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Shape Your Self    by Martina Navratilova order for
Shape Your Self
by Martina Navratilova
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Without even opening up the book, Shape Your Self, the cover inspired me, as it shows the well-muscled, middle-aged superstar tennis player, Martina Navratilova, looking remarkably serene - as she certainly should given all her accomplishments to date. Navratilova won 9 Wimbledon singles titles and 58 Grand Slam titles, and is a household name. Approaching fifty, she's still a competitive tennis player. Now she weighs in on the subject of health and fitness.

Navratilova tells us, 'Don't let age get in your way', offers 'a step-by-step strategy' involving small, gradual changes, and shares what Katharine Hepburn once told her - 'It's not what you start in life, it's what you finish.' Part 1 elaborates on each of seven steps: Make Your Own Comeback; Develop the Mentality of an Athlete; Build Your Support Team; Fuel Your Body and Mind; Go Organic; Build the Fitness to Function; and Recharge and Energize - When You're Tired of Being Tired. Detailed suggestions are common-sensible and include topics like journaling; a Czech proverb, 'Do not protect yourself with a fence, but rather by your friends'; advice to avoid processed food, eat more raw foods, and discover juicing; tips onfunctional exercise and the suggestion of 10 Toys for Exercise Fun at Home (she also suggests substitutes, like a swimming pool noodle instead of a foam roller).

Part 2 covers a Self Nutrition Plan and a Self Exercise Plan. In the former, Navratilova offers sample meal plans as examples of a healthy diet, recipes, and easy comparisons to work out serving sizes. I'm salivating over her Guacamole Wraps, Honey-Baked Pears, Red Lentil Salad, Energy Balls, Bean Fajitas, as well as pastas, juices, and smoothies galore. The exercise section includes color photos and clear instructions for each exercise, as well as specific objectives in performing combinations for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. In her Parting Shot, Navratilova encourages readers to 'try what is new and different', to use energy in a positive way, strive for excellence not perfection, and 'Just hit the darn ball and go for it.'

Having this book, Shape Your Self, at hand is like having a modest, encouraging friend beside you egging you on, inspiring you to be your best, and offering specifics of favorite recipes and well tested exercises. I plan to make good use of my copy and recommend that you get one of your own.

Listen to a podcast interview with Martina Navratilova at

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