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One man's humorous and heartfelt journey through his year-long attempt to regain his health and change his life.
Where does one draw the line between being a lifelong foodie and a food addict? Edward Ugel is 36 years old and weighs 263 pounds, or as he likes to think about it: 119 kilograms. I'm with Fatty chronicles Ugel's attempt to follow doctor's orders and lose fifty pounds or risk dropping dead while standing in line at Popeyes. It details the complex love triangle between himself, his wife, and all the crispy, braised, barbecued, and sautéed goodies that he's been feeding himself ever since he could say the words "to go."
Ugel sets off on his yearlong journey to figure out how to live in a world without dim sum, smoked Italian meats, and the pleasure of cooking whatever and however he wants. He spends his days torn between two worlds: nutritionists and personal trainers versus pancetta and Häagen-Dazs. It's a war of attrition-each side has its share of victories and utter failures.
Lovers of narrative nonfiction will relish this contagiously readable book that looks back at Ugel's complicated history with food, obesity, and the ruinous effects this lifelong relationship has had on him. Filled with humor, ultimately this is a book about the private hell of being fat in America and about the fragile male psyche and the seldom-discussed issue of male body image.
I'm with Fatty is a funny, candid, raw, and personal story of weight loss from the male perspective. It is a narcissistic battle of wills between the author who loves food more than oxygen and the man who knows that his very life depends on the success of his "Fatty Project."
I'm with Fatty takes the reader along on a difficult, frustrating, embarrassing, and inspiring journey, one that is the last great hope of a man desperate to save his own life-or at least own a pair of pants that fits.
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Edward Ugel is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions (Collins, 2007). He is a resident blogger for The Huffington Post, and a contributing writer for The New York Times and Washingtonian Magazine.From Publishers Weekly:
Ugel (Money for Nothing), freelance writer and Huffington Post blogger, opens his newest memoir with an evocative and eye-grabbing lead sentence ("I'm haunted by mirrors") as he allows us to follow the fat as it melts. He begins with his Bethesda, Md., family life, explaining how he became a freelance writer after he was fired in 2006. Snoring and sleep apnea sent him off to the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, where he learned he had to drop from 263 pounds to 213, which he saw as a monumental challenge: "Starting a real diet after so many years of eating anything I wanted was akin to turning around a cruise ship." Ugel's task becomes clear as he documents battles lost at lunchtime, candy binges and secret eating: "Every bite tasted like failure." As he visits a health club, gets a trainer, plays racquetball, starts a food journal, does daily workouts, and meets with a nutritionist, the pounds vanish. Recalling embarrassments, triumphs, and defeats, Ugel shares intimate moments of his struggle. After much denial and shame, confronting emotional and psychological issues while fighting his "inner demons," he eventually was stepping on the scales with a Rocky-like determination. When he details the delights of food, one can get hungry just turning the pages.
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