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In Leaving Large: The Stories of a Food Addict Michelle Petties gives us the story about a Black woman's struggle against obesity we have been waiting for. Honed by courage and wisdom gained from learning how to care for her whole self and not just her appetite. Leaving Large is an inspiration to anyone who wants to understand why we eat, and why we sometimes eat too much. Because Black women are in the midst of an obesity crisis with four out of five Black women being obese Leaving Large is the book for this moment. The reader meets an ambitious, creative Black woman who gives everything she has to anything she does in her quest for health. Struggling to overcome yo-yo dieting, learning how to eat healthy, going into therapy to uncover emotional issues that explain the overeating. Whatever it took, Michelle was willing to do it. Her forty-year odyssey is one we travel with her, rooting for her all the way. Her memories of meals, food, family, and the complicated role of food in Black culture will resonate with anyone who has attended a funeral repast, a family reunion or Thanksgiving dinner. Food is love. But too much food is illness, and sometimes death. That's the destiny Michelle saved herself from. Told with honesty, humor and insight, this is a story about food that illustrates how much food gives us, means and defines us. This is a food story about health. A food story about the weight of loss and grief and anger and how Michelle shed much more than pounds to create a happy ending. 

Marita Golden

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