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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? Hal 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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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? Hal 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.

30 review for Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Upon reading the summary of this book, I was simply elated. I thought to myself, 'Finally! An amazing story of weight loss from someone who is my size or larger!' I devoured this book and read it in just a couple of days - in bed when I woke up, during all of my breaks at work, and in bed again before falling asleep. While I admire Fulda's major accomplishment, and her apparent honesty in all steps of her journey, I do have some bones to pick with the author. First, the woman is the Queen of analo Upon reading the summary of this book, I was simply elated. I thought to myself, 'Finally! An amazing story of weight loss from someone who is my size or larger!' I devoured this book and read it in just a couple of days - in bed when I woke up, during all of my breaks at work, and in bed again before falling asleep. While I admire Fulda's major accomplishment, and her apparent honesty in all steps of her journey, I do have some bones to pick with the author. First, the woman is the Queen of analogies! For the love of all that is organic, readers do not need 4 analogies in one paragraph. They often don't need that many in one chapter! Many of her analogies were completely eratic, as if she were trying to create one for every single person on the planet (some were intelligent, some were comical, but then she made a Star Trek reference that was completely lost and just a waste of type). The other issue I have with Fulda is her narcissism. While I understand this is a story about her personal journey, thus there will be a lot of "me" "mine" "my" and "I"'s, it seemed beyond the normal spectrum of most autobiographical writings. Lastly, she isn't the best role model for anyone wanting to lose a ton of weight. While her physical actions and attitudes toward food and exercise are wonderful and definitely to be emulated, her outlook towards other overweight people throughout the book borders on the line of mean-spirited and hypocritical. Fulda bounces back and forth in her text, from one chapter where she plays a game of trying to figure out if any of the other people around her are fatter than she is (thus congratulating herself on no longer being the fattest person in the room), and expressing a sort of pity towards other women she encounters that are heavier than her as she continues to lose weight. Fulda may have considered it empathy, but if you're playing games like the one described above, it can't truly be considered a compassionate sort of empathy if you're only going to congratulate yourself later for being a mere 2 sizes smaller than the other person. In summary, congratulations to Jennette! She's managed to change her life in a remarkable way and it was an inspiration. However, I pray that anyone wanting to lose weight and radically change their lives would not succumb to overly-critical and judgmental outlook the author has on her (even former) own kind.

  2. 4 out of 5

    miteypen

    The ONLY criticism I have of this book is the author's overuse of metaphors and similes. However, she comes up with some great ones, so I forgive her. Despite that tendency, Fulda is a very good writer. I kept wanting to stop and write down excerpts because I loved the way she put things. Here are some of the things I liked about the book: The author takes on the fat acceptance movement for its own intolerance toward people who don't like being fat and want to lose weight. She refuses to despise The ONLY criticism I have of this book is the author's overuse of metaphors and similes. However, she comes up with some great ones, so I forgive her. Despite that tendency, Fulda is a very good writer. I kept wanting to stop and write down excerpts because I loved the way she put things. Here are some of the things I liked about the book: The author takes on the fat acceptance movement for its own intolerance toward people who don't like being fat and want to lose weight. She refuses to despise the person she used to be. She doesn't apologize for having been fat or for being happy now that she's not. She doesn't blame anyone but herself for her weight problem. She doesn't sugarcoat what her life is like post-weight loss. She realizes that she could get fat again. She shows how an attitude change is the most crucial aspect of successful weight loss. She illustrates how behavior change is the second most crucial aspect. And she makes it clear that there are no short-cuts to losing weight and getting in shape.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Klinta

    As amazing as the change author managed to do to her life, the book didn't really give me what I hoped for. It seemed like there's more talk about her cheating days than those she actually were on track. And obviously that is not what happened in real life. She also didn't write about times she did wanted to sin, but chose not to. Perhaps it was mentioned once or twice, but that's all. I have to mention that it did seem that the character of the main heroine changed for the worse, she might feel As amazing as the change author managed to do to her life, the book didn't really give me what I hoped for. It seemed like there's more talk about her cheating days than those she actually were on track. And obviously that is not what happened in real life. She also didn't write about times she did wanted to sin, but chose not to. Perhaps it was mentioned once or twice, but that's all. I have to mention that it did seem that the character of the main heroine changed for the worse, she might feel happier, but I felt less connected to her as she started to chose harsh words or ideas and play stupid things. Although I understand that she had to motivate herself and that might be a way to do it, she herself at the end of the book writes that motivation is not that important and is overrated. There were many things, with which I didn't agree with her and it made it hard to read the book, but it has nothing to do really with the quality - it is just that feeling of having something to argue without anyone to say it to. I am certainly happy for her trip and although when I checked her pictures, she looked beautiful both fat and chubby, I am glad that she chose herself over the chocolate.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Impressive that she lost the weight; however she is so incredibly preachy it's distracting. It may have been more interesting to hear HOW she did it, rather than how great she feels for having done it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    jess

    Jennette Fulda bites the bullet, changes her lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise habits, and loses 200 pounds, not because she hates fat people, but because her fat is making her sick. She's concerned about dying from all the medical risks brought through being obese. She's living with her mom, and can't walk across a parking lot without getting winded. It takes a few years, but she reaches her goal, learns to love herself, and chronicles the entire journey in her blog, pastaqueen.com. My prim Jennette Fulda bites the bullet, changes her lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise habits, and loses 200 pounds, not because she hates fat people, but because her fat is making her sick. She's concerned about dying from all the medical risks brought through being obese. She's living with her mom, and can't walk across a parking lot without getting winded. It takes a few years, but she reaches her goal, learns to love herself, and chronicles the entire journey in her blog, pastaqueen.com. My primary issue with this book is that it is about 150 pages too long. Her lifestyle changes were based on "eat less, move more" philosophies, so the book is *not* a "magical cure" for obesity - I get it. I agree. It's a memoir. It's about her feelings through the weightloss journey. Oftentimes, I felt like she had blog disease of the mouth -- too much emotional processing with too little context. I felt like this book was another great example of what happens when blogs become books without a really strong editorial hand. We like blogs because they are quick, egalitarian, timely. We do! Well, I do! I look for different things in a book. Fulda struggled with the Fat Acceptance community online especially. In some circles, trying to lose weight can be seen as selling out everyone else who's not trying to lose weight. It can be taboo to even talk about the changes you are making - what if you don't reach your goal? What if other people feel alienated as your weight comes off? It seems she made some enemies and got banned from a few messageboards, and had some nasty comments left on her blog. It was exhausting to read. I missed her online spats, and I don't know about her history in the FA/weight-loss communities, so I don't know the other side of the story, but I was left certain that there IS another side. A lot of the questions Fulda explores are worth asking - how to accept and love your overweight body without becoming complacent or endangering your health? How to lose weight and not friends? How to explain that different things work for different people, when everyone wants to know your "magic secrets"? How to learn to cook and enjoy your food in moderation, develop healthy cooking/eating/shopping habits without adopting a fad/yo-yo diet? Some people know these things, other people don't. Fulda was defensive half of the time, and just rambling for the other half. This review could go on forever, so I'll try to keep it short. I felt like the book was too long. Since there was no "magical" solution to Fulda's health issues, there is nothing concrete you could replicate in your life. Fulda spends so much time with self-deprecating humor and repeating over and over that she doesn't want to be an inspiration to other people -- by the end of the book, it's like, why did you write this, then? I spent at least the last 150 pages punching myself in the face trying to finish this, and it is only because of my willpower that I was able to get through it. The final introspective moments in the last chapter were insightful but it was too-little-too-late to redeem the rest of the tedious book. I wish I kept better track of where the recommendations I get come from, so that I could let someone know that this was a F for FAIL.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Parker

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. I don't need a weight loss tale to be inspirational or thoroughly detailed, but SOME details would be nice. I understand why the author was hesitant to admit what diet she followed (although I see now she admits it on her site, so I REALLY don't get it) but she hardly talks about what she did to lose weight besides "eat well and exercise." It seems a bit empty to me. And while I'm sure the author is a wonderful person, I found her somewhat unlikeable. I wanted to like this book more than I did. I don't need a weight loss tale to be inspirational or thoroughly detailed, but SOME details would be nice. I understand why the author was hesitant to admit what diet she followed (although I see now she admits it on her site, so I REALLY don't get it) but she hardly talks about what she did to lose weight besides "eat well and exercise." It seems a bit empty to me. And while I'm sure the author is a wonderful person, I found her somewhat unlikeable. Not a bad book, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    I don't think you should read this book. It wasn't inspiring or useful, and the author is at best a pretty good author for someone who's not an author. That said, she had some pretty good lines and observations along the way. Kindle notes: In German, the word kummerspeck is used to describe the weight you gain from emotional overeating. It literally translates to “grief bacon.” - location 202 It was like watching the TV movie of my life but constantly being interrupted for ads selling self-loathin I don't think you should read this book. It wasn't inspiring or useful, and the author is at best a pretty good author for someone who's not an author. That said, she had some pretty good lines and observations along the way. Kindle notes: In German, the word kummerspeck is used to describe the weight you gain from emotional overeating. It literally translates to “grief bacon.” - location 202 It was like watching the TV movie of my life but constantly being interrupted for ads selling self-loathing cream. - location 385 It takes approximately 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat. Multiply that by 212 pounds to lose and I was 742,000 calories overdrawn. My body was charging interest via my disintegrating health. I could hear it when my knees creaked and see it in those little pink scars from my surgery. A 24-year-old woman who weighs 160 pounds and engages in light activity will burn about 2,200 calories a day, give or take. Divide 742,000 by 2,200 and you’ll find I was about 337 days ahead on my eating. - location 789 Lately, I had liked to play “Is she fatter than me?” It was a game that could be played anywhere, in the produce aisle of the grocery store, in line at the pharmacy, or even in the comfort of your own home as you watched television. All it required was a working pair of eyes and another female in your line of sight. You compared the size and shape of your body to that of your competitor’s until you determined who was fatter. The thinnest girl won. The prize was a mix of smug satisfaction and self-disgust that you were playing the game at all. - location 1132 I couldn’t understand why there weren’t more plus-size stores. My local news station made it seem as if we were a nation of headless fat people. - location 1434 Some of my prettier, thinner friends would complain about the burden of their looks. They fended off unwanted advances by men at clubs and rolled their eyes at honking horns and hollering when they walked past busy streets. I sympathized with them and admitted that this must be a problem, but it was a problem in the same way that filing taxes must be a pain for a millionaire - location 1808 Surely stale M&M’s lost calories with age, like the half-life of radioactive materials. - location 2055 Vanilla wasn’t even in the same league of dieting temptations as chocolate. - location 2060 Being fat was like having a built-in asshole detector. - location 3069

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Johnson

    The book and the author's website (www.pastaqueen.com) are a real look at a real person going through a real struggle. Like me, she likes to eat and has learned to cook healthy recipes to reach her goals. She found, to her dismay, that she likes to workout after shedding copious amounts of weight. She is funny and very candid with her quirks. An example is when she ran home to read her blog after discovering that her mother had found it online, scouring it for things that were humiliating and re The book and the author's website (www.pastaqueen.com) are a real look at a real person going through a real struggle. Like me, she likes to eat and has learned to cook healthy recipes to reach her goals. She found, to her dismay, that she likes to workout after shedding copious amounts of weight. She is funny and very candid with her quirks. An example is when she ran home to read her blog after discovering that her mother had found it online, scouring it for things that were humiliating and realizing, in turn, that her journey through 2 years of blogs had been very long and treacherous. Her story is very inspiring and her candid insights are at once warm and often observationally perplexing. Describing how people disappear from her blogisphere, Jeanette talks about how she often makes up a back-story...filling in the blank of WHERE THEY COULD HAVE GONE...and knowing, in the health and fitness world, that they probably fell off the wagon and were too embarrassed to stay online. She then discusses how awful it is to be embarrassed in your real world AND in the online world. I love how she discovers her confidence online and translates it into her real world, true moments of empowerment that are an example for all of us. I highly recommend this book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I really liked this book. Jennette is so honest and absolutely NOT condescending to the reader. She never once pretends to have all the answers to weight loss and says that every person is different and losing weight will be a different process and journey for each person. She also never says anything mean or rude about people who are still big and could stand to lose a few pounds..she talks about how cool of a person she was she was fat and does not apologize for it. It's a great read, very fun I really liked this book. Jennette is so honest and absolutely NOT condescending to the reader. She never once pretends to have all the answers to weight loss and says that every person is different and losing weight will be a different process and journey for each person. She also never says anything mean or rude about people who are still big and could stand to lose a few pounds..she talks about how cool of a person she was she was fat and does not apologize for it. It's a great read, very funny. I think it's a good read even if you are NOT overweight..reading about her journey is the important part here, and it's not "I was fat, now I've learned to like myself and I'm thin", either...because she always liked herself. She just got healthier. It's hard to explain, but I recommend it. I would love to meet her in person. She sounds like a really cool person to hang out with.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    The story here was pretty good, but the similes certainly begin to grate on the nerves, like mozzerella cheese over a pizza. What? Some that I liked enough to bookmark so I could share them in this review (yay kindle): "I hasn't gotten this much unsolicited advice since the last time I'd had the hiccups." "The blog was a stamp of validation on the parking garage ticket of my life." "...led miserable lives but didn't realize it, like all those people who used AOL." Love: "I had friends who could eat a The story here was pretty good, but the similes certainly begin to grate on the nerves, like mozzerella cheese over a pizza. What? Some that I liked enough to bookmark so I could share them in this review (yay kindle): "I hasn't gotten this much unsolicited advice since the last time I'd had the hiccups." "The blog was a stamp of validation on the parking garage ticket of my life." "...led miserable lives but didn't realize it, like all those people who used AOL." Love: "I had friends who could eat a bucket of lard and still didn't seem to gain a pound. They would only gain twenty bucks, because I bet them they wouldn't eat a bucket of lard."

  11. 5 out of 5

    John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Funny, witty, honest. A memoir of living in a world that makes unhealthy eating and lack of exercise the norm ... but that worships thinness. The author blogged her way through two years of a weight loss journey, providing the reader with her insights along the way. This book has changed the way I will view the obese and has caused me to examine my own eating and exercise habits. watch more how to lose weight fast , How to Lose Weight , How I Lost Weight . Funny, witty, honest. A memoir of living in a world that makes unhealthy eating and lack of exercise the norm ... but that worships thinness. The author blogged her way through two years of a weight loss journey, providing the reader with her insights along the way. This book has changed the way I will view the obese and has caused me to examine my own eating and exercise habits. watch more how to lose weight fast , How to Lose Weight , How I Lost Weight .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tara G

    An honest memoir by Jennette Fulda. The story of on-line blogger who can be found at pastaqueen.com. I picked up this book on a whim. I have never read her blog. I have also never struggled with weight-loss but the cover and title were intriguing to me. It’s funny while reading this book I got the comment “You aren’t trying to lose weight are you?” Although I have never been overweight I can relate to the dieting trends and the need to lose a few pounds. The tag-line on the back of the book read An honest memoir by Jennette Fulda. The story of on-line blogger who can be found at pastaqueen.com. I picked up this book on a whim. I have never read her blog. I have also never struggled with weight-loss but the cover and title were intriguing to me. It’s funny while reading this book I got the comment “You aren’t trying to lose weight are you?” Although I have never been overweight I can relate to the dieting trends and the need to lose a few pounds. The tag-line on the back of the book reads “Think the last 20 pounds are the hardest? Try the last 200.” Just because I was skinny that did not mean I couldn’t enjoy this book. Let me tell you I enjoyed it immensely. Jennette has such a strong voice as a writer. She is laugh-out-loud funny, self-deprecating and an all-around nice human being. I recommend this book to fat and skinny, males and females, cat and dog lovers alike. It is a great read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ken Montville

    In true memoir style, this book is an idealized, romanticized and, generally, abbreviated story of an epic weight loss. If you're looking for a "how-to" book on losing well over 200 pounds...this is not the book. I came across this book in one of those random searches through Amazon and thought it looked interesting. After all, what overweight person wouldn't want to know how a young woman lost so much weight? There might be some magic formula tucked inside those pages somewhere. Of course, there In true memoir style, this book is an idealized, romanticized and, generally, abbreviated story of an epic weight loss. If you're looking for a "how-to" book on losing well over 200 pounds...this is not the book. I came across this book in one of those random searches through Amazon and thought it looked interesting. After all, what overweight person wouldn't want to know how a young woman lost so much weight? There might be some magic formula tucked inside those pages somewhere. Of course, there is a magic formula: eat less and exercise more. No magic pill, no magic foods, no magic exercise regimen. Unlike most of us who may be circumferentially challenged, this author didn't have a sad childhood with abusive parents or a family that consistently put food in front of her. To hear Jennette Fulda tell the story, she had a great and supportive family who just happened to eat a lot. So, what was the incentive to lose over 200 pounds? It might have been the gall bladder operation. Although she says she still sat around for another year. It might have been her brother's weight loss. But, according to the book (and one of the chapter titles) there were no epiphanies. She just got up one day and decided to shed the poundage and, by golly, that's what she did. She started to lose weight and, eventually, start a blog which, in turn, became a raging success and the big accountability piece she needed to stay on track. Of course, it is also nice that she's a coder and general all around web guru. So, the website that hosted the blog looked pretty, had great graphics and pretty charts and lots of the coding you need to let Google know you're around. The book is written in the breezy and slightly snarky style of young-ish bloggers (Jeannette Fulda started her weight loss at 24) and it's and easy read. It can be funny in spots and it's worthwhile to know that if she could do it so can you (or me or anyone else). If you're looking for "thin-spiration" or anything along those lines, this book falls short. The author moves from self awareness to self absorption pretty quickly. She easily congratulates herself and glosses over some of the real struggles fat people face - the office snacks and get togethers, weddings and funerals and church socials as well as the never ending cravings. To be fair, toward the end of the book, the author acknowledges that she is young and single with no kids and just the 40 hour job to worry about. It's easy to come home and cook the healthy and nutrition meals (she really gets into cooking) and then go out for a run (she really gets into running). No worries about the spouse or the stressful boss or the travel schedule. After a little over two years, Jeannette Fulda has shed over 200 pounds and looks great, feels great and just loves life. Her weight loss (as illustrated by a chart on www.pastaqueen.com) was pretty much of a straight diagonal line down. Little bumps here and there but nothing like what most people experience. The bottom line here is that this story is the exception and not the rule. Like the memoirs of Presidents and celebrities of every stripe she tells a story short on angst and struggle and long on her triumphs and how, once she made up her mind, she was able to pull off the near miraculous. One final note: this is a book for the ladies. She makes a few short references to her brother's weight loss and to her father's 90 pound drop due to counting calories (Jeannette just follows her body's advice and doesn't count calories or any of that stuff). The bulk of the book is really oriented to young women. After all, it's a "memoir" so it is very female oriented.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leah K

    Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir by Jennette Fulda ★ ★ ★ ★ When Jennette Fulda was in her early to mid-20's and started having some major health issues, she had no choice but the face the fact that she was nearly 400 pounds and in need of a lifestyle change. It was no easy thing to do but she faced it and would lose the weight after many attempts, failures, and hard work. I find anyone who capable of losing such weight (or any weight) in a healthy manor to be a inspiration. I love the fact that sh Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir by Jennette Fulda ★ ★ ★ ★ When Jennette Fulda was in her early to mid-20's and started having some major health issues, she had no choice but the face the fact that she was nearly 400 pounds and in need of a lifestyle change. It was no easy thing to do but she faced it and would lose the weight after many attempts, failures, and hard work. I find anyone who capable of losing such weight (or any weight) in a healthy manor to be a inspiration. I love the fact that she isn't overly hard on herself. She carries herself with humor and realizes that she is just human. She faulters, she makes mistakes, and she continues with life and what she needs to do to improve it. As someone who had struggled with her weight most of her life, and being about the same age as her, I really could relate to her. Not only the obvious connection but her way of thinking about weight are very similar. She would go on to start a blog to record her progress and in the process would gain quite the following. While this book may not be the best written and seems to jump around at times, I did find myself immersed in this book and unable to put it down. She had me laughing and nodding my head in agreement many times over. This isn't a how-to guide. She doesn't give you step by step on what she ate because as she pointed out, everyone is different in their journey to losing weight. This is simply a book more or less stating that she did it, and there's nothing stopping anyone else. It's about living one's life to the fullest and being happy with the person you are.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Softa

    I enjoyed this weight loss memoir much more than the other one I read. Probably because I could relate to this author's journey a lot more. She chose to lose the weight through diet changes and exercise. Besides how we lost our weight we also seem to share similar views on the process and what life is life after losing that much weight. She has some great insight at the end of the book as she looks at her life and how people relate to her now that she is thin. This is the book I am going to reco I enjoyed this weight loss memoir much more than the other one I read. Probably because I could relate to this author's journey a lot more. She chose to lose the weight through diet changes and exercise. Besides how we lost our weight we also seem to share similar views on the process and what life is life after losing that much weight. She has some great insight at the end of the book as she looks at her life and how people relate to her now that she is thin. This is the book I am going to recommend to people who want to lose weight. I'm glad Ms. Fulda shared her story and journey, she is an excellent example to others that it can be done. I love her ending where she tells people that this isn't the end of her journey. Weight loss on this grand scale never ends. The changes we/you make will be with you for the rest of your life. You will always need to monitor your weight, what you eat and continue to exercise. This is something people need to hear because so many think that once you lose the weight it is all over and your life, habits, and food return to normal, but it doesn't. If you go back to old habits you will return to your old weight. Beating obesity is a battle you are going to have for the rest of your life, but that isn't the end of the world. It just means you have to be more aware. It is so worth the work. Thanks for sharing your story Ms. Fulda, you are an inspiration.

  16. 4 out of 5

    jennifer

    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 eatin 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. The writing is clear and 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannan

    Pretty good. I bought this on an amazon kindle daily deal on a whim. I'll be honest, I didn't finish the entire book - I got about 70% through it and figured I got the gist of it. She was almost 400 lbs, she decides to cut calories and exercise and while battling her internal demons she loses almost 200 lbs. okay, I get it - job well done! My one thought though out the whole book was how much she skips around - am I crazy for thinking this? One minute she's lost 80 lbs, then she's shopping for s Pretty good. I bought this on an amazon kindle daily deal on a whim. I'll be honest, I didn't finish the entire book - I got about 70% through it and figured I got the gist of it. She was almost 400 lbs, she decides to cut calories and exercise and while battling her internal demons she loses almost 200 lbs. okay, I get it - job well done! My one thought though out the whole book was how much she skips around - am I crazy for thinking this? One minute she's lost 80 lbs, then she's shopping for size 16 clothes, then she' back to 300 lbs and now shes jogging, then she's moved out, now still living with mom and walking on a treadmill, now buying size 14, then buying size 22. It kind of made my head spin a tiny bit. Overall, I'm happy to hear a story about someone who lost weight the "natural" way (for lack of a better term).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Meszaros

    I have long been a fan of the blog pastaqueen.com and loved every minute of Fulda's book. Topping out at nearly 400 lbs, Jeannette decided to loose over half her body weight. However, instead of the usual attempts - weight loss surgery, liquid diet, WeightWatchers/Atkins/Grapefruit Diet - she did what so few people ever try. She ate less and exercised more. What makes her so wonderful to read is that she never hated herself, even at her most unhealthy times. She rarely berates herself just gentl I have long been a fan of the blog pastaqueen.com and loved every minute of Fulda's book. Topping out at nearly 400 lbs, Jeannette decided to loose over half her body weight. However, instead of the usual attempts - weight loss surgery, liquid diet, WeightWatchers/Atkins/Grapefruit Diet - she did what so few people ever try. She ate less and exercised more. What makes her so wonderful to read is that she never hated herself, even at her most unhealthy times. She rarely berates herself just gently eases into trying new things and going it bit further. For a self-proclaimed homebody she certainly has made a huge impact on many people. The scorching sarcasm and foul-mouthed commentary certainly add to her charm too. Before you start your new year's resolution with a carrot and a 10 mile run, check out Half-assed and/or pastaqueen.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vita

    This book was a waste of my money. I admit, I couldn’t really relate to anything the author wrote: she kept telling that she got to 370 pounds not because of some underlying emotional or psychological problems but because she didn’t know one thing about the nutrition. And I just don’t buy it. In my defence, she didn’t even try to connect with a reader. She is a queen of analogies: giving four analogies for one situation is a norm for her and that’s a bit too much. She is trying to be funny way t This book was a waste of my money. I admit, I couldn’t really relate to anything the author wrote: she kept telling that she got to 370 pounds not because of some underlying emotional or psychological problems but because she didn’t know one thing about the nutrition. And I just don’t buy it. In my defence, she didn’t even try to connect with a reader. She is a queen of analogies: giving four analogies for one situation is a norm for her and that’s a bit too much. She is trying to be funny way too hard but at the same time the fun is at others’ expense which is so not cool. A lot of times she is mean and egoistic, more than once assuming other people hate her because she weighs less than they. I could go on and on but the main idea is - I just didn’t like the book. At all.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I read a lot of great reviews of this book, and while I certainly commend Jennette Fulda for all her hard work and success, I must admit, this was not especially well written. Honestly, though, a lot of that falls to the folks who edited her, because it's written very much like her blog, which isn't edited; a good editor could've made a big difference and could've really polished her work. I also didn't like the cheap shots she took at and condescending attitude she sometimes showed toward other I read a lot of great reviews of this book, and while I certainly commend Jennette Fulda for all her hard work and success, I must admit, this was not especially well written. Honestly, though, a lot of that falls to the folks who edited her, because it's written very much like her blog, which isn't edited; a good editor could've made a big difference and could've really polished her work. I also didn't like the cheap shots she took at and condescending attitude she sometimes showed toward other overweight people, especially as she continued to drop weight.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Funny, witty, honest. A memoir of living in a world that makes unhealthy eating and lack of exercise the norm ... but that worships thinness. The author blogged her way through two years of a weight loss journey, providing the reader with her insights along the way. This book has changed the way I will view the obese and has caused me to examine my own eating and exercise habits.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I read about 70% of this book before I gave up. It was interesting an even a little inspiring to read about her weight loss. Once she lost the weight, though, she began to go into great detail about her blog and I just lost interest.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ann Cardinal

    A good book, nicely written. I have to admit, however, that I read it for inspiration and discovered half way through that she had gained 100 lbs back. I have no desire to judge her on that, but it lessened my faith in her for the rest of the book. Not as a person, but her as a narrator.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Reshma

    Um, the point of the book is that a perfectly normal woman loves to eat, grows obese and then decides to eat right and start running to get to a healthy weight? Found this poorly written and uninspiring.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mardi

    This book is amazing! I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading about weight loss but this book is so well-written and really speaks to some of the issues I'm facing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Terrible. Author is whiny and doesn't even seem to know much about nutrition and exercise. I disagreed with her on almost everything. Maybe good for some, but not me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Medved

    At the start of this whole “I am going to lose weight for the wedding” thing I decided I need some motivational literature. I googled “Best weight loss memoirs” and Half - Assed was the first book to pop us as a recommendation and it had some good reviews on GoodReads. It is also a pretty short read and easy to consume in small spurts without losing the whole story. This book follows Jennette’s story of first gaining hundreds of pounds and what life situations and decisions ended her up there. Th At the start of this whole “I am going to lose weight for the wedding” thing I decided I need some motivational literature. I googled “Best weight loss memoirs” and Half - Assed was the first book to pop us as a recommendation and it had some good reviews on GoodReads. It is also a pretty short read and easy to consume in small spurts without losing the whole story. This book follows Jennette’s story of first gaining hundreds of pounds and what life situations and decisions ended her up there. Then on to her having an ah-ha moment to motivate her to lose over half her total body weight after starting over 300 pounds. I was looking for a book that wasn’t all fairytales and rah-rah, that overly motivational stuff just dones’t do it for me. Things like Biggest Loser and pushing yourself to the absolute extreme for the sake of being skinny is just not my jam. I think Jennette delivered a great book and great motivation by telling a real story with some real feelings of failure and fighting through. Times I was feeling particularly discouraged or unmotivated I would bust out the book on Kindle and read a little till I was like “Yeah I can go work out, let’s do this”. Another thing I enjoyed about the read was that it was not full of trauma’s that she experienced while she was fat. I am not discounting stories that do that at all, I am just saying that it was not what I was looking for. I did not suffer a ton of discrimination while I was very overweight so it is something I cannot relate to at a level that would motivate me. One thing I loved about Jennett’s story is how Jennette fell in love with the process of working out and cooking and the skills she learned during that process. This is also something I can relate to as I started to lift weights I got so excited to learn more about form and lift heavier. Spin is another great example I work so hard to beat my last output or spin quicker out of the saddle. The process becomes the motivator more than the weight. At the end of the book, Jennette still was not at her goal weight, which is something I can relate to. Even though I have lost a total of 50 pounds I am still 20+ pounds away from my goal weight and it is nice to hear a story that hasn’t ended yet. I have decided on my next motivational weight loss book as I continue on this 12-week challenge that I just started. Do you have any recommendations on weight loss memoirs that you have read?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Prasad BSRK

    Honest, Charming and Quirky. I guess there are very few people in the world who can lose 200 pounds of their body weight and still maintain a sense of perspective about life. This book is not about how to lose weight - in fact she barely mentions about her macro nutrition, body composition and calorific needs or recommendations. This is a balanced personal narrative of what went through her head most of the time and how she processed the emotions along the journey. I have to admit that there are Honest, Charming and Quirky. I guess there are very few people in the world who can lose 200 pounds of their body weight and still maintain a sense of perspective about life. This book is not about how to lose weight - in fact she barely mentions about her macro nutrition, body composition and calorific needs or recommendations. This is a balanced personal narrative of what went through her head most of the time and how she processed the emotions along the journey. I have to admit that there are many instances in this book where I had to stop reading for a minute and laugh out loud, literally. Most people in life assume that being fat is an identity, even if only subconsciously. It takes a great deal of maturity to write about how that identity has shaped her life and what it meant to break that giant wall down, bit by bit. I am inspired by her emotional stability, balanced perspective and her strong sense of character. One of the great insights Jennette provides at the end is about how this process has taken different shapes and objectives as she went through it, and ends finally about how she thinks this is going to continue in her life. Give it a read if you are interested in absorbing a witty tale about a charming woman who half assed herself, and keeping yourself entertained and inspired at the same time at the absolute reality of emotions.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I loved this book. It wasn't any weight-loss memoir I have read. It was real and funny and the author was really wise. The end of the book was a conclusion and it basically said that no one factor made her fat and no one factor made her thin. I really enjoyed her insight saying that her body now matches what she's always felt in her mind but just because she was thin she said she couldn't stop fighting and making choices everyday to live healthier. She said the fat girl was always there and if s I loved this book. It wasn't any weight-loss memoir I have read. It was real and funny and the author was really wise. The end of the book was a conclusion and it basically said that no one factor made her fat and no one factor made her thin. I really enjoyed her insight saying that her body now matches what she's always felt in her mind but just because she was thin she said she couldn't stop fighting and making choices everyday to live healthier. She said the fat girl was always there and if she's not on top of things her fatness could slowly come back. She said being fat was a part of her life and that even though it's gone, she can't change the past of being fat and doing do-overs. She said that if you go on a limb it may break or you may fly from it, but if you don't try you'll never know. She encouraged me and made me realize I have control over my body and the choices I make when it comes to being healthier. The one area I did not agree was that she under-emphasized the importance of having a support network that is honest and judgement-free. This I feel is also crucial to help keeping yourself thriving. She did say that if you binge and mess up to not focus on it and it will change over-time. Tiny steps add up is her message and it is very uplifting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I really liked the first 2/3 or so of the book. It was interesting to read about Jennette Fulda's relationship with her body and how that changed as she improved her diet and exercise. Fulda is witty and has a sort of dry sense of humor. It was hard to finish the last few chapters, because they just seemed to reiterate the same messages over and over - what worked for her might not work for others and that she is determined to keep the weight off and feels so much better about herself. Again, I I really liked the first 2/3 or so of the book. It was interesting to read about Jennette Fulda's relationship with her body and how that changed as she improved her diet and exercise. Fulda is witty and has a sort of dry sense of humor. It was hard to finish the last few chapters, because they just seemed to reiterate the same messages over and over - what worked for her might not work for others and that she is determined to keep the weight off and feels so much better about herself. Again, I liked the book, but I think the last few chapters could have been condensed into just one.

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