... a triumphant chronicle in which no cinematic 'grand finale' victory is claimed ... I both liked and related to her perspective as a yo-yo dieter. Sometimes I related to an uncomfortable degree ... Meltzer perfectly depicts a binge-eater’s grand cross of shame, relief, pleasure and self-recrimination ... At times, Meltzer’s writing evokes the sadness and anger of Judith Moore’s 2005 memoir Fat Girl, particularly on themes of dating, desire and visibility. Other times, it feels as if she’s juggling too many things at once — anecdotes, statistics, trends, cultural reportage, personal ruminations and historical shifts ... But the occasional compressed-in-haste spots are offset by an abundance of shrewd observations ... Meltzer has created a singular companionate text for those who know the agony of frustration surrounding weight as an issue, both personal and political. People — women, especially — who ping-pong around the weight spectrum will feel less alone when they read it ... How searching, how beautiful. How real ... Acerbic, culturally astute and genuine, [Meltzer] makes exquisite company in the struggle, and that is no small thing.
Meltzer’s extensive and very personal homage to Nidetch, as well as her wise and often witty analysis of weight and its inner meaning, can serve as direction for those seeking an ideal of external self-image.
Nidetch’s success in life, in business, and in weight loss motivated Meltzer to commit to the Weight Watchers program, and it inspired her to write a journalistic profile of the one celebrity who could help her most. Meltzer’s engaging history of Weight Watchers and candid account of her own dieting journey is a frank and affirming portrait of the ways women, in particular, have always coped with health and self-image.