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Secrets of a Former Fat Girl: How to Lose Two, Four (or More!) Dress Sizes--And Find Yourself Along the Way
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Secrets of a Former Fat Girl: How to Lose Two, Four (or More!) Dress Sizes--And Find Yourself Along the Way

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  570 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
An inspiring account of one woman's mission to lose six dress sizes and change her life for good For Lisa Delaney, being a "fat girl" wasn't just a matter of weight, it was a state of mind. At one hundred eighty-five pounds, she was despondent over diets that never worked and disappointed by her dull job and lack of a love life-until a late-night epiphany involving a half- ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Plume Books (first published April 19th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,179)
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Ellie
PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!! I started reading it and I thought it was crap. Then I got to a point and thought maybe it's a joke (when she tells dieters to avoid nosy well meaning people by sequestering themselves). But I am afraid that this book looks like it's serious.

I've never read a Mass-market published book that so explicitly promoted self-hate, and I've read that skinny bitches book. This is worse than the skinny bitches book where they yell at you in text format.

This is such garbage.

That isn'
...more
Kate
Oct 21, 2007 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls on the way to losing weight
Shelves: girlsonly, nonfiction
This book echoed a lot of my own struggles in losing weight and it was an inspirational read. Delaney offers lots of been-there-done-that advice for "fat girls" who are trying to get in shape, again, or for once. The heart of the book is that losing weight is less about getting into a smaller pair of jeans, and more about being true to yourself, treating yourself well and loving life.
Kristie J.
This book was okay, not very inspirational. It would have been better if the author wrote it as a memoir, recounting how she lost the 70 pounds and how she felt about herself along the way, rather than giving advice like a how-to guide. I was turned off after reading the first couple of sentences where the author arrogantly says: "You don't know me, but you probably hate me. I'm the girl in the size 2 jeans with the ten marathon medals hanging on the wall... despite my tight butt and bikini-wort ...more
Angela
May 06, 2010 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read several weight loss type books and articles and several self help books. Thiw was the first time I actuall felt like the author understood my situation. I related with her totally. The advice was straight forward and honest. She never claims it's easy but she also doesn't make it feel impossible to make changes. It's easy to feel overwhelmed especially when you have a lot of weight to lose and it's nice to have someone put it in perspective. After I read it I felt like, hey it's ok i ...more
Bry
Sep 03, 2011 Bry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
This book started out strong, faltered a bit, then fizzled out at the end. I could relate the author in the beginning, but the more I read I realized that while I have weight issues which lead to emotional/mental issues this poor woman's problems were off the chart. So what I thought would be a book that was half memoir and half tips/ideas/motivations to change myself ended up being 1/2 pity party for the author, 1/4 gloating on the author's part on how far she has come, and 1/4 tips, etc.

Don't
...more
Sarah
Jun 28, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't consider myself a "fat" girl, but anyone who has struggled with losing weight and getting fit will likely relate to this book. I know I did. You are not going to learn a specific diet or how to exercise, but that is not what I was looking for when I added this to my summer reading list. I wanted to get insight into someone else's experience so that I can see how to apply it myself, and Lisa delivered. Her story is inspiring, and provides great tips on how to not only lose weight and get ...more
Damecatoe
Aug 01, 2007 Damecatoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
sort of read this book on accident. It was a publicity copy sent to the Times. I didn't know if it was fiction or what when I started reading. No, it's about weight loss.

I enjoyed reading about her journey, and I think her secrets would be very helpful to chronic dieters. Suggestions like keeping your diet/exercise a secret at first and protecting yourself from those who will inevitably try to push food on you are wisdom from the frontlines.

I'm glad that I am not trying to (as the book's tag lin
...more
Nolan
Jul 31, 2015 Nolan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
This is a book that has some good take-aways regarding weight loss, but there's some almost toxicity in here that I could have done without.

One of Delaney's heavily emphasized rules early on was secrecy. She lost me at that point, and I never really regained my enthusiasm for the book thereafter. I don't think you have to take out a full-page ad in the ,times to let the world know you're losing weight, but some accountability seems absolutely mandatory to me if you're really going to be a succes
...more
Vivian
Jan 11, 2015 Vivian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this book spoke to me more than most, and I liked some of the "secrets" she shared, like telling yourself, "It's Not an Option," - or INO - when confronted with a choice to quit your exercise session early, or eating something that you just know isn't the best choice at that moment. Many of us have difficulty with too many choices, including the choice to give up and give in, but with a little backbone, some of these moments can be overcome with a personal mantra like INO. Other things ...more
Jenny Rebecca
I read this book at the beginning of my journey 6 months and 50 pounds ago. I'm no longer in the new phase and in the "do I have to keep doing this forever....uggh!" phase and needed motivation. While this book still has things that help me today, it's still best for people just starting out on their weight loss journey. I am trying to remember her "It's Not An Option" though to get me back on track.

Reread Feb 2009
Spook Harrison
Oct 30, 2010 Spook Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health-physical
Hated the intro, enjoyed the book. The off-putting thing about the intro was that the author made assumptions that simply didn't apply to me, but that was about the only part of the book that I couldn't relate to. Everything else was spot-on, and I've already begun applying some of the 'secrets' to my life, with encouraging, empowering results!
Stacie
Feb 10, 2011 Stacie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a good read once you get past the fact that she actually isn't that fat. Also, I'm not really sure how she is 5'4, 185 and wearing a size 16. Or how she broke a chair at 185 pound. Regardless, you can relate a lot to the book if you are trying to lose weight and gives many tricks that help along the way.
Amy
Mar 10, 2014 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very motivating. She understands how I feel and what I am thinking. Going to go back to this book when I need a pick me up.
Meghan
Aug 28, 2015 Meghan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Em
Aim was not to lose dress size, but to tone up my going into flab body, 6 months post surgery. Even though I don't follow most of the techniques mentioned in such books, I get a high just by reading about the conquered struggles. At completion , I am feeling dates, determined and positive that I will soon be able to convert my flab into muscle mass, with more emphasis on rectus abdominis, the muscle which was cut open during my surgery.
Would recommend this as a motivational read rather than a D
...more
Ellie
PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!! I started reading it and I thought it was crap. Then I got to a point and thought maybe it's a joke (when she tells dieters to avoid nosy well meaning people by sequestering themselves). But I am afraid that this book looks like it's serious.

I've never read a Mass-market published book that so explicitly promoted self-hate, and I've read that skinny bitches book. This is worse than the skinny bitches book where they yell at you in text format.

This is such garbage.

That isn't
...more
Stephanie
Jan 04, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone starting out on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle
I recently lost 20 pounds, but fell off the wagon over the past couple of months. I picked this book up to help get me back into a "get healthy" mind frame and push my motivation to get back into my fitness routine.

I really appreciated this book and I think it would be great for anyone who wants to make some positive changes in their overall health and fitness. Fortunately, the gym I belong to has some extremely knowledgeable employees who have always been very free in dispensing healthy lifest
...more
Jill
Mar 26, 2012 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently reading this, I'm not getting into it very well as I can't relate with her at all. She has been overweight her whole life and stuffed oreos up her sleeves to get them to her room to wolf them down at night. I was thin my whole life but just with metabolism with my age and after having children, I need to lose weight and need some help getting started. So far this isn't doing it. I don't know how she broke a chair at 185 pounds. That seems kind of impossible unless it was a child's ...more
Ren
Sep 17, 2016 Ren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! So helpful! I really like that she gets into the mental and emotional struggles of managing ones weight and taking the risk to take control of it in a culture that is saturated with diet scams. She gives real tips to help. I bought it on a whim at a liquidation sale and I am so glad! Finished it in a week, could t out it down!
L.M.
Aug 10, 2015 L.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my second time reading this book. It has some really great pointers, such as encouraging you to take your fitness and health journey on YOUR OWN TERMS. However, there were a lot of annoying assumptions about "Fat Girl" mentalities and gender norms that irked me. Still, all-in-all, if you're looking for a general memoir on a health journey, not a bad read.
V
Jan 14, 2016 V rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains practical advice, but nothing earth shattering. I found the page on very low, low, medium and high density foods helpful, but apparently that could have been learned by reading a book on volumetrics.
Michelle
May 27, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
This book was much better than most of the weight-loss diatribes I've feasted my eyes on lately. Delaney has her own set of rules when it comes to losing weight, a few which go against what all the other weight-loss folks pound into our chubby little heads.

She underscored her tactics with personal stories that may hit home for some, they certainly did for me.

She doesn't give you all the answers and the expectation is that you'll have to work your ass off for a long time--physically and mentally-
...more
Amanda
Jun 23, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Much of the advice was pretty obvious, and she has a sort of "we're all girlfriends" calculated writing style. But I felt compelled to finish it, so that's something I suppose.
Kewannah "Health Kick Chick"
Despite all the buzz I'd been hearing about this book, it was just ok. The author writes like a scatterbrain who wants to tell you everything at once because she's so enthusiastic, the attention to order and relevance gets lost along the way. I was actually quite surprised that she had formal writing training (Journalism school -> editor for a popular magazine) since the writing seemed to be all over the place.

Nonetheless, lots of great tips and common sense tricks on how one woman transforme
...more
Cyndie Schmidt
Feb 15, 2011 Cyndie Schmidt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
This book really helped me take a look at myself and set some goals that I know I can follow through on. It helped me realize that I am not the only one going through the struggles of weight gain and loss. That working out is something that you can jump into when you set goals and take care of yourself. Make sure you start out doing what you can do and not over extend. I really enjoyed reading different scenarios that the author went though that I have gone though myself.

Great book! I have bough
...more
Katrina
Feb 16, 2016 Katrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book. It was a fairly quick read and entertaining.
Rose
Apr 09, 2008 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women trying to lose weight
Recommended to Rose by: Amazon.com
This is as much a motivational tool as a memoir of Lisa's experiences before/during & after her weight loss.

The few tips & tricks provided aren't new. You've heard them before & thought, eh, that sounds hard. But Lisa shows how she broke them down into baby steps to acheive great rewards AND how she stayed motivated on the LOOONNNGGG way to her goal!

I am already implementing some of her tips & seeing results. I plan on purchasing this for a friend who's getting gastric this sum
...more
Jessi Brown
Mar 11, 2010 Jessi Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I picked up this book because of the first sentence "You don't know me but you probably hate me." I approached this book like I did many other memoir type books whether it's about weight loss or pregnancy. I expected to be entertained and that was it... What I didn't expect was to see parts of me in this book *the whiner specifically*... I expected to be entertained and instead I was inspired-I have begun steps to become a "Former Fat Girl."
The book read as if the author was talking to me (whic
...more
Sara
Jun 08, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this more than I did. I can't quite explain WHY I didn't like it as much as I did, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I'm sort of in between being a "fat girl" and "former fat girl" and I died a little inside at every mention of finding a way to stop associating food with fun.

Perhaps I'm just in denial that pretty much every diet book ever boils down to "eat less food, fatty" and I'm desperately seeking a way around that (spoiler--not gonna happen).
Kristin
Jul 09, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, comedy
This is a great book. Very motivating. There isn't anything exactly ground-breaking, but reading her experience really helped me out. I was very surprised at how well I related to her thought processes about relating to food. I think it will help me in the long run. It's a good book. I did NOT like how she'd interrupt the overall narrative with her "sidebars". I found it a poorly formatted book. But other than that, loved it. Thinking of buying it.
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