Fortresses to Build and to Destroy

How I Recovered from Fatness and Rebuilt my Life

by Alexis Morgan



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 11/30/2005

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 388
ISBN : 9781420886542

About the Book

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.


About the Author

The author spent the first twenty years of her life in the Pacific Northwest, followed by more than twenty years in Texas with her husband and family.  For the last 15 years she has resided in Arkansas, where she provides psychotherapy services to individuals, married couples and families.  She has had problems with both eating and fatness all of her life, including illnesses and physical limitations caused by obesity.  She has maintained her ideal weight for a total of 4 years throughout her lifetime, including a happy period when she was age 34.  During the weight gain that followed, she became determined to write about the emotional causes of her weight problems.  Thus at age 60, she had been immobile and housebound for approximately 10 years, as the scales topped off at 370 pounds.  In order to save her life, physically and spiritually, she received Gastric Bypass Surgery, which enabled her to lose 170 pounds, providing hope for renewed living.  As the weight decreased, she simultaneously recorded her experiences with frustration, change and emotional healing.  The record now comprises a workbook that can be used by individuals or groups of people hoping to understand what their fatness meant to them, why it was necessary, and what they must do to heal from the childhood pain driving this perpetual source detriment and disability.  The author is a person of faith, who has used her understanding of Christian teachings, first to survive a difficult childhood, subsequently to endure obesity-induced challenges and privations, and finally to seek, find and enjoy a path towards healing.  The author has kept her name anonymous, for the sake of the loved ones who have been part of her lifetime struggle for health and wholeness.