After she loses 180 pounds from weight-loss surgery, Larsen lives happier ever after. As she says in her epilogue, written more than five years after the procedure, she never regrets going under the knife. Still, she doesn’t see it as a panacea: “Being skinnier is far, far easier in this world than being fat, and being skinny does not solve all your problems.” She describes how she changes inside and out, even though she hardly becomes the poster girl for healthy living. Before her surgery, Larsen stops at the convenience store to get two 20-ounce liters of diet Pepsi, two king-size Kit Kats, and a pack of menthol cigarettes. Afterward, she does buy a bike, but she also keeps smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Throughout her honest memoir, she bravely shares her emotions about being fat and unhappy, which should help slim readers feel empathetic and remind those who are overweight that they are not alone. --Karen Springen
Honest, brave and sparklingly funny, Larsen’s memoir reminds us that one size doesn’tand shouldn’tfit all.”
"For all the noise our culture makes about fat and thin and health and perfect bodies, Jen Larsen's voice rises above the clamor, disarming and funny but unflinching, too. Combining stark honesty with generosity of spirit, this story of loss and recovery is like no other."
Wendy McClure, columnist for BUST Magazine and author of The Wilder Life
"An arresting memoir about the author's experience with weightloss surgery.
Larsen initially lied to her mother about the nature of her surgery and didn’t tell her the truth until well after the procedure. She admits that her librarian coworkers 'probably knew more than I did' about the risks and potential complications, and she spread the first payment across three credit cards. When a doctor reprimanded her for gaining, rather than losing, weight before the surgery date, Larsen asked, 'If I don't lose the weight, can you still operate?' She smoked and drank heavily. After her painful recovery, she 'ate whatever I could fit inside me, and suffered for it, and lost weight anyway.' In the hands of a lesser writer, all of these facts could lead readers to feel judgment or disgust. Instead, Larsen's honesty and insight make for a searing account of precisely what it feels like to be fat and to have complicated relationships with food, family and friends. We understand exactly why one would look to surgery as a solution to not only excess weight, but also fear, loneliness and unhappiness. Larsen eventually lost the weight, and she also moved on from her deadend job and her bad relationship. But though her life is measurably better, she still reels from the shock that selfacceptance did not come automatically: 'You lose weight without having to develop selfawareness, selfcontrol, a sense of self. In fact, you go ahead and you lose your sense of self.'
Raw vulnerability and rigorous emotional honesty make this weightloss memoir compelling and memorable." Kirkus Reviews