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Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,164 Ratings  ·  265 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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Claudia Saint Jacque
May 17, 2010 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 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
Feb 04, 2016 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 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 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
Mar 01, 2013 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
Rebecca Johnson
Jul 31, 2011 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
Mar 07, 2009 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
Jun 21, 2010 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
Tara G
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An honest memoir by Jennette Fulda. The story of on-line blogger who can be found at I picked up this book on a whim. I have never read her blog. I have also never struggled with weight-loss but the cover and title were intriguing to me. It’s funny while reading this book I got the comment “You aren’t trying to lose weight are you?” Although I have never been overweight I can relate to the dieting trends and the need to lose a few pounds. The tag-line on the back of the book read ...more
Ken Montville
Mar 16, 2012 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
Leah K
Feb 07, 2012 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 sh
Amy at Read What I Like
May 09, 2013 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
Jan 13, 2012 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
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 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
Feb 27, 2013 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
Aug 02, 2011 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 16, 2009 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
Jun 29, 2011 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.
Jun 21, 2012 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.
Oct 20, 2011 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.
Dec 20, 2010 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.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It wasn't any weight-loss memoir I have read. It was real and funny and the author was really wise. The end of the book was a conclusion and it basically said that no one factor made her fat and no one factor made her thin. I really enjoyed her insight saying that her body now matches what she's always felt in her mind but just because she was thin she said she couldn't stop fighting and making choices everyday to live healthier. She said the fat girl was always there and if s ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
A memoir of one woman’s weight-loss journey as she shed over 200 pounds. I liked her assertion that there is no “weight loss secret.” She simply learned to be more conscious of what she ate and to move more. I found her lack of curiosity about food a bit odd, especially when she went out of her way to keep challenging herself with different types of exercise.
Brandy Davis
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. The author is firm in keeping her meal plans and the diet she followed to herself, because she stresses any plan can work as long as you follow one. This is more like an emotional side of the journey, not a book that will help you as the reader pick a diet plan. Was a good read.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
At first I was interested but soon it became chapter after chapter saying the same thing but in different words. At least that is what it seemed to me.

Aside from that props to her for finding what worked for her to lose the weight that she wanted. :)
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I don't know why everyone has raved about how funny this is - I didn't laugh once and it basically felt having to listen to someone obsess about their weight for hours. Very dull!
Tracy Hager
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think I may be done with weight loss memoirs. I thought I'd try a few for inspiration but - enough.
Cristina Crowe
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read for any girl who has ever struggled with her weight. Just enough laughs to keep it light, yet truly portrays the struggles of being overweight.
Kristin  Boettger-Zimmerman
Witty and smartly written

I enjoyed reading this book because the author was very matter of fact about her weight loss journey. She doesn't blame her weight anyone or anything.
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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
More quotes…