Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review: Finished Being Fat

With so many people having a New Year's Resolution to lose weight, (including me) this book seemed right up my alley.  It's not a how-to book, it's a book about the author Betsy Schow's journey as she looked at herself in the mirror one morning (naked) and said she was a 216 lb. "lump."  That started her on her road to self-discovery and how she became a finisher.

(Here's her before and after photos)

You see, she'd always been great at beginnings and would start things with gusto, then peter out---including weight loss.  Finished Being Fat is about how she got to a place where she could be a finisher, with weight loss, the way she raises her kids, projects, you name it.  She talks about her self-image, her self-talk, and how both external and internal things had weighed her down.  Something that all of us have dealt with at one time or another (and you know she's got it pegged when you find yourself nodding your head while you're reading because you totally know what she's talking about).

I loved Betsy's writing style.  There were several times where I laughed out loud.  Like when she's describing gym rats and gym bunnies and how she does in her first Zumba class.  She has a very real, down-to-earth style that I easily related to and found motivating.

I also like that Betsy doesn't sugarcoat anything and writes down her successes as well as those things that didn't go very well.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to achieve their goals and needs a little kick in the pants for motivation that's delivered with a smile.  Perfect for someone who's made goals for the new year, but doesn't want to be preached to or made to feel guilty.  Just a great book for inspiration in how to start a life-changing journey.

Here's the back copy:

After many years of being fat and miserable, with a few years of being average and less miserable mixed in, I finally had a lightbulb moment. The reason I was unhappy was not just the extra 75 pounds around my middle. It was the weight of all the things unfinished that hung around my neck.

I was always having grand ideas. I’d get excited about this diet, or that workout routine. Or starting a new hobby or project. Even trying to write a book. Problem was, within a few weeks the excitement would fade and that little voice would kick in. You know the one I’m talking about. “You’re no good at this. You’ll never keep the weight off. Why are you even bothering.” That little voice had kept me from finishing… anything. And every time I quit, my wall of failures would get a little higher — making success that much harder to see.

My adventure started when I decided I was finished being fat, but it snowballed into year of changing my life and accomplishing seemingly impossible dreams. Join me while I discover that “Not everyone can win the race, but everyone can finish.”

And everything is worth finishing.

You can learn more about Betsy and her book at her website


Janice Sperry said...

This one is on my to-read list.

Jon Spell said...

I just hit the BMI chart and saw how much I need to lose to get into a reasonable range. Ugh! I could probably use this book.

I'm currently trying one of those Dr. Oz recommendations - raspberry ketones. We'll see. 2.5 months of Phentermine reduced my appetite sufficiently that I eat smaller meals now. Guess I need to start doing weights. Sounds like such hard work. Maybe I'll take a little nap instead....

Betsy Schow said...

Thanks Janice! Thank you Julie for the great review. And good luck to you Jon

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Janice, you won't be sorry. Jon, I feel your pain for sure. Betsy, you're welcome! :)

Debra Erfert said...

I started my "real" diet over one year ago after I saw the pictures my husband, Mike, and I took of our first cruise. We went to Alaska, and enjoyed ourselves, probably too much, in the dining room. It seemed everything revolved around what and when we were going to eat. There were shore excursions, and they were fun. We took pictures—well, my husband took pictures of me, of the beautiful landscape—of me blocking the beautiful landscape. When we got home there were only two pictures that I let him put up on Facebook because they hid how fat I was. Mike wasn’t much better. Both of our weights had crept up over the years.

Over the next six months we stuck to a very sane and easy diet. Cold cereal, milk, juice in the morning, a low calorie soup for lunch, a snack in mid afternoon, and a palm-sized steak or other lean meat along with a delicious salad. Skip dessert. It didn’t take long before we saw results and the weight began to slip off. In six month Mike lost 40 pounds and I lost 30. He’d neared his goal weight and looked awesome. Me? I was “not obese” any longer, just overweight, according to the doctor. I’m 5’ 9” tall and can carry more weight than most of my more petite friends. Somehow, over this next year our eating habits slackened, mostly because Mike didn’t feel that dire need, and it’s a lot harder to diet when I’m the only one doing it.

Well, I’m back on my diet again. I regained 15 pounds of that weight I had lost. I had that “lightbulb” moment this past month when I visualized me being that blob sitting behind a table signing books, and being angry with me for not “crossing that finish line” that I had envisioned over a year ago when I first started my, uh, my new way of eating. Will I ever run a marathon? Probably not. I don’t have that desire. But we have a very respectable mountain that has a popular trail fit people climb. On the tippy top there are remnants of a crashed WWII B-52 that few have seen. My sons have seen it. I want to see it. I’m on my way again.