Big: A Personal Journey with Michael S. Berman

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It's nearly impossible these days to turn around without encountering yet another diet book, commercial, television show, weight loss gadget or pill. What we don't hear quite as much is what life is like for an overweight person in today's society, particularly in light of the prevailing messages about how fatness is to be avoided, literally, at all costs. Michael Berman has spent most of his sixty-plus years "living large," though his weight has gone up and down dramatically a number of times; he estimates that he has gained and lost well over a thousand pounds. Yet even with a healthy and loving family, an accomplished career as a respected attorney, president of a Washington, DC consulting firm, and scheduler of convention sessions at six Democratic National Conventions, Berman has felt the humiliation, the sadness, which often accompanies life for the overweight. "Food became an essential part of my life, a constant preoccupation, and telling my story in many ways has been a cathartic experience." His stories are comforting and reassuring and also provide a strategy based on self-acceptance for the millions of Americans who deal with the realities of being fat on a daily basis. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Michael Berman is the President of the Duberstein Group, Inc., a leading Washington DC consulting firm, and previously served as counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff to Vice President Walter Mondale.

He is the author of:

Living Large: A Big Man's Ideas on Weight, Success, and Acceptance (Rodale 2006)

To learn more about the work of Michael Berman go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How do you have a great life in spite of being fat
  • Why obesity is a disease
  • What is the connection between self-acceptance and finally being able to take off weight
  • How living life as a large person can effect relationships - both personal and professional
  • When fat is perceived as only a female issue
  • Why "weight management" programs do not address psychological problems of fat people
  • How is being fit being functional
  • Why being fat is the last acceptable cultural prejudice in American culture
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 4/3/2006      Program Number: 3148