Losing It by Lindsay Faith Rech

What a horrible, shallow, degrading, boring, piece of garbage this book is. Lindsay Faith Rech, in writing Losing It, has spawned an abomination. Let me explain:

Diana is a size-sixteen 32-year-old woman who works as a waitress at a truck stop. Her co-workers and customers degrade her. Her thin mother degrades her. She wishes she were dead, like her father, and is delighted when she is told by a doctor that she might have a tumor. Why all the degradation and death wishes? Because Diana is fat.

I’m not even going to fully review this book; it doesn’t deserve paragraphs. Instead, let me give you some examples of how horribly fat women are represented in fiction — and remind you that the author is choosing to do this to a fictional person:

  • From Diana’s mother: “You can pay me back by losing some of that weight so you don’t keep breaking my heart and my wallet every time we go to lunch.”diet.gif
  • The narrator: “…cosmetics would only turn her into a decorated fat person.”
  • When Diana starts going to a bar to pick up men, whom she compares to pizza: “Woops, food analogy. As a woman on the road to thinness, Diana wished not to have those anymore. She had to keep in mind that in her new life, nothing was a bowl of cherries, the whole enchilada, as easy as pie, a piece of cake or the icing on it.”shut up.gif
  • About an exercise class: “Diana felt like a big, fat blueberry in her navy terrycloth jogging suit.”
  • When her 93-year-old neighbor brings over stuff to make sundaes: “The presence of such no-no delectables could only mean one thing: she would get fat again” but then she learns her friend brought “fat-free frozen yogurt, sugar-free chocolate sauce, and reduced-calorie whipped cream, and that each cherry was only ten calories apiece.”tiny ice cream.jpg
  • From Diana’s diary: “No matter what happens with TJ, I will not let myself get fat and pray for death again.”
  • After a guy with whom she had a one-night stand blows her off: “She was in the 150s [pounds] now. She wasn’t a big girl. She’d even started to believe she was beautiful. Why was he taking that away?”
  • Diana starts working at a day camp for children, and this is how she describes one little girl:

    And then there was Debra, the playground bombshell, who, despite Diana’s valiant efforts not to be jealous of a four-year-old, constantly drove her to the greenest hills of envy. Here was a little girl with big green eyes, gorgeous auburn hair, and all the signs of perfect bone structure and a lifetime of carefree beauty. [emphasis mine]

    say what

    Either the author is incapable of realizing her own hypocrisy, or her main character is a flaming idiot. When she talks with a man about his recent divorce, he notes that his ex-wife would never leave the house without make-up and dressing nicely. She kept a brush in every room in the house in case someone stopped by uninvited. Diana raves about what a vain peacock this man’s ex is, not realizing the entire novel has thus far focused on what she puts in her mouth and her fat cell count. How boring. What a boring woman. If she thinks she hasn’t found happiness because she’s 5’4″ inches and 178lbs., I’d like to remind Lindsay Faith Rech that she brought to life a vapid creature whose weight-obsession would make a plant yawn.


    This book was been selected as part of my search to find positive representations of folks who identify as fat women in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. That positive representation will not hinge on the character being miserable and then happy after losing weight or falling in love. Characters can lose weight or fall in love, but it is not the catalyst for their happiness. I also will not recommend books in which the character pulls her body apart (I call this the “chicken dinner”) and criticize pieces.

    Thus, books will either meet or not meet my criteria, which will factor overall into my recommendations. I purposely use the word “fat” because it is not a bad word. Using plump, curvy, plus-sized, fluffy, big-boned, shapely, voluptuous, or any other term suggests that fat is bad and thus needs a euphemism.

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39 comments

  1. Disappointing. I hope we hear more about the next Fat Assassins book soon. That would be a decent palette cleanser after this one.

  2. I hope Lindsay Faith Rech reads your review. We all know the derogatory comments insecure men make about women who are not the “ideal” weight/ethnicity/size age etc, etc but why would a woman repeat them. Calling it a novel doesn’t make it right.

    • Thanks, Bill. I kept hoping the novel would turn a corner, but I was about 80% through and decided if any corner is turned, it wouldn’t make up for all the garbage that came before.

      Have you ever seen the film The Full Monty? There’s this great scene when the guys who are planning to dance realize that they scrutinize women all the time, and the women watching them dance will be doing the exact same thing to them. It terrifies the guys.

        • I love it. I think it’s smart, and I like how it shows that men can figure out how they’re being unfair by reflecting without women having to sit down and teach them. The result is everyone is happier in the end.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this was such a disappointment. I think I’d have felt exactly the same way, though, with all of those negative images. And I don’t really feel a strong sense of plot, either. There’s enough denigrating of fat people in society without a book having to contribute to it…

  4. Excellent review! I was actually swearing under my breath as I read through the bullet points – what an infuriating book! I, too, hope that the author reads this review (and any other negative reviews, as I’m sure there will be a lot!) and takes any backlash she gets from writing this book to heart and apologizes for contributing to a society that is already far too often biased against people based on their weight by penning and publishing this horrible, fat shaming novel.

    • Thank you so much for your passion in this comment! Getting support from my readers is a little bit of a balm for all the horrible books I’ve read for this quest. The annoying thing is that people add books like this in lists on Goodreads with titles like “fat heroines who don’t lose weight.” Did these people read the book at all??

  5. It’s like the evil twin of being vain about one’s looks, isn’t it? And that makes both twins pretty evil! I just don’t get why any author would think that a book about anyone obsessing about how they look would be interesting. If that’s all the author has in her head, then it’s not worth writing down. Amazed that rubbish like this gets published. Please tell me it was self-published…

    • It wasn’t self-published, but I didn’t check if it came from a vanity press. ANYONE who thinks about their looks all the time is so boring. I agree with you. And the main character neither demands nor receives any dignified treatment.

    • I would guess not. When I taught fiction at Notre Dame, I had the students lurk around the student center pretending to do homework, but actually writing down bits of conversation. The things people actually say are weird and hilarious.

          • People are so suspicious. My husband had a project for his design degree so went into the nearest town to get some photos. On his way back to the car three youths challenged him and said he was a paedophile who was taking photos of children. He had to show them the photos on the camera before they would believe him. By the time he got back to the car he was shaking.

  6. I started grimacing from the moment I read your first sentence and the grimace never faltered. Sorry this one was such a letdown and even sorrier that you probably won’t be able to scrub it from your memory as easily as you deleted it from your kindle.

  7. Holy. Crap. This… what?! What IS THIS?! I know we had some concerns with the cover/synopsis… but I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. Did you read the entire book or DNF it?

    Also: Thank you for sharing that article about size 16 women! I swear, each year the sizes shink. My weight and overall body shape isn’t changing, but I cannot wear the same size clothing any longer.

    • I quit reading at about 80%. Clothing sizes are crazy. Some lines of clothing label their clothes so a size bigger than the tag so you put in the clothes, they’re too big, and then you feel good about yourself (and this buy more at that store).

      • I mean, that would be both awesome and terrible. I’d love to fit into a size 4 dress. That would make me super happy. Silly society. Look what it’s done to me!!! O_o
        (That said, I have a firm stance that I only purchase clothing which fits me well… you might be surprised how challenging that is)

  8. Good for you for being so up front and honest about why this book sucks-I hope the author readers your review and realizes how she missed the mark on this one. I’m surprised you got as far as you did!

    • There were so many flags that suggested the novel would turn around. At one point, the character thinks she has cancer. I thought she would just go live life, but no, she really lays into dieting harder.

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