A fitness-competition champion motivates readers to get active with her personal success story.
When 50-year-old Simmons announced to her husband that she wanted to enter a fitness competition, she knew nothing about competing and lacked a background in dance or cheerleading to prepare. After her first choreography teacher rejected her for learning routines too slowly, the author begged dance teacher Micaela Brigida to come out of retirement and help her train. With sheer determination and help from Brigida, Simmons learned her first fitness routine to music and eventually placed in several fitness competitions alongside women half her age. With over-the-top enthusiasm and the charming use of Texas colloquialisms, the author juxtaposes her fitness experiences with tips for readers to set health goals and get in shape, regardless of age. Unfortunately, the book swings indecisively between memoir and fitness guide, lacking the length and emotional pull to exist as a biography and the factual information to truly help readers establish a permanent fitness routine. Simmons’ tales of growing up in a poor household under shockingly abusive conditions seem jarringly out of place with the rest of the text, although their inclusion does make her journey to becoming a successful nutritionist and personal trainer more admirable. The book contains some useful fitness information, particularly in the nutrition chapter, which outlines simple but practical rules for healthy eating. Simmons discourages readers from dieting, instead emphasizing a permanent change in eating habits, mainly by consuming minimally processed foods and â€œsmall, healthy meals.” Later chapters detail the weight training and food regimen necessary for competition, along with additional tips for using spray-tanner, posing for judges and choosing outfits. Photographs of Simmons posing athletically in costumes and swimsuits complete the book, along with testimonials from other middle-aged women committed to exercise.
The author’s passion for fitness is contagious, but the book needs more detailed information to guide would-be fitness competitors.