"Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You!" by Bill...

"Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You!" by Bill Baroni, Damon DiMarco Credit: Handout

FAT KID GOT FIT: And So Can You! by Bill Baroni, with Damon DiMarco. Lyons Press, 245 pp., $24.95.

You wouldn't want to mess with the lean and muscular Bill Baroni dominating the front cover. And you'll hardly believe his "before" photo on the back.

Baroni is deputy executive director of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, with overall responsibility for World Trade Center reconstruction. But at age 20 he weighed 320, and writes movingly of the physical/emotional pain and shame of being a "fat kid" and teen. His life changed at 22, when he learned about lifestyle change at Duke University's Diet & Fitness Center.

THE SCOOP "Weight loss is actually secondary," he writes, "a by-product of good practice." Journaling helps: "When I wrote down, 'I wasn't feeling full,' I could translate that to mean I wasn't feeling fulfilled."

THE BOTTOM LINE Baroni's story and fit tips ("if it isn't fun, you'll fail") may be just the inspiration you need.

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