On Second Thought...Maybe I Can!

Non-Fiction - Memoir
268 Pages
Reviewed on 08/16/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

On Second thought... Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss brings readers up close and personal into the author's life as an overweight child who lacked confidence and was often afraid. She grew up bowing to everyone else, doing what they wanted. She was so busy caring for others that she never had time for her goals and dreams. She couldn't get in touch with her wants and needs. She eventually realized that she had to do something to improve her life and how she thought about herself. Her reasons for continuing as an unhappy person weren't working anymore. It took turning fifty to break through the wall of resistance she had built over time, thanks to her chaotic childhood. Once she claimed power and freedom, it was game over for her old life. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she could do something all along.

Weiss's writing is personal and inviting, drawing you into some scenarios that most of us can relate to, or at least know about, from the stories of others who have gone through them. Even through an unhappy childhood and relentless teasing at school, a battle with weight and self-image, and navigating life's ups and downs, including relationships and work, her lessons can help us to realize we still have time to live the life we want and need. As a former social worker, I appreciate her points on how she went from being a victim to an overcomer. On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss will resonate with readers and help them feel they aren't the only ones going through issues like widowhood and caregiving. Even though the book covers some heavy life topics, it isn't a downer. It's uplifting and inspirational. It's the book you need to propel yourself to the next level. Your search stops here if you're looking for a self-help book that can motivate you.

Christine Nguyen

On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss is an uplifting memoir that teaches how anyone at any age can change and improve their life. Debbie had always given up too easily because of fear. She was obsessed over what other people may have thought about her. She hated to go outside her comfort zone. Debbie was riddled with negative self-talk in her head. She was always the chubby/fat girl who felt entirely out of place. Debbie had a negative body image and felt deep shame and embarrassment about her body. At five years old, she was so excited about her dream of becoming a dancer, but when she saw all the skinny little girls, she felt self-conscious and ran out. This was to become the pattern throughout her life.

Debbie Weiss shares her life with self-deprecating humor and raw honesty to help inspire others to step outside their comfort zones. She teaches that anyone can take control of their power and do what they have always wanted. Debbie teaches by example with her life and is not afraid to share even her most shameful, darkest secret. Readers share in her triumphs as she embarks on a new journey of self-discovery and self-improvement to actual tangible actions that have us applauding and cheering her on. On Second Thought…Maybe I Can! proves you can reach for your dreams at any age and surprise yourself at what you can accomplish when you believe in yourself!

Edith Wairimu

What follows when you look back at your life and realize you can change it in ways you never thought possible? On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss is an intimate and encouraging memoir that examines this question. Born in an era that believed in the “ideal woman” concept, Weiss, whose body type was different, struggled to belong and engage in activities that her friends enjoyed. Her perception of herself and the painful, insensitive remarks of many people she encountered affected her sense of self-worth and confidence. Weiss documents her turbulent coming-of-age years, including a devastating family shift. She chronicles her struggles when establishing a business, becoming a mother, and caring for her terminally ill husband. Still, she remained determined to transform her life and pursue her dreams.

Weiss’s illuminating scrutiny of her childhood, including the limiting beliefs that confined her and the obstacles she faced while trying to fit in amongst her friends, is moving and eye-opening. Her story proves that our thoughts do not always reflect the truth, and it is possible to change one’s thought patterns, grow, and do the things one has always longed to do. There are many joyful moments in the story, and her examination of each life-changing event in her life is followed by powerful, practical lessons that I found useful. On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! is an inspiring memoir written with candor and heart. It is a poignant, enlightening work that will encourage its audience to embrace the power within them and change their circumstances.

Grace Ruhara

Most of us have had childhood traumas that have affected our views. The traumas also made us compare ourselves with others and define our lives by their standards. On Second Thought... Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss is a testimony of how these self-damaging stories can easily influence our lives negatively. Debbie was an intelligent and brave girl who identified as a fat person nobody wanted to associate with. She viewed herself as unworthy and undeserving. Her weight brought immense discomfort, and she would blame it for any trials and tribulations that she went through. Her weight cost her a love life since none of her crushes seemed to look in her direction. Her weight cost her fertility and even happiness. Everything takes a turn on her fiftieth birthday when she attends a trip with her best friends, where she discovers that she matters and has neglected herself for too long. She decides to better herself and live a more purposeful and happy life.

One lesson that we learn from On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss is that we have the power to control our lives. It's up to us to choose whether we want to be guided by negative self-sabotaging stories or empower ourselves to be better versions of ourselves and inspire other people. Readers also learn that they should believe, love, and accept themselves for who they are. They do not have to wait for approval; they are their own cheerleaders. They learn to be independent, strong, and focused to achieve what they set their minds to, and they do not care what others think of them. Readers who have allowed their traumas to define their lives and prevent them from achieving happiness will appreciate On Second Thought... Maybe I Can! The book will assure them they can regain power and drive their lives to success and fulfillment.

Carmen Tenorio

On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! by Debbie Weiss is a memoir that spans from the day she was born to her present-day work as a successful entrepreneur, podcaster, and author. She shares moments of her life that turned out to be powerful events that pushed her to achieve a lot and served as her source of lessons and insights. She realized that making cherished dreams come true and living a full life starts with a conscious choice and the courage to go beyond the mindset you were raised with. She makes herself an example to inspire and teach readers how to overcome limiting beliefs and circumstances that propel them to develop the victim complex, be honest with themselves, and listen to the little "whispers" in their heads, especially when they say something sensible. With her guidance, she shows us that there is always enough joy to start the life that you want, even if you're already 50 or older, but armed with a new perspective that can help you continue living the best way that you possibly can, without being saddled with regrets.

On Second Thought...Maybe I Can! is an inspiring recollection of someone who, like the rest of us, goes through her share of life's ups and downs. Debbie Weiss' simple writing is relatable, and her occasional tongue-in-cheek and reflective comments on her imperfections certainly give a human touch to the narrative. What is remarkable about the author is her silver lining approach to the challenges and heartbreaks of her life, whether it's a family problem or a more personal issue of managing her weight. More often than not, she is resilient enough to work with whatever trickle of light shows up to help her get back on track during the dark moments. Each of them was a stepping stone for the author when it came to finally appreciating and focusing on the things she is passionate about and living the life she truly wanted. She is a reality-bound and hopeful soul who knows the power of using one's own volition as you unshackle yourself from the influence of a predetermined and unhappy past that changed an I Can't Attitude to being an I Can Attitude! And for her, it's never too late to make a fresh start and live a fulfilling, purpose-driven existence. Highly recommended for those who need guidance, support, and affirmation when seeking a change or purpose in life but who lack the confidence and self-esteem to start it. Let Debbie Weiss illuminate the way.