T-Shirt Swim Club: Stories from Being Fat in a World of Thin People (Hardcover)

T-Shirt Swim Club: Stories from Being Fat in a World of Thin People By Ian Karmel, Alisa Karmel, PsyD Cover Image
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Comedian Ian Karmel, with help from his sister, Dr. Alisa Karmel, opens up about the daily humiliations of being fat and why it’s so hard to talk about something so visible.

“As charming and funny as it is poignant and thoughtful.”—Roxane Gay, author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Ian Karmel has weighed eight pounds and he has weighed 420 pounds and right now he’s almost exactly in between the two, but this book is not a weight-loss book. It’s about being a fat person in a skinny world. It’s about gym class and football practice, about chicken wings and juice cleanses, about airplane seats and roller coasters, about fat jokes and Jabba the Hutt, about crying in the Big and Tall section and the joys of being a sneakerhead, about prediabetes and gout, and about realizing that you actually don’t want to eat yourself to death and hoping it’s not too late.

This book also includes a “What Now?” section from Ian’s sister, Alisa, who herself cycled through so many fad diets that she eventually pursued a master’s in nutrition and a doctorate in psychology with the goal of changing the contemporary narrative around fatness.

Ian and Alisa Karmel grew up fat. As kids, they never talked about it. They were too busy fighting over the last SnackWell’s Devil’s Food cookie. Now, decades later, having both turned into fat adults who eventually figured out how to get their health under control, they are finally ready to unpack the impact that their weight has had on them.

For them, the T-Shirt Swim Club is meant to be a place of support for anyone who struggles with weight issues. A place of care and candor, free of shame. A place to not deny or avoid the emotions you feel, the experiences you go through, the embarrassment, the anger, the resentment. T-Shirt Swim Club is about being a fat person and how the world treats fat people—but also an acknowledgment that maybe it doesn’t always have to feel quite so lonely.

About the Author

Ian Karmel is an Emmy-winning comedian, television writer, podcaster, newspaper columnist, and television personality. He was the co-head writer of The Late Late Show with James Corden and has worked on Chelsea Lately, the Grammys, the Tonys, and Who Is America? with Sacha Baron Cohen.

Alisa Karmel holds a doctorate in psychology and two masters, one of clinical psychology the other of and nutrition. She provides counseling for weight-centric concerns including issues related to fatness, obesity, and being overweight, such as body acceptance; health behavior improvement; and depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mood disorders.

Praise For…

“Ian Karmel is truly an inspirational person. He took his life and his weight by the scruff of the neck and refused to back down in his quest to get healthier. He also got funnier when he got slimmer; this never happens. I love him and I love this book.”—James Corden

“Ian Karmel is funny and his sister is smart. Together they create a work that is both of those things and so much more.”—Seth Meyers

T-Shirt Swim Club is as charming and funny as it is poignant and thoughtful. Ian Karmel writes about life as a fat boy who grows into a fat man and eventually figures out a better way to live in his body. The stories Karmel shares are heartbreakingly relatable. And Karmel’s sister Alisa, a psychologist, gracefully speaks to the emotional realities of making this world so inhospitable to fat people and how we can better embrace people whatever their size and wherever they are in their journey to have a healthy relationship with their body.”—Roxane Gay, author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

“A lot of people are funny. And a lot of people are warm. And a lot of people are insightful. But Ian Karmel, in his lovely book here, somehow manages to be all three of those things at once, fully and completely, across every single page. It’s wonderful.”—Shea Serrano, author of Hip-Hop (and Other Things)
The T-Shirt Swim Club is a must-read for everyone, regardless of whether they are a member or not. I recommend this book for parents, teachers, those who work with children, and anyone who used to be a child. Ian’s description of his toxic relationship with his body is vulnerable, real, and painful. Dr. Alisa Karmel offers important, research-backed advice about how to navigate a world filled with weight-stigma and diet culture from the perspective of someone who truly understands the pain that accompanies Ian’s journey. I cannot possibly recommend this book more.”—Jennifer Harriger, PhD, professor of psychology, Seaver College, Pepperdine University

“Hilarious, heartbreaking and harrowing, T-Shirt Swim Club is a vulnerable, angry, beautifully crafted window into an experience so specific and isolating, all while making it feel imminently universal. We have not all been fat but everyone is trapped in their own skin and this book shines a light on the keyhole that turns to set us free. Fat kids everywhere are so lucky to have a book like this to read. Also it pairs well with pastrami.”—Moshe Kasher, comedian, Emmy winner and bestselling author of Kasher in the Rye and Subculture Vulture

“The Karmels serve up a comic and philosophical exploration suffused with hard-won wisdom and charming wit. . . . The book could have easily turned into a clumsy plea for sympathy or a bad-tempered rant, but Ian and Alisa tell their interlocking stories with grace and humor. Ultimately, the book is about resilience and growth; for this reason, it has something to say to everyone.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593580929
ISBN-10: 0593580923
Publisher: Rodale Books
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English

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