When we speak with Australian author Bernadette Fisers, she’s on a book tour and about to go for a morning dip at Kingscliff, so we decided to make things as snappy as possible. Who would want to chat on the phone when glistening surf awaits? The mum-and-makeup-artist-turned-weight-loss-guru joined the ranks of published authors when her carefully collated ‘Little Book of Big Weightloss’ hit the shelves in 2017. Composed of 31 health tips she gathered from the models that she worked with and tested via her own research (losing 30kg in 30 weeks in the process), this quick and no-nonsense read has quickly become a worldwide sensation. We asked her how it all came about.
“I gained a lot of weight and I always struggled, I could never get a handle on it,” says Bern, speaking for millions of people worldwide.
“I’d try a diet and it’d work for a bit but I’d always regain and it was really depressing. I researched by talking to a lot of the models that I work with and the personal trainers and a lot of the sportspeople, then I would read copiously and take on things. If something worked – like quitting sugar – I would keep that, and then I would look for something else to boost it.”
Bern’s reading took her through a plethora of health issues.
“I’d research things like green tea, how much sleep we need at night, what are the medical studies,” she describes.
“I enjoyed reading them. And I came up with this group of 31 rules, but I guess I didn’t think of them as rules. I would go to school to do the pickup and the mums would say to me ‘oh my god what are you doing?’ so I started writing them out on sticky notes and the back of homework to let them know what I was doing.
“Then I thought ‘The world is bigger than St Joseph’s mums, so I’m gonna write a book’ – the cutest goddamn book I can write – something that would’ve helped me when I was struggling. Like chatting to a friend! And I self-published and put out a press release and basically I got inundated with orders, sold out super fast.”
A lot of those orders were from publishers, who suddenly all wanted a piece of the action. Bern, having no idea how to deal with publishers, decided to get herself an agent, and went straight for the big guns – Blair Partnership, who look after JK Rowling.
“I couriered them some books, they loved it, wanted me to sign with them,” remembers Bern.
“So now I’m signed with them and that book is being sold into 21 countries worldwide. It’s been helping thousands of people. I get emails, I get texts, I have an Insta. People would contact me and say ‘I feel like you’ve written this just for me. And I finally get it.’”
And were there any tips she got that she thought “oh no, I am NOT doing that?”
“A couple of times,” she says.
“Lemon juice and warm water cleanses, juice cleanses – like when you just drink those things for five days. I don’t think that’s sustainable. If you’ve got a weight issue you want to lose weight and not be ready to stab everyone to death. Better off doing it so you feel happy.”
Check out our review of ‘The Little Book of Big Weightloss’ here. It can be purchased through all the usual channels.