Author Jennifer Weiner Admits Gastric Bypass Surgery, Talks Weight Loss Struggle

September 23, 2016

Jennifer Weiner is opening up about her weight loss struggle and why she chose to undergo gastric bypass surgery. The bestselling author speaks candidly about efforts in a new memoir.

Jennifer Weiner

The 46-year-old author is known for such New York Times bestselling novels as ‘Good in Bed’ and ‘Who Do You Love.’ Her 2002 novel ‘In Her Shoes’ went on to become a movie, of the same title, costarring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine.

Her latest book is a collection of essays, ‘Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing.’ It’s getting rave reviews from the likes of Publishers Weekly and Book List. And it turns out that the titular hunger is literal as well as metaphorical People magazine reveals that she reached a turning point back in 2006 as she faced many pressures including raising her three-year-old child.

Jennifer Weiner says ““I didn’t have an off switch.” Elaborating, she added, “I was probably on the cusp of not being able to buy the plus-est of the plus size clothes. Every time I went on a plane, I was terrified that this was going to be the time that the seat belt wouldn’t buckle.”

It was ten years ago, in 2006 that she underwent the gastric bypass surgery. As for her highest weight, she’s not entirely certain. As she explains it, “I stopped looking at the scales when the first number hit 3.” She went on to estimate that “it was around 300 pounds.”

As the before and after photos (below) attest — one from 2005 and the other from 2012 — she’s lost a remarkable amount of weight. But until now, her weight loss surgery was a secret. She reveals why she’s going public with it now and says, “I really went back and forth because I know there are some people who are going to feel betrayed and think that ‘I thought she was a champion for larger women and she went and did this.’ ”

She went on to say, “But I wanted to be honest about it and I wanted to say for me, it wasn’t a choice I made to get thin. That was not going to be a possibility.”

She details some of the depths of her agony and the extreme measures it led her to take. She says, “I had been at such a war with the body I had all through my twenties. I spent the whole decade on a diet and even did things that weren’t safe, like being part of a trial for a drug that was eventually yanked off the market.”

Weiner also opened up about her early — and quite relatable — longings to be thin. Citing the iconic George Michael Freedom video with the reigning supermodels of the 1990s — Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington — she says,”That was the body I always wanted as a teenager, it was long and lean but with breasts. I just felt like I looked like squashed beer can next to them.”

Yes, that has been the challenge for many women of all ages, coming to grips with these standards of beauty that, frankly can only be achieved thanks to a combination of genetics and Photoshop. For anyone feeling those pressures, Jennifer Weiner’s story offers much encouragement.

She says she’s no longer striving to achieve that unrealistic standard. And says of undergoing the surgery, “I wanted to take ownership of myself and I wanted to take care of myself at size 16.:

Continuing, she goes on to say, “And if I could have this surgery and be a size 16 again, I could stop dieting, and exercise and be mentally healthy….It was about getting the body I was meant to have. And making peace with it.”

You can see more interview excerpts here as Jennifer Weiner opens up about her weight loss surgery. The new book ‘Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing’ is due out on October 11.

(Click twice to enlarge)

Pictures: (Top and left) Rachel Kramer Bussel via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0) (cropped); (Right) PR Photos

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