Jennette Fulda lost over 200 pounds by making a commitment to healthy eating habits and exercise, and she tracks her journey through Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir. Her book provides a refreshing and honest look at the trials and tribulations of her weight loss, and it is written in a non-judgmental and inviting tone that will be appealing to those who have lost weight or want to lose weight, and everyone else who does not currently fit into either situation.
Fulda talks about how she found herself weighing close to 300 pounds, and how it was not until a year after the diagnosis of a health condition that should have scared her into making a change that she truly committed to the lifelong process. Fulda’s memoir includes the ordinary struggles of dealing with family and friends (some of whom are supportive and others who represent obstacles that must be overcome) as well as the acknowledgment that no one is perfect. She details the celebration of the small victories and her introduction to a new community of online friends (and critics) who read and comment on the blog she started to track her progress. She is particularly proud of the spinning photographs on her blog which allow readers to watch her physical transformation from all angles.
It was interesting to me that even as she achieved great success, Fulda continued to strive to be well-liked, even by her readers. For example, she makes it clear that she was positioned to lose the weight because she did not face the same obstacles as others who might find themselves in the position. She explains she did not have a husband or any children expecting a home-cooked meal each evening, or even fighting for her attention when she decided to go to gym. She also said she had the luxury of a treadmill in her home and questioned how someone could be faulted for not going to a gym when they could not afford the membership fees. Don’t get me wrong - she does make it clear that each pound was a struggle, and each setback was a challenge to overcome, but it somewhat surprised me that even after reaching her goal (and writing a book about it!) she apologizes for and minimizes her success, rather than reveling in it.
If you are looking for a book that sets out a weight-loss plan, then Half-Assed is definitely not for you. In fact, Fulda makes it a point to say she will not divulge the details of her eating habits. After reading her book, I do have a better understanding of why Fulda decided not to tell readers what “diet” she used, but I found this omission more of a distraction than it would have been had she just put it out there and moved forward. I recall at one point she references something about “lean cuisine,” which starting my mind racing to look for other clues about how she melted away all that weight. (In case you are curious, her blog
pastaqueen.com does provide the answer to this burning question).
Whether Fulda likes it or not, she is an inspiration to anyone who wants to lose five, fifty, or even one hundred pounds. She not only committed to make the change but allowed other to eavesdrop on both the highs and the lows of that transformation. Her story is a sentimental and supportive one that may be the additional motivation readers need to eat right, exercise, and live a full (not half) life for years to come.