The author first conceived the title of this book about 30 years ago, when she became convinced that her obesity had a purpose, and that understanding the emotional issues driving her tendency towards fatness would be necessary for healing. To that end, she studied her own behavior for many years, keeping notes of the factors involved in her overeating and obesity as she discovered them. At age 60, when 370 pounds threatened her life, she received the medical intervention called Gastric Bypass Surgery. She believed that as she lost weight she would relive her original childhood suffering, during which she began to use images of food and fat to defend against feelings of isolation. Therefore, she would need to find new strategies for dealing effectively with old challenges. To accomplish this goal, she kept a journal during the weight loss, recording her experiences, including the resurgent memories of unresolved grief. The author hopes that her story might help other people similarly identify their own faulty learning, including the tendency to addiction, especially emotionally based over-eating.
Readers can use the author’s method of discovery for their own growth and recovery. It includes defining what she believed to be her problem, proceeding with a workable program for weight loss, remembering the traumatic events alongside the gifts of her childhood, recording her emotional reactions to change and progress, finding new responses to old deprivations, searching for important truths about herself, and making new decisions for her future. Additionally, the book follows a format that includes questions for groups of people who wish to share their own emotional struggles with defensive fatness. As such, it will be a valuable resource for people using surgery to assist them in the weight loss process.