Once a bodybuilder (now a motivational speaker), Blech had ballooned to 468 pounds by the time she checked herself into a Durham, N.C. weight loss clinic. In this painfully honest memoir, Blech recounts her shameful spiral into obesity, her life as a social outcast and the difficult road back to a healthy weight. Though funny and consistently entertaining, Blech pulls no punches regarding life with ""The Body,"" from clothing and ordering food in front of people to sex and fire department-assisted elevator extraction. Descriptions of eating binges border on the pornographic (""I'm in that sultry, full, near comotose state, surrounded by the smell of grease, salt, fish, meat...""), arguably more so than descriptions of phone sex. After a dose of reality, Blech enrolls at age 39 in the Durham-based Rice Clinic. What follows isn't a ringing endorsement but rather a frank account of the discipline she-and, she argues, anyone who wants to overcome obesity-had to cultivate to reach her goal. The obese and their loved ones will gain practical advice, as well as a large measure of insight, from this intense, bravura memoir.