Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review [Gastric Girl by Nicola Travis]

Gastric Girl: Seven Plus Years Beyond Bariatric Surgery by Nicola Travis was an informative and very human introduction to weight loss surgery. Although Nicola's battle with obesity was not unique, I appreciated the courage it took to share the painful journey in writing. Knowing almost nothing about this type of surgery, my mouth flew open a few times with the illustration of what is actually done to the body and the permanent changes this type of body alteration makes in a person's ability to have a normal eating lifestyle ever again.

 I like indie writers because they bring such "character" shall we say to the writing process. The book has a very unusual beginning, the preface amounts to about a paragraph and then goes into bullet points that summarizes most of what she talks about in the rest of the book. There is no table of contents although there are many chapters, which is a clear indication that this book is indie published and really not meant to go very far. I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

I know a pity party was not the intention in any of Nicola's writing, but I often shook my head with pity as I read through the pages because of the side effects and suffering that so many people go through regarding obesity, dysfunctional relationships and poor eating habits. Nicola's stories would be helpful to anyone going through weight issues, food addictions, post surgery issues, depression and those who are still eating the standard American diet (SAD).

It was refreshing in some parts of the book where the author shared her successes and new revelations about the gastric surgery journey. She did lose a good amount of weight, kept most of it off and started to become comfortable with her body. The author also made some good points of how the medical industry can improve the treatment for obese patients by increasing their knowledge, "about the challenges of bariatric patients".

The best chapter or section is titled "Anger", this is where the author's wisdom emerges about choosing a lifestyle of eating healthier and who should be held accountable for the epidemic of obesity. The later chapters in the book are a bit out of order and the repetition that new writers often get caught in begins to happen, which makes the ending of the book just she titles it, "Random Thoughts".

I would recommend this book to obese Caucasian women who can relate to Nicola's journey from a cultural point of view and who could benefit from knowing someone of a similar background has taken the journey of the gastric path and has made the best of it.  Gastric Girl gets 3 ankhs and I truly send light out to the world that others don't have to take this route in finding self-acceptance and self-love.

K. Akua Gray
May 18, 2017
San Ignacio, Belize

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