Book 48: Half-Assed by Jennette Fulda
After undergoing gall bladder surgery at age twenty-three, Jennette Fulda decided it was time to lose some weight. Actually, more like half her weight. At the time, Jennette weighed 372 pounds.
Jennette was not born fat. But, by fifth grade, her response to a school questionnaire asking what would you change about your appearance” was I would be thinner.” Sound familiar?
Half-Assed is the captivating and incredibly honest story of Jennette’s journey to get in shape, lose weight, and change her life. From the beginning—dusting off her never-used treadmill and steering clear of the donut shop—to the end with her goal weight in sight, Jennette wows readers with her determined persistence to shed pounds and the ability to maintain her ever-present sense of self.
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve seen a ton of stories about people who have lost weight and how great it is because fat people are horrible and disgusting – it was nice to read a story about a woman who wanted to lose weight but still respected other fat people. She talks a bit about the Fat Acceptance movement, which I think is great. She acknowledges that BMI is just a number and that it’s not a perfect indicator of health. I really liked that. One of the reasons I’ve felt guilty about trying to lose weight is because I don’t want to add to a society that says that you’re only worth something if you’re thin and pretty. But, like Jennette Fulda, I realize that there’s a difference between losing weight because you’re unhealthy and losing weight because you want a guy to like you or because you want to wear pretty clothes (not that those can’t be supporting factors). I’m also glad she hated using the word “diet,” as she’s absolutely right that it’s not about depriving yourself or changing for just long enough to get to your goal weight. It’s about changing your lifestyle.
Fulda never mentions which diet plan/lifestyle change she was following, though if you’re familiar with certain diets, you can figure it out. If you look on her website, you can tell that she recommends a lot of South Beach Diet books, which is the diet that I figured she was on. I sort of wished that she would have gone into a bit more detail about what she ate. I understand why she wouldn’t want people to think that her way was the only way, but it would have been nice to see more of what she did.
I also didn’t like that it wasn’t chronological. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was a bit annoying. When I put this book on my wish list, I thought it was going to be more of a story about what she was like and how she decided to lose weight and then her struggles along the way, and while that was definitely part of this novel, it wasn’t quite how I imagined it would be. That said, it was still a really interesting novel, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.