Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

by Jennette Fulda

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580052337
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 04/29/2008
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 843,974
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.62(d)

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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
ShanM816 on LibraryThing 18 days ago
I was browsing Half Price Books when the title of this book caught my eye, and I picked it up. As someone who has struggled with my weight my entire life, I could sympathize with Ms. Fulda. There were moments when I laughed out loud, and others that made me almost cry, mostly because she could have been talking about my life.I needed to read this right now as I begin (again) a weight-loss journey of my own. She was honest about the struggle to change her eating habits, talking about the times she made bad decisions, her confusion when the scale didn't match her expectations every week, her feelings of isolation and depression before she lost weight, and ultimately her feelings of empowerment when she had lost weight and realized how good she felt. She doesn't claim weight loss made her life perfect, and she acknowledges that there are some problems she blamed on weight that it turns out are still there. She acknowledges that there's no guarantee she can keep the weight off, although she's optimistic about that. In a world that looks for the quick & easy fix to everything, it's nice to hear from someone who decided not to try some magic pill for weight loss, but put in the work to change her eating and exercise habits.A couple of warnings - first, there is some foul language, not too bad, but the easily offended might want to skip it. Second, if you're looking for a book of instructions on how to lose weight, this is not it. Ms. Fulda does not endorse any particular diet, and she doesn't talk about the mechanics of how she lost weight, except in general terms of exercising and changing her eating habits.
Deesirings on LibraryThing 18 days ago
This book is chalk-full of cheesy puns. It's kind of alarming in its simplicity -- this is a huge weight loss story, but there isn't much to really explain how the author got so big in the first place, nor is there much insight on losing the weight. And yet... the very fact of it is amazing. If I am to take away one weight loss tip from this book it is that losing weight takes time -- no just a length of time on the calendar but a chunk of time each day to exercise and to prepare meals. This is perhaps my own biggest personal obstacle to weight loss -- my refusal to accept, thus far, that cooking will be required for a sustained healthy lifestyle.
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing 18 days ago
I really enjoyed Fulda's no non-sense and humouristic approach to weight and consequent weight-loss. She's not moralistic, judgemental nor proselytizing. She's sincere and authentic about her motivations, her hurdles and her ambitions. She's also realistic about her future. She is smart about not giving away her secret and in recognizing that everyone needs to find her own secret: it may seem a cop-out but such a transformation must come from within. Her real key to success was her blog that kept her forging on. For others, it will be another key.I wouldn't say that this book is inspiring, but it is definitely refreshing.
sonyau on LibraryThing 18 days ago
The author is clearly funny and has plenty of personal insights. Her writing style is brisk and witty. There were a few structural problems--often a point would be raised, then the subject would change abruptly, and at times, the timeline was convoluted. The book would have benefited from more "how I did it." Fulda states implicitly that she doesn't want to advocate for any particular eating plan, and to a degree, I can understand that not every plan will work for every person. However, more detail (with obligatory disclaimer) would have made an okay book into a really good, in-depth one. If you're writing a weight loss memoir, then be prepared to reveal the nitty-gritty details. All that being said, if you're looking for a weight loss success story with plenty of emotions, this is one you can enjoy in an afternoon.
peaseblossom67 on LibraryThing 18 days ago
I saw this book as a giveaway on a website I frequent. It looked interesting and proclaimed to be funny, and since I wanted to read something non-fiction for my 10/10 challenge, I decided to give it a go.The photo on the cover shows the author standing in one leg of her old ¿fat¿ pants; hence the title ¿ she literally lost half her ass, going from 370+ pounds to the 180s. At the beginning, she talks a bit about her childhood and her eating and non-exercise habits that led to her becoming a morbidly obese adult. Then she launches into the journey of her weight-loss.What I liked about the book was the author¿s honest portrayal of her struggles, her learning, her successes, and her challenges. This is not a ¿how- to-lose-weight-book.¿ It¿s a memoir. She began writing as a weight-loss blogger and it shows. The theme of the book is that there is no magic secret to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle ¿ it¿s a lifelong endeavor, that requires work. She acknowledges that there is no guarantee that she will keep the weight off, but given the work she has put into learning about nutrition, learning how to cook, and learning how to exercise, she is optimistic, because she can¿t ¿unlearn¿ what she now knows.There were some structural problems with the writing. I found myself getting lost in the timeline ¿ was she living at home with her family or alone in her apartment, how long had she been writing the blog, etc. It was also not as funny as I expected. The jokes often seemed forced to me ¿ it was like she got to the end of a paragraph or a chapter, and thought, ¿oh, this wasn¿t funny, better throw in a pun.¿ It was certainly entertaining, but not laugh-out-loud funny.Structural problems aside, the book is worth reading. For me, the book reinforces my stance that diet is not about the number on the scale; it¿s about making healthy food choices so that your body runs better, exercising for fitness, and being comfortable in your own skin.I give it 4 stars out of five.
meditatinglibrarian on LibraryThing 18 days ago
Good sense of humor. This is more a biography than a self-help sort of book.
mstrust on LibraryThing 18 days ago
Fulda had been a chubby child, an obese teenager and a morbidly obese young adult. At almost 400lbs. by her early twenties, she couldn't stand for more than five minutes, she had outgrown even the plus size clothing stores and she'd never had a boyfriend. When her doctor brought up her weight, offering information about surgery, Fulda decided she had let herself go too far.Beginning with just the few minutes on the treadmill she was capable of, and learning to cook low-fat food rather than eating fast food, Fulda made changes that resulted in an over 200lb. weight loss and a popular blog for others to see her transformation.Fulda's determination is amazing, even if you have no interest at all in weight loss. She's honest about how she was treated as a morbidly obese woman. I have to say that I didn't need to have the non-stop attempts at humor, as it usually came off as lame to me, but this is an interesting book for those who like an against-the-odds story.
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SaltyDog77 More than 1 year ago
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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blake58 More than 1 year ago
great book kept me motivated on my own weight loss journey
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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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