Baltimore— The $70 billion weight loss industry in the United States includes a myriad of weight loss programs, books and TV shows like, “The Biggest Loser” and “My 600-lb Life.” However, millions continue to fail at achieving their weight loss dreams. 

With new insight about food and weight loss, author Michelle Petties, Master Food Story Finder, and recovering food addict shares her 42-year struggle with weight loss in her book, Leaving Large: The Stories of a Food Addict.  

Her book debuted at #10 on the Amazon bestseller list for New Age Spiritual and Mental Healing category on November 30, 2021.  

In 22 personal essays (Food Stories), Michelle takes readers deep inside her personal struggles with food addiction and yo-yo dieting with insight, candor, and wisdom. The personal, and sometimes painful stories in her book trace a lifetime of food abuse and illustrate how events, experiences and memories inform our beliefs, attitudes, and habits around food, eating and hunger.

“My heart breaks for the four out of five African American women who are either overweight or obese, one of whom I used to be,” said Petties. “While I used a doctor-assisted program to finally get to a body that I love, there are plenty of people who use the same and other programs without success. The truth is: It’s never about the food. It’s always about the story behind the food.”

Petties, is a former public relations executive and radio advertising professional. She has worked for some of the most recognizable names in commercial media, including Disney/ABC and Radio One. She began her career in advertising at the J. Walter Thompson Company in Dallas and currently works at WYPR, an NPR member station in Baltimore.

Leaving Large: The Stories of a Food Addict (hardcover foreword is written by Radio One founder Cathy Hughes. A free chapter of Leaving Large: The Stories of a Food Addict is available at 

Baltimore Times
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