Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Author: Jennette Fulda
Seal Press, 2008
250 pages

This may be a first for me: I found out about this book via Twitter because a friend of mine (@zigged) follows author Jennette Fulda (@jennettefulda), and one day she RT'd one of her tweets. I don't remember what the Tweet was about, but it was funny and therefore got my attention. So did the concept behind Half-Assed.

The actual title of the book is Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir, and that's what it is - a memoir. So, let's just get it out in the open right now: this isn't yet another one of those books that tells you what to eat and what not to eat. In fact, the author never reveals exactly which diet she's on.  But the writing is so entertaining and the stories are so compelling, it doesn't really matter.

Jennette was an overweight kid who grew up to be a morbidly obese adult. At one point, she weighed 372 pounds. After gall bladder surgery in her early twenties, she decided to do something about it. One of her deal-with-it methods was writing a blog called Pasta Queen, which developed quite a following while she was on her journey of losing more than half her body weight. Her humorous way of writing led me to more than one laugh-out-loud moment, and her dogged determination is nothing short of inspirational. But what I like best is her honesty. She doesn't hold anything back.

Nor does she gloat in her success. In fact, she often seems reluctant about being an inspiration/guru/weight loss expert, and reminds us several times that everyone has to find their own way. Again, very honest.

At the time she was writing the blog, Fulda (a native of Indiana) was living in Indianapolis. She now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This is interesting to me personally because I've lived in both cities. Her second book, Chocolate & Vicodin, came out earlier this year. It's about the aftermath of Half-Assed, when she developed a "headache that wouldn't go away" and how she dealt with that. Given my history with headaches, I might have to give it a try sooner rather than later.