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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,702 ratings  ·  252 reviews
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?

Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Seal Press
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Ellen Keim
The ONLY criticism I have of this book is the author's overuse of metaphors and similes. However, she comes up with some great ones, so I forgive her. Despite that tendency, Fulda is a very good writer. I kept wanting to stop and write down excerpts because I loved the way she put things.

Here are some of the things I liked about the book: The author takes on the fat acceptance movement for its own intolerance toward people who don't like being fat and want to lose weight. She refuses to despise
Claudia Kieselhorst
Upon reading the summary of this book, I was simply elated. I thought to myself, 'Finally! An amazing story of weight loss from someone who is my size or larger!'

I devoured this book and read it in just a couple of days - in bed when I woke up, during all of my breaks at work, and in bed again before falling asleep. While I admire Fulda's major accomplishment, and her apparent honesty in all steps of her journey, I do have some bones to pick with the author.

First, the woman is the Queen of analo
Impressive that she lost the weight; however she is so incredibly preachy it's distracting. It may have been more interesting to hear HOW she did it, rather than how great she feels for having done it.
Rebecca Johnson
The book and the author's website ( are a real look at a real person going through a real struggle. Like me, she likes to eat and has learned to cook healthy recipes to reach her goals. She found, to her dismay, that she likes to workout after shedding copious amounts of weight. She is funny and very candid with her quirks. An example is when she ran home to read her blog after discovering that her mother had found it online, scouring it for things that were humiliating and re ...more
Aug 16, 2008 jess rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Jennette Fulda bites the bullet, changes her lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise habits, and loses 200 pounds, not because she hates fat people, but because her fat is making her sick. She's concerned about dying from all the medical risks brought through being obese. She's living with her mom, and can't walk across a parking lot without getting winded. It takes a few years, but she reaches her goal, learns to love herself, and chronicles the entire journey in her blog,

My prim
I don't think you should read this book. It wasn't inspiring or useful, and the author is at best a pretty good author for someone who's not an author. That said, she had some pretty good lines and observations along the way. Kindle notes:

In German, the word kummerspeck is used to describe the weight you gain from emotional overeating. It literally translates to “grief bacon.” - location 202

It was like watching the TV movie of my life but constantly being interrupted for ads selling self-loathin
Fulda had been a chubby child, an obese teenager and a morbidly obese young adult. At almost 400lbs. by her early twenties, she couldn't stand for more than five minutes, she had outgrown even the plus size clothing stores and she'd never had a boyfriend. When her doctor brought up her weight, offering information about surgery, Fulda decided she had let herself go too far.
Beginning with just the few minutes on the treadmill she was capable of, and learning to cook low-fat food rather than eatin
Ken Montville
Apr 04, 2012 Ken Montville rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with weight issues
Recommended to Ken by: no one
In true memoir style, this book is an idealized, romanticized and, generally, abbreviated story of an epic weight loss. If you're looking for a "how-to" book on losing well over 200 pounds...this is not the book.

I came across this book in one of those random searches through Amazon and thought it looked interesting. After all, what overweight person wouldn't want to know how a young woman lost so much weight? There might be some magic formula tucked inside those pages somewhere. Of course, there
I really liked this book. Jennette is so honest and absolutely NOT condescending to the reader. She never once pretends to have all the answers to weight loss and says that every person is different and losing weight will be a different process and journey for each person. She also never says anything mean or rude about people who are still big and could stand to lose a few pounds..she talks about how cool of a person she was she was fat and does not apologize for it. It's a great read, very fun ...more
Pretty good. I bought this on an amazon kindle daily deal on a whim. I'll be honest, I didn't finish the entire book - I got about 70% through it and figured I got the gist of it. She was almost 400 lbs, she decides to cut calories and exercise and while battling her internal demons she loses almost 200 lbs. okay, I get it - job well done!
My one thought though out the whole book was how much she skips around - am I crazy for thinking this? One minute she's lost 80 lbs, then she's shopping for s
The story here was pretty good, but the similes certainly begin to grate on the nerves, like mozzerella cheese over a pizza. What?

Some that I liked enough to bookmark so I could share them in this review (yay kindle):
"I hasn't gotten this much unsolicited advice since the last time I'd had the hiccups."

"The blog was a stamp of validation on the parking garage ticket of my life."

"...led miserable lives but didn't realize it, like all those people who used AOL."

"I had friends who could eat a
I read a lot of great reviews of this book, and while I certainly commend Jennette Fulda for all her hard work and success, I must admit, this was not especially well written. Honestly, though, a lot of that falls to the folks who edited her, because it's written very much like her blog, which isn't edited; a good editor could've made a big difference and could've really polished her work. I also didn't like the cheap shots she took at and condescending attitude she sometimes showed toward other ...more
Rebecca Parker
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I don't need a weight loss tale to be inspirational or thoroughly detailed, but SOME details would be nice. I understand why the author was hesitant to admit what diet she followed (although I see now she admits it on her site, so I REALLY don't get it) but she hardly talks about what she did to lose weight besides "eat well and exercise." It seems a bit empty to me. And while I'm sure the author is a wonderful person, I found her somewhat unlikeable. ...more
Funny, witty, honest. A memoir of living in a world that makes unhealthy eating and lack of exercise the norm ... but that worships thinness. The author blogged her way through two years of a weight loss journey, providing the reader with her insights along the way. This book has changed the way I will view the obese and has caused me to examine my own eating and exercise habits.
Clark Goble
After being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes last year I've been on my own weight-loss journey of sorts. I'm down a little over fifty pounds since last year and recently joined Weight Watchers to help keep myself headed in the right direction. I found this book on Scribd and thought it might be inspirational. In reality, however, it really didn't provide that much inspiration. The author was, however, likable and just funny enough to keep me from quitting part way through the book. It reads kind o ...more
I have long been a fan of the blog and loved every minute of Fulda's book. Topping out at nearly 400 lbs, Jeannette decided to loose over half her body weight. However, instead of the usual attempts - weight loss surgery, liquid diet, WeightWatchers/Atkins/Grapefruit Diet - she did what so few people ever try. She ate less and exercised more. What makes her so wonderful to read is that she never hated herself, even at her most unhealthy times. She rarely berates herself just gentl ...more
Leenda dela Luna
The author lost 200lbs through diet & exercise, no surgery. The beginning was good. The last chapter was good. But there were a good 5 chapters where I wanted to punch her in the face for being so stupidly perky. She has a line about “but there was no sunshine coming out my ass” and I thought, “oh, yes there was!!” She reminded me of myself when I lost 90lbs at the age of 26 and was so sure I’d found healthy enlightenment. For me, it was not to be. I hope she does better. But I still wanted ...more
This book was a waste of my money. I admit, I couldn’t really relate to anything the author wrote: she kept telling that she got to 370 pounds not because of some underlying emotional or psychological problems but because she didn’t know one thing about the nutrition. And I just don’t buy it. In my defence, she didn’t even try to connect with a reader. She is a queen of analogies: giving four analogies for one situation is a norm for her and that’s a bit too much. She is trying to be funny way t ...more
A good book, nicely written. I have to admit, however, that I read it for inspiration and discovered half way through that she had gained 100 lbs back. I have no desire to judge her on that, but it lessened my faith in her for the rest of the book. Not as a person, but her as a narrator.
I read about 70% of this book before I gave up. It was interesting an even a little inspiring to read about her weight loss. Once she lost the weight, though, she began to go into great detail about her blog and I just lost interest.
This book is amazing! I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading about weight loss but this book is so well-written and really speaks to some of the issues I'm facing.
Sofia Stenroos
It's not THAT good. I thought it would describe better exactly what she did to loose the weight, not: "I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm going to continue doing it since it's working.". It's not hard to find books that explains the processes of weight-loss and what all the nutriens are and why we need them.

I also had a problem with her Writing, at times it's good, but mostly she just gets off track... She should have focused more on the Writing and editing, it felt longer than it actually
Ally Cabella
I enjoyed the book. It was written in a casual and very comical style. It held my interest.

This book is NOT a how to do it for yourself book at all. There is no quick and easy way. What worked for Jennette won't necessarily work for you. She just found a way to eat and exercise that her body reacted positively to. Eat healthy, make good choices and exercise... It's so simple, yet so difficult. It's something everyone has to discover for themselves. This book tells about her journey to 372 pound
This was a quick read! I was impressed by the author's accomplishments regarding weight loss, nutrition, and exercise. It is truly an amazing, AMAZING effort, no doubt. I didn't understand fully why she wasn't forthcoming with certain details of the journey such as the meal plan she chose. She did not share a great deal regarding what she ate except the various fruits and veggies she tries. We hear about countless recipes she tries, but never details like what kinds of recipes, specifically (mor ...more
Leah K

Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir by Jennette Fulda

When Jennette Fulda was in her early to mid-20's and started having some major health issues, she had no choice but the face the fact that she was nearly 400 pounds and in need of a lifestyle change. It was no easy thing to do but she faced it and would lose the weight after many attempts, failures, and hard work.

I find anyone who capable of losing such weight (or any weight) in a healthy manor to be a inspiration. I love the fact that she is
Amy Softa
I enjoyed this weight loss memoir much more than the other one I read. Probably because I could relate to this author's journey a lot more. She chose to lose the weight through diet changes and exercise. Besides how we lost our weight we also seem to share similar views on the process and what life is life after losing that much weight. She has some great insight at the end of the book as she looks at her life and how people relate to her now that she is thin. This is the book I am going to reco ...more

Weight has always been a big deal for me though I have 40 pounds to lose instead of 200. So that brought me to the book in the first place. (I'm mesmerized by The Biggest Loser show).

I wasn't sure as, of course, one never really is when reading a new author, whether I'd want to continue reading this book for a while when I first began.

The humor struck me as a bit forced at first. Then I was interested enough in "how it was going to turn out" to continue...and then I was fully committed to fini
This is a story about a girl who took a look at herself and made a choice that many of us find incredibly difficult without a doctor's warning of (literal) impending doom. Jennette Fulda takes us on a journey from her starting weight and then in various steps through exercise and a better, healthier diet shows us how much it changed her life for the better.

What I liked most about this book is Fulda's honesty. There's never a boast that because she could do it, that you can too. She doesn't write
I'm only a chapter into this book and I'm already thinking it might be my favorite of all the weight loss memoirs I've read so far. I learned that in German, kummerspeck, is a single word for emotional overeating. It literally translate to 'grief bacon.' Very interesting.... I love Ms. Fulda's writing style - very clear, humorous, honest. She writes, "While many of my fat photos stimulate the pain center of my brain, looking at my graduation photos makes electroshock therapy seem like a spa trea ...more
This is a great read. The author lost more than half her body weight, which is amazing. In this book she chronicles her journey, and it is a pretty honest telling. The honesty makes it excellent, because usually there is a lot of hype in this genre (look what I did! you can do it, too!). She doesn't make this claim. She doesn't pretend to have a secret. She acknowledges at the end of the book that she can't see the future and the lost weight might come looking for her again. She doesn't tell the ...more
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Jennette was born weighing 8 pounds 5 ounces, but eventually tipped the scales at 372 pounds before losing almost 200 pounds through diet and exercise. In 2008, she got a headache that still hasn't gone away and tried everything from pills, pot, and acupuncture to relieve it. These experiences are chronicled in her books "Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir" and "Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for ...more
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“Being fat was traumatic, but the food was amazing.” 4 likes
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