You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool [NOOK Book]

Overview


From the bestselling, award-winning author of You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning, comes another collection of hilarious observations that will resonate with women, mothers, and girlfriends everywhere  

In her newest wickedly irreverent humor collection, Celia Rivenbark cracks up while getting her downward facing dog on, pines for a world in which every mom gets to behave like Betty Draper and wonders why everybody's so excited about the Science Fair when there aren't even...

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You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool

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Overview


From the bestselling, award-winning author of You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning, comes another collection of hilarious observations that will resonate with women, mothers, and girlfriends everywhere  

In her newest wickedly irreverent humor collection, Celia Rivenbark cracks up while getting her downward facing dog on, pines for a world in which every mom gets to behave like Betty Draper and wonders why everybody's so excited about the Science Fair when there aren't even any rides. In it you’ll find essays on such topics as:

  • Menopause Spurs Thoughts of Death and Turkey
  • I Dreamed a Dream That My Lashes Were Long
  • Twitter Woes: I’ve Got Plenty of Characters, Just No Character
  • Movie To-Do List: Cook Like Julia, Adopt Really Big Kid
  • Charlie Bit Your Finger? Good!  And other thoughts on the virus that is YouTube

And much more!  For any woman who longs for the good old days when Jane Fonda in legwarmers was the only one who saw you exercise, YOU DON’T SWEAT MUCH FOR A FAT GIRL is comfort food in book form. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rivenbark (You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning) naps in yoga class, supports airport profiling by the TSA, and is delighted that her Twitter antics ticked off model Kathy Ireland. In this new addition to her essay collection catalogue, she's as rebellious, irreverent, and comical as ever. The author's signature blend of social satire, quizzical musings on human nature, and over-the-top down-home humor are directed at everything from Bernie Madoff to Snuggies to people who (slowly) write (Disney character–embellished) checks even when they're in an exceptionally long line at Wal-Mart. In and among the wackiness, she tempers the snark with some sweet, like her belief that President Obama's version of date night is making men everywhere look bad by comparison, her appreciation and envy of David Sedaris, and her simple yet romantic 20th wedding anniversary. Recipes and Southernisms like "crazier 'n a sprayed roach" round out the fun. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"[Rivenbark]'s as rebellious, irreverent, and comical as ever."

Publishers Weekly

 

"...a rip-roaring read.... What makes Rivenbark’s writing so entertaining is that it’s a lot like seeing a stand-up comedy act: she does an uncanny job of keeping the flow of comedy fresh."

Book Reporter

Kirkus Reviews

Snarky Southern humor essayist and columnist skewers everything from yoga to marriage to eyelashes.

Rivenbark (You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning, 2009, etc.) has made punchy contemporary commentary her livelihood since her first collection of humor columns was published over a decade ago. Here, the author stays true to her classic comic chatter, delivering many witty and clever observations, along with plenty of overly goofy and slightly contrived duds. Sure to elicit hearty chuckles and knowing nods, Rivenbark shares lighthearted ruminations on a variety of commonplace issues and situations, many centered on fads (the "Snuggie"), health claims (dietary fiber) and the happenstance of modern life. The author hesitantly dips her feet into the yoga exercise revolution by taking a wobbly instructional class, but seems more relieved "to be somewhere for a whole hour without anybody being able to find me and ask me to do some shit for them." She drolly posits on how much everyday life has become enhanced by personal technology but is irked by everyone's "self-serving messages" on Twitter—unless, of course, it's her own tweets "telling my followers that it's time to ante up for the new book." Some of Rivenbark's best moments are her most self-deprecating. An attempt to coerce David Sedaris into writing a blurb (and her opinion of him when he declines) is priceless, as are descriptions of life on a book tour, bemoaning the enthusiasm of shopping-mall salespeople or how she suffers through the melodrama of Real Housewives("middle school all over again"). The author seems genuine enough when discussing the biased kind of love pet owners bestow on dogs versus cats, but her biting satire on politics and airport security may push her trademarked irreverence overboard for more sensitive readers.

Open-minded fans of the crass one-liner will find much to savor, while many readers will discover that a little Rivenbark goes a long way.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429984522
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 107,297
  • File size: 241 KB

Meet the Author

Celia Rivenbark

Celia Rivenbark is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank; Bless Your Heart, Tramp; Belle Weather; and You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning. We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier won a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Born and raised in Duplin County, North Carolina, Rivenbark grew up in a small house “with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats.” She started out writing for her hometown paper. She writes a weekly, nationally syndicated humor column for the Myrtle Beach Sun News. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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Read an Excerpt


1
Taking the Class Out of Yoga
 
 
Happy, happy, joy, joy! There is staggeringly good news on the health-and-fitness front at last.
Are you sitting down? I mean, if you’re like me, you’re almost always sitting down, which isn’t such a bad thing, as you’re about to learn.
Turns out, a twelve-year-long study in Denmark has concluded that women who have skinny thighs have twice the risk for heart disease as us normal women.
Can I get a “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,” my fluffy sisteren?
In your face, you supermodels with your spaghetti stems. Somebody please pass the pork fat and let me get on with the very serious business of avoiding a heart attack. I am all about being heart-healthy.
The study followed twenty-eight hundred Denmarkese (yeah, I know, but the real name makes me hawngry) and discovered that the portion of the population with thighs smaller than 23.6 inches in circumference had twice the risk of heart disease.
OK, to be honest, I thought that 23.6 inches sounded like a lot of inches when I first read that. I mean, that’s like almost two feet of inches if my math memory is correct. So I got out the old tape measure and y’all guess what?
My thighs, which are actually kind of thighnormous, are exactly 23.5 inches. Too much information? Suckit, I’m fit by Denmarkanian standards!
The study doesn’t explain why thicker thighs make a healthier heart but who the hell cares and, yes, I want fries with that Communion wafer.
There’s some speculation that it’s because thinner people (hereinafter referred to as “the damned”) have less muscle mass to “initiate the metabolic breakdown of lipids and glucose.” I mean that’s the first thing I thought when I read about it. Sorta. If you remove the part about metabolic breakdown of lipids and glucose.
This news came with caveats, of course. Caveat is a Latin word which means “dead person” or “funny neckerchief,” I forget which. Anyway, the big caveat is that people who have thighs quite a bit bigger than the delightful and healthful 23.6 inches in circumference (in other words, anyone who has ever eaten a turkey leg at Disney World and wondered why they have to be so damn small) aren’t healthier by nature. They have gone and gotten themselves a bad case of an “overhealthy heart” I guess.
Scientifically speaking, the study finds that a woman who is barely over five feet tall and weighs 135 pounds is half as likely to have heart disease as, say, Heidi Klum.
Now before all you supermodels get your Versaces in a wad and accuse me of wanting you to have heart problems, let me hasten to say that nothing could be further from the truth.
Scurvy maybe, pellagra possibly, but not heart trouble. It also should be noted that Denmark is frequently the winner in the annual poll of the “World’s Happiest Countries.” Small wonder. I’d be happy, too, if I lived in a country where big thighs were considered healthy and desirable.
This breaking news from Denmark came out just about the same time as a Time magazine cover story on “The Myth of Exercise” in which a very learned scholar wrote that, while it’s good for you, exercise won’t make you lose weight. In fact—and this part cracks me up—exercise can actually lead to weight gain because of the notion that you’re entitled to wolf down a platter of nachos the size of a hubcap at On the Border after a half hour workout on the Spawn of Satan, I mean, elliptical machine.
Your chickens have come home to roost, you diet-obsessed hand-wringers. And I want mine fried with a side of tater salad, extra mayo for my heart, natch.
Ever since I read about the study of the proud Denmarki people, and the Time exercise story, I’ve been thinking about cutting out my weekly yoga at the art museum, but I like it too much. Except for the parts where the middle-school classes taking tours past the Mary Cassatts and so forth point and laugh at us when our asses are in the air for Downward-Facing Hag or whatever you should call a roomful of mostly middle-aged but undeniably enlightened womenfolk in loose clothes.
What if all this yoga makes my thighs get smaller? Still, I’d hate to give it up because yoga really does give me a certain peace and clarity of spirit.
OK, I made that up. It just feels good to be somewhere for a whole hour without anybody being able to find me and ask me to do some shit for them.
I’m fairly certain that’s why it was invented many decades ago by Yogi Berra, a famous baseball player who was excellent at avoiding real work.
I never saw myself as a yoga-type person but then I read Eat, Pray, Love, whose author, the glowy, flowy Elizabeth Gilbert, described how her deep and intense voyage of self-discovery, which included dumping her perfectly nice husband and visiting several different continents, led her to realize that she could eat nine pizzas at one sitting in Italy and still feel good about it if she was headed to India to do some yoga.
I think there was a little more to the book than that, but that was my favorite part.
Yoga just sounds so cool. Our teacher, a young woman fairly bursting with good health, meets us where we are, so to speak.
“You can rest when you need to,” she said on the first day of class, seeming to look at me for a long time—perhaps because I was the only one who had never had so much as a smidgen of yoga before. She knew this because I announced it, repeatedly, so she’d set the bar pretty low.
I was delighted that she understood, and so I did rest. For an hour. Just lay there on the purple yoga mat my friend Christy Kramer got on a yard sale for fitty cent and loaned me when I told her I didn’t want to invest a whole lot of money into this yoga stuff until I was sure I’d like it.
Sure, some of the other women looked puzzled when I lay down and stayed down, but what can I tell you? It was the first time in for-freakin’-ever that I’d had some me-time, phone off, panties granny, and it felt wonderful.
Laying there while the others practiced some serious deep breathing and challenging poses like Old Pussy in the Sky or some such, I understood why everybody loves yoga. I went to sleep.
And was awakened an hour later by the instructor gently kneading my thigh. My perfect, enormous thigh.
“Uhhh, trying to sleep here,” I mumbled, but she just smiled one of those real peaceful yoga-induced smiles. “We want to keep the muscles as relaxed as possible.”
Was she high? If I was any more relaxed, I’d be in an urn on somebody’s mantle. I was deliciously relaxed and now understood why people who take naps in the middle of the day always feel so refreshed. At this rate, I’d be one of those irritating people who has a license plate holder that reads: MY OTHER CAR IS A YOGA MAT! OK, maybe not.
After that, she announced that we would take some deep breaths and thank our sun gods or something like that. It involved putting your hands in front of you and making a praying gesture for about two seconds, which, let me tell you, my muscles paid for the next day! I practically couldn’t get outta bed!
Yoga is going to be a much better fit for me than, say, Pilates, which, because I was raised Southern Baptist, I mispronounced for a really long time until my unchurched, heathen friend told me it had nothing to do with Pontius Pilate.
“It’s pronounced puh-lot-eez,” she said with clear irritation. She is one of those snooty types who talks a lot about how all the hypocrites are in church and she believes that God is everywhere around her.
Not meaning to be cruel, I hope for His sake this wasn’t true the day she seriously cut one in yoga class.
That’s the dirty little secret about yoga. All the pooting that goes on. Sure, you can try to sneak it out in low gear, so to speak, but everybody still knows. So while you’re in your Loving Warrior Stance when you should be breathing deeply and feeling the life force gum up your chakras or whatever, you’re just worried to death that the whole class is going to hear you fart out loud.
I’m not sure how Elizabeth Gilbert dealt with that because there’s no way you could eat nine pizzas for lunch and then go to yoga, even if it was a few days later. You’d still be floating up in the air like that idiot balloon boy.
I think I’ll keep doing yoga for a while, staying away from the new “yogilates” class I’ve heard about which combines yoga and Pilates with a foamy cappuccino concoction from the sound of it. After all, even though I’m not making real progress in the meditative closing moments when I’m supposed to be open to the universe and, instead, routinely make my grocery list in my head and worry about how unfair it is for me to need gum grafts at the same exact time that my kid needs orthodontia and where the hell is all that money going to come from.…
The instructor says that all of this openness to the will of the universe takes time. One doesn’t just leap into meditation. It can takes years of practice, even Elizabeth Gilbert said that. But, in the meantime, while I’m waiting for that to kick in, I’ll continue to eat pizza.
Just for the sake of my heart, you know.


 
Copyright © 2011 by Celia Rivenbark

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Table of Contents

1 Taking the Class Out of Yoga 1

2 When Underwear Jokes Bomb, the Terrorists Win 9

3 Movie To-Do List: Cook Like Julia, Adopt Really Big Kid 17

4 Kiosk Bee-otch Makes Mall Trip Treacherous 27

5 Moral Fiber Can't Help Your Colon 35

6 Twitter Woes: I've Got Plenty of Characters, Just No Character 45

7 Bitter! Party of Me 53

8 Road Trip to Nuh-what-kah Rouses Suspicions 63

9 Breakfast with Fabolous 73

10 Loonies Litter Landscape of (snicker) The Learning Channel 81

11 You Know You Want It: Snuggie's Embrace Will Melt You 91

12 Happy 50th Birthday, Barbie! Midge Has Your Back (Stabbed) 99

13 Charlie Bit Your Finger? Good 107

14 Chinese Bachelors Would Be Lucky to Find Cougar 115

15 Crappy Science Fair Didn't Even Have Any Rides 123

16 What's Farsi for "Stay Outta My Love Life"? 131

17 Give Us Your Poor, Your Tired, Your Kinda Creepy Masses 139

18 Bad Economy Waste-es My Time and Disgust-es Me 149

19 Menopause Spurs Thoughts of Death and Turkey 155

20 "Arf! Arf! I Just Ate My Own Shit!" 163

21 Meat' normous? Now That's Just Wrong 171

22 I Dreamed a Dream That My Lashes Were Long 181

23 Marriage in Three Acts 189

24 Politically Correct: A Palin/La Toya Ticket 201

25 Animal Tales and One Stupid Human Trick 211

26 Lost in Space 219

27 She Drives Me Crazy (Shaving Time Off the Commute) 227

28 Teen Angel 235

Acknowledgments 243

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    Rude

    Hate book

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Actually I was intriged by the cover and title, but when I saw a

    Actually I was intriged by the cover and title, but when I saw a photo of the author, I realized she was writing from a "would be" fat persons perspective, I lost interest in the actual book itself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Love

    Quick funny read..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Read an earlier book by her instead

    I am a huge fan of Celie Rivenbark's earlier books. They are very funny, although you have to have a bit of a caustic sense of humor. I have laughed so hard I could barely breathe. Her earlier books have a southern, but good hearted flavor to them. Despite the southern side of her stories, this Yankee born and raised really could enjoy them. Unfortunately, I have found the more she writes, the meaner and more crude her books get. Does she have to be mean, nasty and very crude to be funny? Apparently, she thinks she does. I may reread some of her older books, but am probably done with anything newer.

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    loved it

    Haven't laughed so hard since the last Erma Bombeck book I read. Now that Erma HAS LEFT US PERMANENTLY, check out Celia Rivenbark. She writes like I talk, junping from one subject to another, but everything is highly relevant. Just pick this book up when you need a laugh or validation that you're not the only crazy one in athe world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Hilarious

    Loved it

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    Disappointing

    I won an Advance Readers' Edition of You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark through the GoodReads First Reads program. This is the first book that I have read by Celia Rivenbark and honestly it will probably be my last. The book is made up of a collection of essays in which she tells the reader her thoughts on different topics while trying to include some snarky humor. Being someone who dishes out her fair share of snark and sarcastic comments, I found little of that within this book. Sure there were some parts that brought a smile to my face but nothing to "split my yoga pants" which yes, I am currently wearing. Some of the essays where so scattered on topics that it was difficult to finish reading. If you don't mind reading books with `slang' terms like `duh-hubby', `bidness', `dawg' and `sistah' that are not part of conversation/dialogue, then you may enjoy reading it. Just because I wouldn't read this book again, doesn't mean others won't find some meaning within its pages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    So so

    I was not impressed by this book so I did not finish it. I found the author's humor to be a little crude.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    So funny

    Some parts of this book had me laughing so hard I cried! I have read and loved all of Celia Rivenbark's books and loved them. So truly descriptive of people and events. Great funny reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2011

    The title got the shallow part right

    Maybe I'm on a different page than some of the other readers, but I didn't find the humor or snark in this book to be funny or engaging. Rather, it comes across as a drunken rant one might hear from someone who suffers from anti-social tendencies. It seems obvious the author didn't fit in at some point of her early life, or perhaps at all points thus far, and developed a warped sense of entitlement to denigrate everything and everyone as a result. Apparently, someone once told her that distemper was the same as humor and she's been running with it ever since. Whatever the reasons, the snark from this tired rehash of a Chelsea Lately wannabe has grown stale. Time for the fat girl to clean out the fridge.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    BookHounds

    I love Celia Rivenbark's writing even though I don't live in the South, it is fun to travel there through her books. She covers such topics as Twitter and her take on menopause is worth the price of the book alone. My favorite term of hers is for her husband, who she lovingly calls "duh-hubby" -- you can infer what you like from that reference. I admit I troll the internet looking for her essays while I wait for another one of her books to be released. I think my favorite one is where she pretends to be a trailer trash version of Midge who writes a Happy Birthday letter to Barbie on her 50th! There is almost a snark overload with this one. If you enjoy Dave Barry, you will more than likely enjoy this as well!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

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    Posted January 20, 2012

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    Posted October 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

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    Posted September 6, 2011

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    Posted September 13, 2011

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