'Born Round': Food Critic Recalls Weight Struggle

"I can be snarky and pointed, and my feeling about that is, if you're going to write a negative review, that you're writing on the merits," he said. "If your appraisal of a restaurant is genuinely negative ... if you want them to read it, you need to give them a good time as a reader. So yeah, I'll use pointed humor, I'll be snarky, but the restaurant is what it is. But I've got to write something that I want you to read with some pleasure."

Bruni has given good opinion for five years. With the help of regular workouts, he hasn't gained any weight. And with the release of his book, he wraps up his job as food critic this week.

So what's the next stop? Will Bruni be on "Oprah," talking about diets?

"I'm not trying to position myself as a diet guru," he said. "I do think that there are some really useful observations and lessons in here for people. What I learned, and I think this will apply to a lot of people: If you approach food in a panicked, love-hate way, you're going to be undone by it. You're not going to be able to form a healthy relationship with it. If you accept it, if you take a measured approach to it, and if you kind of celebrate it rather than being afraid of it, you're going to be much better off.

"I am, after five years as a restaurant critic, as healthy as I was in the beginning. No heavier than I was at the beginning. And that suggests to me that I've worked something out in my head, and I hope it lasts."

Yet somewhere inside Bruni is still a fat kid?

"Somewhere on the inside, I'm still wondering, like in the frame right now, Do I look heavy? But that's -- you know, we began this conversation with the title of the book, and that's to me what it means to be born round. You know, you always sorta have that shape in your head."

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