cover image Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir

Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir

Jennifer Joyner, Globe Pequot/Skirt!, $16.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-7627-5962-0

According to Joyner, a former TV reporter and radio host, American society doesn't take food addiction seriously, and in her engaging memoir, she reveals the incredible toll morbid obesity took on her life. Joyner paid dearly during her 16-year battle with food. She tallies the costs in ruined friendships, stalled professional advancement, rocky family relationships, and shattered self-esteem. ("Temptation would take over my will, and I would find myself eating, and I couldn't stop. I consciously knew that my actions were going to cause my death, and yet I couldn't force myself to abstain.") Finally, reaching 336 pounds, and her health in serious jeopardy, Joyner opts for gastric bypass surgery. The procedure resulted in serious postoperative complications; still it proved to be a turning point in her life. Joyner wrote the narrative as part of a healing process, no matter how humiliating. She gamely explores circumstances in her life accounting for her twisted logic surrounding food and happiness. She also explains that she hopes "that someone hanging on the edge like I was will read this and feel hopeful." (Sept.)