A Book Review on Why Pie Is Not the Answer

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts & Life Editor

The term “image” is kind of broad and almost specific term at the same time, of course that all depends on how you look at it. “Image” is something you always hear about, like “Oh, don’t they know that doing this will give them a bad image,” but what is “image” exactly? Jen Lancaster who is a local author decided to give her personal idea of “image” in her book Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer. Lancaster gives us an understanding of her day to day life through personal emails and a narrative of her daily happenings. It is through these emails and narrative that we learn that Lancaster has always been “big” in certain ways. She’s been big on humor and wit, she’s big on crocs and polos, but the idea of her being “big” wasn’t something she normally thought of until one day somebody said something. Of course Lancaster’s doctor played a big role in that by telling Lancaster that her weight could cause very problematic health complications in the near future. At first it was a big scare, but after awhile that was all forgotten when eating and being “fit” just took up too much time. Although Lancaster has a history of going on diets and exercising, all of those attempts to lose weight failed. Fortunately her documenting her weight loss experience was exactly what her publisher was looking for. In this book we see Lancaster go from a procrastinating Ebay Barbie buyer, to Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers; from not making much of an effort to work out to full blown personal training sessions with her trainer, Barbie. (It’s funny I know, but once you read the book, you’ll understand why having Barbie as a trainer is initially pretty funny… and still is funny).

I originally became interested in this book about a year ago when I saw a girl in my musical theatre class reading this book in between performance scenes. The title and cover of the book is eye catching alone, but my big question was, WHY this book and not some other Joe Shmoe story of weight loss. The girl in my class simply replied that Lancaster was hilarious and had a very interesting way of explaining her life in relation to her being fit. That wasn’t much of an answer, but I decided to give this book a go anyway. After reading the whole book, I was glad that I read the book! I saw a lot of myself in Lancaster, for example we would both give ourselves a forbidden treat after working so hard to melt off the calories that came with the millions of forbidden treats we

consumed prior to our work out sessions. She also didn’t care much about what anyone had to say, this weight loss was solely done to better her health and because she wanted to. Lastly you get to see the ups and downs Lancaster goes through in her mission to lose weight, and because of the way she writes, you almost feel as if you are doing every crunch and weigh in with her.

I thought this book was humorous and deserved every giggle this book made me giggle. Lancaster is unlike any other female author I’ve read before; she’s bold, sarcastic, funny, smart, stylish, determined and all together a realistic writer. No, Lancaster didn’t share her weight in the book, but you get an idea of how far she had to go in terms of weight loss and that is inspiring. In a way, Lancaster gives us her idea of what being a beautiful woman is and while she and her friends laughed at it, it’s true. I think many women like myself and Lancaster have had someone at some point tell them in their life “you are so pretty but you’d be gorgeous if…” Therefore I think this book would be best enjoyed by any woman and man who can appreciate the idea of a woman being beautiful isn’t exactly what we see on TV and magazines. I believe this book would also be a great read for someone who is in the process of trying to lose weight or stay fit because this book shows that you aren’t the only one who sweats and or feels bad when you over indulge. The book has a bit of a slow start, but overall I would give this book 4 stars out of 5 for its humor, great narrative, and reality. So get out there, grab a water bottle and let this be the next book you read on the elliptical!


Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 22:03