Tracy Anderson Mat Arms without Weights
Tracy Anderson Does Not Want You to Be Small
Despite what's been said in the media, Gwyneth Paltrow's (pint-size!) business partner and the woman behind her svelte physique is adamant that women need to make the best choices for their own bodies. At the launch of the new Pom Coconut, for which she's a spokesperson, we spoke to Tracy about going gluten-free, losing the baby weight, and how real women can make time to work out (seriously!).
Your clients are some of the busiest working moms on the planet. How do you get them to make commitments to their health, especially when they're most likely exhausted from taking care of everyone and everything else in their lives?
It's so difficult. As women become more empowered to be superwomen, it's not enough to say we're going to be equal to men. We have the pressure of keeping people on this planet safe and protected. We have to figure out how we are going to take care of ourselves and keep our bodies at their healthiest through four hormonal changes, when men only go through one of these. So it's challenging for women, but it's challenging for everybody. That said, brushing your teeth takes five minutes, but we would never think of going days without doing it.
Another thing is that achieving your best self is not just physical. It's not just having the best biceps. It's about your job, your life, who you are, and how you handle yourself. There are so many ways of developing yourself. People minimize it to something that is really superficial—and that can be unmotivating.
I understand that vanity is out there, but I try to tell my clients not to make it all about that. When working out comes from connecting to yourself each day, and you can say, "Oh, I'm really proud that I worked out, that I sweat, that I challenged my muscles, I detoxified, that I did these things," that's the whole point. You didn't transform into someone else. You achieved a better you.
What's your advice for maintaining consistency?
Once you're consistent you become more comfortable, and it's no longer a challenge to make good choices. Knowing yourself helps, too. If you try to follow a program you're not in love with, you're not going to do it.
Knowing yourself foodwise is important as well. I love dough and bread and all of that, but I recently decided to have my food sensitivities tested because I'm developing a more accessible way for people to understand their food allergies and how their systems can operate better with that knowledge. Even though I've known this for many, many years and I make other people do this, I never wanted to say "no" to myself. Unfortunately, I'm highly allergic to gluten, avocados, and cranberries. I love guacamole. I love bread. I love cake. But the second I saw that bright red strip, I said, "I'm done. I am not eating any of it anymore."
That said, I can't stand these books that say if you want to be skinny you have to cut out entire food groups. No one should do that unless they know how their operating system works.
How does understanding your food sensitivities help you?
If a computer has a bug, it still works, but it works more slowly. If you're allergic to something, it keeps your operating system from functioning at its highest capacity. We're familiar with allergies that show up on the outside, like breaking out in hives if you eat peanuts. What we don't realize is that we have internal allergies that cause inflammation. The education on inflammation is going to be key.
Do you think that's the next wave of all of this? Figuring out if inflammation is an issue?
Yes, understanding the inflammation response is key, but the real next wave is about knowing yourself.
So what does "knowing yourself" mean exactly?
People will read something, and if they're not happy with themselves they'll follow the advice to the letter, cutting entire food groups out of their diet, like, "I'm reading a book calledSkinny Bitchso I'm never going to eat dairy again." It's ridiculous. For example, there's a lot of benefit to slow-pasteurized cheeses. Cheese is not the enemy! There have been very strong studies out of Germany that the enzymes in cheese that is treated properly kill stomach fat. If you go to a really good cheese shop and ask for cheeses that have been slow-pasteurized, there are a lot of health benefits. The key is understanding how certain foods affect you personally and then really listening to the information that you have.
What do you suggest for new moms trying to shed the baby weight?
I would tell new moms to slow down. It's not a race. As soon as your doctor releases you, you need to start being mindful of the fact that your first priority is caring for your baby in a way that makes you feel proud and connected.
You've been quoted as being pretty critical about what women should eat when they're pregnant. What's your real feeling about it?
I think that women shouldn't use pregnancy as an excuse to eat more, but I didn't say not to eat what you're craving. When I was quoted about women overeating while pregnant, I was specifically talking about myself eating three Arby's sandwiches. I did not need three. But when you've got that very specific craving, you can't stop—especially when you've been sick for months. I only say that while doctors and experts know a lot, you're more in tune with your body than anyone, especially when you're pregnant.
The worst thing we can do is criticize new celebrity moms and make it look like it's shameful to not lose baby weight really fast. I don't understand why women do this to women. It's great when someone gets it off quickly. I did this time, but I did not with my son 16 years ago—I gained 60 pounds during that pregnancy. But this time with my daughter I gained 38 pounds; I got it off record fast.
What specific workouts are great for new moms?
Well, of course, I'm very proud of my own. When you're pregnant, it's not about lying on your back and doing ab work. It's about getting down on all fours, letting the uterus hang, getting the pressure off your back, and doing leg lifts and things that will work through your abs as well. Cardio didn't feel as natural for me during pregnancy, so I walked and did lots of toning and muscular-structure work.
You've been criticized for trying to make women "smaller." Is that what you really mean?
Just because I'm 5' tall doesn't mean that I want to create a teeny-tiny universe—that's ridiculous! Even when you make everyone their perfectly-proportioned self, they're not all going to look the same. How boring and uncolorful, and, in my opinion, the opposite of beautiful.
Video: Tracy Anderson's - 30 Day Method DVDRip AVC Gambit
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