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Secrets of a Former Fat Girl: How to Lose Two, Four (or More!) Dress Sizes--And Find Yourself Along the Way Paperback – February 26, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452289246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452289246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite her lack of medical credentials, "Former Fat Girl" Delaney (a freelance journalist currently writing for Health magazine) is convincing simply because she has not only lost weight but has kept it off. She has figured out how to go from size 16 to size 2 jeans and maintain a healthy, slim figure for decades. Instead of talking diets, Delaney focuses on motivation. It's essential to feel like you have control over your life; you have to believe you can change, she insists. After talking about the Jazzercise class that first gave her that "I can" feeling, Delaney offers some practical advice so readers can go beyond losing weight to realizing a better self-image. Keep your new eating/exercising regimen a secret, she advises, as family and friends may be surprisingly resistant to your changes. Be firm and exclude foods or situations you know you can't handle. Visualize the life you want for yourself. Even if her advice is not terribly new, Delaney mixes optimism and realism in such manageable proportions, she may give readers just the boost they need. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Realistic, smart, and exquisitely funny tips for . . . keeping the weight off for good.”
The Seattle Times

“Working in an industry that is obsessed with size, it is refreshing to read a witty, true story about weight loss and managing a healthy lifestyle.”
—Nigel Barker, America’s Next Top Model --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I did not give it one star becuase I liked the title.
C. Porter
A weight loss book that deals with the emotional side of why we "fat girls" do what we do!
Ashley Manning
I've recommended this book to friends that have had struggles with weight loss.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

218 of 225 people found the following review helpful By Beth T. on April 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The thing I liked best about this book was its fresh sense of reality and its ability to address PERMANENT weight control in a clear, simple, practical way. Having been on hundreds of diets over the past forty years, I know that Dieting, as we know it, ALWAYS leads to temporary success followed by regaining what was lost and then some--no exceptions!

The few times I have managed to keep weight off for any length of time I instinctively used part of Delaney's seven-point system but somehow missed a few of her other--and obviously very important--points having to do with self-image and self-sabotage, the supreme importance of INO, and how to handle all types of Food Pushers who, like the experts, just don't understand. And the insights she gives are from years of really dealing with the problems, unlike the Experts who research like crazy but rarely have lived with our realities.

Delaney lost major weight (50+ lbs.) and has kept it off for more than 20 years unlike most of the Experts who have lost perhaps a few pounds and think, because of the alphabet soup after their names, they know it all and want to sell it to us in another dieting-Bestseller-of-the-Month with a gymicky title.

As a former Library Director, I have a few fancy degrees too, but when it comes to my blubber, my newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes and my high blood pressure, I can tell you they don't mean squat. The way I see it, only someone who was a chronic dieter who has succeeded knows the true secrets. People who follow the Diet Doctors' advice fail over and over and over again as the current obesity epidemic is proving.

I believe in Delaney.
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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By everala on May 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Delaney's advice stems from her personal experience going from size 16 to size 2. I'm positive that her descriptions of the pain she experienced being a "fat girl" hit close to home for many readers, as they did me. The shame you feel sneaking food when no one is looking, hiding behind large clothes as to not draw attention to yourself, always being the "friend" and not the "girlfriend", of feeling weak when confronted with the strength of your appetite, etc.

What I found most helpful was not the way she broke the program into steps, but her language or persistence that pervades well into the afterward. There is NO diet in this book, no list of good foods or bad foods, no list of do's and don't--because, and this is something everyone who has tried to lose weight knows--diets do not work. Go on your choice, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, whatever, return to your old habits and the weight begins to pile back on. Delaney never fails to add that real weight loss is a process, a lifestyle change, she herself has moments of weakness or doubt, but something inside of her is fueling her to change her life for the better, to put herself first.

It's about looking in the mirror and liking the person you see. If you're comfortable in your own skin at a size 12, that's a beautiful thing, and nothing to be ashamed of. I felt when reading this book that she was making an important statement for all women, not just "fat girls" or "former fat girls" because when we're surrounded by images that constitute modern notions of beauty, we all feel imperfect.

The book makes a delicate stride at examining the psychology of why "fat girls" overeat and what we're compensating for, something that I'm sure you could only arrive at after a long stint with a couselor or therapist.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Manning on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A weight loss book that deals with the emotional side of why we "fat girls" do what we do! It contains practical advice for changing the way we think about and react to food. I have read many weight loss books over the years, and they all tell you the same thing--eat less, move more. Lisa Delaney tells you why those things are so hard for some of us...and how to overcome the obstacles to permanent weight loss. Highly recommended!!!
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70 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Laurie K on June 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book after reading the Newsweek interview with the author, and I find it difficult to relate to.

I highly commend this author for not only her weightloss, but also for finding self-confidence and self-esteem. She was cripplingly shy, horrendously self-conscious and a binge-eater - and that was more the issue than the extra pounds she was carrying around. She found a way to liberate herself from the baggage, both physical and emotional. I applaud that.

Unfortunately, although I am plump, I am not shy, not all that self-conscious and I don't binge eat. I don't feel that my validity as a person is in jeopardy because I'm overweight. As such, I had a really hard time relating to almost any of the author's experiences, which dulled the impact of the great advice she was giving. I treated this book like a memoir of a person who is interesting but not like me instead of an advice book directed at me.

This book did give me a glimpse of what it's like to be truly paralyzed by how you look and how much you weigh, and to be controlled by your apetite. That's scary. But it was so far removed from where I am that it didn't do much to inspire me.
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