With all due respect to authors everywhere, sometimes you just have to wonder. These days, it is very hard to distinguish satire from reality. The book pictured here could, possibly, be someone’s idea of a joke. Published eight years ago, it has not inspired a single Amazon review. In a startling reversal of traditional marketplace dynamics, used copies of the book are offered for almost twice as much as new copies.
It is almost as if someone read an advice blog that said “Want to become rich and famous? Identify a current trend and publish a book about it!” On February 9, 2010, then-First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Let’s Move! campaign. Why Not Stay Fat? came out on February 19, 2010 — 10 days later. The book seems to have been first published as a PDF file, so a rush job could conceivably been done within that timeframe.
The book’s author, Wayne Lambert, has worked as a physical training instructor, a rehabilitation therapist, corporate fitness director, weight consultant, and performance coach. At some point, he has relocated to Dubai to fill the post of physical training advisor for the military.
The reader will have guessed by now that the title, Why Not Stay Fat?, was meant to be facetious, given Mr. Lambert’s line of work and the laudable sentiments he holds, such as a belief that continuing education should never end. He is a proponent of simple lifestyle changes, focus, a strategy of “belief through positive thinking, visualization, and setting personal goals,” and giving 110%. He says:
Fitness competitions still continue to give me a purpose to keep fit and provide me with drive and ambition.
Full disclosure: Childhood Obesity News has not obtained a copy of the book. Discussion of it is based on the public relations material, under the author’s byline, which does not make a good initial impression. The writing is replete with needless repetition, regrettable lapses in grammar, and such constructions as “I have already self published all the books that I have wrote.” The CAPS LOCK key stays stuck for whole sentences at a time.
We have some clue to what’s inside, from the advertising material and store page.
Oddly, the subject tags are Cooking > General; Photography > Subjects & Themes; and Education under two subcategories, Study Skills and Teaching Methods & Materials; all of which may or may not seem to fit with a book about fitness.
As to the cover copy, the title, “Why Not Stay Fat?,” is a philosophical question of impossible scope. People have spent decades in towers or caves pondering such matters, and have earned advanced degrees by addressing them. Why do anything? It is an existential conundrum worthy of consideration. One approach might be, “Why Not NOT Stay Fat?” Just in case we only get one lifetime on earth, why not take the best possible care of the “vehicle,” the body?
Not quite a review
The book cover also gives this advice, “Be happy with who and what you are,” which is widely agreed to be a legit concept. In one of those weird paradoxes of human psychology, self-acceptance is recognized as the first step toward any kind of permanent change. So, there is no reason to quarrel with that. Lambert also teaches that power and respect “are gained through attitude and behavior, regardless of your size,” another indisputable concept.
Mr. Lambert asks the rhetorical question, “Why on earth would anybody want to stay fat?” and the practical question, “Why do you so often do things that are counterproductive to that?” and the deeply challenging question, “Do you believe that deep down you don’t deserve to be thin?”
There is undoubtedly a need to identify conflicting motivations, because cognitive dissonance is never a helpful state to live in. Here we quote two more typical lines:
Do you find yourself saying that Life’s not worth living without your beer or glass of wine, or even saying that, without your chocolate you would rather die than give it up?
DO YOU REALISE THAT YOUR PROBLEM MAY NOT STEM FROM YOU BEING FAT AT ALL?
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Biography,” PubMatch.com
Source: “Why Not Stay Fat? Overweight? So What. Be Happy with Who and What You Are,” Booktopia.com
Images: Amazon (left); Pat Hartman (right)