Monday, February 9, 2009

Losing It: and Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time

by Valerie Bertinelli
Free Press, 2008

The majority of the book dwells on Bertinelli's life so far: her childhood and entry into the entertainment industry, the years on TV's hit series, One Day at a Time, and various other acting jobs, the indiscretions that would today see her picture plastered all over the tabloids, and her 20 year marriage to rock's bad boy, Eddie Van Halen. A typical celebrity tell-almost-everything. Of course, we're fascinated by that - that's why the rags keep selling, and the paparazzi keep busy.

The part of the story that Bertinelli alludes to in the book's title, and that many women will be able to relate to, is her long struggle with weight issues. An emotional, unconscious eater, Bertinelli ballooned to 172 pounds, and became the Jenny Craig spokesperson following Kirstie Alley. In the latter pages of Losing It, Bertinelli shares how the Jenny Craig program not only resulted in a weight loss of 40 pounds (and counting), but also forced her to examine the underlying issues that caused her to make poor eating choices.

Bertinelli was not the "good girl" we all thought she was - I remember thinking "Valerie and Van Halen - what's up with that?" - she is a very real and down-to-earth person with a story that could have ended far differently.

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