by Rachel Bertsche
What woman hasn't seen pictures of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Beyonce and wished she had their clothes, their abs, their seemingly flawless lives? For Rachel Bertsche, these celebrities are the epitome of perfection--self-assured and effortlessly cool. Yet lately, between juggling her career, her marriage, and her dream of becoming a mother, Bertsche feels anything but put together.
In "Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me," Bertsche embarks on a quest to emulate her Hollywood role models--while sticking to a budget--to see if they really hold the keys to happiness. While trying to unlock the stars' secrets, from Sarah Jessica Parker's wardrobe to Julia Roberts's sense of calm to--maybe one day--Jessica Alba's chic pregnancy, Bertsche learns valuable lessons. A toned body doesn't come easy or cheap, avoiding social media can do wonders for your peace of mind, and confidence is the key accessory for pulling off any outfit. But can she immerse herself in the A-list lifestyle and still stay true to herself? And will her pursuit of perfection really lead to happiness? (Description from Goodreads.com)
This was such a great read. Bertsche has an approachable tone that made reading easy whether she was lightening the moment with something slightly ridiculous or having a serious moment, reflecting on her marriage and pregnancy goal. In fact, that was what I loved best about this book. It had a somewhat ridiculous premise, but was done in such a realistic way that I couldn't help but be inspired to undertake a similar quest (on a much smaller scale, of course!). There's no way that the average person has enough time to accomplish all of the things that Rachel tried to add to her life - 2+ hours of exercise a day, cooking gourmet meals from scratch, upping work output significantly - and she's open about the fact that she was able to try these things because she works from home, but even then her lifestyle wasn't conducive to these in depth focuses the way a celebrity lifestyle is or needs to be...
Each month she made one huge change and sometimes it was something she could maintain and sometimes it was something that had to be strongly modified, BUT the intent was there and that was what I truly admired! As I said, from hearing how Rachel got her fitness regime kickstarted in the style of Jennifer Aniston, I decided to start trying to work out 6 days a week, as well, though not for 2 hours a day! So far, I've been doing pretty well. I already cook a lot at home, so I don't need to start from scratch there (and as Rachel notes - you have to *be* Gwyneth to be *able to afford* to eat like Gwynteth) but I do like the idea of broadening my recipe horizons. I've been trying to find a new seafood or vegetarian dish once a week.
Really what this book left me with at its conclusion, was the idea to start really thinking about what qualities I admire in the people (or celebrities) around me and to see how I can emulate those qualities in my everyday life. Not too shabby a goal!
Full Disclosure: Borrowed from my Local Library