So, up next up on my healthy living/weight loss memoirs book list were Valerie Bertinelli’s books: Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time and Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life Without Opening the Fridge. Again like Al Roker’s book I had seen these on the shelf at my local library but never picked them up.
I’m going to take a short side step from this review to complain about the use of the term memoir here, as a com arts teacher I taught my students that memoirs were generally about one event not multiples. As most of these books are about whole lives I’d classify them as autobiographies rather than memoir, small detail really that may not bother other readers but annoys me for some reason. A chapter from the book might be a memoir but as a whole this is an autobiography. Ok side step over.
Losing It, the first book is the story of Valerie’s life from birth to present day, present day being when she wrote it. I was excited to read it as I remember watching One Day at a Time when I was young and loved her character Barbara. Valerie is another person who has struggled with her weight off and on her whole life but like me personally more since she’s become and adult, gotten married, and had a child. She also like so many teenage girls thought she was fat when she really wasn’t and she’s very candid about that.
Not only do you get a lot of background about Valerie’s life, but as she was married to Eddie Van Halen there is lots of background about him and the band. As a fan of Van Halen I loved that! I learned so much I didn’t know before about the fighting between David Lee Roth and Eddie, between Sammie Hagar and Eddie, between Eddie and the next lead singer. Are we sensing a theme here because I did.
As with most autobiographies/memoirs it strays into the occasional TMI category, and there were certainly moments where my jaw dropped at some of the things she did as a teen/young twenty something. She always seemed like such a good Hollywood young actress role model, guess she was just good at hiding things. She’s open and honest though so you understand she regrets a lot of what happened. The book takes you up and through her journey with Jenny Craig. Well worth a read.
Book 2: Finding It is the continuation of her story, the next two years or so of her life, including the battle to get ready for that bikini ad. Again this is not really an instructional manual on how to lose weight but simply one person’s story. I appreciate that. I’d rather read about someone else’s accomplishments and see how they did it than be preached to. Everyone’s story is different other than the basic “Eat Less Move More” concept and it’s comforting to be reminded that what works for some won’t work for others.
A set of books totally worth checking out. Even with the subject matter they would make great kick back beach/pool reads.