Book Review: Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Half-Assed: A Weight Loss MemoirI saw this book as a giveaway over at the Sisterhood.  It looked interesting and proclaimed to be funny, and since I wanted to read something non-fiction for my 10/10 challenge, I decided to give it a go.

The photo on the cover shows the author standing in one leg of her old “fat” pants; hence the title – she literally lost half her ass, going from 370+ pounds to the 180s.  At the beginning, she talks a bit about her childhood and her eating and non-exercise habits that led to her becoming a morbidly obese adult.  Then she launches into the journey of her weight-loss.

What I liked about the book was the author’s honest portrayal of her struggles, her learning, her successes, and her challenges.  This is not a “how- to-lose-weight-book.”  It’s a memoir.  She began writing as a weight-loss blogger and it shows.  The theme of the book is that there is no magic secret to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle – it’s a lifelong endeavor, that requires work.  She acknowledges that there is no guarantee that she will keep the weight off, but given the work she has put into learning about nutrition, learning how to cook, and learning how to exercise, she is optimistic, because she can’t “unlearn” what she now knows.

There were some structural problems with the writing.  I found myself getting lost in the timeline – was she living at home with her family or alone in her apartment, how long had she been writing the blog, etc.  It was also not as funny as I expected.  The jokes often seemed forced to me – it was like she got to the end of a paragraph or a chapter, and thought, “oh, this wasn’t funny, better throw in a pun.”  It was certainly entertaining and witty, but not laugh-out-loud funny.

Structural problems aside, the book is worth reading.  For me, the book reinforces my stance that diet is not about the number on the scale; it’s about making healthy food choices so that your body runs better, exercising for fitness, and being comfortable in your own skin.

I give it 4 stars out of five.

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