Area native pens book about struggles with obesity

OWOSSO — Nearly 40 percent of American adults are obese, and Jon Stanton is one of them.

“I was already wearing adult-sized clothes in third grade,” he said.

The former Carland and Ovid resident has written a book about what it’s like to grow up and live as a fat man. Stanton will be discussing and signing books from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Books & Beans, 108 N. Washington St.

“FAT: A Life Unfiltered” is a portrayal into the life of the obese, but with an emphasis on more humorous experiences of being overweight.

“When you’re more than 100 pounds overweight for most of your life, funny things happen to you that don’t happen to thin people or even people who are just slightly overweight,” Stanton said in a press release. “It also affects your worldview, the decisions you make, how you form relationships — almost everything about your life is impacted in some way.”

Stanton said he wanted to keep most of the book humorous because laughter opens people’s hearts, allowing them to feel the pain and shame the extremely obese experience without being overwhelmed.

“I took time to discuss what goes on in our heads,” he said. “Nearly everyone I know who is as big as I am struggles with low self-esteem and negative self-talk, as well as denial. I couldn’t leave those things out of the narrative.”

Stanton has been as heavy as 430 pounds and as light as 200 pounds, within just a couple years of each other. From 2007-09, he lost 230 pounds through eating better and exercising regularly, and he kept the weight off for over three years.

He completed two half-marathons, a century ride (100 miles in one day) on his bike and appeared on NBC’s “Today” and the “700 Club” to tell his success story to others who struggle with weight.

He also won the Governor’s Fitness Award from former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

“Those were some of the best years of my life,” he said. “I met and married my wife. I was riding my bike 3,000 miles annually and felt great. But old demons are hard to keep at bay forever and, unfortunately, I eventually gained back more than 100 of those pounds.”

That, Stanton said, is why he wrote the book.

“Battling weight all the time, especially in our food-saturated culture, is exhausting. I want to encourage people who have struggled, let them know they aren’t alone, and try to help people who have never struggled understand we aren’t just lazy, unmotivated creatures with no willpower.”

Many of the book’s stories took place in Shiawassee and Clinton counties, so area residents will recognize some of the names and places. Stanton was also a featured speaker at K&G Wellness in Owosso from 2010-12.

Find out more about his journey with weight at hopefortheheavy.com.

For more information about the event, visit tinyurl.com/stanton-owosso or facebook.com/owossobooks.

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