Shape Up With the Slow, Fat Triathlete: 50 Ways to Kick Butt on the Field, in the Pool, or at the Gym – No Matter What Your Size and Shape (Review)

November 4, 2010

Book cover for "Shape Up with the Slow, Fat Triathlete" by Jayne Williams.Title: Shape Up With the Slow, Fat Triathlete: 50 Ways to Kick Butt on the Field, in the Pool, or at the Gym – No Matter What Your Size and Shape

Author: Jayne Williams

Publication Year: 2008

Pages: 288

Genre: Non-Fiction

Source: Purchased from Chapters

From the cover:

A funny, practical, inspiring guide for the out-of-shape, the spandex-averse, and anyone looking to start – or stick to – a fitness program.

With her first book, Slow Fat Triathlete, Jayne Williams inspired novice and seasoned triathletes of all shapes, sizes, and abilities to embrace their athletic dreams. Now, Williams brings the same irreverent wit and passion for movement to people tired of fitness books that promise abs of steel and deliver only disappointment. Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete is for anyone who wants a roadmap to real-life, functional fitness.

A mediocre but enthusiastic athlete with lifelong weight issues, Williams continues to struggle with her personal fitness demons, including self-consciousness, injuries, time management, and yo-yo dieting. In Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete, she puts the fun back into working out with her trademark blend of down-to-earth advice, hilarious “war stories” from her own experience, and wry observations about sports, life, and the wonders of the human body. With stories from other “imperfect athletes,” Williams’s fifty audacious tips help aspiring athletes of all shapes and sizes to:

  • Perceive fitness as what you do, and how you look
  • Find your inner jock
  • Care for your body
  • Be proud of what that body can do
  • Work out your mind, too

Including “The Imperfect Athlete’s Bill of Rights” (you have the right to eat chocolate; you have the right to take a nap), Shape Up is the book for anyone needing inspiration to start kicking butt and becoming a happily imperfect athlete in any sport or fitness pursuit.

I heard about Williams (aka the “slow fat triathlete”) a few years ago, but never got around to reading her book. Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a fitness-reading kick, so I picked this one up and decided to read it.

It was hilarious!

Williams is both instructional and motivational in Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete. The book is broken up into 50 short sections, each dealing with a main piece of advice. What really makes this book interesting is the attitude of the author: you can tell that she really does love talking and learning about fitness and movement, especially for “imperfect athletes” – people like you and me.

A lot of what Williams says in this book is common sense, but there’s just something about the way that she says it that makes you want to listen. She’s like the sassy older sister that teaches you about real life, without judging you or the mistakes you’ve made so far. She also recognizes that people are imperfect and that any feasible plan needs to involve flexibility and realism to work.

Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete is a great answer to all of the fitness books being published with skinny women with six-pack abs on the cover. It’s witty, realistic, and way more down-to-earth than most advice you ever get from so-called “health professionals”.

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