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The Fat Chick Works Out — Book Review

October 24, 2012

Note:  Sorry for the lateness of this update.  First I had a cable issue last night (as in, the internet was down for six hours), and then this morning I had a power outage of unknown cause, effecting over 1,000 residences.  But both power and internet are back, and I can finally update.  Also, full disclosure, this book was provided as a free review copy.

Over the years I’ve read a lot of diet books, exercise books, and exercise-that-are-really-diet books. I’ve participated in many exercise programs, spent countless dollars on gym memberships that I rarely used, and finally found an exercise I liked and stuck with (at least until the dojo self-destructed). So, when I was given the opportunity to read and review The Fat Chick Works Out (available on Amazon on paperback, Kindle and DVD) by Jeanette DePatie, I jumped at it.

An exercise book, coming from an Health at Every Size® standpoint? I was all for that!

Except…

See the paragraph above of how many books I’ve read?  Yeah, that colored my perception of what an “exercise book” is supposed to be. Because of that, I had to re-read the beginning of the book three times in order to be fair.

So, on that note, I want to say what this book is NOT, first:

  • It is NOT a book that will guilt you into losing weight to improve health
  • It is NOT a book that has a zillion low-fat/low-calorie/low-taste recipes to help your “health plan” (read: diet)
  • It is NOT a book that gives you step-by-step directions with accompanying pictures or diagrams
  • It is NOT a book that will help you set unrealistic goals for yourself where fitness is concerned

Now that I’ve taken care of what it is not, I can go on with what it is.

This book is a great resource for people who are new to exercising for fitness (and thus, true health) benefits. The book (written by a woman who has run and completed marathons, and who is an American Council on Exercise-certified exercise instructor, and who is fat herself) is a great way to learn (or re-learn, in my case) how to exercise; how to set realistic goals; how to stay on track with the program.

The book is designed to be worked through one chapter a week, and each chapter ends with a recommitment that the user signs and dates at the end of every week.  The recommitment verifies what was learned in the reading and writing exercises of the week. It also has a grid where the user can record the amount of time, both planned and actual, the user exercised.

DePatie covers many issues in this book. She talks about starting at your current fitness level, and how to increase slowly. She discusses the frustration that people feel when they don’t make their fitness goals because they either started at too high a level, or increased their levels too fast. She discusses how to find a fat-friendly doctor for the injuries, and also encourages people to go to the doctor immediately upon injuring themselves. She talks about self-esteem and why one really does need well-fitting exercise clothes.

She has practical ideas on how to bring new interest into the exercise program when it gets boring, as well as ideas on how to find exercise/training buddies. In the last chapter, she even talks about going on an “exercise vacation” for a couple of weeks, now that the first 12 weeks of exercise is over. She also includes an activity where the reader states exactly how long they are taking off and when they will resume their program.

There is a lot of information packed into this workbook, but it is presented in a logical and friendly manner.  DePatie uses her own life’s experience to underscore any point she is trying to make (such as the frustrations that come with trying to do too much, too fast). She also has all of her facts researched and footnoted with all of the studies and articles she used whenever she explains how “fat” is not a killer.

In all, once I realized that I needed to read the book in front of me, and not the 10,000 exercise/diet books I’d read in the past, I really enjoyed this book.

I guess I’m giving this book the highest accolades I can give it because, now that I’m done reading it for review, I’m actually going to start doing the weekly work in the chapters.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 30, 2012 10:07 pm

    I love how you put this book into perspective. You really prepare the reader for what to expect. Let us know how the program works for you! Thank you Jen!

    Peace,
    Shannon

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