UP NOW Today marks the debut of an occasional column I've really been looking forward to, even if many people on the Food Channel will wonder why. It's about the flip side of thinking about food: what it feels like when what was and should be a pleasure becomes the enemy -- a threat to your psychological well-being and a very real threat to your health. The pseudonymous author, Samuel T. Stanley, tried every diet for many years, and spent large quantities of his own money and of course time and effort trying to lose weight. Finally, facing diabetes and worse long-term risks and only in his early thirties, he elected to have gastric-bypass surgery.

What we'll be reading about are the mechanics: what it's like to undergo the surgery, and more important, what life is like after it. Stories the author told me soon after surgery -- about the way he saw himself, about the way others saw him -- came as revelations to me. In the coming weeks, I think they will to you too.

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