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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

( 21 )

Overview

After undergoing gall bladder surgery at age twenty-three, Jennette Fulda decided it was time to lose some weight. Actually, more like half her weight. At the time, Jennette weighed 372 pounds.

Jennette was not born fat. But, by fifth grade, her response to a school questionnaire asking “what would you change about your appearance” was “I would be thinner.” Sound familiar?

Half-Assed is the captivating and incredibly honest story of Jennette’s ...

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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

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Overview

After undergoing gall bladder surgery at age twenty-three, Jennette Fulda decided it was time to lose some weight. Actually, more like half her weight. At the time, Jennette weighed 372 pounds.

Jennette was not born fat. But, by fifth grade, her response to a school questionnaire asking “what would you change about your appearance” was “I would be thinner.” Sound familiar?

Half-Assed is the captivating and incredibly honest story of Jennette’s journey to get in shape, lose weight, and change her life. From the beginning—dusting off her never-used treadmill and steering clear of the donut shop—to the end with her goal weight in sight, Jennette wows readers with her determined persistence to shed pounds and the ability to maintain her ever-present sense of self.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Blogger Fulda explains how she lost 186 pounds. In January 2005, she weighed twice that. A year earlier, after having her gallbladder removed at the age of 23, she'd realized her weight was threatening her life and vowed to get into shape. "Only I didn't," she writes. "I stayed fat for at least another year. Wake up call received. Snooze button pushed." Fulda did eventually take control, changing her eating habits and taking up exercise: first walking, then jogging, then a combination of jogging, pilates and weight training. She started a blog, "Half of Me," to chronicle her progress. As of February 2007, she had lost half her body weight; in the final chapter, she writes that she's within 15 pounds of her goal weight (160 pounds) but warns, "I may have lost the weight, but it could still find me again." Fulda provides a fair amount of weight-loss information only the diet-and-fitness-obsessed could really love, but the book is redeemed by the engaging account of her personal history interwoven throughout. In a conversational and honest voice, she describes tackling the age-old paradox of trying to accept herself while also trying to change. This dialectical process caused her to run afoul of online "fat acceptance" communities, which work to decrease the marginalization of the overweight and the obese. "If I really accepted myself as I was, it meant I'd recognized who I was to the best of my ability, flaws and all," writes Fulda. "It didn't mean I was necessarily satisfied with all the materials that made the house of me."A winsome, charming memoir of personal discovery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580052337
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 296,698
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    A Bold, Gutsy, Honest Ass-Kicking

    Jennette Fulda's Half-Assed is not your average weight loss memoir. Not only did Fulda lose over half her body weight, but she does not offer any apologies. In some ways, the book is as much pro-fat as pro-thin. This book, based on her blog Half of Me, chronicles how she got so fat, and, to some extent, what she did to lose the weight. Some of her struggles, such as finding clothes and getting around, are obvious, while others were more hidden, which she explores with humor and wisdom. Fulda's is an easy read, one that I'm glad I read in part on the treadmill. There is no whining here, even when Fulda presents evidence about why it may be harder for the severely overweight to lose weight. She covers the highs and lows of her journey, as well as the way, as she lost weight, readers and others turned to her for advice as she blogged every step of the way. Though it seems hard to believe that someone could just happen to wind up weighing 372 pounds, she shows how her lack of education about nutrition spiraled into a weight gain that she didn¿t truly recognize as a problem, let alone know how to handle, until it had reached such massive proportions. ¿The fat lost its shock value. It didn¿t scare me like it scares a skinny girl who¿s just put on ten pounds and can¿t fit into her favorite jeans. Ten pounds was a trivially small percentage of my overage.¿ This is but one of the ways that even conceptualizing losing weight was a challenge for Fulda, one she wound up meeting head-on. Both her writing and her weight loss path show a woman with determination, independence, and the ability to sort out what worked for her and what didn¿t on her own. Fulda also doesn¿t give you a saccharine ¿and now I¿m thin and happy¿ ending. She makes the reader feel the true pain of her weight gain, as well as the not-always-perfect life she leads now. While losing the weight (and blogging about it) drastically changed her life, it was not a panacea, and Fulda doesn¿t try to spin it that way. She also admits that, yes, there is a chance she might gain weight again, and boldly asserts that being fat is not the worst thing in the world (a fact you might not realize from, well, living in the United States). About herf ormer fat girl life, Fulda writes, ¿Given the choice between that life and the life of a skinny starlet in rehab, I¿d put the fat suit back on fast enough to jam the zipper.¿ My one quibble is that she did not elaborate on the specific diet she chose to use (she has revealed on her blog and in interviews it was the South Beach diet), which made some parts of the book less informed than they could be. Though she explains that this would be like ¿asking Yo-Yo Ma what kind of cello he played and then expecting to buy one and become a brilliant cellist,¿ I think it could have informed her memoir, but that¿s a small quibble. Anyone who¿s ever struggled with their weight, or just wants to read an inspiring story of one woman who forged her way through the world of weight loss, should check out Half-Assed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    A great read

    It is interesting to read someone else's story about their weight loss experience that did not use the weight loss surgery or go on a television show. Not that those are any less valid, but it is a good reminder that regular people can lose the weight on their own and there is not a "secret" to weight loss other than hard work and determination.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    HIlarious

    This book is well-written and very funny.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    I was rooting for Jen in the beginning of the book, but then she

    I was rooting for Jen in the beginning of the book, but then she developed a very large chip on her shoulder. She was annoyed when her blog readers gave her unsolicited advice. Um, what did she expect? That's what people do on the WORLD WIDE WEB. She was annoyed when her boss never mentioned her weight loss. Perhaps he was afraid of a lawsuit? She was annoyed when people asked her what diet she was on. She mentioned several times throughout the book that it was not a diet, yet a lifestyle change. But then she went on a talk show and finally admitted that she did the South Beach diet. Jen's sour attitude ruined the book for me. PS, I'm not jealous of her success. I have lost over 50 pounds because I exercise and eat smaller portions of the foods I love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    Fuk u

    Fuk u >=[

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    Highly recommened

    great book kept me motivated on my own weight loss journey

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    Honest reminder that it takes HARD WORK!

    It was refreshing to read a book that does not promise to have "the secret". Honest and refreshing to read about the author overcoming so much.

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