It Was Me All Along
A 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.
Praise For It Was Me All Along: A Memoir…
—Alison Sweeney, host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser
“Loving yourself is the bravest thing, and I'm so glad Andie found her bravery and was willing to share it. Cheers to chocolate cake in moderation and happiness in abundance!"
—Giada De Laurentiis, author of Giada’s Feel Good Food
“Andie's story, in which she takes us along for her 135-pound weight loss journey and makes peace with food, is remarkable. She chooses to see the positives from her past, and she realizes that who she was when she was bigger molded her into the person she is today. Andie is an inspiration to anyone who struggles with the challenges of dieting and weight loss.”
—Gina Homolka, author of The Skinnytaste Cookbook
“A charming memoir about weight loss and self-discovery.”
“The book’s biggest surprise is how relatable it is: Beneath the extreme eating scenarios Mitchell describes some universal truths about how women connect and clash with food. …It Was Me All Along is the perfect book to read in January, because Mitchell’s total bluntness will inspire you to have a more honest year.”
“Anyone embarking on New Year’s resolutions of eating healthier and losing weight will be humbled by reading Andie Mitchell’s memoir, a poetically written, honest account of her struggles with binging, obesity and the traumatic childhood that led her to seek solace in food.”
“In a moving new memoir, It Was Me All Along, Andie Mitchell describes how her life became a prison of calorie-counting, cravings and self-consciousness until she found a comfortable weight.”
“Mitchell’s journey towards acceptance, chronicled in her new memoir, It Was Me All Along, has struck a chord with women everywhere.”
“It Was Me All Along is the strikingly honest story of one woman’s long journey to self-acceptance. It’s a must-read memoir for anyone who has used food to numb the pain rather than nourish the body.”
“A candid and inspiring memoir.”
Clarkson Potter, 9780770433253, 256pp.
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
About the Author
ANDIE MITCHELL is a writer, recipe developer, and lover of cake. Her popular blog, CanYouStayForDinner.com, shares the inspiring story of her successful weight loss and continued passion for good food. She lives in New York City, where she is the social media director for ShriverReport.org.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. How do Andie’s childhood food cravings compare to yours? What are your earliest memories of cooking and mealtimes?
2. As a little girl, what did Andie learn about happiness and sorrow? As a young adult, how did the memory of her father influence her beliefs about love and loss?
3. How has Andie’s relationship with her mother, Maryellen, sustained her? What came to mind as you read about Maryellen’s multiple jobs and her determination to feed her family abundantly? How have she and Andie shaped each other over the years?
4. As Andie experienced both the pain of ridicule and the joy of acceptance, what influence did her friends have on her view of the world?
5. In her quest to lose weight, Andie incorporated wisdom from Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, and ultimately a skilled therapist in order to “recognize the pain of white-knuckling my way through life” (page 6). What were the essential strategies that helped her find balance?
6. Throughout your life, have you been able to experience eating as an intuitive practice, eating only when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full? What does Andie teach us about the middle ground between eating purely for pleasure and eating to fuel our bodies?
7. What were the emotional ingredients for Andie’s binges, including their aftermath? What did the book help you discover about these powerful cycles?
8. During Andie’s sojourn in Italy, how did her exercise breakthroughs make a lasting impact on her? When have you experienced a similar breakthrough, in a situation that forced you to step out of your comfort zone?
9. Why were movies an ideal solace for Andie and her mother? In college and in her first job, how did the world of film inspire her and spark self-confidence?
10. What was meaningful about the phase of life when Andie met Daniel? How did they help each other grow emotionally? How did Daniel help Andie gradually learn to love herself?
11. Discuss the title, It Was Me All Along. What does Andie’s journey tell us about the way our bodies help us express our identity, or hide it? By the end of the book, what has she shed beyond pounds? How has your “outer world” reflected your inner self at various points in your life?
12. As a food writer, Andie has garnered considerable praise for her unique, multisensory descriptions of cooking and savoring. Did you find yourself developing any cravings as you read her memoir?
13. It Was Me All Along ends with the recipe for the Sour Cream Fudge Cake featured in the opening chapter. Which recipes have special significance for you? What one would you want to feature at the end of your memoir?