Hello: Intro to “This is Not a Self-Help Book”


Fat Fuck Arik (l), Health Recovery Arik (r).




Hi, my name is Arik, and I’m a recovering fat fuck.



If you have an issue with me referring to myself as a fat fuck, the picture on the opposite page has 1,000 words to say on the matter. My buddy Jay took this photo of me at the Outer Banks in February 2022. I really looked forward to sharing this moment on social media—until I actually saw it.


There were so many fun things about the image, but this was the moment when I realized my physical condition was out of control. I dropped the picture on social media anyway, but it continued pecking at me—just like the bird atop my head.


Later that spring, my chronic insomnia (a residual gift from COVID) went really bonkers, and my entire life unraveled. I lost my job as a public librarian. I saw Lizard People roaming about my house due to a sleep medicine allergy, then gradually dived into self-medication in a desperate attempt to remedy my sleeplessness.


By August, I had ballooned to 290 pounds. I could hardly navigate stairs without a railing, as my knees were pretty much bone on bone.


Now or never. Either/Or. Jesus take the wheel—of cheese! It was a do-or-die life moment. I had lost nearly everything. Losing one more thing was the key to getting it all back:




Shedding pounds wasn’t the only remedy I needed. But recovery is unique for everyone. I knew that a regimented exercise routine and diet were key to also dredging my emotional and spiritual being from the ocean floor.


I was, oddly, already in the habit of going to the gym four or five times a week. But it was a do-it-yourself kind of place. There were no personal trainers, and I sort of bounced back and forth aimlessly from one purple machine to the next.


There was a next-level gym down the road. More expensive, with qualified personal trainers, and jam-packed every day with adults in amazing condition. Despite being cash-strapped, I signed up. I was intimidated as hell. Walking in that gym door the first day was like entering a 12-step program, only with various gauntlets designed to rupture my every muscle and ligament.


I stopped shoveling shit into my body, and committed to drag my ass to the gym for three hours every day, 24/7. My headband mantra became: Work Hard, Learn Hard.


I don’t want to give too much away at this point. But that photo with the bird pretty much sums up my former fat fuck state of being.


For now, we’re just at the “Hello, I’m Arik” stage. All I want, dear reader, is for you to digest the following words: “Hey, I’m no expert. But boy oh boy, I was one clusterfuck of a mess. Now I’m less so. This is how I got from there to here. And you can too!”


Honestly, you can.


This is my 10th book. Or maybe my 11th. I’ve lost track. I no longer write books aspiring to be a successful author. I’m writing this book because when I needed it, I couldn’t find it. Well, here it is. Maybe you could use it.


Now drop and give me 20. No, seriously. A healthier life starts now. Okay, so how about 3 pushups, then go stuff yourself with a few doughnuts, while you still can.


Arik Bjorn
New Year’s Eve 2022




Excerpt from THIS IS NOT A SELF-HELP BOOK, Arik Bjorn’s tenth book, published August 6, 2023. THIS IS NOT A SELF-HELP BOOK, is a “Jesus take the wheel (of cheese!)” health recovery journey memoir. (Hell, if you’re going to lose 85 pounds, might as well write about it.)


THIS IS NOT A SELF-HELP BOOK is available at Amazon.



Clip to Evernote

You must be logged in to post a comment.