It’s been a long time since I read a book that I couldn’t put down, well, that wasn’t a cookbook. The last one was Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee.
Just last Friday I received my copy of It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell. I finally ordered it on Amazon and I read more than half of it that first night and finished the book the next day. I love reading memoirs. Something so pure, honest and vulnerable about them. And when you can relate to the author, in all her pain and tears because you were a fat kid too. It’s unexplainable.
My parents (separately, before they had even met) moved to the United States, my father for graduate school and my mother moved here to work as a nurse. They met in Chicago through mutual friends and were married soon after . . . my mom got pregnant right away with my brother and my dad had to find a career that would support a family. He had graduated from East Texas State University with a masters degree in journalism but had to find something that would pay the bills and support a family. I don’t know how but my father opened up a small Korean grocery store that would grow, after a few failed attempts at other businesses, into a larger, more successful business and then he started opening up Korean and Japanese restaurants in Dallas, Texas. Somewhere along the way, my mother gave up her career in nursing to help my dad and his businesses. My parents worked all day long and the only times I remember being together, as a family, when we were little was on Sundays at church and when we were eating together. Every meal was a feast. My father loved to eat. And we learned to always clean our plates and we always ate well.
Because my parents were working all the time, my brother, sister and I were latch-key kids. When we were little, we did have a live-in nanny who took care of us (her speciality was Kraft macaroni and cheese which I think she made three times a week) but when we were old enough and didn’t really need someone watching us, she retired. We walked home from school (2 miles?), let ourselves in the house and turned on the TV. We had each other, my siblings and I, which was nice, and I had my tub of creamy peanut butter. I seriously would grab the container and a spoon and go to town as soon as I got home from school. That, or I would make myself a HUGE sandwich and eat it. Sometimes, I wasn’t even hungry. I just did it because it was my routine when I got home from school.
Needless to say, I was fat. I was over weight, probably 20 lbs more than my recommended weight. I was made fun of at school. Kenny McClain, the class clown and jokester, always made a point to make fun of me during recess. I hated him. He was a mean kid.
He made up this phrase that he would chant to me, screaming. . “Alice the palace that lives in Dallas.” It rhymed. He thought it was brilliant. He called me a “palace.” He would chant that, other kids would join in and laugh at me. The other one was, and he would say this in a sing-songy kinda voice .. “Alice Lee! Please don’t sit on me!!!” He did a good job of making me feel worthless and miserable. All the time. I already knew I was fat. And hated myself for it. All of this during elementary school does not help a kid’s self esteem.
My eyes got a little watery writing this post. Some wounds are deep. Even years later. Shit, kids can be mean. It’s terrible. You guys, can we teach our children to use kind words? to be nice? to stick up for kids? to befriend the friend-less?
I think I heard that Kenny either grew up to be a criminal and went to jail or he moved to California and became a professional video game player. I’d like to think the first. Whatever.
It wasn’t until middle school, I think, where I dieted and started to lose weight. I think I just got to a point where enough was enough and food couldn’t be my comfort anymore. I was seriously on some kind of diet all of my adolescent years. I joke that this is why I am only a little over 5 feet tall. Because during the years where I should have been growing, I was dieting and depriving myself of essential vitamins and nutrients. Every diet out there. I tried it. And my parents were always very supportive and helped me when I was ready to try to lose the weight. I remember the diet I was trying . . it required you to drink 6 or 7 glasses of water before every meal and then you could eat a light dinner. My mom had heard about this from a friend or read it somewhere. . The water was supposed to make you feel full but that didn’t work on me. I just chugged those 7 glasses of water, ate my dinner and was still hungry. There were many nights I went to bed hungry but I guess it kinda paid off.
Because then, something crazy happened.
In high school, I made the drill team and slimmed down to what would be my thinnest weight ever. Compared to the other girls who were stick skinny, I was still maybe 10 to 15 lbs. heavier but not necessarily fat.
Throughout college, I still struggled with my weight. On the plus side, I did not gain the freshmen 15 that everyone tends to gain when they enter college and go crazy at the dorms just eating anything and everything with no parental supervision. And I exercised. Something I never really did as a kid. But I was still chubby for my 5′ 2″ frame at 130 lbs.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college, moved to San Francisco that I would finally feel comfortable in my own skin. . and actually like myself. A bad break-up, and some events at home caused me to move back to Dallas for the summer and then to Los Angeles. But before I left SF, I ran my first half marathon and was probably in the best shape ever. This was in 2001. Running saved me. It was my therapy. I loved it and still run today.
My weight would fluctuate here and there, but from that year on (2001), I have always exercised on a regular basis, watched what I ate (to some degree) and have managed to stay at a consistent weight (110 lbs.) since I got married back in 2006. Yes, even after having two kids, I am still the same weight as when I got married. I’m pretty proud of this but have worked my butt off to stay this way. There were days where I would eat 3 slices of pizza in one sitting which might not sound like a lot but it was. But I have learned portion control and exercise. This is what has worked for me.
I’m a woman and will always be self conscious. I will probably always wake up in the morning and weigh myself. I will always wish my thighs were smaller.
But now, I am a mother. I have two impressionable young, sweet girls. I want them to believe in themselves, know that they are loved and love their bodies, at any size.
It Was Me All Along brought back so many memories and tears and I loved this book so much. In Andie’s introduction, she bakes a cake similar to this one for her 20th birthday party and . . eats the entire thing, well, all but one slice, herself.
This book is moving, poignant and a must read for anyone who has ever struggled with weight issues. Get it. Buy it. Read it. It’s inspiring, thought provoking and will make you really look deeply at yourself. I loved reading this book and will probably read it again next week. I also loved Andie’s relationship with her mother. This is probably why Andie is the woman she is today. Mothers, man. They are everything.
Life is not about looking perfect or being skinny . . but living life and appreciating as much as possible. Loving yourself, people and being loved.
And eating cake! For the love of God, eat the cake! Maybe not the entire thing but you know what I mean. I love you guys.
And Kenny McClain, if you somehow read this post, I forgive you. I forgive you for all the tears and torment. And well, if you are in jail, what goes around comes around, yo.
Andie’s cake is better . . but this one is pretty darn close. She adds something that I absolutely love when I bake chocolate cakes. You need to buy the book to get her recipe.
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder not Dutch process
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 sticks 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup whipped cream cheese
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
For the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or spray two 9-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper on the bottom of each cake pan.
- Using a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, water, and vanilla.
- Using your stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in batches alternating with the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until the batter is blended well.
- Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake the cakes in middle of oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on racks for about 10 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the melted (but cooled) chocolate, vanilla and the confectioners sugar (1/2 to one cup at a time) and beat until combined well.
- Place one cake on cake stand or plate and frost the top. Place second cake on top and frost the top and sides completely. I just used an offset spatula. Slice and enjoy!
Recipe from epicurious.com
Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says
This post brought tears to my eyes and then a smile to my face. The wounds are deep and they never go away. Looks like I have a book to read at the lake in a couple weeks. Thanks for sharing your story with us and umm, this chocolate cake which looks outrageous.
Thank you so much, Julianne. yes, you have to read this book. . !!! The wounds and hurtful words made me stronger and a fighter and a hard worker. thanks so much for taking the time to read my post! Means the world to me!
Melissa | Bits of Umami says
This book sounds like such a terrific read for any young person. They should seriously make kids read books like this as a requirement before entering middle school. It’s terrible how mean kids can be. The bullies always seem to have a special skill in finding the things you feel most self conscious about and tunneling in on it. Ahhh makes me so sad to think about!
Anyways – on another note this cake is so simple and beautiful. I’ve never baked a cake from scratch before (what kind of food blogger am I!?) Haha. You make this seem very easy to do! Yum 🙂
Melissa, unfortunately bullies will always be around. . probably a reality but hoping the “good kids” outweigh the bullies . . and if you’re a chocolate lover, you need to bake this cake!!!! it’s not hard . . at all!!! Just bake that first one and you’ll be set! Thank you so much for reading. . means so much to me!
Alice, I have so much more to say than what goes in a comment field. The essence is, you are not alone. As your 5’2″ baking blogger friend who also weighs 110 lbs. after years of body image drama and being bullied (all the Kenny McClains of the world can just go f off for all the trauma they inflicted on us forever), I can say that your post really spoke to me. And now I wish I could say more, but I feel you, soul sister.
And cake. That speaks to me, too. Another reason we may be twins!
Mir, you are making me cry and smile 🙂 so glad we met through our blogs! 🙂 thank you so much for this comment. . means the world to me and I now I know you so much more, sister.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen says
Oh man. I am feeling all the feelings with this post, Alice. It’s beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. And I can so relate with everything that you said here. I try hard to “love myself”, but man is it hard somedays. Too much self scrutiny and yes, I can still remember how awful the kids were to me in school. Gotta push past that stuff! I just adore Andie and everything about her. And I adore this cake too. Cheers, friend! I’m glad we have each other! XO
Liz, yes, gotta push past all that stuff. I wanted to quote Meghan Trainor in my post but will do it here for YOU: “I’m here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top. Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size. She says, boys like a little more booty to hold at night. Word up yo. Love you, sister!!! Virtual hugs all around!!!! (and thank you for reading, Liz!)
Megan - The Emotional Baker says
I appreciate your honesty, Alice. I also have struggled with weight issues and find myself on and off the “wagon” all the time! Kids are mean, but I like to think the teasing made me a little tougher 😉 On to this cake, it’s gorgeous and everyone could use a slice 🙂
Megan, the teasing made me stronger and more emotional, all at the same time. I’m strong but I can also cry at the drop of a dime. . ok, well, maybe not THAT emotional but am definitely in touch with my feelings. 🙂 stay strong, sister!!! thank you so much for reading! it means so much!!!
Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living says
What a beautiful heartfelt post Alice. It is so unfortunate that in our society there is so much pressure on girls and women to be beautiful and the “right” weight. You’re a wonderful Mom so I know having experienced first hand what it’s like, your girls will be strong and confident in themselves no matter what their physical appearance is. After all, we all know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Jeanette, yes, AMEN sister. There’s so much pressure out there for boys and girls and not with just appearance and weight. . but I think as long as the foundation is strong at home and kids are loved and supported, that’s all we can do! Thank you so much for reading!
Kim @ The Celebration Shoppe says
I’m going to have to read this book! And the cake looks yum. Love the simplicity and you can never go wrong with sour cream. 😉
Kim, I really hope you do check out the book. . it’s a great and heartfelt story!
I was a chubby kid also and went through a lot of ups and downs (from overeating to pretty intense anorexia) and I really think that in the end, blogging is what saved me and my relationship with food! And, you know…running helps. 🙂
This cake is a BEAUTY! All that chocolate = the good stuff.
Joanne, I wanna give you a big hug right now. I had no idea. . thank you for sharing and I love that your blog saved you and your relationship with food. Your blog is beautiful and so inspiring and I love all of your recipes. Chubby kids unite! And we can kick some ass now. love you!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
This is such a beautiful post, Alice! My heart goes out to you! That is amazing that you finally were able to get a hold of the things that were important. Weight is such a struggle, so I definitely know how you feel. But onto happier thoughts, this cake looks amazing!
Thanks so much, Gayle!!! For always reading and supporting my blog. It means so much, thank you!!!
David @ Spiced says
What an incredible post, Alice. It is truly amazing how mean kids can be. I wonder where that comes from. I mean, truthfully, those mean people are still out there…but as adults, we can choose who we want to spend time around. (Unless they are in-laws, but that’s a story for another time…) As kids, you’re kinda stuck with your classmates. This post is amazing, and I give you a *virtual high five* for jumping in there and sharing this story. Plus, this cake looks delicious!
Thank you so much, David!!! I’ll take that *virtual high five*! Thanks for reading, it means so much!!!
This is such a beautiful and heartfelt post, Alice. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It makes me so sad how mean kids can be. You are gorgeous and I love the amazing example that you are setting for your beautiful girls. Love this gorgeous cake too! <3 !
Thank you so much, Kelly. . for your friendship and support, always!!!
Sarah | Broma Bakery says
First off, I want to punch Kenny in the face. Second, this is the PRETTIEST cake. I love it in its simplicity. Third, you’re the second person to recommend It Was Me All Along. I have to read it! Fourth, it’s absolutely amazing how you opened up in this post. It’s raw and impressionable. You are beautiful, and a wonderful mother to teach her kids that they are no matter what, too. XO!
thank you so much, Sarah!!! get the book!!! 🙂
Allie | Baking a Moment says
Alice- this post is so touching and real! You made me tear up a bit. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. It breaks my heart to think how miserable that horrible boy made you feel. I can so relate because I was definitely bullied as a child too. But you’ve triumphed over all of that and now you are helping others in such a wonderful and inspiring way. I love that you have come to this discovery: “Life is not about looking perfect or being skinny . . but living life and appreciating as much as possible. Loving yourself, people and being loved,” and as a woman I will always be self-conscious too, but I think I am at the same point. Here’s to moving on, doing better, teaching our children, and enjoying every precious moment!
Thank you so much, Allie!!! your friendship and support means the world to me!!! love you!!!!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) says
Seriously I think Kenny is the worst person on the planet and here is me hoping his ass is in prison right now. Now on to you. Alice, you are one of the most courageous and beautiful humans I know. Your heart is what makes you so incredible, and I am just so in awe of you right now and how strong you are. You have never let the pain of your past change the beauty of who you are, and I am so glad I can call you a friend. You have come a long way, and you have even more of a wonderful journey ahead. I honor you my sister.
LOL! i love you, J!!!! awh, you’re going to make me cry. . I honor YOU, sister. thank you so much for this. love you always, J-boo!
Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says
This post hits hard for me because I can relate SO much. Sure, some kids at school made fun of my weight, but I think the worst was when adults would did so as well. I remember attending my nephew’s birthday party 8 or 9 years ago, and one of the kids came up to me and said, “Why are you so fat?” I was a bit taken aback not only because a 5-year old child was asking me that, but it was quite clear that he picked up these things from his parents and the adults around him. I can’t agree with you more that we need to set a good example to our kids because they pick up on these things so quickly, and they have no clue how much words like that can hurt people. Thank you so much for sharing your story, book rec, and recipe for this gorgeous cake!
Lisa, thank you so much for sharing .. sometimes the words that come out of children’s mouths are so innocent and pure. I hate that they also learn the negative stuff from adults. I’m sorry you had to experience that pain and hurtful words. From what I have read so far and by all your yoga, it seems you are in a great, healthy place now mentally and physically. Here’s to all the adults and parents and teaching our children to use words of kindness. Thank you for your friendship and support!!!
This post is so beautifully written, Alice. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can relate with everything you said. I was teased for having scrawny legs. The term “bird legs” got thrown around quite a bit in middle school. And with all the media and tabloids painting pictures of perfectly shaped men and women, it’s hard to not scrutinize ourselves. Real hard, but we have to keep moving forward. This cake looks like a real problem solver. I mean chocolate can fix anything, right?
Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes.com says
This post made me sad yet so happy at the same time. Struggling with weight at any age is difficult but dealing with it as a child leaves a lasting impression. My mother had a very twisted way of dealing with food and overexercising (she still does ironmans to this day!) which caused me to always be worried about my weight (even when I wasn’t overweight). Now with kids, like you said, it’s so important to allow them to be comfortable with their bodies no matter what. Your two girls are so lucky to have you as a role model, and as a fantastic baker who makes them incredible looking chocolate cake!
Thank you Vanessa. . but you bring up a great point! I can be a bit excessive with the running and exercising (this is something I am working on) and don’t want my kids to see this and think they have to do this or this is “normal”. . thank you for reminding me of this!!! and thank you so much for reading and for the comment!!!
What a beautiful post. Thank you for reminding us about the importance of loving ourselves. As people, as woman, I think that we get so wrapped up around our weight, our appearance. I am glad I was lucky and wasn’t so conscious of this growing up but after I had my child and gradually put on more weight, it became more of an “issue”. I think we can all use the reminder that it’s about loving life, loving ourselves, and being happy. I remind myself that it’s not about being skinny but about being happy and all that it involves to make me feel that way. And I agree – eat the cake! : ) Definitely eat the chocolate cake in the full spirit of love and pure enjoyment. Thank again for this.
ALICE! This post was absolutely incredible, eye-opening–and I can only imagine how difficult it was to share, but I’m infinitely glad you did. Body image is such a crazy struggle, whether it’s something you’ve confronted all your life or only in the latter part of it. I’m incredibly sorry that you had to endure what you did, but you’re such a strong and beautiful woman as a result of everything that led up to this moment, for better or for worse. Thank you thank you thank you for making these things heard. I had my own spell of self-doubt in college, and things spiraled nearly out of control from there–even now, I feel like things will never go back to the way they were before. But you’re completely right, I love that you can use your two girls as inspiration to work hard and keep things in perspective. <3 you're a wonderful lady, Alice, and don't forget it!
Oh Alice what a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing this with us. I think I will have to buy this book and read it. Sounds very inspiring. I must confess I had the opposite relationship with weight growing up. It wasn’t until I moved to the US ten years ago that I realized that cultural contexts of weight differ so much in the world. At home, I was incredibly skinny growing up. Like really could not gain weight and it was a disgrace to my family..signs of poverty, malnutrition, etc and my mom tried so hard to fatten me up. I was not allowed to get off the dinner table until I’ve had twice as much food as my sister and this was hard. I’ve always been a light eater. being heavier and curvier was considered beautiful and I was not that. Heck, I was even told I’ll never find a husband that would want my sticks. Fast forward years later I moved to the US for college and was a size 0 and everyone complimented me on being so beautiful and skinny. Completely confusing. I still cannot let myself lose weight below a size 8 because I am not comfortable in anything smaller. Anyway…it’s just fascinating our relationships with our bodies and I agree with you, the most important message for your girls is loving their bodies.
Z, thank you so much for sharing this. Wow! it’s so interesting how cultures can be so different!!! The Korean culture is similar to the American one, in that: fat does not equal pretty. Skinny = pretty and acceptable. and it’s crazy now in Korea and over the years, plastic surgery there is crazy .. and young girls all wanting to look the same and be skinny. . it’s incredibly sad if you think about it. But we just gotta do what we can and my focus is my girls. thank you for sharing, Z! I love you, my boo!
Thanks for sharing your story alice, it is so touching! Height is definitely a struggle, I can relate to it for sure. It is important that you’ve overcome all this and now you are helping and inspiring other people! Love it!
The cake looks perfect, pinned!
Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates says
Alice you made ME teary eyed. This post was so real and had so much vulnerability. We need more of that these days. We all scroll through our Instagram feeds and flip through our magazines to see everyone being seemingly and effortlessly perfect. But the truth of the matter is things really aren’t always the way they seem. We all have insecurities and sometimes it just helps to know you aren’t the only one.
I am glad you are happy in your own skin because you are truly beautiful and I love this little space on the internet that you have created!
And as for Kenny, I can only imagine the awful life he must have had to be acting that way. It’s too bad.
I guess we should get to the chocolate cake. It looks amazing! I may have been drooling over it on instagram yesterday 😉
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
This was such a beautiful post Alice. Thank you for sharing it. Being teased as a kid can really stick with you. But so amazing that you are the same weight as you were when you got married! Not many women can say that. This cake looks amazing!
Amy | Club Narwhal says
Alice, thank you SO much for sharing your story! I am bowled over by your outlook and how you have challenged yourself to raise your girls with such positive self images. Also–that Kenny–I could throttle him right about now! Like most women, I’ve had my share of body image problems and I am so thankful that I had positive female AND male role models in my life who have taught me to value things like inner strength, intellect, empathy, and kindness as well as the precious gift that is my body. Having those counterpoints in my life have helped me to appreciate my health and shape (no matter how it morphs over time). And you are so right–life is about loving ourselves and others (and sometimes, cake :). PS: I have loved Andie’s blog forever and am so excited to read her book.
Peggy Gilbey McMackin says
Sensational Post Alice, so touching, and inspiring.
Alice, what a revealing, thought provoking post. I’m glad your parents we supportive and I know your girls will have a good body image with you as their mentor. I know what a terrific mother you are. My heart aches for the pain inflicted on you from those childhood bullies. It’s sad that this behavior is still so prevalent across the country. I hope stories like yours and Andie’s can help make a change. xoxo
Kathleen | HapaNom says
Such a touching post, Alice. Thank you for baring your heart to all of us. Growing up is so difficult – trying to fit in, feeling so unsure of yourself and the world around you… you couldn’t pay me enough to be a kid again. But it sounds like you’ve done an incredible job overcoming obstacles and raising two lovely girls. Looks like you can really have your cake and eat it too 😉
Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch says
I admire YOU for being strong enough to write this and share your story – and your triumph! You are an inspiration to so many – especially your sweet daughters!
The cake is beautiful and I am sure it is so delish!
Jolena @TheRubyKitchen says
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Weight had always been a struggle for me and I vividly remember emotionally eating at four years old. As an adult it took years for me to accept myself and each day I struggle to remember not to bully myself. Beautiful post.
We all have a Kenny in our past, but better yet, we all have an inner Alice. Hugs. What a beautiful post.
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says
Just reading your post immediately brought back all of those powerful emotions I felt when reading Andie’s book. So much of her story felt like I was reading my own life on paperback. I’m so sorry that you also had a rough childhood as an overweight little girl. I commend you for opening up here – so many of us can relate! You are amazing!
Alexandra robertson says
This was so personal and even though we have never met I feel instantly closer. I have never in my life been fat due to a fast metabolism I suppose. However, I had a Kenny in my life too…. This guy called me a Korean cow in elementary school and I can still feel the sting in my eyes just thinking about how cruel kids were and still can be. Now as a mom I want my child to be sensitive and aware how much words can impact people. I have and still struggle with body weight issues and will definitely be reading this booK. I have heard such great things about it. Thanks for sharing your story and a yummy cake recipe.
Alexandra, thank you so much for this comment!!!! I realized all the Kennys in the world are the ones who are probably hurting the most. Does not make what they do ok but I understand now that a lot of bullies bully other kids because they have issues themselves. . and well, maybe some are just plain mean. . thank you so much for sharing. . I have been so moved and emotional today reading everyone’s comments and am sending YOU a big hug. . where ever you are. And yes! let’s teach our kids to love and use words for kindness. if you buy the book, please let me know what you think!
Sandy K says
So proud of you and all you’ve become! Kids were mean to us all! Going through all that has made you the person you are. You’re going to be there for your girls. Love you girl!!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked says
Thank you for this beautiful, eloquent, honest and personal post, Alice! You’ve spoken to me about your weight issues before. Fuck the Kennys of the world – unfortunately, there are a lot of them out there who are very vocal and feel that they are entitled to comment on other people’s bodies. You are beautiful inside and out. And you are an incredible role model to P & M. Hell, you’re an incredible role model to me! And I’m so grateful to call you a friend. I’m constantly putting my body down and feeling disgusting but I know that a lot of it is all in my head. I’m buying into North American standards of beauty which equals tall + thin. I can only do my best and accept my body as is. I love you, lady!
Aw…thanks for sharing your story, Alice! That must have taken a whole lot of courage and strength to reflect on your life and put it in writing for everyone to read. *HUGS* Wish I could eat that cake right now!
Jessica @ Sweetest Menu says
I really enjoyed reading this post Alice! It was so fascinating and I have heard such raving reviews about this book, I think I need to read it. Your chocolate cake looks wonderful too.
Thank you so much, Jessica!! I hope you do check out the book!!
Ashley | The Recipe Rebel says
Alice this is such a beautifully written post! I got a little emotional just reading it. I was never overweight as a kid, but I was bullied constantly for a few years in middle school, and it was the most horrible thing. Now I’m struggling to lose the baby weight and I’m always exercising when my 3 year old is around. I worry that she’ll grow up feeling unhappy with her body if that’s what she sees or hears from me, so I try to make sure that those are not the things she hears. Girl, you’re making me teary! Definitely need to get this book!
Ashley, awh thank you so much!!!! I hate the bullies!!!!Don’t worry about your 3 year old. . explain to her what you are trying to be healthy. . but yeah I hear you. . I have to catch myself all the time too. My kids see me exercising all the time and I don’t want them to be self conscious. this is a great reminder, for us as mothers, to be watchful of what we say (and do) in front of our children!!! big hug to you, Ashley!
Aw hon, thanks for sharing. It’s good to feel like I know you a little more. I was never overweight but I was bullied in grade school because my parents got divorced when I was 10 and I spent a lot of time crying. From that moment on, I was labeled a crybaby and the kids were so mean to me. So I do get that part of it. Now my son is experiencing a little bullying and it brings back many hurtful memories. He and I talk about it a lot! I am proud of you.
Carolyn, it breaks my heart that kids get bullied at such a young age. . if they were older, maybe more secure in themselves, it wouldn’t hurt as much but it’s usually in grade (elementary school) and I hate this! I love that he is talking to you about it. Kids can be so mean and as I have been working through things after writing this post, I’ve come to realize the bullies need love the most. Well, after a big slap in the face!!! I really want more people to raise their kids to stick up for other kids . . thank you so much for sharing!!!! I will be thinking about your son. . and hoping he only comes out of this stronger. Thank you so much for the comment, Carolyn!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout says
What an awesome post. I feel like learning more about the blogger behind the recipes is so powerful. I have been struck by how many of my favorite bloggers have had complicated relationships with food, and it’s inspiring to see you and other overcome those and become happier and healthier people 🙂 This cake looks lovely! Pinning 🙂
Thanks so much, Medha!!!! your support means the world to me!
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
I just put this book on hold at the library. Wise and heartfelt post, Alice. Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing it. It means the world to so many people to know they are not alone.
Dorothy!!! Thank you SO much! As I have been telling everyone, writing this post was good for me. . releasing and sharing feelings. . and my only hope is that we, as women, love ourselves and raise our children to be loving individuals, accepting of all kinds of people, no matter what their size.
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
Alice, thank you for sharing this story. I think so many women have this in their past (and present). And I am off to buy that book…but not before I pin this amazing cake. <3
Thank you so much, Dorothy! I have been so touched by everyone’s comments. . I love this community we have amongst bloggers! Thank you so much for the support! It means so much coming from you!
Melanie | Melanie Makes says
I adore you and this amazingly heartfelt post. I’d eat cake with you any day of the week.
Melanie, I’d love to eat cake with you too! Thank you so much! all the comments have been so sweet and encouraging! I really appreciate you!!!
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen says
So many details of our lives are not visible, not even through our personalities sometimes. I know you will always make the best of it and teach your daughters about kindness and self-acceptance. But I wish you hadn’t gone through any of it. But then again, don’t we all go through tough times that leave a deep, dark hole in our souls? I admire you for posting something so personal. It will help someone else too. Have a good week my darling friend!
Thank you so much, Paula. . it means so much! yes, some rough spots are good for you. . makes you stronger!
Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven says
Oh my gosh, Alice! I am SO proud of you for having the courage to write this post! You seriously touched me in so many places because I can definitely relate to a lot of this same stuff. People can be so cruel and that definitely hurts a person. I’m going to have to find that book asap!
And about this cake? Umm drooling here! It looks so dang awesome! Perfect for a birthday party or just anytime when you need a chocolate fix. 😉
Thank you so much, Sarah!!! Writing this post, even though this happened YEARS ago, was very therapeutic for me. Thanks so much for the support, always!
Maria|Pink Patisserie says
Oh, Alice.. Such a lovely post and so much truth here. I too was a chubby kid, had a Kenny and still struggle with finding the right balance in my life. I think this book looks like an absolute must read. Thank you for being so honest and real. 🙂
Alyssa (EverydayMaven) says
Wow Alice. This is one of the best, most honest and raw posts I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for having the courage to share this story because I know that you are going to positively impact someone out there.
On another note, your girls are so damn lucky to have you as their mom and biggest influence. And, that bully Kenny – karma will take care of him. Hopefully, he has learned about kindness and how to treat others by now.
This is such a beautiful post Alice. I read it yesterday, pinned the cake but forgot to comment so here I am again. Thank you for sharing your story with us, such incidents leave such a lasting impact (I hate Kenny urgh) . You post really touched me and I am so proud of you! It takes courage to share your secrets. Lots of love to you! and the cake is obviously gorgeous, chocolate is always my favorite!
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
Kids are so mean and it really does have lasting effects. You are such an inspiration for sharing your story! And I love that you always make me laugh even when I want to cry over the pain that was caused. What goes around comes around is right 😉 I am amazed that you still weigh the same as you did when you got married. That is really hard work but you are amazing! Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for sharing this delicious chocolate cake!
Serena|Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch says
My eyes are all teared up! I hate that some kids are so mean. I remember going through it and it’s been extremely difficult for our daughter. I’m so glad you came out of it a wiser, stronger woman! I can’t wait to make this cake and read the book.
Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
Ugh kids can be so mean! I can still remember being bullied by some older girls in elementary school. For some reason, it’s fresh in my memory! This cake looks amazing…so moist, so chocolatey…just perfect!
Yeah, that book was a great read. Andie is such an inspiration! And you too, Alice! Thank you for sharing your story. Kids are so mean.
Kudos to you for baking the cake! I read the book on my way to Europe, and totally forgot to try the recipe. Now I’ll have to ASAP!
Annie @ ciaochowbambina says
Alice, it takes a lot of courage to reveal the parts of ourselves that make us feel the most vulnerable. I applaud your strength. All I kept thinking while reading this is what lucky little girls your daughters are to have a mama who could use her pain for ‘good’. You have risen above the negativity that too often brings people down. Brava to you my friend. Thank you for sharing.
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan says
Oh Alice, I just read this and want to send you BIG hugs right now! I just finished Andie’s book and her struggles were something that I am just now realizing I’ve always struggled with. I also had some awkward years growing up (who didn’t?!) and felt really terrible about my weight. Changing my view on my body and how it’s fueled has helped a lot, but I feel like almost everyone is always kind of struggling with a bit of body image, especially in this ‘social media age’. I’m going to find Kenny and give him a swirlie, because he deserves it, dang it! Love and hugs to you friend! xoxo
Heather - Butter & Burlap says
I’m so sad for your struggle, but at the same time I love a comeback story. You prevailed! Forget Kenny-what’s-his-face, people that treat you like that only do that because of THEIR insecurities. As Dr. Seuss taught me, “you are you, that is truer than true, no one can ever be youer than you”. So be YOU girl! And eat all the cakes 🙂
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I just couldn’t stop reading. I have big calves and I’m always self conscious about them that I haven’t worn skirts at all since my school uniform days were over. I’m sorry that you had to put up with the meanie Kenny. Kids have sensitive and pure heart and it’s so sad that a part of it is disturbed by those mean kids. Your post was very powerful and made me realized that we as a parent need to teach our children to be kind to others. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It moved me so much. Hugs xoxo
Nami!!!! Thank you for sharing and commenting here!! I had shoved all those feelings way back in my brain and got past it all and they all came back to me (in a good way b/c I got to write this post) as I was reading this book. . anyway, I’ve been so touched reading all of the comments and hearing stories like yours. . yes, YES! We need to teach our children to be kind and stick up for and help those kids that get picked on! Hugs to you too, Nami!!!
Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says
I love a good sour cream cake. It sounds strange but adds such a nice moisture to the cake! I definitely would like a piece of this!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
First of all, this cake is stunning (what’s not to love about chocolate?!). Second, I have to say this post brought tears to my eyes. I was heavier than I wanted to be all through high school, and hated myself for it (isn’t it amazing how cruel we can be to ourselves?!). I lost the weight after college and have kept it off for five years with diet and exercise, like you. But I feel like I still have to work on it every day and have this fear in the back of my mind of going back to where I was. I so admire you sharing, what a brave post! xo
Thank you so much, Laura!! This post ended up being so great for me to write because of all the comments from you guys. . so many relating to my story . . thank you for sharing your story and I think we’ll keep working at it everyday but just as a life style. . it’s ok to gain a few lbs here and there as long as we stay healthy mentally and physically, you know? You’re right! We need to love and be easier on ourselves.
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Oh Alice. Thank you for sharing your story and being so vulnerable. I’m so sorry for the cruelty you experienced as a child. I’ll never understand the way some children (and adults) can just be downright mean. I always feel like they have terrible things going on inside themselves.
You are a true inspiration. I’m so glad to know you (virtually anyway) – you add smiles to my life!!
And your chocolate cake looks just perfect. A perfect nod to finding balance in life! xoxo
Thank you so much, Marissa!!! Glad to know you too!!! Thank you for the support and encouragement and friendship!!! and yes, the bullies are probably the ones who are the most lost and need love.
Alice, I got goosebumps reading this. I’ve been on the round side all my life. While I was fortunate enough not to be bullied (my heart goes out to you), I have been DUMPED for being too pudgy and believe me, that ripped my soul to shreds. I lost 15kg out of sheer depression and when I finally pulled myself out of it, the happy weight came piling back on. I’m pretty fit but still on the round side, but I’m healthy and more importantly HAPPY.
I’m so glad you pulled through and as horrible as it was, it made you a stronger person. You’re gorgeous, no matter what size. Being healthy and a great role model for your girls is what matters. 🙂
Nagi, thank you so much!!! I love that you are healthy and happy! and yes, that is all that matters!!!! the crap that I went through made me stronger! 😛 thank you so much for the support and yes, i just need to focus on being a role model for my girls!!!
Sarah @ Savoring Spoon says
Alice, thank you for sharing your story! It’s very moving, and speaks a lot about your perseverance and insight. People who make fun of others are the worst, and elementary school can be a very cruel place sometimes. Your story is an inspiration to live happy and healthy. I’m sure you make a remarkable role model to your daughters, and they are so fortunate to have a mom like you.
Sarah @ Savoring Spoon says
And of course, this cake looks delicious! The cream cheese frosting, covering the sour cream cake, sounds like something from a dream. It must be so soft and silky.
Alice, the story of personal experience which runs deep is the most compelling to read. Thank you for sharing yours so that anyone who is subject to cruel insensitivity may have hope to rise above. Brilliant, heartfelt post!
Jo Page says
DO NOT PRINT DIRECTLY FROM BLOG. I just stopped my printer after the 21st PAGE to get a one page recipe! I have no idea how many more pages it would have wasted.
21 pages?! of comments? Did you select the print icon from the recipe card? Checking this out now. So sorry about that!
Hi again! yes, if you print directly from the blog, you are basically printing the entire post with all of the comments. . Hit the “print recipe card” button on the recipe card and it will just print the recipe! Sorry again!
I love it ! I LOVE IT! Very much!
Texture and flavour it’s just SO RIGHT!
I must THANK YOU!! I would hug you so hard !
Hooray!!! Thank you, Mae!
Hi, I’m making a unicorn birthday cake and I was wondering if this cake could be divided into 3 six inch pans instead? In the comments on your other chocolate cake recipe you said this one was more stable for tiers.
Hi Reem, yes, I think so . . but with any cake for a birthday party, I would certainly TEST beforehand. Hope that helps!