November 5, 2010 at 8:21 am
A few weeks ago I had lunch with Jennifer Joyner, author of the recently released Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir. It turns out she lives in Fayetteville and I live in Chapel Hill, which means we’re only ninety-something miles apart, or 1 hour and 36 minutes according to Google Maps.
We had a good chat about the publishing industry, weight, and incompetent medical workers. (While I related to many of the fat-girl experiences she writes about in the book, it was her encounter with bumbling Nurse Bob before surgery that really hit home for me. He must be the same guy who assisted with a CT scan I had last year that I’m amazed didn’t turn me into a mutant superhero.)
Joyner’s book is a memoir about her life as a food addict. After years of morbid obesity, encroaching health problems like gestational diabetes, and lack of success with other weight-loss options, she decides to go through with gastric bypass surgery. This comes with its own complications and leads to a battle with dependence on painkillers [...]
September 13, 2010 at 8:00 am
The title of this book made me wary at first, but I decided to give it a chance because I’d heard a segment on This American Life with the author a few years ago that I liked about the topic of his last book, Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions. Thankfully, what I got was a light-hearted, self-deprecating, weight-loss memoir written from the male perspective, which is certainly the under-represented gender in weight-loss tales.
Ed Ugel’s weight problem becomes an issue when he gains 43 pounds in a year due to depression brought on by various life problems. After his wife complains of his loud snoring, he’s diagnosed with sleep apnea. His weight-loss is largely motivated by the desire to be rid of the CPAP machine that helps him breathe through the night, but is so uncomfortable and odd-looking that it frightens his daughter.
We follow Ed as he slowly eases into his new routines, loses weight over the holidays, suffers relapses and binges, pretends to order for two in [...]
October 15, 2009 at 9:05 am
I was driving to Cleveland in the dark and I’d had a headache for half of Ohio, when Elna Baker came on my MP3 player. I had downloaded podcasts of The Moth, a storytelling show based in New York, and the latest episode featured the comedian/writer/Mormon recounting a family trip to Cyprus (which you can listen to here). My second reaction was, “Man, my family vacations only occurred at lame places (like Gettysburg,which is as interesting as you think a field would be) or predictable places, like Ocean City (love the salt water taffy). Why didn’t I get to go to Cyprus?” This was my second reaction because my first reaction was laughter, which helped me get through the rest of Ohio.
Later, I looked up information on Elna Baker and realized I’d heard her before, on This American Life where she told another funny, yet disturbing story, about selling dolls at FAO Schwarz. So, when I saw that she had a memoir coming out this October 15th called The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween [...]