Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review - Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life by Ali Vincent


Title: Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life
Author: Ali Vincent
Year: 2009
Page: 192
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Not sure
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
As the first female winner of TV's The Biggest Loser, Vincent lost 112 pounds, about 47% of her body weight. As she explains, she shed unhealthy habits and gained an enthusiastic approach to life. She writes, [I]t's an accomplishment that fuels all of my future goals. Vincent's story is one that will be familiar to readers: someone who, despite being an athletic, popular high schooler, by her early 30s was just kind of letting life happen to me—I didn't feel worthy of wanting anything more for myself. Once she became a contestant on the show (with her mother as her partner), she wanted to win; she shares her strategies for losing weight, navigating the show and engaging more in life. Readers looking to slim down will find lots of helpful tidbits. They're not revolutionary (don't let the scale rule your life, don't get in a workout rut), and though Vincent's penchant for platitudes can be grating, her earnestness and enthusiasm is clear. Includes recipes and before-and-after photos.

First Sentence:
My name is Ali Vincent, and I am the Biggest Loser.

Why did I pick this book?
While I have never Watched The Biggest Loser, I have heard of the show (and thought how clever its name is!). I need to lose some weight, so thought I'd read something to inspire me. Saw this book while browsing the library's new book online catalog.

My thoughts:
  • This was just okay for me - while Ali's personality showed through, there isn't really anything ground breaking
  • There are a few quotes I like from the book, but it wasn't as inspirational as I thought
  • It seems like Ali goes from one addiction (emotional eating) to another (counting calories, exercising - at one point she went to the gym like 8 hours a day?!) 
  • There also seems to be some repetitiveness of the message throughout the book 
  • Don't get me wrong, I think she looks great and admire what she went through, but I think I may have liked watching the show better than reading the book
  • There also aren't many pictures in the book either. There are a few recipes too but I didn't pay close attention or try them so can't comment on them.


I was a fat girl, and fat girls don't have their picture taken. I hadn't documented my life because I didn't want to look at it. (p17)
When I was overweight and felt stuck, I'd collect evidence that supported my excuses for why everything wasn't how I wanted it to be. I'd say, "oh, I just don't fit in," or, "I'm not being judged fairly." I was always looking to the negative to explain away my unhappiness. But as I lost the weight, I got into the habit of collecting positive evidence, of looking for all the reasons why I could succeed. (p97-98)
Feeling Stuck? You can either change what's making you feel stuck or change the way you think about it. Let's say you have a job you don't like, but you need it to pay your bills. Then learn to love the "why" of the job. You're supporting your family, which is a blessing! Find the positive in tough situations. Thinking this way is going to get you out of ruts. Collect evidence for the success in a situation. (p129)
Have you ever seen those T-shirts that say, "NO FEAR"? Well, my mom used to say they should read, "KNOW FEAR," because that's how you make dreams happen. When you have the courage to tell the truth about what you're really afraid of, fear doesn't have control over your life. (p144)


Have you read this book? 
If you have, I would love to hear what you think!
I'll link your review here if you wish!

100+ Reading
Memorable Memoir


  1. Cute cover but I think I'd pass. Thanks for the review.

  2. @Juju - the cover really shows her personality as well (match the content of the book) and it shows that she loves pink! I just wish it was more inspirational... to kick start my hope of a more healthy lifestyle :)