Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: Ink in Water

My internet friend/body positive fitness hero Lacy Davis and her partner Kett have a new book out! Ink in Water: An Illustrated Memoir (Or, How I Kicked Anorexia’s Ass and Embraced Body Positivity) is a graphic novel about Lacy's battle with an eating disorder (written by Lacy, drawn by Kett), and it's just about the best thing ever.

I started following Lacy back when she was co-host of the now-defunct Rise & Resist podcast, and I was just so drawn to her badassery. She was this strong, tough, creative, thoughtful, and well-spoken lady who was all about feminism and veganism. She lifted weights, which sounded WAY COOL to this runner who'd never picked up anything heavier than a five-pound free weight at the gym. I immediately loved her! And then, through the podcast, I learned about her struggles with ED, and it made me love her even more.

I've never had an eating disorder, per se. But like just about every lady on the planet, I've struggled with body image. I remember some times in college when I'd skip meals (and occasionally pop diet pills) to try and shed a few pounds (that I totally couldn't afford to lose, by the way). I basically spent my entire youth dieting and tracking. And honestly, I still track food and — real talk — I probably over-exercise. But through following Lacy's journey, I've learned to be more comfortable with my shape and any extra pounds that appear on the scale. I've gained a little weight since my last marathon, and my favorite pair of jeans no longer fit. In the past, that would have STRESSED ME OUT and sent me into a juice "cleanse" or some other (probably orthorexic) whole foods diet. But I don't even care! And I really think Lacy's influence has helped me to get to that comfortable place.

Anyway, enough about me! Let's talk about Lacy's book. I didn't even think I'd really be into a graphic novel, but I LOVE Kett's drawings so much! It's awesome seeing these little hand-drawn snapshots illustrating Lacy's entire ED story — from its start after a terrible break-up in her 20s to her current-day life with Kett. As Lacy will tell you, she hasn't beaten her ED. She still has struggles from time to time, but weightlifting literally saved her life. She learned, through lifting, that getting big was not a bad thing. It's okay to be big! It's okay to TAKE UP SPACE.

Whether you've experienced an all-out ED or have just struggled with body image at some point in your life, this book is such an affirming force. It's so nice to know that someone else been there and made it out okay (and even stronger than ever!).

These days, you can find Lacy on her new(ish) podcast Flex Your Heart, in which she interviews feminists, entrepreneurs, artists, witches, and other awesome folks. I'm a proud Patreon supporter of that podcast, and I'm thinking about donating very soon to her other podcast — Adult Crash — with Kett. On Adult Crash, Lacy and Kett discuss their lives as grown-up, over-the-hill punk rockers. As a punk kid who is now in her late 30s, I can totally relate!

Also, Lacy is now the co-owner of Liberation Barbell, a body positive, queer-friendly, feminist weightlifting gym in Portland. I still haven't gotten into lifting super-heavy things yet, but I hope to some day — maybe when my marathon training schedule calms down. But when I get to Portland again, I'm definitely popping in for a class!


Jennifer Bliss said...

I just might have to look into this one! Thanks for the info!

vegan peace said...

I need to check out this book. I definitely struggled with an eating disorder and body image. I will also check out the podcasts.

lacy davis said...

awww, thanks so much, Bianca! said...

I love Lacy, she's such an inspiration and I always recommend her podcasts to anyone with an interest in veganism or fitness. I can't wait to get my own copy of Ink in Water when I stop travelling.

Jennifer said...

I love Lacy, and I wanted to pick up this book but I am on a tight budget. Your post encouraged me to look for the book at my library, which they don't have it. BUT THE TOWN NEXT TO ME DOES! That is so exciting, and it looks like it is checked out! Anyways, I put an interlibrary loan request so I will just have to wait for a copy.