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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,928 Ratings  ·  257 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Claudia Kieselhorst
Jul 01, 2010 Claudia Kieselhorst rated it did not like it
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
Ellen Keim
Jan 21, 2012 Ellen Keim rated it liked it
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
Klinta (book owly)
Feb 06, 2016 Klinta (book owly) rated it it was ok
As amazing as the change author managed to do to her life, the book didn't really give me what I hoped for.

It seemed like there's more talk about her cheating days than those she actually were on track. And obviously that is not what happened in real life. She also didn't write about times she did wanted to sin, but chose not to. Perhaps it was mentioned once or twice, but that's all.

I have to mention that it did seem that the character of the main heroine changed for the worse, she might feel
May 05, 2009 Staci rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 16, 2008 jess rated it did not like it
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
Rebecca Johnson
Jul 31, 2011 Rebecca Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 04, 2013 Eva rated it liked it
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
Apr 10, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
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
Jan 13, 2012 jennifer rated it liked it
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
Amy Softa
May 21, 2013 Amy Softa rated it really liked it
Shelves: nf
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
Ken Montville
Apr 04, 2012 Ken Montville rated it it was ok
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
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 10, 2013 Shannan rated it liked it
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
Jun 21, 2010 Melissa rated it liked it
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
Aug 02, 2011 Julie rated it it was ok
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
Aug 22, 2009 Rebecca Parker rated it it was ok
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
Jul 28, 2015 Nolan rated it liked it
Shelves: bookshare
This is among the most witty, refreshing, and honest looks at significant weight loss I've read. Like so many books these days, this one had its origins in a blog. Fulda weighs in at 372 pounds when she recognizes that weight loss is crucial for her for so many reasons.

I loved the fact that this book isn't full of proscriptions and meal plans. There was no mystic climb to some lofty place none of the rest of us can reach wherein lies mystical psychobabble secrets of weight loss that, if tried b
Aug 22, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it
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
Apr 03, 2015 Clark Goble rated it liked it
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
Leenda dela Luna
Feb 27, 2014 Leenda dela Luna rated it liked it
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
Apr 07, 2014 Vita rated it it was ok
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
Jun 21, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
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.
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
Although I found myself skimming this toward the end, I really identified with a lot of her struggles. I saw a lot of me in her and that made this so readable. She's a normal person who got fat and blogged on her journey to thinner. I'd much rather read those stories than celebrity diet and diet how tos. Nice balance of memoir and research woven in. The chapters were edited into a narrative rather than just reprinting blog posts, which added to it.

I've read some of her work in other writings and
Oct 20, 2011 Erin rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 12, 2011 Mardi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library_copy
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
Nov 13, 2014 Sofia Stenroos rated it it was ok
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
Jan 18, 2015 Ally Cabella rated it it was amazing
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
May 08, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
This took me a while to get through, and I think that's because after Jennette loses the first 100 pounds or so, the book stalls a bit. It's almost as though she covered the hard part but knew she still had 100 pages of a memoir to write. This is part of the problem with bloggers who publish full-length books; they need to figure out what to say that hasn't already been written online.

I did appreciate this from the perspective of someone who works with heavier-set people, and I thought her asses
Oct 14, 2011 Leslie rated it liked it
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
Feb 09, 2012 Leah K rated it really liked it

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
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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
“I never planned what I was going to eat until I was hungry, which was like waiting until I was drunk to start driving.” 0 likes
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