2017 Book #61 – Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

51+lRnVc+yLTitle: Fitness Junkie
Author: Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Date finished: 7/19/17
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Pages in book: 304
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin—the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin—her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place? A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.

My rating:  5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Janey Sweet, a woman who when we meet her at the beginning of the book is being told by her business partner and best friend of thirty years (Beau) that she is fat. Janey and Beau together own B, a bridal salon featuring Beau’s designs but that was made successful by Janey’s shrewd business acumen.  Beau gives her an ultimatum – she can’t come back to work until she loses 30 lbs. While Janey is deeply hurt and offended, she believes (at first) that being with Beau and working at B is what makes her happy, so she agrees. And so begins a crazy journey of every fad diet imaginable, with the help of her friend CJ, from eating clay to the new super-exclusive and super-secret fad called “The Workout.” But as Janey continues on the path to fitness, she realizes there wasn’t anything wrong with her to begin with. And looking back on her thirty year friendship with Beau, she starts to see things more clearly and questions whether she really wants to go back to her old job and her old life. Add in crazy new friends, not one but two new men in her life, and an intense 8 day wellness retreat in St. Lucia, and Janey sure has her hands full.

Overall I just loved this book. It was funny and engaging, Janey was nice enough to be likeable and naive enough to be frustrating. I personally have also struggled with weight loss and this book hit the nail on the head, the perception of women these days and the lengths that some women will go through to stay fit is insane. I loved that this book was basically a satirical comedy about fitness but it also touched on some important issues like self love and being kind to one another.  I also loved that (as far as I can remember) we never learn Janey’s beginning or ending weight, or her actual clothing size. I hope that the authors did this on purpose because I think this is really important, it doesn’t matter what her actual weight or size is. What matters is how society made her feel, how her friends made her feel, and how she felt about herself. The only thing that I couldn’t really connect to Janey on was how rich she was and the fact that she barely questioned spending $15,000 on an 8 day trip. Be forewarned that may annoy you / drive you mad with jealousy if you are living in the middle or lower class. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized it was really necessary for Janey’s character, otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to afford to do pretty much anything she did in the book and then there would be no story. Anyways, this was an awesome, funny book about one woman’s self-discovery through fitness, it is worth the read and I would definitely recommend everyone try this one!!

The bottom line: This was an awesome funny book and I just loved it, I would highly recommend!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #45 – Running for Women by Kara Goucher

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Title: Running For Women: From First Steps to Marathons
Author: Kara Goucher
Date finished: 5/17/15
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Pages in book: 291
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

KARA GOUCHER is crazy, madly, head-over-heels in love with running, and she wants to help you feel that love, too. Whether you’re just getting started or already a seasoned runner, this is the book that will take you to the next level. Kara Goucher’s Running for Women contains her expertise, tips, and tricks targeted specifically at female runners to help you become a better, happier, healthier, and more fulfilled runner. She’ll teach you how to:
• GET STARTED WITH THE RIGHT GEAR
• BUILD A SUCCESSFUL SUPPORT TEAM
• FIND THE RIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM FOR YOU
• OVERCOME PSYCHOLOGICAL SETBACKS
• BALANCE RUNNING WITH FAMILY AND WORK
• AND MUCH MORE
Designed to fit your busy lifestyle, Kara Goucher’s Running for Women is packed with quick tips, pearls of running wisdom, and sample training schedules and nutrition plans, as well as sections dedicated to running during and after pregnancy, managing the special challenges of the female athlete’s body, and maintaining a balance between sporting and family life. Kara Goucher’s Running for Women is the ultimate guide for women who want to train for the gold or simply discover their personal best.

My rating: 4 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Roof Beam Reader TBR Pile Reading Challenge, #7 on the list I set for myself at the beginning of this year. I actually started this book last year and I’ve read it off and on over the last year or so. This has been a very motivational book for me. I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life and I’ve always had issues with exercising. I just find it so boring and honestly I hate being sweaty and just being out of breath and the whole thing. But this book really inspired me to try running and I like it better than most. And more than that, reading this book encouraged me to try harder to be healthy.
This book includes a lot of great tips for both beginners and experienced runners. Kara does an excellent job at interweaving her own personal experiences and background with tips and also with workout plans, meal plans, and other useful items. Whether you’re already in love with running or you’re looking for a new way to get in better shape, this is a great book!

The bottom line: I would definitely recommend this book, it is a great motivational book for runners or even just people who are thinking about starting running as their main exercise.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page