Colleen's Reviews > 150 Pounds: A Novel of Waists and Measures

150 Pounds by Kate Rockland
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Jan 13, 2012

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In 150 Pounds, two successful bloggers on opposite ends of the scale face off. Alexis Allbright blogs at "Skinny Chick" and lives by a strict regimen of healthy food and workouts while Shoshana Weiner blogs at "Fat and Fabulous" where she encourages women to be happy at any size. They each personify what the other hates and there seems to be no common ground between them. As they each face major life changes, the beliefs to which they have clung do desperately are challenged and their eyes are opened to the other side of the argument.

Alexis Allbright is a size zero health fanatic who works out diligently at the crack of dawn and carefully monitors her intake by logging each morsel on her iPhone. She writes at her blog "Skinny Chick" about healthy eating and maintaining your physique. She is righteous in her vilification of all things fat and has thousands of loyal followers. Shoshana has battled weight most of her life as has all members of her family. Although she is thinner than her highest weight, she is still overweight and blogs at "Fat and Fabulous". She encourages her followers to love themselves at any size and eschews any mentions of diets. When Oprah invites the two successful bloggers onto her show, they face off and do battle over their opposing ideologies. Alexis lobs facts and figures about the dangers of poor eating and excess body fat while Shoshana argues for "fit at any size" and against the unattainable standards of size imposed on women by media.

This topic is all over the media today. There is increasing evidence that the food we eat and lifestyle we lead are at the root of many illnesses - this makes a compelling case for clean eating and maintaining an ideal weight. But at the same time holding up unrealistic body images as ideal and shaming the overweight causes it's own problems ; the "fat and fit" movement asserts that people can be healthy at any size. By putting Alexis and Shoshana at either side of this argument, Rockland brings the issue to life.

Rockland has created two very real characters in Alexis and Shoshana. In 150 Pounds, Alexis definitely seems the less sympathetic character mostly because she has such a sharp edge; Shoshana is warm, collects friends easily and gladly takes on those that demonize overweight women. Of course, neither is as one dimensional as their side of the argument or their blog would make it seem. The story in this novel is learning what makes each of these women tick, what drove them to the positions they hold so strongly and whether they have the capacity to change.

The topic of body image certainly hit home for me and was part of the reason I enjoyed this story so much. In addition, it is set in NYC so many places were familiar and it was interesting to read about two successful bloggers. Beyond all that, it is a fun, light read befitting of its lovely cover!
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