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Linda Ann Rentschler

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Fat Camp
by Linda Ann Rentschler   

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Books by Linda Ann Rentschler
· State of Disgrace
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Category: 

Literary Fiction

Type: 

ISBN-13:  9781452349251
Fiction

Two women attend a residential weight loss program where they are pampered by gorgeous men.

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Sara Lee Jacobs has been overweight her entire lonely life. Peggy Jenkins-Hall sacrificed her hard-earned figure to her third and final child. Both women are obsessed with their weight and enroll in an exclusive diet program called Sunrise, which touts an incredible success rate. They soon understand why. Instead of the usual starvation and aerobic exercise, they are coupled with gorgeous men in a Paradise-like setting where they receive undivided attention and plenty of TLC.


Excerpt

Peggy Jenkins-Hall was drinking her fortieth ounce of water from a blue plastic bottle and a flexible straw while upping the tension level on her stationary bike in preparation for her morning weigh-in. Obsessed by her goal weight of one hundred twenty-one, she pedaled daily, casting blame on her most tender possessions, Michael, Miriam, and Nathan Junior. The resentment alone was sometimes enough to sustain her energy through a fifth mile if her husband, Nathan, could ever occupy the kids that long. Most days the family collapsed into chaos at around the three-point-two-five mark, just as her heart rate was finally elevating to one-fifty.
Nathan, though indulgent of Peggy's compulsive need to exercise, didn't seem to understand crap about her personal weight battle. His support was dispensed through gifts of work-out lingerie--all in her old size. At first she forgave his ignorance but month after month of this monstrous cycling triggered a desperate side of Peggy. She left the last stretchy gem in the box. Nathan argued that she looked wonderful to him. She told him the truth--how she looked to him didn't matter as much as how she looked to herself.
She would be willing to do anything to be rid of twenty pounds, the twenty pounds separating her from her favorite number, the twenty pounds zippers couldn't negotiate, the twenty pounds that most often seemed to lodge itself stubbornly in her face, making her eyes, previously her most attractive feature, seem like thin chocolate chunks sunk deep in a bowl of marshmallow fluff.
At the diet meetings, there were so many bloated, sagging faces and such despair Peggy was considered a health nut. Once someone had asked her if she were positioned among the obese attendees to inspire them. Instead of being complimented Peggy felt intense shame. It was one thing to fail when you had a hundred or so pounds to lose, quite another when you couldn't manage to drop a meager twenty.
How everyone admired her when she regained her figure after having the twins! It had taken only six months to lose forty pounds, and her shape had improved considerably from the exercise. Nathan had given her the bike as a gift. She did half as many miles then but lost so much more weight. That was five long years ago.
With Nathan Junior, nothing was as she remembered it. He weighed only five pounds despite her fifty pound gain. And she lost only twelve in the first two weeks. Before him, she had been a size six. Her hips measured forty-two inches when she set out on her daily rides to nowhere. Forty-two! And for what? If she were honest about it, she would admit that at no time during her entire pregnancy was she less aware of those puffed-up fat cells long enough to enjoy the taste or texture of the food. She ate because she knew the baby needed more food than she had learned to subsist on, because her body was the only means of nourishment for her unborn child who needed breads and fats and three balanced meals a day--not a fat free grain bar and a soft drink.
For a crazed second illness crossed her mind. Sooner or later, she would have a fever, the fever would raise her bodily temperature and burn off her excess. In college, she had caught pneumonia and lost twelve pounds through three days and nights of high fevers. As she lay recuperating, even though handfuls of her dark hair fell upon her pillow, she didn't worry. She knew when she was well enough to step on the scale she would be pleased. And how wonderful she felt when she resumed her place in the world, her pants baggy enough to shift about as she walked, her shirts dipping under her breast line, her thighs aligning with her hips instead of springing out like upside-down fudge pops. She could roll upon her side and not feel the handful of lower belly fat slide down beside her. When she lay flat upon her back there had been no hills that didn't belong; her stomach disappeared.
Back then, everyone said she looked emaciated, but of course they were used to her fat as a teen. Even so, she fasted one day a week just to revel in her lightness. She drank vegetable juice and low calorie beverages of any kind, and when she walked around campus she felt good about herself, the sun and the wind felt good against her, everything worked well for one out of seven days because there were no food decisions to be made. It was liberating, not having to consider how many slices of bread to have with her water-packed tuna, how to flavor her calorie-free green beans. For one glorious day, there were no right and wrong foods, no sins or failures, no bargain-bingeing chocolate bars.



Professional Reviews

Love yourself to happiness
July 26, 2010
By Apex Reviews (Durham, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)
This review is from: Fat Camp (Kindle Edition)
Having struggled with being overweight her entire life, Sara has grown quite accustomed to loneliness...meanwhile, the unfortunate ramifications of childbirth have wreaked havoc on Peggy's hard-earned, once enviable figure...as a result of their ongoing obsessions with their weight, Sara and Peggy enroll in Sunrise, an exclusive weight-loss program with a remarkable success rate. Exactly how is Sunrise able to transform the lives of so many desperate souls? By incorporating quite the different motivation for losing weight: instead of putting its students through a rigorous regimen of grueling exercise and forced starvation, Sunrise pampers its participants by treating them to paradisial conditions and surrounding them with gorgeous men who cater to their every whim...if only everything could be so easy...

Insightful, engaging, and surprisingly amusing, Fat Camp is quite the satisfying read. In it, author Linda Rentschler presents the reader with a unique, novel concept: rather than torturing yourself on the way to progress - love yourself to it instead. Confronting the greater issues of societal pressure, unrealistic expectations - and, of course, self-esteem - Fat Camp is less a story about losing weight and more an enlightening tale highlighting the importance of learning to accept ourselves as we are. By placing the emphasis on the true end goal, Rentschler successfully invokes within the reader a greater appreciation for the individual sojourns we all must take through life - reminding us that, though our destinations may be different, the journey is highly rewarding in and of itself.

With a compelling, endearing appeal, Fat Camp is an uplifting true-to-life tale with invaluable life lessons to share.


Renee Washburn
Apex Reviews



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