Podcast: Tommy Tomlinson talks about what it’s like being overweight in America

6/23/09  Charlotte Observer staff writer Tommy Tomlinson. DAVIE HINSHAW -
6/23/09 Charlotte Observer staff writer Tommy Tomlinson. DAVIE HINSHAW - Staff Photographer

Tommy Tomlinson is one of Charlotte’s more notable writers. For many years he was a columnist for the Charlotte Observer. He’s a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Thomas Wolfe Award winner and he writes for many national publications.

He’s written about sports, politics and Southern culture throughout his career.

But for his first book, he decided to write about something personal: His struggles with his weight and the experience of being overweight in America. He joined The Good News Is podcast this week to talk about the forthcoming book, “The Elephant in the Room,” and his career as a writer in Charlotte.

Writing a book is no small task. Tomlinson wrote well over 60,000 words for his first draft. If the volume of work were not daunting enough, the pressure of delivering a testament of personal and private feelings is enough to turn most people away from the task.

Tomlinson, however, was undeterred.

“One of the great messages you can give to people is that you’re not alone,” he said on The Good News Is podcast this week. “Maybe just people reading this and knowing that there is somebody else that has dealt with this same kind of stuff will be helpful.”


Also discussed during the podcast: the ongoing reaction to HB2, Bruce Springsteen and Knights Baseball.

The Good News Is — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast with a similar mission to what we do here at C5: To get you CharlotteSmart, fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

As always, you can find our episodes on SoundcloudiTunes and now Stitcher. You can follow us on Twitter @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Instagram @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Facebook and you can shoot us an email to

Photo: Charlotte Observer file; Alix Felsing