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Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir Paperback
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Perhaps it’s her experiences as a TV reporter, radio news anchor, and feature writer for a large CBS affiliate’s online news, or the extremity of her situation combined with a credibly honest, authentic personality, that make Joyner’s account of her long battle with weight so intensely readable. Joyner unflinchingly acknowledges moments of self-pity in this account of her obesity and its attendant complications, and displays the humor that likely helped her overcome her food issues and live to tell about it. As her weight rose to 336 pounds, her diabetes and high blood pressure spun out of control. Joyner describes years of difficulties, from breaking toilet seats to struggling to breastfeed during her “very public battle,” and observes that “we wear our failures on our bodies for the world to see.” After enduring diets, binges, and self-disgust, Joyner underwent gastric-bypass surgery. After much pain and many complications, including a partially collapsed lung and crushing expenses, Joyner is finally able to tell a wrenching, encouraging, and remarkable tale of success. --Whitney Scott
"[A] brutally frank voice."
"A no-holds-barred look at what it's really like to be addicted to food. Joyner spares no details in telling the story of how she spent years slowly killing herself. . . "
“[I]n her engaging memoir, [Jennifer Joyner] reveals the incredible toll morbid obesity took on her life. Joyner paid dearly during her sixteen-year battle with food. She tallies the costs in ruined friendships, stalled professional advancement, rocky family relationships, and shattered self-esteem. . . . She gamely explores circumstances in her life accounting for her twisted logic surrounding food and happiness.”
"So much of Jennifer Joyner is big: her heart, her spirit, her wit, her compassion. That's the stuff that really matters, the stuff we should worry about measuring. She's written a book that speaks to women of all sizes, in the voice of a dear and trusted friend. We live in a weight-obsessed and fat phobic world. It's easy to miss what's truly beautiful when all you can see are the numbers on the scale. I loved Jennifer's story. It's a really lovely book - I wish she lived next door!"
--Sheri Lynch, cohost of the Bob & Sheri show, author of Be Happy or I’ll Scream! and Hello, My Name Is Mommy
"A no-holds-barred look at what it's really like to be addicted to food. Joyner spares no details in telling the story of how she spent years slowly killing herself. . . . Her food addiction sent her weight to more than 300 pounds, lost her jobs, and ruined relationships with friends. She also talks about her decision to have gastric bypass surgery―and the resulting complications." ―MarieClaire.com
Top customer reviews
The one thing I didn't like - and in this have to agree with another reviewer - is that the book jumps around a lot. There's no "red thread", so to speak - you get to the end of a section thinking you've finished reading about a particular episode or issue, and it pops up again in a completely unrelated part. I feel that the book would've been far more poignant if the author had stuck to a chronological narrative, which just makes a lot more sense for what is, after all, a memoir.
All in all, I still think that the book is valuable in the message that it sends and the honesty the author brings to the table. I've personally recommended this book to friends and will continue to do so.
That being said, overall I did enjoy this book and would recommend it for people going through the struggle of obesity. Well, only if those people don't have depression triggers.
It's too bad that the narrative's timeline is so incredibly confusing. A lot gets lost in attempting to wrap your head around just where you are in time - is this before or after she gets married? Is this before or after the two kids? Wait, now we're back to one kid? It definitely affected my reading pleasure, if you can work your way through that mess, you might find some interesting "a-ha" moments of your own.