Morris C. Katzoff - A Bit at a Time: From the Heart to the Mind, Inspiration and Motivation for Weight Loss

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Losing Weight the Inspirational Way

Aug 15, 2008 (Updated Aug 15, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The genuineness of the author; The positive message

Cons:Little or no organization; No editing; Repetitive

The Bottom Line: This book does include some inspiring words, but its flaws are too great to overlook.


Weight problems are considered by many to have reached epidemic proportions in the United States and in other countries. The problem with weight and the desire to lose weight has spawned many dieting fads, support groups, and various industries that all promise to make the pounds melt away. But no diet plan has any chance for success unless the individual is committed to making it happen. In this book, A Bite at a Time: From Your Heart to Your Mind, Weight Loss Motivation and Inspiration, author Morris Katzoff offers some motivational quotes and inspirational words to help people stick to their dieting plan and achieve their goals.

Basic Contents of This Book:

This 186- page book is divided into dozens of individual sections based on the motivational topic at hand and the book includes no chapters. Sections include headings like “Learn to Relax”, “Enlightenment”, “Old Worn Out Excuses”, “You, too, Can Be Great”, “What You’re Doing Today”, and others. Each short section includes one to three pages with a related quote at the top of the page and some commentary by the author relating to the individual topic.

Each of the individual motivational topics is covered in a similar fashion, with the author explaining what needs to be done to make dieting work; how to remain focused; ways to better ensure that dieters don’t give up; etc. The author bases his words of wisdom on his own lifelong struggle with weight loss and he wants to help the reader to lose the weight and keep it off.

Every dieter has tried one of the many different dieting plans, read books, inquired into web sites, and so on. Toward the end, this book summarizes some of the different weight loss support groups, recommended reading, health- related web sites, and personal/business relationship building tools. The book then ends with a word of thanks from the author for considering his book, along with some final words of encouragement and his contact information.

Final Thoughts:

A Bite at a Time was written by a man who has experienced the struggles of losing weight since he was a young kid and who wants to share some of his lifelong lessons with the reader. Author Morris Katzoff was overweight as a kid and was obese as a teenager. He suffered endless ridicule, taunting, and even physical abuse from other kids due to his immense girth. When he was a grown adult, the abuse didn’t end- it just became a little subtler. Instead of directly poking fun, adults would point, whisper things back and forth to others, give dirty looks, and sometimes laugh in his presence. The suffering was only brought under control when Katzoff finally regained his self- confidence, increased his self- discipline, and lost the weight once and for all.

I have never had any real issues with weight gain so I cannot relate completely to the author’s dilemma. However, I can relate a little bit, because I can remember kids who were overweight in high school and I can remember the endless teasing, taunting, and antagonizing attitude that was often directed their way. In college, the same thing often took place, only in a slightly less obvious way. For no reason at all, other people would target those who were overweight and pick on them. The harassers would claim that what they were saying was meant in good fun, but like author Morris Katzoff is quick to point out, there is nothing fun when someone makes fun of your weight problem. The author says that he was often driven to tears over the abuse and he is still haunted by his past to this day.

To help others with weight problems, Katzoff wrote A Bite at a Time. Most diet books include recipes, calorie counting logs, exercise recommendations, and the like. But A Bite at a Time is different. It doesn’t include any of the usual dieting book characteristics. Rather than offer direct tips on what to eat, what to avoid, and how many minutes to exercise each day, A Bite at a Time relies on inspiration. Each of the books sections begins with a quotation relating to the main topic in that section. Following the quote are the authors own words for dieting success. Katzoff has been there and done that, and he seems very sincere in his efforts to spread the message and help others succeed at achieving their dieting goals.

Inspirational, self- motivational books like this one are difficult to dislike because their intentions are to help the reader improve his/her life for the better. But I have some definite reservations with A Bite at a Time. My greatest problem with this book will be obvious to anyone who reads it: The writing is poor. I can tolerate a typo here and there, but A Bite at a Time has something wrong on almost every page of the book. There are typos, run- on sentences, sentence fragments, wordiness, and grammatical errors that will leave your head spinning. I don’t know why the author didn’t hire an editor to look over his work before publishing. A small investment of a few hundred dollars would have resulted in a book that was polished and easily readable.

Aside from the faulty writing, I have other problems with A Bite at a Time that cannot go unmentioned. First, I think it would have been wise to include chapters and then group the dozens of small sections into chapters that follow a common theme. This would provide the book with some much- needed organization. As it is written, there is no organization to the sections whatsoever. The topics jump all over the place, and there isn’t even an index to help the reader lookup a topic of interest.

Another problem I have with this book is its repetitive nature. Yes, it is nice that Katzoff wants to help others lose weight and keep it off and it’s nice that he includes so many positive words of encouragement. But the problem is that he continues to say pretty much the same thing over and over again. Part of the reason for this is the very large number of individual “sections” in the book (about 75 of them), many of which are very similar to one another. With this many sections, it is no wonder that the author has to repeat himself so many times. Don’t Give Up, Never Say Die, Stay Focused, Don’t Give in to Negative Thinking, and so on are the inspirational words stated over and over again, only in slightly different ways.

On a positive note, I do like the way this book was written in a generic way. It is intended for inspiring people to lose weight, but most of its words of advice could actually be used to inspire other actions as well. Anyone who is having trouble reaching a difficult goal could benefit from the words of wisdom in this book because the words could apply to many different people and to many different situations. I also like the genuineness on the part of the author. He has struggled with weight his entire life and he sincerely wants to do whatever he can to help others avoid the same fate.

Overall, however, A Bite at a Time is a book that cannot be recommended due to its repetitive nature, lack of organization, and poor writing. If the author would have at least hired an editor, there might be enough good here to justify a three- star rating and a recommendation. But with writing like this, the book is too painful to read to recommend it to anyone except those in the most serious need of motivational assistance.


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