Monday, July 19, 2010

A Diary Comic That's on a Diet

Don't stop reading. I know, the very mention of a comic about weight loss evokes visions of Cathy's terrible cawing ("AAACK! AAACK!") and diatribes on the evils of swimwear.

But Sarah Becan is no Cathy Guisewite, and I think you're saucesome. makes a concerted effort not to wallow in the narcissistic self-loathing that makes Cathy so unbearable. Becan doesn't think that chocolate and cheeseburgers are conspiring to make her fat. She doesn't drag us into the fitting rooms to dissect the horrors of women's fashion.

Instead, Becan offers an honest look at the perils of losing weight while trying to be body-positive. She tries to alter her eating habits without viewing food as the enemy. She sometimes hates her body, but confronts her self-loathing instead of owning and trading on it. She admits that sometimes, she links other women's success with their thinness. She's even externalized her self-doubt, representing it as a teasing demon, a black, obnoxious thing that needs to be reigned in if she ever wants to feel good about herself.

One neat feature of Saucesome is the tally Becan keeps of all the food she ate that day (down to the peppermint candies). At first, I wasn't sure what purpose this served -- other than to keep Becan honest -- but it actually provides some useful context. Becan isn't someone who trucks with diet foods, and she's honest about her (sometimes excessive) love of really good beer. The visual food log helps us as readers understand what she means by changing her eating habits while still enjoying food.

If you truly can't stand any discussion of calorie counts or weekly weigh-ins, then you should probably steer clear of Saucesome. But if you have any interest in the struggles of healthy living and self-love, Becan has managed to create a fun and personal portrait of life at 200+ pounds and the long journey downward.

I think you're saucesome. [via Comics Worth Reading]


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