Publish Date: Dec 29th, 2015
Publisher: Keywords Press
Source: ARC from publisher for honest review
In today’s world where fast-food restaurants, soda, and processed foods reign supreme, does “fat dad” have to mean “fat kid”? Digital entrepreneur and beloved vlogger Shay Butler and his preteen son, Gavin, decided to find out the answer for themselves.
Before Shay became famous for vlogging about life with his boisterous brood of five, known on YouTube as the Shaytards, he was like many other American dads: He worked 9 to 5 to pay the bills, ate double bacon cheeseburgers during his lunch breaks, sipped soda throughout the day, and watched Netflix with handfuls of candy.
These small behaviors added up, and before he turned thirty, Shay was nearly 300 pounds. Motivated by the fear that he could have a heart attack before thirty-five, Shay decided to make incremental changes to his eating habits and exercise regimen. Adopting the attitude that every action, no matter how small, was better than what he was doing before, Shay lost more than 100 pounds and ran four marathons, becoming a source of inspiration for everyone who followed his journey on his ShayLoss channel on YouTube.
Now, at the age of thirty-five, Shay has discovered that “maintaining” is the hard part. He has also seen how some of his hard-to-break habits are affecting his children, particularly his eldest son, Gavin, who grew up during the years when his dad had “a little extra Shay on him.” Determined to get back into shape and inspire his son along the way, Shay asked Gavin to embark on a thirty-day challenge with him to eat clean and do thirty minutes of exercise a day. Full of Shay’s signature blend of humor, honesty, and unbridled enthusiasm, Fat Dad, Fat Kid chronicles the ups and downs of Shay and Gavin’s thirty days together, reflects on Shay’s lifelong struggle with health and fitness, and proves that it’s never too late for parents or children to embrace a healthier lifestyle—even when it doesn’t come easy.
It wasn't until recently that I was introduced to Shay Butler and the Shaytards. I'm not a huge YouTube watcher. I'll watch (and by watch I mean listen to) music videos. They will be playing in the background while I'm busy on the computer. My daughter loves watching YouTube, and she's always watching Vlogs and internetainers. Rhett and Link have become my favourites and I do find myself watching them. I'm familiar with iBallisticSquid and StampyLongNose and their Minecraft counterparts. I've been around when Bratayley is being watched. It was from here that a few Shaytard videos popped up. My sister also enjoys watching The Shaytards and she's mentioned some things she's seen in their vlogs. So when I was asked if I wanted to read and review this book, I thought Hey, I know these guys! I'll do it!
I don't want to sound like I'm being super negative in the review but unfortunately when I started reading the book, I was thoroughly disappointed. I found that it was a mess. It was all over the place, and not properly formed as a book should be. For me, Fat Dad, Fat Kid did not read smoothly. We would be reading about one thing and then in the next sentence it was something completely different and unrelated. Not only that, but a lot of the same thing was mentioned over and over, sometimes even in the same chapter. Almost like it was forgotten the first time around.
I wish that the chapters were thought out more strategically. What I mean by this is that each chapter was written as a day in his 30 day challenge with his son Gavin, Chapter 1 = Day 1. Shay and Gavin would talk a bit about that day for them, though not a lot of time was spent on how they were feeling, and coping with each day. Shay would talk about a lot of other things in these chapters. Things like his Coca-Cola addiction, and his love for watermelon. His family and cheating on diets. I feel like he had enough material on his love of Coke to fill a whole chapter, and fill a chapter on how he loves watermelon, and so on and so forth instead of reminding us every few paragraphs.
Don't get me wrong here, Shay has a wonderful family by the looks of things we see on YouTube. A beautiful family with 5 happy kids and 1 happy wife. But did we really need to be told a million times how "hot" Colette is? I mean, this is a book that was not just written by Shay but his son as well. It just wasn't completely necessary.
I know that this is a pretty negative review so far, and I'm trying hard not to sound mean or be too critical, I'm just stating my opinion. So let me tell you what I did like about Fat Dad, Fat Kid. Chapter/Day 23 - No Excuses. It was the best chapter because it was so true and hit it straight on. Reading through the examples that Shay provided about people who do much more than a lot of us when it comes to hard work made me think, if they can do it, what's stopping me?
Overall, I didn't find this book to be motivating, or that interesting to read. I'm glad that Shay and his son have taken on the task of becoming more fit, healthy and aware of what they are putting into their bodies, but I feel like we could have done without the book, maybe just a vlog posted on YouTube about this would have been enough for me.
If anyone isn't familiar with Shay Butler, you can find out more at his ShayLoss channel where you can see the difference he's made, or check him out on his Shaytards videos and have a good laugh!