, this book was so overwritten, it made it difficult to really care. All the food metaphors were irksome, too. I didn't really expect much from the book, but I did expect more about her eating disorder and less just "This is how I met Leonardo DiCaprio". I got to admit, I skipped the ending.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    The absolute honesty of this memoir made it a remarkable piece that I wouldn't mind reading again. I really loved this novel. The author is extremely dedicated to revealing the nitty gritty details of her obsessive food binging and her process of learning to gain control of her health. I saw many negative reviews along the lines of 'well she had a difficult life but everyone does,' and I feel compelled to argue that we shouldn't neglect the author's pathways into abusing food. The author experie The absolute honesty of this memoir made it a remarkable piece that I wouldn't mind reading again. I really loved this novel. The author is extremely dedicated to revealing the nitty gritty details of her obsessive food binging and her process of learning to gain control of her health. I saw many negative reviews along the lines of 'well she had a difficult life but everyone does,' and I feel compelled to argue that we shouldn't neglect the author's pathways into abusing food. The author experiences an extremely unstable upbringing and I am surprised she can think as light heartedly as she does. The author spends a lot of time on this section, telling in brutal honesty of her reasons for grabbing that 5th cupcake or last slice of an entire cake. And this is perhaps what I love about this novel the most. She is completely unafraid to talk about eating meals on the way to meals, or hiding endless amounts of wrappers in the garbage from her mom. She is us. She is a person with faults and she uses these writings to remind us that we are relatable in our strengths and, especially, our weaknesses. That's what I want to read in a weight loss memoir. Not some limp backstory chapter about how a person gained weight in a vague series of rough years with all the focus on being the change. Mitchell definitely ends her story with limited lose ends, but what makes this stand out is the story she tells of how she reached her weight. I loved the chapters of Italy, where she begins changing her perspectives on eating, but I agree with some critics that a better understanding of the process of her change may help some readers with feeling confident in their abilities to change as well. However, this does not limit the novel. So I highly recommend this memoir. It's a quick read but it is one you will absolutely relate to and even laugh to. And perhaps you'll even have a moment of clarity in your own relationship with food.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I discovered this blogger a few years back when a friend sent me a link. We both marveled at her honesty and uncensored thoughts. The way she described her feelings and relationship with food was unlike any other I had seen before. I don't read her blog too often (I am lousy at cooking and would rather read!) but I just love her personality and style and sense of compassion and grace. Her underlying message of her being the same person is vitally important. I wish more people saw it that way. My I discovered this blogger a few years back when a friend sent me a link. We both marveled at her honesty and uncensored thoughts. The way she described her feelings and relationship with food was unlike any other I had seen before. I don't read her blog too often (I am lousy at cooking and would rather read!) but I just love her personality and style and sense of compassion and grace. Her underlying message of her being the same person is vitally important. I wish more people saw it that way. My heart broke for the childhood Andie and the one who was still lost even after losing 135lbs. The middle of the book was a bit slow for me but I loved the end and how she tied everything together. One of the most notable takeaways was that the world is going to continue to spin on its axis whether or not I hate my body. I hope she does well and publishes more, because I will definitely read it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I wanted to like this book, and I did like parts of it. Mitchell and I share some childhood traumas, and I thought this would endear me to her, but I just did not really enjoy this book. I hate to say it, but after she loses the weight, she comes across as extremely selfish and arrogant. Her boyfriend stuck around WAAAAY too long, and she seems callous in her regard for him. I completely root for her and give her two thumbs up for losing such an amazing amount of weight, but it seems she lost so I wanted to like this book, and I did like parts of it. Mitchell and I share some childhood traumas, and I thought this would endear me to her, but I just did not really enjoy this book. I hate to say it, but after she loses the weight, she comes across as extremely selfish and arrogant. Her boyfriend stuck around WAAAAY too long, and she seems callous in her regard for him. I completely root for her and give her two thumbs up for losing such an amazing amount of weight, but it seems she lost some of her graciousness and charm along with it. :( Plus, let's be frank: the book reads like a high schooler's diary.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marnie

    I almost didn't finish this book. By the time I got to the last chapter, I just skimmed it. Overall, the author just seems like a self absorbed, cry baby. When she used her mother's retirement savings to pay for her plastic surgery, I almost put the book down for good. After stating more than once how her mother sometimes worked four jobs, and still had a hard time making ends meet, I found it an incredibly selfish thing for her to do. I just was not impressed with her story whatsoever. I almost didn't finish this book. By the time I got to the last chapter, I just skimmed it. Overall, the author just seems like a self absorbed, cry baby. When she used her mother's retirement savings to pay for her plastic surgery, I almost put the book down for good. After stating more than once how her mother sometimes worked four jobs, and still had a hard time making ends meet, I found it an incredibly selfish thing for her to do. I just was not impressed with her story whatsoever.

  24. 5 out of 5

    DJ

    It Was Me All Along is the memoir of a girl who grew up eating as much as she wanted, without any supervision. Her family – especially her mother – provided her with plenty of junk food. I was eager to read this memoir, believing it might show some insight into a lasting plan for weight loss; instead, I was bombarded with a disgusting description of a junk food diet, alcoholism, abuse, and obsession. Andie traded her obsession with eating food and lying around watching television – to “not” eating It Was Me All Along is the memoir of a girl who grew up eating as much as she wanted, without any supervision. Her family – especially her mother – provided her with plenty of junk food. I was eager to read this memoir, believing it might show some insight into a lasting plan for weight loss; instead, I was bombarded with a disgusting description of a junk food diet, alcoholism, abuse, and obsession. Andie traded her obsession with eating food and lying around watching television – to “not” eating food and exercising to excess. I agreed to write an honest review… and to me, the details she shares don’t have a ring of truthfulness. Oh, much of it might be pulled from real facts, but there is far too much exaggeration. Andie describes herself as morbidly obese… but reading her memoir, I discovered she was only describing herself as such because of the typical weight charts for someone her height and weight. I thought she was truly what we picture today as morbidly obese. You know, the people who weigh 500 pounds or more and can’t get around without help. I have friends who are 100 pounds heavier than her highest weight – 268 – and they are beautiful, healthy people who stay active and enjoy life! Yes, my friends enjoy dessert on occasion, but they also adhere to a well-balanced diet. Honestly, I can’t understand why she wasn’t over 400 or 500 pounds by adulthood, if she really ate as much junk food all her life, as she says. How did she keep from getting fatter, if she ate the foods (and quantities) she describes? I have known young children who weighed over 200 pounds; why didn’t she? This memoir reads much like a diary would… with far more details of family problems than most people are comfortable sharing with others. Unless this was her way of hurting her family for “making her fat”, I cannot imagine why she would share such vivid, intimate details. Surprisingly enough, I found her likable… but I don’t think her book would have had any chance of being published, if not for the “family secrets” shared in the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosanna

    I received this book as an advanced copy from the publisher. This is a memoir of a girl who was fat, became morbidly obese, and then lost weight. I mean lots and lots of weight. You would think her problems would be gone after that, right? Well they weren’t. Andie Mitchell grew up with an alcoholic brother, a hard-working mother, and brother. Food was always around to comfort her, whether it was a processed snack cake or cupcake, lovingly made by her mother. Eventually her father died, and her bro I received this book as an advanced copy from the publisher. This is a memoir of a girl who was fat, became morbidly obese, and then lost weight. I mean lots and lots of weight. You would think her problems would be gone after that, right? Well they weren’t. Andie Mitchell grew up with an alcoholic brother, a hard-working mother, and brother. Food was always around to comfort her, whether it was a processed snack cake or cupcake, lovingly made by her mother. Eventually her father died, and her brother left for college, so it was just Andie and her mother. As Andie continues through middle school, high school, and college, she gets bigger and bigger. However, she does have close friends and a great social life. When she gets to college, she also starts dating. She has attempted to lose weight along the way and is sometime successful. When she has the opportunity to spend five months in Italy, she develops a healthier relationship with food and loses over 100 pounds. Yet, when she returns to the U.S. she begins to obsess about what she will eat or how many calories she will burn. It isn’t until then that Andie deals with issues that have been with her for her entire life. This was a wonderfully written debut piece and I look forward to reading more. The author has a gift for describing every piece of food in the book. It is not surprising she has her own food blog (Canyoustayfordinner.com). I felt like I really got to know her and could see being friends with her. She was that likable!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaley

    I was excited to read this memoir after I watched Mitchell's TED talk...But then I started listening to the audiobook and the bubble burst. Halfway into the novel I felt disillusioned and somewhat tricked. I think Mitchell garnered a ton of attention from her blog, and that translated into a book deal. But how did this pass an editor's desk? This memoir reads like an unskilled attempt at high school creative writing. There's a saying that writers should toss out the first ten metaphors/similes/pl I was excited to read this memoir after I watched Mitchell's TED talk...But then I started listening to the audiobook and the bubble burst. Halfway into the novel I felt disillusioned and somewhat tricked. I think Mitchell garnered a ton of attention from her blog, and that translated into a book deal. But how did this pass an editor's desk? This memoir reads like an unskilled attempt at high school creative writing. There's a saying that writers should toss out the first ten metaphors/similes/plot twists that come to mind. Chances are, the reader has heard them before (predictable), or they're cliche. Mitchell, it seems, ran with the first thought out of her head -- and then deemed it genius level. The audio version features Mitchell herself, and her voice oozes with breathiness, punctuating each sentence with plaintive pauses, as if every.single.sentence is pure, poetic brilliance. It irritated me so much that I almost didn't finish listening to the book. Overall, I applaud Mitchell's weight loss, and her success following a traumatic and difficult childhood, but I just could not connect to her story (despite the many parallels between our lives). I honestly felt like Mitchell spent more time recounting her prom queen experience than she did the more poignant aspects of her life (or the more tragic, or the actual weight loss), which left a bad taste in my mouth and made me feel as if Mitchell is too young and immature to be writing a life memoir right now. Coupled with the boring writing, I give it 1 star.

  27. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    I related to this so hard. My dad was an alcoholic (now, thankfully recovered for many years) and I’ve battled food issues my whole adult life. Neither to the extent of Mitchell’s experiences, but the kinship is there. I appreciate her honesty and respect the hell out her self-discovery and weight-loss journey.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    This is an ordinary person's story of a difficult childhood, overeating throughout her life and weighing almost 300 pounds by 20 years old and then losing the excess weight. That was all I was expecting from the book and would have been satisfied and given it 3 stars. I don't expect memoirs like these to be great works of literature so the first 3 stars are easy to get from me in a memoir. I've read other books where people talked about their weight struggles but I am usually left not understand This is an ordinary person's story of a difficult childhood, overeating throughout her life and weighing almost 300 pounds by 20 years old and then losing the excess weight. That was all I was expecting from the book and would have been satisfied and given it 3 stars. I don't expect memoirs like these to be great works of literature so the first 3 stars are easy to get from me in a memoir. I've read other books where people talked about their weight struggles but I am usually left not understanding what is going on in their heads. In this book she really explained how she gained all the weight. What she was feeling when she was binge eating. What she really had to do to lose the weight. (Some people complained in their review that she didn't tell enough about how she lost the weight but that didn't bother me.) I was mostly impressed that she didn't end the story when she reached her goal. Most people would end on the book on the celebratory note of "Yay! I lost the weight! Now life is great! The End." Andie actually went into a lot of detail of how she suffered after she lost the weight. It made a lot of sense that if she was eating for emotional reasons, there would still be the emotional issues to address after the weight loss. She had to work through depression and addiction to exercise and other disordered eating. I admire her for including all of this in her book because I think this is a portion of the weight loss topic that is often ignored. It's interesting to me that when I looked at the other reviews after reading the book, I didn't disagree with a lot of their complaints. It wasn't polished writing. There were a lot of frivolous details. She still has a lot of maturing to do. I was disappointed in how she treated her boyfriend. Yet these reviewers gave the book 1, 2 or 3 stars. What can I say? I still really liked the book in spite of these valid complaints!

  29. 5 out of 5

    naan

    Way too many similes in this book: please stop trying to impress us with the word trickery. I listened to the audio version read by the author, and by the time I finished, I could not stand her narcissism. At the end of it all, I got the impression that her physical appearance is all that matters to her, despite the emotional dimension she's trying to incorporate. I lost almost 100 lb myself close to 3 yrs ago and kept it off, so I can relate to the journey, but, for Pete's sake, stop with this Way too many similes in this book: please stop trying to impress us with the word trickery. I listened to the audio version read by the author, and by the time I finished, I could not stand her narcissism. At the end of it all, I got the impression that her physical appearance is all that matters to her, despite the emotional dimension she's trying to incorporate. I lost almost 100 lb myself close to 3 yrs ago and kept it off, so I can relate to the journey, but, for Pete's sake, stop with this gushing, self-obsessed stuff that takes over the story as she starts losing weight. She may credit her mom for being her support, but she gives no examples how she reciprocates for all the things her mom did for her. The impression I got from the book is that as she lost the weight, she started using other people to achieve her own means. Mom shelled out money from her retirement account for her surgery to remove excess skin. I know how it is after huge weight loss, but you could not wait to earn the money yourself?! Hell yeah, insurance was right to deny coverage for this, and Andi muses if this was an elective procedure - uhhh, YEAH! Newsflash from someone who walked in shoe's similar to Andi's - it's not about appearance (are you going to go into deep depression when you start getting wrinles?!). All the food blogging and self-praise did not make me like her at all. Maybe it was just the book, or her annoying OH. MY. GOODNESS voice. Not a fan. Sorry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    It Was Me All Along chronicles Andie’s lifelong difficulties with healthy eating and her transformative journey of losing 135 pounds and finally finding the balance she was missing with food. Andie really illustrates what so many struggle with and how often our best memories and our greatest comfort comes from food. She writes in a raw and honest way about how difficult it was to have a healthy perspective on eating and why so many of her hurdles with her food addiction were deeply rooted in her It Was Me All Along chronicles Andie’s lifelong difficulties with healthy eating and her transformative journey of losing 135 pounds and finally finding the balance she was missing with food. Andie really illustrates what so many struggle with and how often our best memories and our greatest comfort comes from food. She writes in a raw and honest way about how difficult it was to have a healthy perspective on eating and why so many of her hurdles with her food addiction were deeply rooted in her childhood. I have had issues of my own with food and my weight and recognize how difficult it is to not fall back into bad behaviors. Andie’s honesty with her journey makes this a compelling read and I look forward to now being a follower of her beautiful blog too.

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