WCL: "Stranger Here" Author Jen Larsen on WCL

Author Jen Larsen is here to chat about her tale of weight loss, chronicled in her book "Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery transformed My Body and Messed with My Head."

FOR MORE ON JEN, HEAD TO: http://jenlarsen.net/

Jen Larsen is a writer and editor living in Ogden, UT. She was born in the Bronx, has lived in all the boroughs of New York City, and moved to San Francisco for grad school. Four years ago she ended up in Ogden. It's a long story, but one of the best moves she's ever made. She's wanted to be a writer since the day she realized that books were actually written by real people, but she only recently realized that she could be one of those real people too.

Larsen spent her whole life anywhere from overweight to fat to obese, and at her heaviest was 316 pounds. Though she believed passionately, desperately, in health at any size and self-acceptance, and wanted to be a body image warrior more than anything, she wasn't able to deal with the physical and emotional issues engendered by being fat in a world made for skinny people. In 2006, she underwent weight loss surgery and lost almost 200 pounds. She found out that being considered skinny by society's standards didn't do much to fix her depression, her anxiety, her insecurity. Now 168 pounds and six years later, she's still struggling with her self-image, but feels lucky to have experienced the full spectrum of weight and size issues on either end of the scale.

For two years Larsen was the featured blogger at Condé Nast's Elastic Waist. Her columns have also been syndicated on Yahoo!'s Shine Network for Women. She was a contributor to Big Fat Deal, a blog about weight in media and popular culture, and her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, Emprise Review, and South Loop Review, among other publications. She is obsessed with tattoos as a way to transform your body, and has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco. She continues to work at being one of those real people who write books.