How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head
By Jen Larsen
(Seal Press, Paperback, 9781580054461, 280pp.)
Publication Date: February 2013
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Jen Larsen always thought that if she could only lose some weight, she would be unstoppable. She was convinced that once she found a way to not be fat any more, she would have the perfect existence she’d always dreamed of. When diet after diet failed, she decided to try bariatric surgery, and it worked better than she ever could have dreamed: she lost 180 pounds. As the weight fell away, though, Larsen realized that getting skinny was not the magical cure she thought it would beand suddenly, she wasn’t sure who she was anymore.
Stranger Here is the brutally honest, surprisingly hilarious story of one woman’s journey from one extreme of the weight spectrum to the other, and of the unexpected emotional chaos it created. Insightful and unsparing in her self-examination, Larsen depicts the exhilarating highs and devastating lows she experienced as a result of her weight lossthe incredible joy of finally beginning to look like the image of herself she’s always carried inside her head, and the crushing pain and confusion of feeling like a stranger in her own body after losing the weight that has always defined her.
Jen Larsen is a writer and editor living in Ogden, UT. In 2006, she underwent weight loss surgery and lost almost 200 pounds. Six years later she's still trying to figure out what that means in terms of health and body acceptance, but feels lucky to have experienced the full spectrum of weight and size issues on either end of the scale.
For two years Larsen was the featured blogger at Condé Nast's Elastic Waist. Her columns have also been syndicated on Yahoo!'s Shine Network for Women. She is a contributor to Big Fat Deal, a blog about weight in media and popular culture, and her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, and Emprise Review, and South Loop Review, among other publications. She is obsessed with tattoos as a way to transform your body, and has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco.