USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Bear necessities

Author ships popular weight-loss book with USPS

Amanda Rose, author of “Half My Size With the Ridiculously Big Salad,” credits USPS with the book’s success.

Amanda Rose is enjoying ridiculously big success — with a little help from the Postal Service.

Rose is the author of “Half My Size With the Ridiculously Big Salad,” a weight-loss book that has become a sensation online, where Rose also operates Eat Like a Bear!, a companion website and Facebook group with 85,000 members.

Because she published her “Ridiculously Big Salad” book on her own, she has relied on Post Offices near her central California home to fulfill orders.

“[The book] sold faster than we expected. As a result, we find ourselves in the direct mail business,” Rose said, adding that she’s grateful for the “power of the Postal Service and its human touch.”

The $29 book describes Rose’s go-to meal — one big salad a day — which she credits with helping her to lose 140 pounds, cutting her weight in half.

Last summer, Rose, 51, found herself receiving 100 preorders a day, fueled by strong word-of-mouth in the Eat Like a Bear! online community. By mid-August, Rose was ready to ship the first 1,500 orders — only to discover she had just 1,000 Priority Mail envelopes.

That’s when Rose and her husband, Sander Valyocsik, who handles order fulfillment, turned to their local Post Office in California Hot Springs.

Sandy Mathis, a retail associate at that office, called other nearby postal locations and rounded up more Priority Mail envelopes. From there, Mathis and her colleagues developed a coordinated effort to help Rose ship her orders through USPS.

“We are a very tiny community, but the community pulls together,” Mathis said.

Rose’s neighbor, retired Postmaster Dean Gilstrap, also lent a hand, helping her and Valyocsik’s two sons, Frederick, 18, and Alastair, 12, package the orders.

By the end of the year, Rose had shipped almost 10,000 books. This year, she plans to ship an additional 15,000 books — although this time, she’s using a small warehouse in St. George, UT, to process and fulfill orders.

The move comes just as Rose prepares for the release of a second book: “Eat Like a Bear! Jump Start: The Three-Day Challenge Unpacked.”

Mathis and her postal colleagues will miss doing business with Rose and her family, but she said they’re grateful for the role USPS played in getting her business off the ground.

“We had a system, we made it work and we’re a great team,” Mathis said.

Rose also credits the Postal Service, saying she appreciates the support she received from an “unexpected network of rural Postmasters.”

Share your feedback at Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.