Fat Chance – The No-Going Back Weight Loss Workbook – author interview – Dr. Susan Maiava

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Fat Chance Workbook
Fat Chance Workbook

Dr Susan Maiava wrote and self-published Fat Chance! The no-going-back Weight Loss Workbook in 2011. In Fat Chance! she integrates the latest scientific and cognitive behavioral principles into a colorful and stylish, easy to use 12-week interactive program of daily reflection and lifestyle change for healthy and sustainable weight-loss.

 As readers focus on learning how to think and eat like a slim person, they change the way they think about themselves, their priorities, about food and the way they eat. They learn to deal with emotional hunger, work with their body, change their habits, get active and eat well. And as they discover the slim person they were meant to be, they are set free from overeating … forever.


Hi Susan

 Welcome to Paperback Writer.

 Hi Rebecca, Thank you so much for the opportunity to introduce Fat Chance! The no-going-back Weight Loss Workbook to your readers.

Q: Would you explain what the title of your book means.


Dr. Susan Maiava
Dr. Susan Maiava

Fat Chance! is a 12-week weight-loss program in a fun and engaging workbook format. It is called the “no-going-back” Weight Loss Workbook because the reader learns and adopts new healthy lifestyle skills and strategies that are theirs for the rest of their life – there is no going back to old behaviors. The end goal is to live differently. The weight-loss will happen as a result of a change in lifestyle. 

The Fat Chance! slogan: “Forget about how fat people diet. Focus on how slim people eat” sums it up in a nutshell. Fat Chance! is absolutely not a diet (we know diets don’t work). Instead it enables lifestyle change by focusing the reader on learning how to think and eat like a slim person, forever. Fat Chance! changes lives! 

 The second aspect is the interactive workbook format. Research has shown that food journaling alone is a very effective weight-loss tool but it is more than that. The question and answer format enables the reader to slow down, become much more self-aware and draw out of themselves the changes they need to make at a very personal level, step by step, one day at a time. And Fat Chance! walks with the reader, supporting and encouraging them all the way.

Q:  Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book? 

 I was overweight myself. When I was losing weight I was always looking for good advice but I never found what I was looking for on the bookshelves. There were certainly inspiring personal stories of weight loss. There were prescriptive books full of diet plans written by professionals who had never been overweight (many of these do contain good technical advice which, incidentally, overweight people already know). And there were a range of ‘wacky’ restrictive pseudo-science options.

 But most focused on dieting or sticking to diets and there was nothing that (in my view) combined a comprehensive approach to changing your lifestyle, (including dealing with emotional hunger, changing your thinking, habits and behaviors, eating better, working with your body and getting active), with a personal, reflective, interactive workbook format, which is what I was looking for.

Q:  Would you share with us some of the stereotypical reactions that overweight people have to suffer?

 Certainly and this is a good question. In my experience overweight people are viewed as lazy failures, as losers, lacking any self-control. It is assumed these characteristics pervade all areas of their life. So I think the overriding response to overweight people is to not give them credit for being able to make any worthwhile contribution at all. By this I mean they are not listened to, their opinions are not sought or valued, they are ignored and overlooked. So they become observers rather then participants in life. To sum it up in a nutshell, they are invisible!

 So overweight people are not promoted, their careers stall and they live lives of extreme frustration and disappointment, including disappointment in themselves. The resulting loss of self-belief is something I try to counter strongly in Fat Chance! Personally I wanted to be taken seriously – this was an important motivation for me to lose weight – and in Fat Chance! I treat my readers with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Q:  What kind of research went into the book?

 My chief qualification is that I was significantly overweight for many years, so I can identify with anyone who is overweight and wants desperately to lose weight. I was tired of the debilitating effect it had on my life and when I looked into the future I didn’t want to be like that for the rest of my life.

But I am also an academic (a former university lecturer) so after I had lost weight I decided to research and write it myself. I had written a book before (based on my PhD) and I know how to research so I decided to fill what I believe is an enormous gap in the market. So when I wrote Fat Chance! I combined my (and others) insider knowledge of what it was like to be overweight and how overweight people think with the best current research. That combination, I think, is the key.

Q: While you were doing your research, if you interviewed resources, what was their reaction to the kind of book you were writing?

 My objective was not to write from the outsider’s perspective – there are enough books telling overweight people what they should do – but to write with the understanding of the insider. So the people who helped me were all people who were overweight. Yes, I interviewed many people in the process of writing Fat Chance! and they gave me incredible insight and were extremely generous and supportive. They were particularly grateful that Fat Chance! would not lecture them but support their own individual journeys.

 And this is what many people who write to me tell me about Fat Chance! The journal style of the workbook has several advantages, not least because it provides a very safe environment in which to deal with weight issues, especially emotional issues; a sort of “dear diary”. Many people have written to me describing it as their new best friend. The workbook itself becomes the encourager, the friend who walks beside the reader on their journey each day.

 Q: What is the message that you hope readers will take with them?

 To change your life you must change your lifestyle. And you must think differently to live differently. Completely abandon the idea of dieting as the way to lose weight, and embrace the idea that if you want to lose weight you can only do so by changing your thinking and your lifestyle, and there will be no going back to your old behavior. “Forget about how fat people diet: Focus on how to think and eat like as slim person.”


And know that you can make this happen. Even if you have tried and failed before (and we all know about yo-yo dieting), it absolutely is possible. The Fat Chance! Weight Loss Workbook will take you on that journey, right there beside you, and help you make the changes you need to make happen, one day at a time!

Readers can purchase a hardcopy of the Fat Chance! Weight Loss Workbook from www.Amazon.com or www.ShoppingMoa.com Links to the specific buying pages are found at www.fatchanceweightloss.com (note it is also called “Fat Chance! Forget how fat people diet, Focus on how slim people eat” on these sites – I like that!).


Recently I have created an interactive Online web-based version of Fat Chance! which is available globally from www.fatchance.co.nz/new-fat-chance-online-programme

I’d love your readers to read the success stories of people who have used Fat Chance! lost weight and changed their lives at www.fatchanceweightloss.com/testimonials. Some of the stories and photos are just amazing and are why I know Fat Chance! works.


Your readers can also read and download the Introduction from www.fatchanceweightloss.com/sneak-peak  and everything and anything else they want to know is there as well.


Thank you for allowing me to share Fat Chance! with you.

I wish all your readers all the best in their weight loss journey!


 Thank you, Dr Susan Maiava for stopping by Paperback Writer. I wish you continued success with your book.






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One thought on “Fat Chance – The No-Going Back Weight Loss Workbook – author interview – Dr. Susan Maiava”

  1. There are two common ways for losing weight, one is managing your eating habits and second is exercise. Exercise does not means heavy work outs but even consistent mild exercises will suffice

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