Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “You work out 3 hours every day for fun?
Fitness Junkie is snark-filled laugh out loud satire that wildly swings on a pendulum from realistic and relatable to the outrageous and insane as authors Sykes and Piazza mock and poke fun at the fitness and health fad craze of the rich and famous. Delightfully humorous and loaded with energy, we follow Janey Sweet, the CEO of B Wedding Designs, through her weight loss odyssey after her business partner and best guy friend catches her eating a bruffin at a fashion show. He informs her that she needs to lose thirty pounds in three months or not bother coming back. Apparently, being photographed eating in the fashion world is akin to sacrificing little babies on TV. Janey, devastated but determined, dives feet first into the complicated world of dieting as she investigates the latest and greatest weight dissolving ploys such as nipple free yoga, fat freezing, clay diets, and supposed terrorist run boot camps. With the help of a cousin and her best gal pal, Janey learns a lesson about relationships, friendship, family, and being happy.
As someone who hates working out and dieting, I can certainly relate to this book. Sykes and Piazza capitalize on the wild and crazy but also dig down deep and take a good hard look at the unrealistic expectations society places on people and the extent to which we will go to measure up. Thin is in and God help you if you aren’t what others think you should look like. The story does start out a little slow as we are dragged down memory lane and Janey recaps her relationship with Beau from first meeting in grade school to the present. Luckily, after that chapter, the book speeds up to a comfortable level.
Janey was very easy for me to relate to. Even with her $1500 Chanel distressed knee-high boots. She’s a divorced forty years old who built a business with her childhood friend, Beau, and is content with her life. She may have gained a few pounds here and there but she’s not obese nor unhealthy. But in a town where eating is a crime, her partner, Beau, humiliates her by calling her fat and demanding she lose the weight. Beau’s actions hurt Janey and cause her to doubt herself, but also force her to take an honest look at her life and the decisions she’s made through the years.
I liked that Janey isn’t made to be a martyr or a flake. She is a strong, self-assured, intelligent woman who at first follows Beau’s edict because she scared of losing her business and her friend. But as the story progresses, we see Janey slowly evolving. We see how she has used Beau and her work to shut herself off from the world and not have to deal with its unpleasantness. Through her reconnection with old friends, the making of new friends, and a few romantic encounters, Janey is ushered into the here and now with a stronger self, core, and outlook on life.
A very eclectic secondary cast punctuates the story with humor and drama as they filter in and out of Janey’s life.CJ is a diet & fitness aficionado and is a hoot as she joins up with Janey on her quest. Janey’s cousin Ivy is an expensive former ballerina/ fitness instructor with anger issues. We meet born again shamans, financial advisors turned juice gurus, and a few actress/bloggers *cough cough* whose unrealistic articles will leave you giggling at their pretentiousness.
Fitness Junkie is a hilarious look at humanity and it’s many many MANY issues. It left me giggling and promising myself to stop stepping in the scale so much.