Confessions of a Carb Queen: A Memoir

3.52 avg rating
( 566 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781594867767: Confessions of a Carb Queen: A Memoir
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

When her doctor told her she could suffer a stroke just by walking across the street, Susan Blech knew drastic action was called for. She was only 38 years old, and the scale registered a life-threatening 468 pounds. Rejecting the idea of gastric bypass surgery, Susan relocated to Durham, North Carolina, giving up all that was familiar and $70,000 of her life savings to devote herself to losing weight and getting healthy on the famed Rice Diet.
In Confessions of a Carb Queen, Susan Blech speaks candidly about topics no obese person has dared to address: fat sex, eating binges, the lies you tell others, and the lies you tell yourself. She explores the psychological component of overeating and the connection between her own binge eating and the aneurysm that left her mother brain-damaged and paralyzed when Susan was a toddler. Her gripping story—a blend of memoir, advice, and delicious, health-conscious recipes—is a testament to her personal strength and willpower, and will be an inspiration to all who read it.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

SUSAN BLECH gives motivational talks on weight loss and has been a featured speaker at Duke University Medical Center. She lives in New York City and is the Senior Care Coordinator at Brookdale Hospital's childhood obesity program in Brooklyn, New York.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

The bridge comes into view, the traffic slows, but I don't. I'm late. I'm hungry and tired and angry and frustrated. I'm angry that I want to eat. I just want to eat. But I'm going to be good. I drive faster.

I don't want to think of Bobby.

We're over.

I broke up with him.

I'm 35 years old. I had to get on with my life. I don't know where I'm going, but it can't be with him.

I don't want to think of this, but I do: Bobby and I wanting to make love in my shower. We can't. I can barely stand up. My legs hurt. My calves and ankles are blown into one mass. I call them "cankles." I can't see my toes. The oversize square pink 1970s bathtub has a wide ledge, so I sit. I tell him it's easier and more fun this way. My stomach folds onto my lap, almost to my knees. I don't translate sexy. It's another language. Feminine is far away. Human comes across only because I'm breathing.

I try to remember myself thin, to forget who I am now. The water cascades off his broad, strong back. The shower smells like vanilla, the scent of my liquid soap. He says he wants to make me happy. I laugh and tell him I'm hungry. I end up doing what's easier, sitting on the porcelain ledge--and giving him a blow job--even though it hurts inside, to the core of me, and I'm even hungrier afterward.

I don't want to think of sex. I can't believe I broke up with him. I can't believe I'm going to be alone. I want to think of what I'll eat tonight. I don't want to think of how I'll ever meet another guy. I don't want to think of me: how my stomach presses again the wheel even though the seat is pushed all the way back; how my thighs spread across the seat; and how my hips roll against the door on one side and the gearshift on the other. I can't even sit up. I have to drive as if I'm lounging, as if I'm comfortable. I don't want to think that my seat belt doesn't fit, hasn't fit, for months. I want to eat, now.

I drive even faster.

The Cross Island Expressway curves around the bay in two tight, narrow lanes. On one side is Queens and on the other side of the water is the north shore of Long Island, with its rich towns like Sands Point, Great Neck, and Kings Point. In front of me, the sun sets hot pepper red, holding the haze and heat. The day doesn't want to end.

I haven't seen Marcy in weeks, or has it been months? She wanted to go to the city together. I love to see her. But no way; I'm not traipsing around Manhattan.

I squint into the sun. I put on my new dark blue aviator shades and think I look hot. I £d the steering wheel, blare Mariah Carey, and pass 70, 80 miles per hour when I should be doing 50 at most.

Van lights swerve in front of me. I won't let him cut me off. He's going to get us both killed. I rev the car.

Where are the chips? I have a bag of chips in this car, don't I? I have to eat something. That's not really eating, not when I'm in the car. I blast Mariah Carey louder. I swing around another car, no fear, one-handed.

I'm definitely, totally, back on my diet on Monday. Even though I woke up feeling fat, I'm not that fat. I need to lose a few £ds. I know I'm a little chubby. The last time that I was on a scale was when I tried Caroline's scale, but it was off. But that's just like my sister, owning a cheap scale that only went up to 300 £ds. Of course, I may be a few £ds heavier than that. But who cares?

If I can reach, the chips should be crumbled under the passenger front seat, where I hide all the evidence. They should be there, crunchy, salty-- a half-bag of pure saving grace.

My turtleneck pulls over the stomach as I reach for them. I bought a new ribbed turtleneck for tonight. I love these turtlenecks. I have them in every color and wear them all year round. This new one was a size bigger than the last one I bought. But I know I look good. My hair will look great once I fix it and curl it down around my shoulders, though right now it's piled on my head, knotted back, a mess.

Where are the damn chips?

I straighten up. Take a breath. I'm sweating. I need to distract myself. A truck, a semitrailer, honks. This truck probably shouldn't even be on this two-lane highway. But I can't help it: I pump my arm up and down for him to honk his horn again. My arm hurts to reach up and down, heavy like someone else's arm; it's too big and bulky to be mine.

The trucker pulls his horn, a long satisfying pull, and I smile. I can't help it. I love playing with truck drivers, but the horn is loud and angry instead of what I expect from him, something short and playful, more like a wink, more like a Hey, babe. What the hell is his problem? I speed past him.

Screw him.

I know I need to work out more. Add that to the list. I have my lifetime gym membership. I just have to get there a few more times a week. I could be back in shape in no time. Maybe I should even get back into bodybuilding? Maybe even hook back up with Gary, now that I've broken up with Bobby.

But Bobby was different. He accepted me the way I am. He didn't care if I was a little chubby. He loved making love to me. I'd ask him why all the time. I was twice his size. He'd shrug his big guy shoulders and grin.

What am I doing? I know I'm driving too fast. I'm doing 70. Ease up. New York City, one of the biggest, most powerful cities in the world, shouldn't have skinny, narrow highways. I can't drive this slowly. I'm pushing the car. I speed up, cut in between another car. I forget to put on my turn signal. Brakes screech from somewhere.

How long did I go out with Bobby? Two years, on and off. I know I should have broken up with him sooner. I should have broken up with him when--

I can't even think of it. Not now.

We made love for the last time last week. I put my head on his chest. He ran his fingers through my hair. He asked me to marry him again. I reminded him: I was breaking up with him.

He was naked first. I tickled his recently slimmed-down-to-190-£ds torso. I was losing him as he lost weight. He insisted that I wasn't--that it didn't matter to him "if you're a few £ds heavier, Sue."

He was right. It didn't matter; I had to break up with him anyway.

He helped me off with my turtleneck and black stretch pants. I couldn't move. I was lead. But this devolved into breakup sex and since I hadn't broken up with too many guys, I didn't know the rules for it. All I wanted was for him to leave and for me to order from the deli.

"I'm scared," I said. How did I get to the point where I was scared to make love?

My Altima's air conditioner bursts out full blast as if it's a signal for me to pay attention to the road. Samples, boxes of pens and pads, heavy catalogues, toners from the business rattle in the backseat. I don't even want to think of what I've jammed under the front seat. I need to clean the car out. Add that to the list. I open the window. These days, I'm always hot and the air conditioner is not enough. Bobby said he liked me hot- blooded.

I hang my face out the window. I'm singing out loud to Mariah Carey. I'm blocking out any thoughts about his body, my body, sex.

I should turn around. Head home. Just go get a few things to eat by myself. But there are no exits. I gulp in the city's steamy air, exhaust fumes, and the heavy, low tide, the stench of the bay. I swallow as hard as I can.

I can't clear the wedge in the back of my throat. It never seems to go away unless I'm eating. My mouth is dry, my throat scratchy, almost like it's blocked. I need to eat.

But I can't eat before I see Marcy. Thin, thin, I have to feel thin.

Why didn't I leave earlier than this? Why did I have to stop at the deli? And where else was I today?

I push it out of mind. The last time I ate was Friday night, more than 24 hours ago. The drive-thru Dairy Mart. The Italian deli. The Chinese food delivery.

Friday was a horrible day. I was on the phone all day, taking orders, trying to drum up business from the office in the dining room. I did make a couple of sales on printer toner today. I hate printer toner. I hate thinking of it.

I step on the gas. Pain shoots through my foot. I need to go see the doctor about this and get another cortisone shot. But I hate this doctor. What the hell is his problem? Head of Podiatry, my ass! He can't seem to make my foot less swollen, less of a battering ram with open nerves. Get a different podiatrist. Add that to the list.

My neck hurts. Somehow, a knob of fat has formed at the base of my neck. I think the turtleneck covers it up nicely. I need a massage. But last time I saw the masseuse, I broke her table; it must have had a crack in it. I paid her for the table. Yet, how can I go back? She was so irrational about it. Find a new massage therapist. Add that to the list.

I'm an idiot.

I really need to eat something.

I can't find the damn chips! I need them--I can't do this--I can't be in the car without eating.

I see the bag of Doritos.

This is the worst, seeing the chips wedged between the seat and the passenger door and not being able to reach them. I see what else is stuck over there, under the seat: an empty pint of mocha chocolate chip, Butterfinger and Heath bar wrappers, and smashed-up boxes of fast-food containers, the hidden evidence. Add that to the list; clean out the car.

Dammit. I should pull over. But there's nowhere to pull over. There's no shoulder on the road. I'm hemmed in as if there's not enough road for me.

I lean as far as I can and try to grab the bag. I nearly drive into the concrete divider, and I straighten up as fast as I can.

A big fat gas-guzzling SUV careens in front of me. I swerve around it. Idiot! I slam my fist into the horn. I'm careful with my nails. I just had them done, and they look great, long, hot red. Unfortunately, my fingers are still a little swollen. I couldn't wear any rings out tonight. I'm retaining water these days.

Bastard! I laugh. The SUV cuts me off, again.

I don't care.

I've snatched up the bag of chips.

The smell of the still-fresh, salty chips wafts over me. I'll only eat a few, just a handful, just enough to tide me over until dinner. There's half a bag left.

I've been in the car 45 minutes. I deserve them.

I take one, and another, and another. My heart races. These are so good. The phlegm in the back of my throat softens. I calm down.

I don't want to think of this. But I remember teasing Bobby, saying that instead of breakup sex we could have a breakup dinner. "We could go back to our Italian restaurant in Queens," I said, stroking his chest and stomach. "Family-size portions?"

I munch through the chips. That helps. Keeps my mind off the traffic, even though there's not that much traffic for a Saturday night.

Dinner will be fine. I'll be good at dinner. But I know how I'll get through dinner with Marcy. I'll focus on what I'll eat after I'm done with my night out with her. Now that I've broken my diet with the chips, it shouldn't matter. I'll start again on Monday. But tonight, once I'm by myself, I can really eat. I need to be alone to really eat these days.

That's what I told Bobby, something like that, something that made being alone seem like the right thing.

He said he loved seeing me naked. I didn't believe him. I don't believe him. I had long ago hidden my full-length mirror behind the dresser so I wouldn't have to see The Body. Lingerie no longer fit.

Once, Bobby and I shopped at Victoria's Secret together. What was I thinking? The tight-lipped salesgirl suggested we try Lane Bryant. Nothing fit at Lane Bryant either.

The sight of my naked body made me queasy. Naked, it felt like somebody else's arms, thighs, hips, stomach. In my head, my body was still the one I used to have. That body was into bodybuilding for more than 10 years; that one wore a size 10. That was my body. I didn't want him to touch this body, The Body, with its stretch marks, with its loose, rubbery, spreading rolls-- at the same time, I only wanted him to hold me. His arms couldn't wrap around me.

I don't want to think about it!

I love these chips. But I don't want to eat the rest of the bag. What kind of person eats a whole half-bag of chips? There are definitely some chips left in the bag. I could eat them, but I don't.

I lick the salty ranch flavor off my fingers. My lips stretch sore, a nice sore, raw from the salt. I'll put on more lipstick once I get over the bridge. I have my Chanel lip liner, my MAC lipstick. I have plump, perfect lips. I have lips other women pay a hell of a lot of money to have.

I crumble the bag up and stuff it back under the seat. I can't bear to see Marcy's "pity" face if she sees a bag of chips in my car.

It makes me think how Bobby's skin always tasted salty. He liked to use a lot of lotions, and he always smelled good. The last time we had sex, I wouldn't kiss him. I climbed up on the bed, and said, "This is the way we have to do it." I got on my knees; bending them hurt. Everything hung: my breasts, my stomach, even my thighs.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781410407207: Confessions of a Carb Queen: The Lies You Tell Others & the Lies You Tell Yourself: A Memoir (Thorndike Biography)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1410407209 ISBN 13:  9781410407207
Publisher: Thorndike Pr, 2008
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Mega Buzz
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 4.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Best Bates
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 5.18
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 5.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 5.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Mesilla Internet
(Mesilla, NM, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763 New. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 2.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.48
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books 2007-12-26 (2007)
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Ebooksweb COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books 2007-12-26, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. 1st. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 6.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 6.14
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 6.16
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Blech, Susan
Published by Rodale Books
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1594867763. Seller Inventory # Z1594867763ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 6.18
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Susan Blech
Published by Rodale Books (2007)
ISBN 10: 1594867763 ISBN 13: 9781594867767
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Rodale Books, 2007. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1594867763

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book