Food and Loathing Reading Group Guide
1. In Food and Loathing,
Betsy Lerner copes with her fear of rejection by compromising her integrity with hopes that others will befriend her, like her, or not subject her to verbal abuse. "I was funny, I was generous, I was reliable...I was becoming your standard-issue fat friend." How does that coping mechanism prevent her from learning how to define her boundaries? Recall moments when she finds herself mute or succumbs to peer pressure out of fear of rejection. How does that coping mechanism undermine her ability to gain control over her eating disorder?
2. When visiting Dr. Mizner, Betsy felt as though Bob the Doorman should remember her. Betsy says, "it irritated me beyond reason that he refused to recognize me." What was Dr. Mizner's interpretation of why Betsy was so frustrated by Bob's lack of recognition? Why do you think Betsy felt so strongly about her interactions with Bob the Doorman?
3. Betsy found it difficult to hide her depression from her mother. She says, "She knew from the first syllable I muttered over the phone whether I was up or down." What is it about Betsy's relationship with her mother that makes it difficult for her to be of help to Betsy? What kind of mother does Betsy seem to desire?"
4. Throughout the book she continuously creates metaphors that compare her body to food. "I imagined myself a piece of meat at the butcher's, ready to be weighed and wrapped u