Pretty Happy

Title: Pretty Happy – Healthy Ways to Love Your Body

Author: Kate Hudson

Year: 2016

Publisher: Harper Collins

Synopsis: Actress Kate Hudson’s debut book “Pretty Happy” aims to inspire people to ignore the aspiration of being perfect and to be happy and comfortable in their own bodies. With her launch of fitness clothing brand Fabletics in 2013 Kate Hudson has gone from being an actress and mum to a fitness guru who wants to show us how we can make simple changes to become happier.

Review: As an internationally famous actress Kate Hudson could’ve used “Pretty Happy” as a memoir to talk about her life and dish out all the gossip about her past relationships, like many other celebrities do in their debut books. But Kate Hudson’s debut is like no other and will take you on a journey to self-discovery and happiness. From the get go you feel like you have been sucked into Kate’s world, but instead of the flashy glamour of stardom that you expect, you get the complete opposite. Humility pours out of this book and it’s refreshing to see how someone so famous can still be so ‘normal’.

There are sections to this book that take you on a journey where you find out what kind of body type you are, what exercises could make you happy, how mindfulness will allow you to find fulfilment in life and much more.

Section One is all about becoming ‘body smart’ by finding harmony within yourself, finding out which body type you are and connecting with your feelings in order to quash bad habits.

Section Two is the one that makes up the majority of this book and arguably the most important; it’s about putting everything into practice. It comprises of Kate’s Four Pillars of Self Care:

  • Pillar One: Cultivate an Intuitive Relationship with Your Body
  • Pillar Two: Eat Well
  • Pillar Three: Awaken Your Body
  • Pillar Four: The Miracle of Mindfulness

At first you might feel like it’s slightly on the spiritual side and maybe even a bit ‘hippie’ but when you continue to read you realise that actually these really are the keys to being happy. You’ll probably find yourself connecting with this book on a deep level because we all have parts of our lives or bodies that we’re not happy with and most of us strive for a perfection that just doesn’t exist on this plane.

Kate makes you realise that idolising celebrities isn’t healthy at all and she treats you like a friend by confiding: “You may assume from all the photos and video clips out there that I was born thin, with a sleek, toned body. Ahh – not the case. Like every woman, I work at it and continue to work at it. I’ve lost weight, gained it right back, and lost it again.” It’s this kind of down-to-earth tone throughout the book that makes you feel supported, encouraged and truly inspired to make positive changes in your life.

You’ll find some recipes in this book and plans to help you lose weight, but Kate puts emphasis on the fact that losing weight doesn’t have to be your goal and it’s certainly is no guarantee to happiness. What makes you happy, she explains, is taking care of yourself and appreciating the way food provides nutrition for your physical and mental health. It’s nice to see that although Kate doesn’t discuss her life very much in this book she does give us a glimpse of how an ideal week of eating right and exercising looks for her and trust me it’s all achievable for every one of us. You might be surprised but she doesn’t dine on caviar and foods with names we can’t pronounce. She’s a fan of simple balanced meals and exercises we can all do such as yoga or taking a walk in nature.

The constant reference throughout “Pretty Happy” is Kate’s Drawing Board. She uses it like a diary to keep track of the way she feels, the last thing she ate, what’s going on in her life at that time and much more. If you want to feel as confident in your body as she does then a Drawing Board will become your rock as it has for Kate over many years. It’s actually not as ‘airy fairy’ as it may sound and by the end of this book you’ll feel like you’re equipped with the tools to become a much happier person who lives life to the full. I mean you only need to look at the pictures of Kate to see how healthy, confident and ‘pretty happy’ she is and don’t we all want that?

Summary: From cover to cover “Pretty Happy” is relatable, down-to-earth and makes you feel confident that you can make changes in your life, from eating better to finding exercise you enjoy. Kate Hudson’s story of becoming body smart, changing her diet and becoming mindful is built on her Four Pillars of Self Care and she gives us all her know how so we ourselves can go about becoming happier people.

Book Rating: 10/10

Favourite quotes:

  • “I didn’t just wake up one day understanding how to take care of myself. I had to learn how to do so over time, and I continue to learn – each and every day.”
  • “If you want to feel in sync with your body, you need to get it moving. Our bodies are designed to move, and without daily activity, they will begin to break down.”
  • “Being gentle, kind, and forgiving of yourself is a very important part of nurturing an intuitive relationship with the body.”
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