On Tour With a Weight Loss Rock Star

January 22, 2009 · 24 comments

I’m pleased to be taking part in a virtual blog tour being conducted by Jennette Fulda, author of Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir. You may know her as PastaQueen. For those of you who have been living in a cave (or a pantry closet?) Jennette has an amazing and touching story to tell, having lost half her body weight while finding strength and determination.

The virtual blog tour allows readers that may not otherwise know about Jennette to learn more about her, and the book that may become an inspiration to them. Through reviews, Q & A’s, video posts about the book, and guest posts on various blogs, the word gets out about Jennette and Half-Assed, on six different blogs, for six consecutive days.

This is Day Four and for my part I am reviewing her book and offering a copy as a giveaway to one lucky reader (U.S. only, sorry Andrew!). See the end of this post for the simple way to win.

The Backstory

Jennette, or PastaQueen as I knew her online, was my inspiration for starting this weight loss blog back in August of 2007. Here is the comment I wrote on her blog on August 2nd, 2007 - the day after I first posted here:


I just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me to make changes in my own life. I can only hope to be half as successful as you.

Thank you

I’m pleased to see that my past self did not brag “first!” as that would have been embarrassing to look at years later - although my sugar-sweet tone isn’t much better.

Considering that Jennette is one of my favorite weight loss bloggers and that she was actually the very first person on my blogroll, you would have thought I had already bought and read the book prior to this virtual blog tour. The reason why I did not is the reason I want to write this review - I thought it would be a rehash of everything I had read for free on her blog. And I want you to know that it isn’t.

The Review

Sporting a terrific cover featuring the author standing in one pant leg of her old slacks, Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir tells the story of Jennette Fulda as she journeys from worrying about almost weighing 400 pounds to being happy and comfortable in the world in a body literally half it’s former size.

With the proliferation of self-publishing tools such as Blurb that allow blog authors to easily craft whole books out of recycled blog posts it would be natural to conclude that this book had followed the same course but that is not the case. Half-Assed follows much of the same path as her blog but it complements it rather than repeats it. It fills in gaps, adds color and follows different story lines that even devoted readers of her blog will find new and entertaining.

I loved Half-Assed for the same reason I love her blog and any other blog penned by a funny, honest and sincere weight loss blogger - the stories resonate with my own experiences.

Jennette failed at writing a daily food journal just like I have. When she writes about not being allowed to comment on a fat acceptance blog because she was a weight loss blogger I remember hitting the very same wall. She was blogging for nine months before telling anyone about her blog and it took me a year before I told my wife about mine. She laments the missing weight loss bloggers just like I have.

In short, her story is my story, and your story too - no matter where you are on your weight loss journey.

Anyone struggling with their weight will find Half-Assed a poignant and inspirational story. She may not ride off in the sunset with the perfect man, but Jennette does leave us with a reminder of why we want to succeed at our goals and the inspiration to know that we can do it. And I’ll bet that feels great.

Finding Inspiration Again

Seventeen months after telling Jeannette she was my inspiration I can confirm that I have made some of the changes I had hoped to make, but not nearly enough. After seeing great success the first few months I have struggled with losing weight and getting in shape. Reading Half-Assed reminded me of where I’ve been and where I have yet to be - so once again PastaQueen becomes the inspiration I need.

As she wrote when she finally got serious about losing weight:


Oh really, let’s fucking do this already! Here. Now. No more waiting.


Contest is over. Winner is workout mommy. Congrats!

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Andrew is getting fit January 22, 2009 at 1:19 am

Hah! I’ve already got an autographed copy. :p


Israel January 22, 2009 at 8:46 am

That’s awesome, I didnt want to buy the book because I thought it would be the same as her blog, and the blog is free. lol. We do think alike. good review John. And, yes, let’s do this already!!! I’m down another 3.6 lbs this week.

Great job Israel! And I like your new personal Gravatar.

Roder January 22, 2009 at 9:01 am

Very cool - I’ve read Pasta Queen’s blog for some time now and was curious about the book myself. I’ll have to give it a look.

Well with this comment you earned yourself a chance at winning it for free! Or if you can’t wait until the end of the month just go ahead and buy it now!

Merry Mary January 22, 2009 at 9:06 am

I had the same thought about the blog and book being very similar. But since you are assuring me its not I might have to give it a try. :)

And now you have a chance to win it!

Tom Rooney January 22, 2009 at 9:30 am

Good review John and I must confess that I too have held off on telling anyone close to me that I write a blog. Even though I use my name, I still have a feeling of anonymous in my posts. It’s also good that you were inspired by Jennette, since you have your story to tell.

In time hopefully we’ll all learn to be more open.

Israel January 22, 2009 at 10:17 am

Am I in the contest? I stumbled too…

Yep, you’re in! I am having issues with Stumbleupon seeing who stumbled the post but I’m sure that will be resolved by the end of the month.

alissa January 22, 2009 at 10:28 am

I am definitely going to check out her blog! I really must have been under a rock.

TB--Milwaukee January 22, 2009 at 10:29 am

I’m one who lives in a pantry. I’ve heard of PastaQueen’s blog and may have checked it out before, but so little time and so many blogs to read.

LisaNewton January 22, 2009 at 10:56 am

Finding inspiration from reading books is great, and a free book is even better……………..:)

Great review, John.

Merry January 22, 2009 at 11:22 am

I already have her book, so I can second John’s opinion whole-heartedly. The book goes into much more detail than the blog, but it is equally fun to read.

Lucrecia January 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for the review, I’m one who wondered if it would be much different than her blog! Now I look forward to reading and being re-inspired!

Kelly January 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I just recently stumbled upon “PastaQueen” and am inspired! I’d love to read the book!

Natalie January 23, 2009 at 1:18 am

Thanks for the review and the contest. I’m struggling with this journey and I’m finding a lot of encouragement in others’ stories.

Greg Hayes January 23, 2009 at 6:55 am

Nice review. Also, its interesting to hear more about how others got their start.

Ria January 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

Great review, and thanks for running the contest! I love the blog and now will read the book, one way or another.

GeorgieGirl January 23, 2009 at 11:34 am

I love her inspiring story. Nice review! I thought the book would be a copy of her blog. I’ll add the book to my reading list.

Joe S. January 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm

I’ve checked out her blog a couple of times and it is a nice read. I’m also inspired with the fact that she started off as a blogger and then published a book. A great accomplishment.

john - from fat to fit January 24, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone, you are entered if you left a comment!

Jennifer January 25, 2009 at 8:17 am

I’ve been waiting to read Jennette’s book, I’ve been a big fan of her blog for a long time! Gave you a thumbs up on StumbleUpon too…

Got you down for two entries, good luck!

Metroknow January 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I’m so glad you mentioned this, and that you’re participating. For some reason her RSS fell out of my Reader (that has happened numerous times now with Google Reader), and I totally forgot about her blog. Headed there next. Thank you John!

You are welcome - and good luck in the contest!

Josie January 27, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Hey! I haven’t read her before, so I’d love to read this book!
I added you to my blogroll today too :)

Thanks, and good luck in the contest!

workout mommy January 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I really want to win! I was lucky enough to meet her in person (she is hilarious) but I was too timid to hit her up for a freebie copy of her book. So I’ll beg you instead. (it’s easier to be bold online, isn’t it?)

I’m stumbling ya right now!

I accept begging. Good luck!

Charles Martin January 31, 2009 at 9:53 am

I need some inspiration.

john - from fat to fit January 31, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Your begging paid off because one of your numbers hit and YOU ARE THE WINNER. Congrats workout mommy!

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