Gregg McBride's parents had serious personal problems. His father, who was an officer in the Armed Forces was also an alcoholic. This postings in various locations meant that the family would have to move a great deal.
Gregg's mother, had multiple sclerosis but also had serious emotional problems. She lied to the point of believing herself. For example, she told people who Gregg and his younger sister, Lori, were both adopted even though this was not true. Gregg made many attempts to correct this falsehood, always without success as his mother was so convincing. She was also charming and available to many men with whom she had affairs. Frequently, she would tell Gregg that he had to lie for her in order to help manage the chaotic lifestyle that she had created.
With a father who was focused on his work and alcohol as well as a mother who was focused on herself, Gregg was forced into a position of responsibility where he had to care for his younger sister.
During his childhood and early adulthood years, Gregg found three ways to cope with his situation. First of all, he surrounded himself with thin, beautiful, and popular individuals. His distorted thinking led him to believe that this would cover up for his own inadequacies and pain. He became involved with acting both at a formal and at a personal level, always being a "clown" who could make other people laugh even when he didn't feel like laughing himself. And he developed an eating disorder that involved consuming huge quantities of food resulting in the fact that he weighed 457.5 pounds by the time that he was twenty-three years old.
Much of Gregg's eating was done in secret. At times he would take food to the bathroom and sit on the toilet while he ate so that others wouldn't know what he was doing. He even went through garbage to find something that would soothe his upset.
Throughout it all, Gregg blamed his mother. He didn't like the way that she abandoned Lori and him. He didn't like her lying and he didn't like the way that she used him to get her own needs met.
Gregg tried, at times, to lose weight, without success. He sought advice that he didn't always appreciate or follow. And then, a few events occurred that pointed him in the right direction. He consulted with a co-worker who told him to just stop eating so much. This angered Gregg but also helped to motivate him. He saw a therapist who helped him to realize that his mother was who she was and that Gregg needed to take responsibility for the part he played in their dysfunctional relationship as well as for his own future well-being.
Gregg saw a doctor and began researching about nutrition. Then, one day at a time, he began doing things that would bring balance to his life and help him to lose weight. He started making good food choices and began exercising. He drank more water and ensured that he had enough sleep. The weight began to come off.
Gregg is now 175 pounds and doesn't need to weigh himself regularly because he uses his clothing as a way of knowing what he needs to do to rebalance. He is happy, is married and enjoys the career that he had previously been afraid to establish.
"Weightless" is a very honest story about a man who suffered in childhood and then learned to deal with the pain as an adult.
This painfully honest book also includes brief interludes from the individuals who were close to Gregg at various times I his life. It is very interesting to see how their perspectives of Gregg's situation and theirs sometimes match but at other times are very different from his.