Thursday, June 19, 2008
We all knew and loved Valerie Bertinelli as the girl next door cutie, Barbara Cooper, in the hit TV show "One Day at a Time." Now she is the divorced mother of a teenager and is conducting a very public -- and already successful -- campaign to lose weight as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.
Losing It is Bertinelli's frank motivational story -- from her complicated family life to her struggles to maintain a healthy self-image while coping with celebrity, her tumultuous 20-year marriage to rock star Eddie Van Halen, and her difficulties with depression. She takes us behind the scenes in her acting career and marriage, recalling the stress and concerns of being a rock star's wife, the joys of motherhood, her lifelong battle with weight, and her determination to let herself feel loved again.
With courage and candor, humor and emotion, Bertinelli shares her fears and insecurities in ways that will appeal to the hundreds of thousands of women who face these same issues every day.
I didn't know what to expect in reading the book, I don't read celebrity autobiographies too often, but there's something about sweet little Valerie Bertinelli I've always liked and was curious to read her story - I'm glad I did.
I devoured this short book in one day. I was swept up in it and realized how much I had in common with her. We're just about the same age, so all of her memories of growing up and living in the 70's rang so true - I remember all of it, the hair, the music what life was like. Even though she was an actress, she was surprisingly well adjusted and down to earth, she's very lucky to have such normal parents and was raised with a moral backbone. Sure, she was no saint, and she did some drugs and went "all the way" before she was 18 with her boyfriend - but that's pretty tame considering what you read about with today's young starlets - there's almost no comparison. She wasn't a drug addict and it was interesting to get her take on what she thought about others around her who were (MacKenzie Philips for one).
I could totally relate to all her weight and self esteem problems over the years - I'm the same way! The different sized wardrobes, the binge eating, the yo-you diets, gaining all the weight back and more - emotional eating - it's like she was describing me! I found this book very motivational to get off my butt and do something about my weight right now. She was a bit gushy over Jenny Craig towards the end, but I know how it is when you're enthusiasic about a diet that is working and you want to tell the world "Do it! Try this diet - it worked for me!" I hope she keeps the weight off - that's the hardest part.
Her life with Eddie Van Halen was very interesting to read about. I don't know much about the group - I was never a fan of theirs, but I remember at the time reading that she married him - she was so young! Only 20 years old! As she says herself - "What were we thinking??" Frankly, I'm amazed she came out of the marriage so wise and well adjusted. Granted, she has weight problems, but with all the drugs and booze floating around for 20 years - she's surprisingly normal and well adjusted for being a rock star wife. This is not a tell all celebrity autobiography, she admits to infidelities, but doesn't go into great detail about them, and the way they are described we understand what her motivation was, it couldn't have been easy for her in her marriage, especially when faced with the knowlege that her husband had been having affairs through their whole marriage!
I really enjoyed this book, aside from her political rantings which I could have done without. Reading her story was like getting to know her and becoming her girlfriend and hearing all about what her life has been like for the past 46 years - I'd like to sit down with her over a bottle of wine and really get to know her - I think we'd click! *grin*