Chow Bella Weighs in on Martin Cizmar's New Diet Book, Chubster

Remember Martin Cizmar? He was our music critic at Phoenix New Times (left last year, he's now at the Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon) and he also kicked up some dust in the Phoenix food community.

As you might recall, Cizmar got into a bit of a tiff with Earl's BBQ (there's still a "Wanted" posted up at Earl's with his picture on it); called out Papago Brewing on an April Fool's Day joke gone wrong; and thought that he could out-do the pros at a BBQ festival -- yeah, that guy.

Well, love him or hate him, Cizmar wrote a "how to lose weight book" and it totally blows.

Just kidding. It's actually really good. As far as diet books go, it may be the most informative and funny one I have read.

I'll admit that when I first heard about the idea for this book I made fun of it. I'm pretty sure my exact words were, "Sounds like something you would find on the clearance table at Urban Outfitters." I mean, come on, "chubster"? Was this dude serious? A book for overweight hipsters? Do overweight hipsters even exist?

Oh wait. I was once an overweight hipster (200 lbs, 5' 7" with an undying love of Fleet Foxes).

And Martin had been one, too.

Until the day I heard about this supposed "book" Martin was writing, I had no idea that he had once weighed in at 290 lbs. That much weight was difficult to picture on Martin's 5'11" frame,  constantly clothed in slim American Apparel t-shirts -- plus the only food I had ever seen the dude eat was Pop Chips.

But it was true. Martin was once 290 lbs and lost more then 100 lbs over the course of eight months and he did it without stepping foot inside of a gym, giving up drinking, or developing a nasty cocaine habit. So how did this self-proclaimed "chubster" lose all that weight?

Unlike my own extremely unhealthy weight loss plan, which consisted of gallons of Cartel Iced Toddies, anti depressants, cigarettes and vodka (hey, don't knock it, I lost 50 lbs), Martin lost weight the old-fashioned, healthy way -- he got off his ass and started counting calories.

Yep, plain ol' simple calorie counting and getting off your barstool to do something a little more active than lifting a pint glass to your lips. That's all.

It's nothing that you haven't heard before. And Martin knows that and he's totally up front about it. Stop eating tons of junk and start exercising and you'll magically become a thinner person. In fact, you can find all the info that in this book on on the Internet if you really look but let's be serious -- it's easier if someone else does the work for you. Plus, most of you need a bit of help with that whole getting starting part.

Chubster will take you on a sarcastic, snarky, sometimes hilarious walk through calorie counting, exercising (no gym or boot camp needed); how to manage drunken nights with friends (in moderation and you have to forget about those Jack N the Box tacos); healthier fast food choices; marijuana use; cooking at home; running shoes that won't make you look like a douche; how to handle backhanded compliments; and how to maintain your new svelte figure once you've dropped the weight.

It's not new info and it's not a structured plan that drones on about blood sugars and hormones -- so it's not for everyone. But if you're an overweight hipster in your mid to late 20's or early to mid 30's and you have a little bit of willpower then you should pick up this book. It's insightful and funny and to be honest, even you don't need to lose pounds, you should still pick it up. It's a good read that will help you make better food choices and avoid the risk of becoming a future Chubster.

Disclaimer: Martin and I once worked across the hall from each other and while we didn't see eye to eye most of the time, I still consider him a friend. That said -- I'd like to think that our friendship had absolute no bearing on this review. If it super-sucked, I would be the first one to say so.

Editor's note: I totally believe Shannon when she says that.

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Shannon Armour
Contact: Shannon Armour