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

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  53 reviews

In the age of The Biggest Loser and the “war on obesity,” we’re pressured to conform to certain body standards at any cost. Sure, everyone should eat right and get exercise, but what if you do that and you still don’t fit into the clothes at the mall?

In Two Whole Cakes, Fatshionista extraordinaire Lesley Kinzel
tells stories, gives advice, and challenges stereotypes about...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by The Feminist Press at CUNY
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(showing 1-30 of 593)
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Jun 20, 2012 Melissa rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone
Shelves: hell-yeah
Yes. Just yes. If you, like me, have ever looked at a fat person & thought, "Why can't they just eat less?" you need to read this book. If you, like me, have ever looked in the mirror & thought, "Why am I so fat & gross?" you need to read this book. Will I look at a fat person ever again & wonder why they can't just lose some weight? No, I will not. Will I feel ashamed about the wobbly skin that's still around my middle from my pregnancy? No, I will not.

Without getting too perso...more
Oct 24, 2013 Anelis rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone who thinks this book is not about them
I like Lesley. I always read her pieces at XOJane because every time without fault they are interesting, well written, and informative. In fact, she is the reason I found out about XOJane in the first place. She is one of those people who exist on the Internet (because, like, I live in Greece guys) but who with their presence have made me feel better about myself, and generally made me happier.

So yeah, when my favorite fat blogger publishes a book about body acceptance you bet your ass I'm going...more
I feel like the whole book can be summed up by Lesley's motto: "Your body is not a tragedy". I was pretty familiar with Lesley's work from her blog and XOJane so a lot of the book was familiar territory. But for people not as familiar with her work, it's a great primer on how to accept all bodies. Even with the knowledge of some of the stories (like the titular Two Whole Cakes episode) it was still a really fun, great read. I got through the whole book in one day, if that gives any idea how much...more
I would give it 5 stars for the concept, but am only give 4 because there was a lot of redundancy in the writing. That aside, the basic concept of the book is that women (particularly) are conditioned from an early age to hyperfocus on the appearance of our bodies not only to the distraction of the function of our bodies but to the detriment of our social and emotional health as well. Why do we not appreciate the bodies we have for all they enable us to do, rather than (the vast majority of us)...more
There was one thing that I did not like about this book, and while I feel it’s a little bit inappropriate to open a four star review with that sentence, I feel it needs to be done as my issue is with the title. Well, I suppose rather with the subtitle: “How to stop dieting and love your body.” This is not a how-to book, in any sense. I suppose the title might be for marketing purposes, although it seems strange that it has such an upbeat, self-helpy title, considering that it is even put out by...more
Alex Templeton
Having recently been spending more time than usual considering my weight for reasons legitimate (potential future health complications) and not-so-legitimate (nasty comment made to me about it), this book came along at the perfect time. The book is author Lesley Kinzel’s personal reflections on growing up and living today as a fat woman, as well as her thoughts on how ridiculous and unjustified the whole fear of fat is in our culture. (This thought was captured in her title, which makes referenc...more
Apr 24, 2012 Julia rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Maybe my expectations for this book were too high, but the lack of narrative arc and lack of chapter/section divisions didn't work for me. The writing, of course, is amazing (if somewhat lacking in the snark level I've come to love from Lesley's blogging). It's just a little too disjointed and unfocused as a book for me.
I appreciate that the author didn't just talk about what fat people can do to love themselves but more so shared the message that "Everyone deserves respect and justice no matter what they look like" and that you have every right to be happy with yourself on your terms with no need to apologize for your happiness to anyone.
I can already tell I'm in love with this book and I'm only a few pages in. Read it!!
I enjoyed this short introduction to body positivity by Kinzel. I have followed her blog (also Two Whole Cakes) for a while now, and was excited to read this, especially after reading an excerpt in Bitch Magazine. Light but never fluffy, Kinzel is an excellent writer (must be those double-master degrees) with a gift for language that packs a wallop. I can't deny that a good part of my enjoyment derived from the fact that Kinzel and I share similar backgrounds and stories of growing up--she is, I...more
Anyone who follows me on Twitter or is my friend on Facebook knows I am a fan of Lesley Kinzel. So it's really no surprise then that I would love this book.

I want to time travel back to the first time I hated my body or decided I would be anorexic (I would last long enough to get a migraine from nit eating and then I'd binge, which would trigger a wave of self&body-hatred) and MAKE my younger self read this. I look back at pictures of my younger self and realize that I spent so much time hat...more
I was reluctant to pick up this book because the subtitle "how to stop dieting" turned me off a bit - though I move in circles of the fat acceptance community, and I do believe that you should learn to love your body no matter what place it's at, I sometimes find in those circles disregard or even hostility towards those who DO choose to diet, for whatever personal reasons.

However, I was happy to find despite the subtitle that the Kinzel's book doesn't take that approach. It is really more of a...more
Rachel Sprague
A must read for all humans. I have "struggled" with my weight almost my entire life, and Kinzel offers insight and validation in this little book that that "struggle" is entirely unnecessary. Yes, I would like to lose some weight because certain health problems exist in my family that I fear, but if I am happy and healthy and just happen to be fat, then that's fine.

Judging people for their weight is something we do every day, something I know I do even though I know I've been the object of judgm...more
A super-quick read, very personal to the author's experience, but that's kind of the point. Kinzel refers to other, more all-purpose fat activism/acceptance books, like Marilyn Wann's Fat! So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size, plus websites and other resources... I am probably going to reread this one before returning it to the library; I want to take notes especially on the author's ideas about prettiness as an expression of social conformity, and I generally want to think mor...more
A slim volume of big ideas. While the subtitle is misleading--very little space is devoted to exactly how to stop dieting and learn to love your body, although the author makes it clear that she has indeed done both--this book nonetheless makes a strong argument for why it's healthiest to ignore our image-obsessed culture, stop stigmatizing fat people, and instead just focus on being our best selves while standing up for your right to exist and be accepted right now exactly as you are. Lots of g...more
meredith ann
while reading this, i didn't feel like i was reading a book; sometimes it felt like i was reading a really good blog entry and others, it felt like i was talking with someone who knew all the right things to say.

not having grown up "fat", there were things i couldn't relate to but living as a plus size woman now, many of the topics she talks about were too familiar (stop making plus size clothing that just looks like we want to cover our bodies!!).

personal side note: i'm glad she talked about...more
I've been following Lesley's blog for several years now, and her book was everything I'd hoped for. Having been doing the size acceptance thing for a while now, I can't say that this book was full of shocking revelations for me, but it was lovely, intertwining activism with memoir. I was also very pleased that Lesley managed to avoid the common blogger cum author pitfall of publishing her past blog posts with a bit of editing - while the subject matter certainly falls in line with her blog, the...more
Jessica Ellis
I grew up reading Jane magazine during my teen years. Last year, I was SO EXCITEd to learn that Jane had found an online resurrection in It was there that I found Lesley. I am a lifelong yo-yo dieter and she introduced me to the possibility of a different reality. This book is in no way a full primer on body positivity, nor does it give the full science behind why dieting isn't a such a great idea after all. It does tell her story, and it does show one person's rise above the crap th...more
Kinzel refuses to be a second class citizen because she is fat, and in fact reclaims the very word "fat" as a term for unclouded self empowerment. In Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body, Kinzel shares the struggles she encountered on her path to body acceptance, and offers readers an excellent primer for anyone interested in the fat acceptance movement, as well as providing insight to those already involved in body acceptance politics. Affirming and uplifting both an...more
Jan 14, 2013 Cassandra rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Cassandra by: Curve magazine, I think
If I was rich, I'd buy tens of thousands of copies of this book and wander around town, dropping them in mailboxes at random. Kinzel pulls the wool back and shows our culture's attitudes towards obesity (or, as she describes herself, "death fat") and bodies in general for what they really are. After finishing this book, I felt like I'd met *the* sane person when it comes to our fixation on body shape, weight, and food. I can't remember the last time I felt so refreshed, which is especially impre...more
Sep 09, 2012 Marie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I found Kinzel's writing through xojane, and I really like it: Perfect blend of smart and funny. She has talked about how her publisher tacked on the subtitle of this book, which is misleading. The book us really about Kinzel's own experience of diets and body hatred and how discovering community (and a harrowing medical issue) helped her make peace with herself. Pretty much, if you've ever been made to feel like an outsider, you'll get what she's talking about in this little book. (It's 163 pag...more
Books about fat/body politics help me keep sane, and this one, with a more in depth analysis than many, was so, so good. I particularly liked Kinzel's discussion of liberal vs. radical fat politics, which created such a clearer understanding of my own frustratingly liberal politics and why they leave me so unhappy that my brain may have actually exploded. It's so hard to maintain my own politics in the face of a constant barrage of reasons I should hate my fat self, but books like this one make...more
Jonna Doughty
Well. I am honestly not sure what to say. As a fat girl my entire life, I totally get what Lesley Kinzel is saying, and I want to embrace the idea of fat acceptance, yet that is a difficult thing to do. The idea that being this size, that being fat, is so ingrained in everything I hear see and am told, and have been told since the age of nine, that to change now, at age forty-five, is an enormous task.
Well-written, very informative, and occasionally funny, certainly giving me something to think...more
Jun 04, 2012 Kara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: weight

Body politics, for lack of a better umbrella term for the many issues discussed here, is an important topic that needs to be discussed, out in the open in broad daylight, so it’s unfortunate that the book is as short as it is. Kinzel barely starts before either changing subjects or wrapping it all up. Still, at least the conversation has been started. Basically, being fat is not a crime, and society needs to stop treating everyone outside a narrow, narrow box of the “right” size like criminals....more
honestly it didn't tell you anything you don't already know if you follow fat politics. it was a little more "serious reading" than i was expecting, but that's okay.

what i didn't like was that there were no chapter or section breaks. just double carriage returns, to kind of indicate a new thought/topic. i like a good stopping point before i put a book down, ya know?

this will probably be very enlightening if it's your first foray into FA, and i would probably suggest it as such.
Bess and Morgan The Bookends
Lesley Kinzel is- among other things- a contributor to the website XOJane. She writes primarily about fat. Fat politics, fat life, fat fat fat. She’s a very impressive lady and as I am an admittedly non-outlier on the weight scale, she’s definitely opened my eyes to fat politics. So when I happened across a copy of her book Two Whole Cakes, I was ecstatic.
How awesome is Lesley's book? Read our review!
Kate McMurray
I like Kinzel's columns at xoJane, and then a friend brought me to see her read a couple of months ago, which is how I found this book. It's great! It's funny and poignant, and a lot of it resonated with me. It's good for a self-esteem boost, and it takes a few serious turns toward the end that will make you think. (Also, I feel it's worth noting, I took a card from the cupcake shop that had cupcakes at the reading, and I used that as a bookmark. Seemed appropriate.)
Mackenzie Kimmel
This is a really challenging, stimulating book that forces you to examine your own prejudices, biases and beliefs with every single page. I loved it, but actually had to put it down every couple of chapters because I could feel myself getting defensive. I can honestly say that I have never had such a strong emotional response to a book before. I couldn't stop talking about it, "You'll never beLIEVE this!" (in a good way).
Amie Simon
Ah, Lesley Kinzel! Let me count the ways in which I love you. Lesley's writing is funny and engaging, and she manages to combine stories from her own life with positive messages and common sense. "Your body is not a tragedy." may be the best thing I've seen written down. I plan to pass this book on to all of my female friends, and hope they all learn something from it about being kinder to themselves and their bodies. <3
I would agree with other reviewers that the subtitle "How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body" is pretty misleading, and is a disservice to Two Whole Cakes. I would also agree that for those who are already fans of Kinzel and her online work, there isn't much new here. But Lesley Kinzel is so damn awesome that she could rewrite the same book four times over and I'd probably still keep reading.
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Two Whole Cakes: How I Learned to Stop Dieting and Love My Body

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“Everyone deserves respect and justice no matter what they look like.” 3 likes
“Don't let your own life pass you by because you're trying to tell me how to live mine.” 2 likes
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