The problem with Tommy Tomlinson's inspiring new book, "The Elephant in the Room: a Greasy Man to Be Smaller in Growing America," is that reading will make you hungry. He is an ardent scholar of the fame of the southern folk cuisine: fried chicken, biscuits, barbecue, catfish baked in flour and bacon fat, and "a tea so sweet that it can hold its shape without a glass."
"good food, created everywhere, than the food of the American South," he writes. "There has never been food to make you fat."
South eating eat laborers. Nourishing calories, meals, baptized in butter and other cooking fats, are designed for burning outdoors. Tomlinson is a writer. Most often he sits on the desk and, between paragraphs, swallows cubes of cheese.
A few years ago he reached 460 pounds. Meetings of weight watchers will not hold him. He was going to turn the chairs into matches. The size of his shirt was XXXXXXL, or 6X in a clothing store jargon. He is the greatest person, he writes, that most people who knew him have ever met.
Tomlinson would probably be just a M.B.G. – Little Big Man – if he did not have a taste for fast food. He writes extremely well about the lust for fat and salt.
If you've ever been in a fast-food parking lot, you're waving things out of a big hot bag and praying for an inadequate judgment of your behavior, know this: Tomlinson
"In those days when the severity of solitude is trying to press me , fast food serves as a small bridge to the other side, "he writes. He will sit in his car and look at people. "At least, I say to myself, I have been among the people for a while." Food "a little pushes the pain along the way."
He leads us through excellence, among other things, doubling cheese with Wendy: "The part I really like is on the edge where meat and cheese and bread melt in the pure mind. owner who has lost a lot of weight. "I was not the coq au vin," Goldberg said. Nor Tomlinson. Among his fetishes were Krispy Kreme's donuts, peanut M & Ms cups, doggie dogs, Hardee's cinnamon biscuits, and Chips Ahoy's sleeves.
Tomlinson did not grow up with money. His parents make a minimum wage at a seafood processing plant. He is observable for chain restaurants and working-class life. "It's easy to look down on fast food," he writes. "But it's a cheap night outside the house, and when you're poor, that's very important." Tommy Tomlinson Jeff Kravota
Tomlinson was for many years a reporter and columnist of The Charlotte Observer, where he was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 2005 for comment. Since then he has been written for many other publications, often for sports.
The "Elephant in the Room" works on two slopes. In the first, Tomlinson tells us, in real-time, the year he tried to lose weight.
He bought a fitness tracer. He continued what he called the Three-Stage Diet: "1. Find a way to measure the calories you consume and drink. 2. Find a way to measure the calories you burn. 3. Make sure every day number one is less than number two. "It starts to work for him.
The second song of this book is an influential memoir. "While I was old enough to know something," he wrote, "I was fat." He tells many stories about being selected and left.
We follow it through high school and college and journalism. In many ways there is a very good life: many friends, a job he loves, a woman he loves. But he ponders over the heavy things that have prevented him. "(19659005)" When I was a child, I never climbed a tree or learned to swim. When I was 20, I never took a girl from the bar. I am now 50 and I never went to a mountain, did not ride a skateboard or did a wagon. "
He decided to lose weight after realizing that he was digging his grave with his own incisors. "Boys like us do not reach 60," he writes. He has serious health problems and is afraid that his life will "stop as the needle rises from the record." He wants to grow up with his wife.
He has no arguments with fat defenders. But he writes, "I'll just talk about myself. I do not want the world to expand to make room for me. This is not good for me and it is not good for the world. I have to adjust. "
He adds," I must not be that big. Maybe other people are. Not me. "
Tomlinson refuses to praise film critic Roger Ebert, not only because he was" a fat man who was thriving on television through the power of his talent. " , because "he writes about great ideas for a mass audience." Tomlinson's prose does something like that. His clean and witty sentences, his cleverness, and his middle-class sensitivity made me long for the sort of ordinary colonist I often read in the 1980s and 1990s, but hardly anymore. it is not for everyone. Like Rick Bragg, he can sometimes look like a southern boy with a little more syrup in it. If the tears and frequent use of the word "mom" put your teeth on the edge, it may begin to resemble in your mind a pre-moistened towel.
As for me, I loved this book. From the moment he came into the door, I found myself reading. As with the White Castle burgers, I hated to get to the end.