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Extended Audio Sample The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet—A Memoir, by Dara-Lynn Weiss Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (355 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dara-Lynn Weiss Narrator: Amanda Tepe Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For readers of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Bringing Up Bebe comes a mother’s unflinching memoir about helping her seven year-old daughter lose weight and the challenges of modern parenting.

When a doctor pronounced Dara-Lynn Weiss’s daughter Bea obese at age seven, the mother of two knew she had to take action. But how could a woman with her own food and body issues—not to mention spotty eating habits—successfully parent a little girl around the issue of obesity?

In this much-anticipated, controversial memoir, Dara-Lynn Weiss chronicles the struggle and journey to get Bea healthy. In describing their process—complete with frustrations, self-recriminations, dark humor, and some surprising strategies—Weiss reveals the hypocrisy inherent in the debates over many cultural hot-button issues: from processed snacks, organic foods, and school lunches to dieting, eating disorders, parenting methods, discipline, and kids’ self-esteem.

Compounding the challenge were eating environments—from school to restaurants to birthday parties—that set Bea up to fail and unwelcome judgments from fellow parents. Childhood obesity, Weiss discovered, is a crucible not just for the child but also for parents. She was criticized as readily for enabling Bea’s condition as she was for enforcing the rigid limits necessary to address it. Never before had Weiss been made to feel so wrong for trying to do the right thing.

The damned if you do/damned if you don’t predicament came into sharp relief when Weiss raised some of these issues in a Vogue article. Critics came out in full force, and Weiss unwittingly found herself at the center of an emotional and highly charged debate on childhood obesity.

A touching and relatable story of loving a child enough to be unpopular, The Heavy will leave readers applauding Weiss’s success, her bravery, and her unconditional love for her daughter.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kelli | 2/17/2014

    " I could hardly put this book down. The Heavy is a memoir about Dara-Lynn Weiss and her struggles to help her overweight daughter Bea loose weight. Kudos to Weiss for taking the initiative to get her daughter to a healthy weight so that health problems caused by obesity are not an issue her whole life. I'm not entirely on board with the methods Weiss used, but I think she really did the best she could with what she felt was right and I don't think at any point Weiss did anything to undermine her daughter's self esteem or motivation. Childhood obesity is such an important issue these days and the statistics indicate that far too many parents are being lax about this issue to the detriment of their own children. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lori | 1/21/2014

    " This book should have remained as it started - a magazine article. There was just not enough there to make a book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Melissa Wentzel | 1/21/2014

    " I think I would have rather read the Vogue article than the book. Weiss seems like a very committed and loving mother, but she is not the greatest writer. The structure was a little too floppy and the writing was not particularly lyrical. I think that a lot of the criticism that Weiss has gotten regarding her strategy for her daughter's weight loss could have been avoided had we known more about Bea other than her weight. I can see that Weiss cares about the other parts of Bea, but she never makes me (as a reader) fall in love with Bea. It is not the fault of a mother. It is a fault of a writer. I applaud her courage for tackling her daughter's weight and for sharing the story with millions. It cannot have been an easy book to write. I'm glad that she was willing to bring the issue front-and-center, and I wish her and Bea much health and happiness. But I'd recommend the article before the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kate | 1/14/2014

    " Take this book for what it is, a memoir, and put your judgements aside. This was the most honest telling of a challenge that many parents face. She raised some great questions, and while I might not have agreed with everything she said (like saying exercise isn't necessary to be healthy) she made some good points. She did what she had to do to pave a healthy eating path for her daughter. Who wouldn't want that? Great read! "

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About the Author

Dara-Lynn Weiss is a freelance writer and producer of Internet, print, and television content. In April 2012, she wrote about helping her daughter lose weight in Vogue’s “Up Front” column. She lives with her husband and two children in New York City.