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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir Paperback – April 29, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1580052337 ISBN-10: 1580052339
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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir + The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl + Secrets of a Former Fat Girl: How to Lose Two, Four (or More!) Dress Sizes--And Find Yourself Along the Way
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Editorial Reviews


"In this touching, funny, and sincere story, Jennette Fulda, who was once 372 pounds, recounts her lifelong struggle with her weight- first accepting it, then losing half of it." -- Shape Magazine, August 2008

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. -- Kirkus Reviews, Feb. 15, 2008

Following Indianapolis-based blogger Jennette Fulda's journey to lose almost two-thirds of herself is so inspiring you'll fill your cart with nothing but turkey cutlets and cruciferous vegetables for weeks. At age 24, she weighed 372 pounds. "The truth is," she writes, "I was a big, fat cliche." Despite some emotionally heavy moments, Fulda's biting humor and no-holds-barred honestly keep you turning the pages. -- Women's Health, July 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052337
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennette Fulda is a writer, web designer, chronic headache sufferer, weight loss inspiration, blogger, and overall busy person. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Learn more at JennetteFulda.com

She has been featured on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Salon.com, Women's Health, Shape, Runner's World, Glamour and other media outlets. She blogs at JenFul.com and does freelance web design at MakeMyBlogPretty.com

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas R. Miller on August 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can always tell how much I like a book by how fast I read it, and how much I abuse it. I received this book, and within 24hours I was turning the last page. Hours would slip by as I was reading Jeannette's witty, charming and honest portrayal of the weight loss journey. Other reviewers have pointed out that is wasn't 'inspirational' to them, or they couldn't relate - or she didn't give enough advice for them - but for me none of that was an issue.

I am a 29yo man who has had (and continues to have) a battle with weight similar to Jeanette's. It was so nice and refreshing to have someone say all of the things in my brain without me having to say them. She had me in stitches when she said she couldn't just throw all of her junk food out, and needed to start a 'bundt cake relocation program'. I also liked how a topic she came back to a few times was that as a heavier woman she always felt that skinny people were judging her, and when she lost the weight she felt that heavier people were judging her - dealing with our fear of other's judgement. Another topic that I could really relate to was when she talked about the 'FA' (Fat acceptance) clubs throwing her out cause she wanted to lose weight to be healthy.

No matter what Jeanette is writing about, she does it with a dry wit that can't help but make you laugh. If you are looking for a how to book, or a quick fix - this ultimately isn't for you - but if you are looking to comiserate about the internal struggle with weight loss, then pull up a bowl of sugar free Jell-o and crack the spine.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James F. Rendek on November 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have ever read. Every paragraph is loaded with humor and insight well beyond the typical diet book/memoir. I frequently wondered how the author could possibly organize her thought so well and express them so clearly. Technically this is not a how to book but you will learn more here than you will in most diet books and be well entertained. I lost over 200 pounds and eventually gained back half and I am now reapplying myself. I have been there so I can truly appreciate her work and her prose. My best advice is to read Atkins and read this book while you're on you're "weigh".

-Jim Rendek
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114 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Book Maven on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a sucker for a good before and after tale. Lucky for me, this memoir is so much more. Fulda chronicles her amazing 186+ weight loss, more than half of her starting weight. But she does more than just show us her weight loss; she describes her relationship with her body and with her daily habits with such wit and humor that I laughed out loud dozens of times. The pace is quick, and the content is interesting (no daily diet plans or lists of gym workouts here).

I also like Fulda's attitude. She doesn't pretend to be a weight loss guru, and she never disrespects herself and her body. Everyone knows how to lose weight...it's her dedication that makes her tale amazing. Also, I enjoy her focus on becoming athletic rather than getting thin (especially refreshing in today's "Get Skinny!" social climate.) She is a very positive person, even when dealing with ugly plus-size clothes, negative blog comments, or the inevitable plateaus.

This is a great, inspirational read, and Fulda is a delightful writer. Reading it made my wait at the DMV actually enjoyable; I only wish the book could have lasted longer!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Love to Learn on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book and the writer is so entertaining, it's like you're sitting down talking with her. For anyone that has a significant amount to lose, this book is inspiring.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Fret Frenzy on July 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is not just another diet book but a book about what really happened during those years of losing weight. I get frustrated with success stories that don't delve into the mind and emotions of the struggle to succeed. Or often times when they try to explain the journey after-the-fact it just comes out sounding so cliche' and empty. Fulda breaks the mold with this book and brilliantly communicates raw and real emotions of the struggles, victories and failures of her phenomenal weight loss achievement. Her commitment is the key to her attitude progression from 'fat girl syndrome' to 'weight loss mentality' to 'athletic decision making'.

There are no secret recipes, instructions or food rules, no exercise plans, etc, etc and thankfully so. If you don't know what to eat or how to exercise by now then you may not be ready for this book because this is where the rubber meets the road. This isn't about how to eat but about how one person got it done and is keeping it done! Not everyone is ready to hear about the struggle when they are still making 'plans' to lose weight but for those of us who are in the trenches this is a MUST READ! This is about a girl who didn't quit - a REAL American hero.

Though thoroughly entertaining this book is not meant for sensitive people. There are times when the language is quite rough and her merciless thoughts about others are a little tough but that's what this book is - her inner thought life. You may even get offended (like you would if you could read the minds of people around you) but I'd encourage you to get over it quickly and read on. I finished this book in 2 days, I don't even know how I found it because I wasn't looking for anything like this on Amazon but it showed up...to use Jeanette's words, my computer must know I'm fat!
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