Reviews for Never Goin' Back : Winning the Weight-Loss Battle for Good

Booklist Reviews 2012 December #1
He once topped the scales at a dangerously unhealthy 340 pounds. Now down to a svelte 190, TV weatherman, actor, and author Roker shares the decisions and denial, steps and sidesteps, traps and tradeoffs that caused his weight to balloon to the ranks of the morbidly obese. Diets came and went, as did marriages, career opportunities, and enough wardrobe replacements to clothe an entire village, yet Roker found himself unable to commit to a weight-loss program that worked. In this searingly honest and genuinely relatable account, Roker chronicles how childhood eating habits morphed into lifelong obsessions with candy and cheeseburgers, and he reveals how early humiliations made the comfort to be found in food that much more enticing. A promise to his dying father to get and stay healthy motivated Roker to undergo gastric bypass surgery and eventually discover the nutrition and exercise programs that have helped him maintain a healthy lifestyle. As unpretentious as Roker's television persona, this motivational diet memoir provides inspiration, and recipes, for others struggling with weight-related challenges. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #2
Beloved TV weatherman Roker (co-author: The Talk Show Murders, 2011, etc.) explains how he went from "morbidly obese" to fit and healthy. The author seems like a genial man, a devoted father and the possessor of an exciting career that has provided him with plenty of stories to tell. His tale of triumph over a serious weight problem that plagued him since childhood might provide inspiration, or at least comfort, to the millions of Americans who continue to struggle with their own weight. However, the writing is lazy and, at times, downright cringe-worthy; most readers would probably rather not know as much as Roker wishes to share about his sex life, his bowel movements or the size of his penis. Clearly, the author intends to come across as funny and relatable, but too much forced folksiness renders even his best anecdotes flat. His desire to be universally appealing leaches his story of specificity and vitality; he mentions his race a couple of times, but in general, he is so desperate to play the role of an Everyman that he conveys little sense of who he is as a person, beyond the fact that he "loves life, [his] family and good music." Roker, who wasn't born rich, is now a wealthy man, and many of his well-meant suggestions betray the cluelessness that often results from becoming accustomed to having money. Among other things, Roker advises those who undergo gastric bypass surgery, as he did, to hire a home health care aide for the first two weeks after the operation. Given that such care is unaffordable for millions, this is a "great tip" of limited value. Worth skimming only if you are struggling to lose weight and considering gastric bypass surgery. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

The popular television meteorologist/author (Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Fatherhood) shares his personal yet public weight-loss journey in this intimate memoir. Born in Queens in the 1950s, Roker was a preemie, weighing in at less than five pounds, but by the time he was in seventh grade he had a weight problem and suffered the humility of being dubbed "Fat Albert" by his classmates. "Morbid obesity" (he was 280 pounds at his wedding to ABC News and 20/20 correspondent Deborah Roberts) didn't stop him from pursuing marriage, fatherhood, and a successful career, even landing a plum position on the staff of NBC's Today Show. But at his father's deathbed in 2001, Roker made a promise to his dad to lose the weight that had plagued him through decades of yo-yo dieting. Nevertheless, it wasn't until he realized that he had to lose the weight for himself that he took the dramatic step of gastric bypass surgery. Without proselytizing, Roker describes the procedure and why it worked for him: Roker maintains that the road to weight loss is an individual decision and that well-meaning friends and family members would be wise to keep their mouths shut on the subject. In fact, Roker maintains that policing the overweight only makes the problem worse. Readers will appreciate this personable weatherman's candor and humor as he chronicles his struggle and ultimate success. (Jan.)

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