Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater / by Frank Bruni

For Frank Bruni, eating has always been a labor of love. Food has been his best friend and at times his worst enemy. The product of second generation Italian Americans for whom food was a no nonsense affair, Bruni never had the chance to miss any meals much less pass on any of his family's delicious culinary delights. So it's little surprise that the lighthearted journalist's lifelong love affair with food has led to a chronic weight problem and, subsequently, a perpetual struggle against obesity. And it has been a struggle. All throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood Bruni has been ever-conscious of his weight as a detractor to his self-esteem and well-being. "I wore pants with a waist size two to three inches greater than his, and I sometimes had to be taken to the husky section of boys’ departments to find them. Husky: I knew that wasn’t a good thing, a flattering thing. Other kids made sure of that." (p. 37).
Bruni has fought anorexia and bulimia, has had many an episode with binge eating and subsequent purging, has gone through every fad diet imaginable, abused laxatives and diet pills, devoted countless hours of his life to exercise and starved himself relentlessly. Nothing seemed to work, until he finally found a way to both accept his condition as, well, round and uniquely modify it to his lifestyle. A former political correspondent during the Bush/Gore election, Bruni parlayed his journalistic skills into a gig with the New York Times where he combined his love of eating and culinary expertise into a position as a food critic. It was the right fit. Bruni found "closure" about his obsessive eating and issues with weight control, resolving to live within himself and as himselrf n effect, his obsession with food was the very thing that ultimately liberated him. Bruni is as honest as he is accurate about his own neverending struggle with weight gain and eating, chronicling his issues ever since early, early childhood, his rising weight all through his pre-teen years whereupon it shaped his identity, essentially the backbone of his conscious. Many, many readers can identify with Bruni and his style is easy to catch on to in this above average memoir. (FIC BRUNI)

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