Lauren Weisberger, whose debut novel The Devil Wears Prada spawned the film adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, reckons keeping her trim figure and toned physique is more difficult these days.
The 44-year-old writer and mother-of-two was just 25 when her satirical slant on the fickle world of fashion – loosely based on her 10-month stint at American Vogue magazine as an assistant to editor-in-chief Anna Wintour – became an instant bestseller and threw her into the spotlight.
Today, things are calmer. Weisberger and her husband, playwright, and screenwriter Mike Cohen, live in Connecticut with their son, 10, and nine-year-old daughter.
During lockdown she completed her latest novel, Where The Grass Is Green, centering on a female TV news anchor obsessed with her appearance and holding back the years, whose life is thrown into disarray when her husband is embroiled in a college bribery scandal.
Although Weisberger takes pride in her appearance, she’s certainly not obsessed with looks and fashion to the extent of her fictional characters but says things haven’t always been easy since she turned 40.
What was it like turning 40?
“I feel like at 40 the wheels came off. It’s very trite, but just physically speaking things started to hurt and wrinkle.”
What about your metabolism?
“My whole life, I’d been able to eat anything I wanted. I was so lucky, I was never one of those people who thought a thing about calories or exercise or food. I certainly didn’t build my life around it. All of that just went to hell at 40.
“It (weight) definitely became more of a struggle. My husband, who is five years older than me, had been waking up every morning for five years and giving me a rundown of everything that hurt. Now I’m that person.”
Are you looking after yourself more in your 40s?
“I’m trying to but it’s hard to reverse course. I always exercised but now I’m trying to be a bit more deliberate about it.”
Have you had any cosmetic surgery?
“No, apart from Botox. I don’t know if it makes you feel better about yourself but, like getting your hair cut or wearing a nice outfit, it does for me.”
Would you have any other treatments?
“I have ruled out further treatments. I’m not obsessed. I would firmly put myself into the category of normal woman who wants to put forth a good appearance without losing sight of what’s most important – and it’s not that.”
Best thing about turning 40?
“Caring less what other people think. I’m very much a pleaser, but it’s been a little easier to learn how to say no after a lifetime of saying yes.”
And the worst?
“The inability to eat an entire large pepperoni pizza at 2am and not gain weight.”
Where The Grass Is Green by Lauren Weisberger is published by HarperCollins, priced £12.99. Available now