That isn’t exactly what you would expect the author of a book titled Diet Drama and a Miss America swimsuit winner to confess, right? Let me explain. First, this isn’t just a diet book. I wrote it not only to give you some facts on food and fitness, but also to start an honest discussion about our health habits, including how hard it is to stay on the good-health bandwagon!
So what is Diet Drama all about? For starters, it’s the first ever “diet book” to begin with body image, and it’s here to help you see your health as more than just a number on a scale! While none of the dozens of young women of all shapes and sizes showcased in Diet Drama have the body of a supermodel (including me, and I share tons of stories and photos of my size fluctuations inside), every single young woman featured is a super role model. Inside you’ll see what real, unairbrushed girls look like when:
Packed with informative and interesting “fast facts,” sample food and exercise plans, and personal anecdotes from yours truly—as well as hundreds of photos of serving sizes, normal girls exercising, and real body types—Diet Drama is great inspiration and motivation to help you realize that the journey to healthy living is not one size fits all!
“For girls and women facing the mixed messages, double standards, and perfection pressures of our culture, there is no better corrective than DIET DRAMA, and no better person to write it than Nancy Redd. With humor, authenticity, and compassion, Nancy deftly manages to balance the messages of body acceptance and getting healthier, without the self-hatred and the unrealistic expectations. She’s been there, and her warmth, enthusiasm, and smarts jump off every page. - Irin Carmon of Jezebel.com
“To be honest I was a bit skeptical showing my real body ( not in loose clothing) but after Diet Drama came out and I read it I felt proud to be a part of Nancy’s amazing book. The realization that were beautiful the way we are and that we don’t need to conform to societies norm. The models of Diet Drama are both courageous and beautiful role models.” - Diet Drama participant
Q&A with Nancy!
Why do you think that no one has featured real young women in an exercise book until now? Because most diet books are written by a fitness expert who wants to show off their hot bod, and the intent is usually good but it tends to be tinged with an invitation for jealousy and a hierarchy of health based on looks, which isn’t fair or healthy. Diet Drama is the first diet book to present information and exercises in a flat system where we all are equal when it comes to our health goals, and thus no one body type deserves to be lambasted or lauded!
By showing bigger girls, are you promoting an unhealthy lifestyle? Absolutely not, again – it isn’t a zero sum game…big doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy, but most importantly, even if an individual is in need of getting in shape, why does that preclude them from being featured? We all need motivation and encouragement, and exclusion is not the answer.
What’s the difference between Diet Drama and Body Drama – don’t they both have to do with self-esteem and stuff? Body Drama deals with how we feel about and deal with what’s going on underneath our clothes, our bodily functions, while Diet Drama is more about what we look like in our clothes, and how our body feels as a whole. It’s an entirely separate issue – many women who suffer from tremendous Body Drama might not have as much Diet Drama, and vice versa. For both, unfortunately, the same scary level of misinformation exists– in the same way that most women don’t know the official names for the parts of their genitalia, most can’t tell you the difference between a carb or a calorie, either, and that’s a big part of the problem.
What about the increasing number of eating disorders in America? That’s one of the main reasons I open Diet Drama with the Body Image chapter – because eating disorders are on the rise, and that has to do with the mental aspect of everything which I feel is ignored in nearly all other diet books. Eating disorders are a big deal, indeed, and not just undereating, like with anorexia, but also with overeating, too –there are more individuals suffering fromm compulsive overeating and binge eating than anorexia and bulimia. Many if not most people who binge are not bulimic, and thus pack on unhealthy excess body fat due to this disorder. So yes, eating disorders of all kinds are discussed in the Body Image chapter, with an intensity and a compassion unmatched by any other diet book on the market.
Don’t you think that the expensive programs and the usual models in exercise books, with their mantras and programs and tough love, give the reader something to aspire to or plan with? For the most part, it just creates another barrier, another great excuse to not try. When you’ve got seventy pounds to lose, your focus needs to be on the first five, or maybe even on just five minutes on a treadmill, and not on expensive machines or negative reinforcements like “do you want to look like a mermaid or a whale?” which was actually used in a gym’s ad this year! Diet Drama is chock-full of completely free exercises that require nothing but a floor and extremely inexpensive foods so that anyone can accomplish their goals, without being made to feel like a pig or encouraged to break the piggy bank.