Monday, January 21, 2013

Finishing and Following Through: How One Woman Changed Her Life By Doing Just That (You Can, Too!)




(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Every January, a new crop of weight loss books pops up.  Some promise do-it-quick diets, others fast, fat-blasting exercises—all assure would-be "losers" that they can be skinny, without spending too much time, money or energy.  Uh huh.  Finished Being Fat, a new inspirational memoir by Betsy Schow, isn't like that.  Yes, it's about a 30-year-old woman who loses 75 pounds in a year.  Yes, it chronicles her journey from couch potato to marathon runner.  But, no, it's not a how-to book.  It's not a diet book.  It's a book about changing your life through hard work, determination and a staunch refusal to give up on a goal—no matter what.
As a chubby child, Schow endured ridicule from her peers, pressure from her parents and loathing from herself.  She tried every diet in the book.  Nothing worked—at least not for long.  By the time she reached 30, Schow was still overweight, still depressed, still convinced that a worthless person like her shouldn't even bother trying because she would never succeed.  She simply was not a finisher.  She was someone who talked big, planned big and failed big.  Following through just wasn't in her DNA, apparently.  

Then, Schow had an epiphany:  what if she did finish something?  Like, say, a marathon?  Determined to prove she could do the impossible, the stay-at-home mom got off the couch and started training.  Replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations, she kept running through inclement weather, injury, exhaustion, and every other kind of roadblock.  But as the marathon date approached, Schow balked—could she really, truly cross the finish line?  Run 26 miles?  Impossible.  Or was it?

While Schow's regimen seemed a little extreme to me, I still found her story inspirational and motivating.  She writes with warmth, humor, and a down-to-Earth sensibility that will speak to anyone who's ever dreamed of doing the impossible.  Her advice on finishing is spot-on.  While I enjoyed just about everything about Finished Being Fat, the poor copy editing drove me nuts.  Typos always jolt me out of a narrative, spoiling the experience for me.  Overall, though, I found the book both compelling and convincing.   

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for nothing offensive, just themes more suitable for teens/adults

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Finished Being Fat from the generous folks at Cedar Fort.  Thank you! 

1 comment:

  1. There's nothing like typos to rip you out of a story but this one does sound pretty inspirational.

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