Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Incredible Shrinking Critic
My Excellent Adventure in Weight Loss, 75 Pounds and Counting

by Jami Bernard

      Now in paperback, The Incredible Shrinking Critic describes a film criticís journey up to a size 26 and then back down again to size 12. Although the book includes a few low-fat, low-calorie recipes and plenty of well-researched health and nutrition information, it is first and foremost a memoir - a very personal account of one womanís struggle. As such, Bernardís goal is not to write a self-help book for others, but to tell the story of how she helped herself (along with nutritionists, personal trainers, chefs, etc.) to regain control of her weight without using a commercial weight-loss plan. Readers seeking only practical information about weight loss should look elsewhere.

The Incredible Shrinking Critic contains lengthy passages about Bernardís youth, her budding figure and sexuality, her family and friends, her on-the-job experiences (mostly pertaining to food), and her former boyfriends. Each snippet of her life reveals how her obsession with body image, adoration of food, sedentary job, and unexamined emotional problems combined to create a plus-sized body she hid behind unflattering clothes. Many photographs scattered throughout the book show Bernardís formerly slender self, along with two unflattering photos confirming she was indeed the dreaded "O-word" (obese).

Bernardís engaging style makes this entertaining reading, although her extensive vocabulary and sharp sense of humor may catch some readers by surprise. Her story feels honest as she slowly, painfully loses one pound a week in order to avoid public humiliation (her weekly newspaper column chronicled her weight loss for one year). Ultimately, she lost 75 pounds over three years, which should give readers hope for slow, steady success or dash the hopes of those looking for fast, easy solutions.

The Book

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
September 2007
More at
NOTE: Some Profanity and Sexuality

The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2007
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance. The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies and Dreams on Film. Coming Soon: A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews.
© 2007