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My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World Hardcover – February 23, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439150109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439150108
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,770,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Comedian and actor Jeff Garlin is best known for his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Garlin also spent three seasons on NBC's Mad About You in the role of Marvin, and has a variety of television and film appearances to his credit including Dr. Katz, Arrested Development, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Goes to the Mayor, The Daily Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Daddy Day Care, and WALL-E. He has also had his own HBO half-hour comedy special.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

God bless my wife, she always calms me down. As I’m looking through our mail this morning, she says, “You’re going to see something you’re not going to like.” And I say, “Really? What?” She pauses, gives me a knowing look, and says, “Just use it in your comedy.” I start thumbing through the mail. I have received a catalog from the good people at Living XL. It’s a catalog for fat people who want to stay fat and enjoy themselves. The message is, basically, “Don’t lose weight. No, no, no. All the problems that you normally have with being fat—we’ve got a solution.” How do they know to send me a catalog? Do they have a list of fat celebrities?

I open it up. The first product on offer is a three-wheel bike with a five-hundred-pound capacity. As I look at this contraption, I’m wondering how many five-hundred-pound people are sitting around—well, they are obviously sitting or maybe lying around—but how many of them are sitting around thinking, I so want to go biking. I just don’t have the opportunity. I weigh 450. If only there was a bike that could hold my weight. Then I’d have no excuse.

Next up, fat ponchos. Because we know the regular poncho is so slimming. Has anyone ever put on a poncho and said, “This is not freeing enough?” I guess the only way this thought would cross your mind is if you’re a really fat woman and you’re wearing a muumuu underneath your oversized poncho. Poncho and muumuu, sounds like a new cop show.

The next page features a lawn mower–handle extender. I don’t know what that has to do with being fat. Wait a second; it must be to allow extra room for your stomach! That’s probably it.

Now how about one of those chairs you bring to a kid’s soccer game, except this one’s got an eight-hundred-pound capacity. How many eight-hundred pounders do you see out in society? It must be for a four-hundred pounder, who’s got a four-hundred-pound girlfriend who wants to sit on his lap. How about a 650-pound-capacity sand chair. How many 650-pound people do you see at the beach? Do you ever? No! They’re at home. They can’t leave.

What else? Okay, here’s a hammock with a six-hundred-pound capacity. Now, I don’t care what you weigh, getting on and off a hammock is quite difficult. I don’t care if you weigh 150, hammock mobility is hard for everyone. So you’re six hundred pounds. The odds of you getting on that hammock are so slight. You’re going to be on the ground. You’re six hundred pounds—once you do get on you’re never getting off. So it’s good that it supports your weight, because you’re never getting up again.

Let’s see here, next is the big key computer keyboard. Because Lord knows, your fingers are so fat, a typical computer keyboard’s not going to work for you.

Here’s one with a great name. It’s the Pride XL Mobility Chair. I read the description and learn that when you press a button on the chair, instead of having to get up, the chair lifts you up. And yet they call it the Pride Mobility Chair. I think one of the first things about being a proud person is that you can stand up on your own. I’m not talking about someone in a wheelchair or someone who was in an accident. I’m talking about when you really don’t have a reason for not being able to stand up yourself. They should call it the Embarrassment Mobility Chair. Or the You’ve Hit Rock Bottom Mobility Chair. Or even the You Should Be Ashamed Mobility Chair.

Next up is something you’ve probably seen in commercials. And to me, this is so horrible and wrong . . . it’s the Living XL Wearable Sleeves Blanket. Now, how many times have you covered yourself in a blanket, and then thought, I can’t get up! I can’t maneuver; if only I had sleeves! It’s only a matter of time until you see someone wearing this thing at the grocery store to keep warm while perusing the frozen foods aisle.

My God, they’ve got toilets! All right, here’s one: a toilet seat that’s called the Big John toilet seat. And if you think I’m making this up, I’m not—1,200-pound capacity. Can a 1,200-pound person get up and go to the bathroom, let alone sit down and read? Twelve hundred pounds?! Who’s taking a shit in that house? It’s described as “durable and convenient.” I understand the need for durability on this one, but what makes it more convenient than other toilet seats? Oh, right, it must be for the four-hundred-pound man with the four-hundred-pound girlfriend who wants to sit on his lap as he goes number two—or in this case, number five. The 1,200-pound capacity toilet really takes the worry out of going to the john. Once you get there, there’s no panicking questions like, “Can it hold me?” Oh yes, it can. It most certainly can.

And here’s another bottomed-out contraption, the “Pistol-Grip, No-Bend Toenail Clippers.” Not being able to reach your toes because of the size of your belly—I’m sorry, but that’s a low point. Maybe it’s not the low point. You could be wearing a blanket and clipping your toenails while taking a dump on the Big John. It’s a low point just the same.

But here’s the moment that might be the real bottom for me: I turn the page and look at the model who’s displaying the Cabin Comfort Inflatable Pillow—and who do you think he looks like? That’s right, he looks like me. When you’re going through a fat catalog and making fun of it, and you get to the last page and the model is your twin, that’s your low point. It was embarrassing enough just being sent a copy in the mail, but the fact that I look like a model in Living XL renders me speechless. I just don’t know what to say. He looks just like me! Wow. I’ve always wanted to look like a model, but not one from the Living XL catalog. So this is my bottom. Done! I’m not messing around anymore. I’m like the Captain in WALL-E. If not now, then when? You will see a weight-loss festival like you’ve never imagined.

As I get started on this big bowl of adventure, I wonder why I’m doing it. I guess I look at this book as my impetus. My motivating factor. If writing this book doesn’t make me lose weight and/or go green, what will?

This might be my only book, ever. I wish someone were writing it for me. Actually, I wish someone were losing the weight for me, too. There are times when I’m happy to sell out. Just not when I’m the writer. If I’m truly responsible for something—and you have to be responsible for your own book, your name’s on the cover—I have to make it the best I can. I really hope this book is great. If I do something that’s good, I look at it as a failure. Maybe that’s harsh, but life . . .

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When you see a bunch of x’s in a row something happened. Something bad. Bad and self-inflicted. So here’s what happened.

I got distracted. I get distracted a lot. I have attention deficit disorder (ADD). That’s not such a huge deal—in fact, I think almost every comedian I know has ADD. It’s what happens when I get distracted that’s the problem. I just went down to the kitchen and ate a huge bowl of Life cereal.

I just had a big bowl of life. Literally. And therein lies the problem.

Let me explain my eating disorder to give you an idea what I’m up against. You can put me in a room. And in that room you have the best pot in the world, the best coke in the world, the greatest glass of wine of all time, and a two-day-old grocery-store sheet cake. Guess where I’m going? Half of it could be covered in ants. I swear to God. And I’d eat the other half. I am an addict. And let me tell you, of all the addictions that are most unattractive, being a compulsive overeater is number one.

Look, if you do drugs, you’re going to get laid. Smoke pot? Do blow? Drink? You’re having sex. You never hear a woman at a party say, “You see that guy shoving burgers in his mouth? I’m going to fuck the shit out of him. Oh, he is hot. Are those White Castle Slyders he’s eating?”

Also, I have a lot going on right now. I’m supposed to hand in a script for a film that I am slated to direct, and I am nowhere near finished. It’s no wonder I’m fat. I think I can write a book and a script while I’m in production on Curb Your Enthusiasm. By the way, I’m an executive producer and a co-star of that fine production. I figure I should mention that; I never assume that anyone knows who I am. Then again, I guess if you bought this book you probably know who I am and I suppose you like me. If you bought this book and you don’t know who I am, then good for you for taking a chance. If you bought this book and you don’t like me, then hats off to you. You’re the bigger person. Trust me, if I didn’t like you, I would never buy your book.

To stay focused, I’ve decided to keep a diary of my accomplishments, so to speak. So here goes.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2008

I’m standing in the kitchen staring at a box of Lucky Charms. The magical deliciousness overtakes me. I’ll start tomorrow. Although, after I’m done, I’ll recycle the box.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2008

Where did the fresh bagels come from? I’ll start on Monday. Labor Day. It’s better to start on a date I can remember. Who remembers August 29? I’m sorry if that’s your birthday. I didn’t mean to insult you.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2008

No, I’m not starting yet....


Related Media

Customer Reviews

I have a new respect for Jeff Garlin after reading this book.
Ouija
The main thing the book falls short with, is the brevity and lack of spark talking about Curb and about being green that makes this a pleasant read but not a must get.
austin_Larry
It isn't necessarily that Jeff Garlin's "My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World" is a bad book.
Jeffrey N. Fritz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Leonard on February 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Jeff Garlin has created a truly inspiring piece of work. He shines a light on environmental awareness, as well as self improvement. He demonstrates the process of reaching both goals quite effectively, with just the right amount of Garlin-esque humor along the way. The first chapter will have you chuckling aloud before things even get kicked off. My Footprint is a short read but thoroughly entertaining. Curb fans will laugh as they recall the scenes that My Footprint takes them through. However, it's not a Curb-centered book, therefore Non-Curb fans won't find themselves uninterested in the least. The addict in all of us, whatever the addiction, will identify with Garlin and begin to pull for his success. Garlin will manage to motivate the most unmotivated and amuse you in the process.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barrie W. Bracken on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jeff Garlin's "My footprint; carrying the weight of the world" had a couple of stories that were pretty funny. But overall I was disappointed in the book. Perhaps it was my own expectation that he'd come to some major epiphany that I could savor for years to come. However, he vaguely touched on weight loss techniques/strategies while he shamelessly promoted his work, name dropped about celebrities he knows, and sold the merit of energy efficiency. I would not recommend this book to someone looking for inspiration; it's more for someone looking for autobiographical information on the comedian.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hunt on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One has to have great empathy for Jeff Garlin's longtime struggle with his weight and health. It clearly defines his life, as he points out in his new book, "My Footprint". I wonder, however, exactly why this book was written.

At the end of the book Garlin suggests that people with similar disorders need an impetus and "My Footprint" is his contribution. That's a noble thought but his book doesn't reflect much of that impetus as largely he seems to continue down the same path of failure. Mostly a narrative with a diary bent, Garlin's book neither picks up much steam along the way nor goes anywhere. He's always suffering. We hear that at the beginning and at the end. It's a loop of angst.

There is a side view of his wanting to be "green" and all the steps he takes to make his own home more liveable to that effect, but that distracts the reader from the author's own weight loss desire. It has almost no bearing on his theme of getting in better shape.

A chapter on his visit to a Pritkin Longevity Center in Miami was the best of the book, but uncharacteristic of the other chapters. I hadn't heard of Jeff Garlin before reading his book but saw him on a tv promotional segment. I guess if you're a fan of his you might connect with "My Footprint" but I found it lacking in much humor for which he seems to be so noted and not very forceful in how to solve those problems which he encounters.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kerrie on February 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have to say I really enjoyed this book so much. I expected it to be a yuck-fest (as in laughs, not grossness) along the lines of most comedic memoirs these days, but in this case Jeff really has something to say. I am impressed at how honest he is about his weight struggles, and yet how funny he can still make that struggle seem. I snorted out loud when I read the passage about a naked Jeff breaking a massage table and passing a little gas on the way down, but felt for him at the same time. All in all, a fast read with lots of humor and heart.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Life Is Good on March 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In search of finding a pearl of wisdom about losing weight through a celebrity's experience, I found one, although not the one I expected, since he actually doesn't resolve his issue: The major theme that comes through in this book, which is basically only a diary punctuated with a little stereotypical humor, is Jeff's love of his problem and his love of making it part of his identity--the pearl being that, in order to resolve an issue such as a weight problem, we need to remove it as part of our identity. Ultimately, Jeff's weight is just part of his shtik, and this book will be added to his curriculum vitae as an "author of several books" since there will no doubt be an update printed by a publisher looking to make a quick buck based on a celebrity's travails--especially if he actually loses the weight. Don't waste your time or money on this fluff.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Siegel on March 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Curb Your Enthusiasm is a clever show so I expected a lot of clever humor and interesting insights in this book. Instead, I found only an occasional chuckle. The use of English is so simple that the reading, while it goes quickly, becomes tedious at times. There is much redundancy and there are no significant conclusions, so feel free to pick any point to start or stop reading and you won't have missed much.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a really intriguing book for a variety of reasons. Foremost is the authors ongoing challenge to lose weight and keep it off.

And I admit to being mad at times, reading of a well paid, successful celebrity who can afford good healthy, organic food who still chooses to make poor food choices while making poor choices. Mad because I am a widow who has to work hard to eat whole healthy, non junk food on a weekly budget of less than $30.

Some readers may be put off by some of the language, which involves some profanity. But the author is a comic, and is on a popular television series which also is rough around the edges and one probably should assume, readers will know this and not be off put.

Yes the author writes about a few recycling activities he does, which is actually less than what folks in my neighborhood do. Guess if you live in Hollywood and make more money, doing a little is seen as doing a lot. Did like reading of his visiting Ed Begley Jr whom I consider a hero, even though I have never met the man. He inspired me decades ago, and still does. And he is an excellent example of a thoughtful, mature man who walks his talk, when it comes to lifestyle changes.

How he is treated and expects to be treated when because of his poor eating, lifestyle choices, he ends up at one hospital and then leaves and goes to a great hospital, simply reminded me of how a vast number of hard working Americans who either don't have healthcare coverage or access to a top hospital like Cedars Sinai, are treated every day and overall are thankful they even are seen, however long it takes when in the emergency room.
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More About the Author

Comedian and actor Jeff Garlin is best known for his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Garlin also spent three seasons on NBC's Mad About You in the role of Marvin, and has a variety of television and film appearances to his credit including Dr. Katz, Arrested Development, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Goes to the Mayor, The Daily Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Daddy Day Care, and WALL-E. He has also had his own HBO half-hour comedy special.

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