Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Spotlight & Interview: Transform: The Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You by Dede Barbanti

Title: TRANSFORM: The Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You
Author: Dede Barbanti
Pages: 257
Genre: Self Help/Lifestyle/Health/Weight Loss

Finally, a book that will provide you with the answers that change your body and your life! TRANSFORM really is the SECRET TO UNLOCKING THE PERFECT YOU. Once weighing over 200 pounds, Fitness and lifestyle expert Dede Barbanti not only gives you the tools to achieve your weight-loss goals, but helps you dig deep to fix the core issues that keep you from lasting success and your true potential.

This is not your traditional weight-loss book. Most diet books focus on the outside by changing your eating and exercise routines,but they fail to find the root cause of your bad habits: what, why, and where they all started. These band-aid treatments never treat the problem, only the symptom, and most people find themselves back at square one, frustrated and defeated. Dede's no-holds-barred approach gets your booty into gear by tackling the real issues of your weight loss merry-go-round; so you can stop the madness and unlock the perfect you.

You can continue reading all of those other diet and lifestyle books that ultimately keep you repeating the same old story and never seems to get you anywhere, or you can get real with yourself and finally bring about the changes that you have always wanted...permanently!

For More Information

  • TRANSFORM: The Secret to Unlocking the Perfect You is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
Have you ever seen someone who turns heads and lights up the room just by walking in? Have you ever met someone who draws people to them magnetically? Who seems perfect in every way?
Do you find that you often compare yourself to these people? Wishing you had what they have, or looked how they look? Oh, come on, you know you’ve done it! We all have at one point or another in our lives. We have a tendency to compare ourselves with classmates and coworkers. We compare ourselves with our ex-partners or their ex-partners, our siblings, our parents, our heroes, even random people on the street! Comparing ourselves with others is something many of us do, especially when we aren’t fulfilled in our own body or life.
But no good could ever come from this, and most of the time, we’re using a very inaccurate gauge. We often look at the wrong things because somewhere along the way, we decided that people with more money or seemingly better bodies live more valuable lives. We compare ourselves to others by looking at their clothes, cars, homes, paychecks, beauty, or Instagram followers. . . but how much money you make and how many toys you have are rarely a good measure.
Outside appearance or net worth has never been a good indicator of self-worth.
You will never benefit from comparing your life to others.’ There will always be people who appear to be better off than you, who seemingly live perfect lives, but that’s because we always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best that we assume about others. Trust me when I say their lives are never as perfect as your mind makes them out to be.
Comparing yourself to others puts your focus on the wrong person and lets you forget that you can control only one life—yours. Comparing yourself to others wastes precious energy you should be spending on your own life. It invites you to regret what you aren’t, rather than enjoy who you are.
It will always steal the joy and happiness within your grasp—and place it just beyond your reach. By focusing on what they have or how they look and wishing you had more of it, you are robbing yourself of your most precious gift—you! Your life!


What you are not realizing is the perfection that is you, and that you have the tools and the power to create the life and body you have always desired.
I’ve never been one to beat around the bush. I’m a straight shooter, so I’m going to give you the answer right from the get-go: the real secret to unlocking a perfect, hot new you is in finding peace and balance in every aspect of your life. Yup, I said it: your life. Not your neighbors,’ coworkers,’ the hottest celebrity, or anyone else, for that matter. Yours!
Does it mean everything in your life will be peachy keen and miraculously healed? Nope! It just means whatever the goal—whether it is to lose weight and keep it off, to stay fit, be happy, feel sexy, or make your dreams come true—everything begins and ends with having faith and harmony in your life and within yourself.
By picking up this book, you are taking a big step toward changing your body and your life forever. It is my hope that the information and exercises in these pages will bring about an amazing transformation that empowers you to realize just how incredible you are. I firmly believe that losing weight, getting fit, and living a more balanced life will transform your work and all of your relationships, and most of all, will change you from within. Because when you realize that you can do anything you set your mind to, the sky’s the limit!
I am in my fabulous forties, a single mother of three great kids, and a fitness and lifestyle coach, but life has not always been the glitz and glam that it is now. (Note the slight hint of sarcasm?) To sum up my life before as quickly as possible, I was on top of the world, with a successful fifteen-year career as a professional choreographer and competitive dancer. In my late twenties I got married, got pregnant, and left dance entirely. I ended up getting a regular nine-to-five in real estate, and with tremendous success in sales eventually became a licensed broker. During this same time, I had two more children and got divorced, and the real estate market crashed. I found myself very overweight, eating and drinking a lot, totally broke, and alone. So yes, there is a lot that I am not going into detail over because that could literally take forever and would be a novel in itself!
So what happened to me? At some point during all of this, I totally lost who I was, my passion for life, and my passion for myself. I had always been active and fit, and I had always known what I wanted. I always had direction, but that person had disappeared. What I was facing in the mirror was an overweight, empty version of my former self. Now, don’t get me wrong. My kids are my passion and what I live for, but as you all know, it’s very easy to lose who you are when all you do is give to everyone around you. How could I raise my children to be happy, confident, independent, successful individuals when I wasn’t modeling that in my own life?
After some serious reflection, I had to accept where I had gone wrong. I am a firm believer that the best teachers, coaches, and mentors are the ones that have been there themselves. How can one truly guide someone else if they haven’t experienced the same struggles? Nobody is perfect. I’m just a regular mom who has been through many of the same obstacles you have faced and come out on the other side.

This doesn’t mean my life is perfect or that my way is the only way. I’m just very resilient, and what I did worked for me. It has changed the lives of countless people I’ve had the pleasure of working with, too. My hope is that my advice will help you understand things from a different perspective and shed light where you may have gone wrong. The truth is, no one person knows it all. I continue to grow and learn. My hope is that you will as well, because I want to help you in any way I can. But let’s face it. How can someone help you lose weight if they don’t understand how it feels to be unhappy in their own skin and they haven’t lost a substantial amount of weight themselves?
How can they tell you what steps you need to take if they don’t understand the process themselves? How can they tell you to have faith and just do it if they haven’t experienced the internal and emotional struggles you deal with every day? How can they tell you how to balance your hectic family and work life if they don’t have kids and a full-time job themselves? How can they give advice about financial struggles if they haven’t experienced them? How can they tell the struggling single mom that she needs to put her health first if they don’t understand the day-to-day battles that she has to fight alone? The list can go on and on—the point being, the best person to help guide you in making positive, permanent changes is someone that has walked in your shoes and overcome those same obstacles.
Let’s face it—things go wrong, plans change, people will let you down; but it’s what you do and the choices you make that determine your happiness. So before you try to blast me with excuses like “I have kids,” “There just isn’t enough time in a day,” “My husband/ex doesn’t help me,” “I work too much,” or “I’m too tired,” don’t even bother. Been there, done that. I know every excuse in the book. I am a firm believer that if you follow your passion, you will find your life’s purpose. When you want something bad enough, you will not let anything or anyone stand in your way. So you can sit there and make excuse after excuse, but the truth is,
If you want it bad enough, you will do whatever it takes.
This book isn’t just for people that want to lose weight or get healthier. This is an overall health and lifestyle book, and it can be just as powerful for those who want to rediscover themselves, gain perspective, and find that passion in their lives. There are many so-called experts out there that will tell you what to do, as if we live in a society where everything runs perfectly in Wonderland. Umm, no. Reality check, people! I live on this planet, and I know and have experienced the difficulties and crap life throws our way. Heck, with all the stuff I have been through, I’d like to say I am quite the expert. My life is not and has never been perfect. I thank God for that, because I know that every difficulty I have encountered has taught me major lessons and helped shape the person I am today.
You don’t have to love to work out. You don’t have to love eating healthy or become some fanatic. But you do have to love yourself enough to change on the inside and exercise and eat right to take care of the outside.
My hope is for you to see your true potential and inner strength and to know that every obstacle can be a stepping stone toward changing your life for the better—forever! I want to show you that there really are no boundaries, other than those you design yourself.

I want to bring back that spark, desire, and passion about yourself. I want you to be excited about the work that goes into achieving your desires and goals, whatever they may be.
You are capable of anything and everything you set your mind to. You are capable of more than you realize and give yourself credit for. Feeling beautiful begins within, not on the outside, and unlocking the secret to the perfect you lies within my three principles.
You are the one in control of your mind, your body, and the life you want to design for yourself, right now, in this very moment! 


Thanks for this interview, Dede.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I am former professional dancer and successful Real Estate Broker that found herself weighing over 220 pounds just eight years ago. I was divorced and alone with three children all under the age of five. My book was a passion project not only because of my own experiences, but through those of my personal clients as well. My mission was to help inspire women that are either overweight or feel trapped and unfulfilled within their own lives, to help them find the strength and power within themselves to achieve and maintain the body and lives of their own design. I wanted to give them real answers, with no BS; that would provide real and permanent results.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

OK as always I am going to be 100% truthful. No, I do not read Hemingway, or go to poetry readings. I watch “The Walking Dead” or any mindless television that will help me escape. My brain does not shut off! I am always thinking of what needs to be done, what am I missing, what should I do next and all of the other details in between. I literally need something that will pull me out of my own head and NOT think about anything. So I found that, good television or movies helps me escape in order to NOT THINK and come back rejuvenated. I know, just say what you are really thinking…

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

Yes, I am a full time single mother of three, or as Roseanne appropriately named it, “Domestic Goddess.” I am also a certified lifestyle and fitness coach so I work with several professional clients and teach several group classes each week; and I also run my own company. So as you can see I am a total underachiever and lazy as heck!

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I truly never began this journey thinking I would write a book. I started off as a regular single mother of 3, overweight and self-employed. The entire process of this book coming into fruition was through my own experiences as well as those of the people I have been blessed to work with. So I can honestly say, no, it was definitely not smooth sailing. This entire book was created through my own, as well as my client’s personal pain, insecurities, struggles and success. It is a book created through the voice, blood, sweat, heart, tears, trials and tribulations of many.

What is it about the weight loss and female empowerment genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

Again, I am a single mother of three very young children. In fact, I left my ex-husband when my children were just 2 weeks, 2 years and 4 years old. I was overweight at 220 pounds and was in a job that I was not only completely unfulfilled with, but at that time, the entire field collapsed; so I could no longer support my children on my own. Did I mention that Dad was definitely not helping us financially?  So finding myself overweight, at rock bottom, alone with three babies and struggling to support them on my own and then somehow with God’s help was able to overcome all of this and help countless clients do so as well. This gave me the passion to write about all of these experiences to help empower women to realize that they are all capable of so much more than they realize. Women are their own worst enemies. Nobody can beat a woman up like a woman beating up on herself. My decision to write came because it was time for me to put a stop to women’s personal traps and do my part in helping them realize their true potential.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Transform will not only give you the real answers as to why so many other popular diets and programs have had little to no effect on your weight loss efforts. This book will also show you how to create the life and body of your own design so that you can begin to live your life with passion and commitment to the goals and desires you have set for yourself.  Each and every person serves a purpose in this world and your story, your struggles, your victories matter. It matters to someone just like you. This book was not written only through my own experiences; but through the voice, struggles and success of many.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

Transform addresses the real issues as to why most people cannot achieve and maintain their weight loss efforts. Weight gain or inability to lose weight has to do with underlying core issues or poor time and life management skills. My book addresses the issues that have prevented you from not only achieveing your weight loss goals, but maintaining as well. Transform gives you the straight shooting answers that will get you to where you want to be. No gimmicks, just real answers and real results!

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

My book would be in the section titled, “Here Goes Another New Year Resolution, Maybe This Time I Will Actually Stick With For The Rest Of The Year.” Once again, bad Dede!

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

I could make an entire movie or reality show out of my book and the people involved. If I could be the director, then it would most definitely be from a perspective that has never been done before. My book is based on real people, real experiences, real struggles, real successes, real answers and real step-by-step guidance. With that kind of material, turning it into a series is what the world really needs if you ask me; don’t you think?

What’s next for you?

I plan on going on a U.S. tour with “Transform Live.” All I can say is this...When it comes to family, work or weight loss. I know what it is to be in what seems to be the bottomless pit of hell with no way out. I changed my life and have had the blessing of helping countless people do the same. So what is next for me? It is to spread the word and do my part in helping each and every woman realized the power they all carry within, so that they can unlock the secret to having the body and life they have always dreamed of.

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