False in balance: the new book by Selvaggia Lucarelli

False in balance: the new book by Selvaggia Lucarelli

Love for food, not strictly for cooking and stoves, but the result of an atavistic and conflictual hunger because eating a lot and being very thin is the dream of many but the reality of very few sweet tooth.

And the book by Selvaggia Lucarelli seems to face a moral dilemma “from the gut”: eat and enjoy food or think about a weight loss diet and go hungry? What is better?
Being happy with a few extra pounds or being thin but with the refrigerator empty apart from the vegetables, therefore unhappy?

There is no answer for everyone, of course.

Nor does Selvaggia Lucarelli have the ambition to want to give it, but only to tell its story in the book “ Falso in scala ” (Rizzoli).
She does it in an extremely funny way, but she gives us some very interesting food for thought, for example on body image and body positivity, that is, learning to accept your body, regardless of size.

Selvaggia has the courage to say that you would undoubtedly like to be leaner, but that there are moments in life when you have to make peace even with a softer body and that in the end it’s okay.

Who would like to get fit and has tried the most disparate diets in order to get into a smaller size like so many other women: but that, on the other hand, the moments in which she had no interest in food also coincided with the most solitary, unhappy ones .

In short, the new book by Selvaggia Lucarelli, starting from the personal experiences of the author, told smoothly and with great irony, has the advantage of not wanting to condemn neither the desire for thinness because one sees better when thin nor hunger and pleasure of food.

One thing struck me when reading the book. And this is about hunger.


We immediately read that being hungry is a kind of divine curse for the author.
Maybe because I’ve been through it with bulimia, and there really was a time in my life when I thought I was born with a bigger and more monstrous hunger than any people I’ve ever met.
Only then to discover that many people, including the author herself, think this of their hunger.

We fight all our life with this hunger, but if we have a fault, it is not that of giving it up, but of not having understood it enough.

To have tried to contain it, when hunger is actually a symptom.
It is not a curse, it is a condition if anything.

The more we do restrictive diets, the hungrier we will be.
The more we think of food as a gluttony, the hungrier we will be.
If, when we eat, we think about calories, fats, sugars, and how this turns into pounds, we will be hungry.
But if we sleep little for years, we would not think we are strange if we are sleepy during the day.
We must think the same thing for hunger. Hunger is a necessity.

Add that in the collective imagination, women must be less hungry than men.
When in reality, biologically speaking, it is also normal that the opposite is true. Yet we are led to think that women should eat like a bird. Let it be indecent to devour the same amount of food as your knight at a gallant dinner.
Or tell him after dinner: dessert is for me. And bad too.


Generally, hunger is not like many believe, wanting to fill up your stomach.
Or it is not explained why we feel the need to eat even with a full stomach.

Hunger can be the answer to many things: someone who is hypothyroid, for example, is hungrier than someone with a good thyroid. The reason? The body is unable to absorb nutrients from food well in the intestine, often it does not digest them due to a lack of hydrochloric acid (hypochlorhydria).
Other examples? Industrial foods ( here ), daily stress, endocrine disruptors ( here ). Three things that affect our hunger.

I’ll give you yet another example. Do you know that in your hunger, especially if you seem to have been born like this, very hungry, the weaning phase, the conditions of birth, the conditions of pregnancy of your mothers have a lot to do with it?
Babies who are weaned too quickly, with meals less frequent than their needs, turn into starving adults as we read here . Same thing for those born in an environment where food is already seen as a problem.

I as many of you know I was a fat girl. Not plump. Fat. Fat is not a derogatory term: it is the opposite of lean.

I started gaining weight at nine, and at eleven I was over 30 pounds overweight.
My mother blamed me for those pounds. She was taking me to the doctors already giving her version of her facts.
It took me 30 years to realize that no, it wasn’t food that made me fat, but a hormonal imbalance. At home we didn’t have snacks or chips, ice cream, creams. There were no fast food outlets and schools did not have snack machines.

I had skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, lost hair, and had a period when I was barely ten years old. But, perhaps because there was little talk of hormones at the time, perhaps because my mother got off to a flying start with the story that I ate who knows what, no doctor seemed to care.

In the chapter “You should lose some weight” of Lucarelli’s book, we read a significant interference of adults in the life and body of a child. And the awareness of this little girl that she seems to think: I have to lose weight.

Therefore, knowing ourselves, beyond the slogans, and our environment, our history, is the best way to understand our hunger.

Selvaggia Lucarelli’s book can be a very useful starting point to understand that we are not alone in the eternal struggle for the balance.
But then let’s take the next leap. That is, let’s try to really know our body and its needs

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