During my work commute, I listen to audiobooks. When I saw that task #9 for this year’s Book Riot Read Harder Challenge was to listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award, I was excited. I perused the archive of winners to help me pick books for this and other tasks in the challenge. You will see all of the books I read/listened to in a post coming next month.
When I saw one title, however, I knew it was the one I wanted to use specifically for the Audie Winner task. I placed a hold on it at the library and waited for my turn to come. Five months passed. Thinking that I might never be first in the queue and having finished most of the other tasks, I listened to a different book so I could mark this as complete.
This month, my hold finally arrived. I popped in disc one of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, winner of the 2014 Audie in Personal Development, read by author Jen Sincero and prepared to be motivated.
Despite a great title, this book was disappointing. Sincero states early on that this is just another self-help book. She tells listeners that she has read every book, attended every seminar, participated in every workshop so that we don’t have to. Yes, she shares some funny anecdotes from her own life. Yes, she has a distinct voice both in terms of the book’s diction and her performance of the words. Otherwise, she doesn’t offer anything new to readers.
Weight-loss books are just a sub-genre of self-help. They may offer different diets, meal plans, exercise routines and recipes but they all have the same message: set goals and believe in your ability to reach those goals. Sincero advises people to both write down and speak aloud these goals. She urges listeners to visualize who they want to be and then figure out how to be that.
I’m not saying this is bad advice. I’ve written before about how much my attitudes, beliefs, and thinking affect my ability to eat better and become more active. If I keep saying to myself, I’ll never lose weight or I can’t get in shape then that’s what will be true. Sincero is right. Doubting ourselves prevents us from reaching our goals. Did I need to listen to Sincero to learn that? No.
I’ll admit that I might not have been in the right mental place to appreciate this book. I set high expectations that might not have been fair or realistic. Maybe, just maybe, I thought reading a book could help me lose weight. Maybe I thought hearing certain words would make the weight disappear. Nope.
I think the title is the best weight loss tool I got from this book. “You are a badass!”is a great mantra to repeat when I’m swimming laps, walking the dog, choosing healthy foods over junk food when I grocery shop. Maybe being a badass can help me lose my big ass.