I've spend 40 hours driving so far this month -- with about twice that to go.
That's OK. I don't mind. In fact, being on book tour is beyond awesome. I get to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. But the most rewarding experience is meeting people who thank me for writing Gorge. They thank me for being brave to say what they would never tell anyone about their binge eating or compulsive overeating habits.
When I started writing the proposal for Gorge, I thought of it as an adventure story -- a fat person taking on Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, it had been called Big Fat Mountain. After several months of trying to get it right, my agent Kim Perel, called me to say it still seemed flat -- and too, well, light.
I knew this was a tough conversation because I wanted to be done with the project (as most writers do),"While this is an adventure story, how about you try to think of it as an addiction memoir?"
That's when everything changed. I could put everything -- every dark secret, embarrassing moment on the table. That's when my story became Gorge.
At first, this was daunting. But then I realized, my weight, from the number on the scale or my secret eating isn't a secret. This is the pain I carry with me with extra weight.
I wrote Gorge knowing that two-thirds of the United States struggles with food in some way. This is a memoir of the human experience of compulsive overeating -- in the context of an epic Kilimanjaro trek. It didn't matter what I put on the page. Some people would find healing in my words. Others might gain some understanding that the issue of obesity is far more than a matter of eating less and moving more. It is an all consuming condition.
Somehow we need to connect that gap. Hopefully Gorge will be the beginning of that bridge.