It was for Edward Ugel anyway. His new book I’m with Fatty: Losing Fifty Pounds in Fifty Miserable Weeks releases tomorrow, Tuesday, August 24. It’s the comical, self-deprecating look at his need to lose 50 pounds, after getting a CPAP for his sleep apnea, in order to literally save his life, and as he says, “so his wife could see his face when she refused to have sex with him.”
He weighed 263 pounds when he got started, or rather, Ugel likes the lighter way 119 kilograms sounds. Instead of looking at the daunting task of losing 50 pounds in 50 weeks (just inside of a year), he decided to focus on losing 2.28 ounces each day. It’s a good lesson for others seeking weight loss – don’t look at the mountain in front of you, look at the small part that you can actually obtain in this moment.
Watch our video interview with Edward as he discusses the task of educating his young daughters about a healthy body image, the polarizing nature of weight in the U.S., a man’s perspective on weight loss, and how he was petrified to write the book.
Ugel says the turning point wasn’t an unsightly photo from a family vacation, something that typically prompts a person’s recognition of their weight, but instead it was his wife recording him while he slept, and hearing the “deafeningly horrible” sound of his snoring, which prompted him to have to start sleeping with the CPAP machine. He’s not preoccupied with his appearance, but rather more importantly his life, and being around for his roles of father, husband and even a foodie.
In the book’s opener, Ugel says “Over the past four or five years, I’ve become a doughy, antisocial, anxiety-riddled, gray-haired monster.” He goes on to say that at 36 his appearance is much older than it should be, reconciling that that is one of obesity’s side effects. He calls his journey The Fatty Project, and in the book he recounts his life-long love affair with food and how that complicated relationship has fueled his obesity and caused heartache in other aspects of his life. Most notably, he takes on male body image and the male psyche – areas that are so rarely discussed in public by men. But he does so with an inviting sense of humor that makes his story all the more real to male and female readers alike. Obesity doesn’t discriminate by gender, and while a male perspective, I’m with Fatty draws parallels for both sexes.
The engaging, humorous, light read is worthwhile if you identify with any of Ugel’s traits, or you enjoy a well-done human interest piece. You’ll hear how he took his timid first steps into a Weight Watchers meeting, learned to balance an obsession with Chinese food and smoked Italian meats and discovered the motivating power of combining healthy living with sex!
August 23rd, 2010