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If I Can Lose It... a middle aged tech-fanatic's extraordinary journey & guidebook for losing weight Paperback – February 9, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan has been a working artist for most of his adult life. He lives with his actress/author wife, Georgina, their musician son, Joshua, two strange cats (he asks if there are any other kinds) Renfield and Thisby in their home on the oddest little street in New York City. As a consequence of his lucky circumstances, his life is filled with an abundance of art and wonder. Jonathan is a recent Master of Media Arts graduate of the New School University in New York. His first feature length film, Igniting Water, is currently in pre-production, and he will make his directorial debut when the film begins shooting in April/May 2011. Writing a book on weight control is not something he ever in this life dreamed he would do.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456354728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456354725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,977,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So many diets. So many books. I've done and read so many my head is spinning. But I really enjoyed this one. It was honest, it was funny, it was on target. I even joined My Fitness Pal (MFP) after reading it and have used Jonathan's very sane sense to help me lose over a pound in 2 days. Take his words to heart and to head and you won't be disappointed. But remember....he's not the boss of you, so YOU have to do the work! I plan to!
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Format: Paperback
No one really needs an entire book to find out how to lose weight. They need the correct set of simple instructions on what the right habits are and how to develop those habits. They need a bit of knowledge about why those habits are going to do the job, and they need to figure out how to make the above pieces fall into a lifestyle.

The lifestyle part is the most important. All the gimmick diets fail you once you lose your weight goal, because you can't live on the gimmick diets forever. Most of them aren't even very good for you.

These notes are an important preface to discussing Mr. Ellis book, because he takes you down a lifestyle journey that is unusual in the world of weight loss guides. At lot of weight loss guides are written by fitness trainers who have rarely actually had to lose weight, or medical/research professionals who think they know how but are sitting around with a 30 BMI while they are telling you how to get to 22 BMI. Even if their advice works, there is a bit of disconnect from the reality of what you will experience. When the reality differs from the plan, the dieter can become discouraged and give up.

Jon Ellis didn't give up. A large portion of this book describes his daily journey in losing his first 25 pounds. He discusses what he did, when he lost weight, and when he picked some back up. I think this diary of his experience is important for anyone who has struggled with diets to read. You are going to recognize stumbling blocks that have caused you to question if you were on a real weight loss path, or if what you are doing is still working. Finding the validation in Jon's words that you WILL get past these mysterious little periods of "non-productivity" may be the greatest service Jon provides here.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If I Can Lose It by Jonathan Ellis is not your standard diet or weight loss book. It doesn't promise miracle cures or take a snooty superior attitude. It doesn't boast of results that the average person will find unattainable. Quite the contrary - Jon Ellis is careful to skewer the diet industry, entertainingly, from the beginning, and he establishes convincingly that what he did is sensible, manageable, and reproducible. The system isn't complicated - it involves the use of a computer or ipod application to count calories - and the real value of the book is in its sensible approach to the psychological aspect of weight loss. In a blog-based style which is literate, breezy, honest, and enthusiastic, Ellis talks about his ups and downs both of weight and of mood and dramatizes the way he was able to accept those ups and downs while still remaining confident of the attainability of his goal. He exposes, by example and not by preaching, the unhealthiness of many people's attitudes toward their weight loss. There is no slick and manipulative system here: rather, you will find a strategy that can be adapted and followed without relying heavily upon willpower, endurance, counterintuitive eating patterns, or abandoning gustatory pleasure.

The real pleasure of this book is the style, which is positive and often funny without being arrogant or condescending. I like to read a writer who is consistently effective at the sentence level. Ellis has a natural fluidity of phrasing that resembles day to day speech but is actually more carefully crafted. Diet and weight loss are not easy topics for me to read about, and the fact that I was able to stay with his book without getting annoyed or disgusted, as I do with most self-help books, is tremendously to his credit.

I bought this book at another site and read it on my Kindle. Most of the graphics and images look good on the Kindle.
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Format: Paperback
I will admit, in the first chapter or so of the book, I was not sold. Structurally, this book takes a lot of left turns and presents a stream-of-consciousness style of talking about this author's weight-loss journey, which, at times, was maddening. However, once he abandons the structured chapter form halfway through the book and reverts to a journal form (which is what it is: a journal), then the pacing seems natural.

There's so much honesty in the narration of this journey that, ultimately, it can't help but be endearing. By the end, you're rooting for Jonathon, to keep going, to persevere, to not be set back. At times you wonder how he's ever going to get there, with so much second-guessing, but his determination is clearly unshakeable.

Having said that, when it came to the second-guessing and the questions raised, I found myself wanting much more. As a man going through my own weight-loss journey as I write this, I know that for most people who struggle to make it through, the struggle is essentially an emotional journey. If it were not tied to deep-seated emotions, it wouldn't be such a struggle. At times, the author notices something peculiar about his own behavior, or his reactions, but doesn't seem to often delve for answers. I almost feel like NOW would be the perfect time for him to write this book, after he's had time to sit with the material and really ask himself some important questions. Why was weight a problem to begin with? What was the emotional gain? And ultimately, what changed about himself that created this transformation? The answers are brushed against, or alluded to, but I got the sense as a reader that it's not the whole story. He's not telling us everything he knows, perhaps because he doesn't know that he knows it yet.
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