2 March 2009

The Truth About Celebrity Fitness

Staying in shape when you’re rich and famous must be the easiest thing in the world. What with your own personal trainer, a yoga instructor on call, your own dietitian, nutritionist and chef, how could you possibly go wrong?

Most people look at celebrities in magazines or on television and assume that keeping a killer figure must be simple. After all, what else do they have to do with their time? And for many years, celebrities themselves perpetuated this idea by claiming to be blessed with good genes and saying that they’re lucky that they don’t have to work out much or watch what they eat to preserve their great physique.

Well things are a bit different now.

When Gwyneth Paltrow appeared on Oprah last year, she shared with the world video footage of her fitness workouts. The most amazing thing about this was just how hard she trained: 6 days a week and for 2 hours at a time. Her incentive was to get her post baby body back into shape for the red carpet. But she didn’t once say that it was easy, she didn’t say her slender shape was a result of fate or genetics and she didn’t claim to be able to eat whatever she wants without any weight gain. She said it was tough going but well worth it for the results she achieved.

The idea that celebrities do nothing but party and still look fabulous is now well out of date. The truth of the matter is that they spend as much time keeping their bodies trim and toned as we spend flicking through magazines marvelling at how fabulous they look. Take Madonna for example. Can you imagine anyone who isn’t a professional athlete training as much as she does? Probably not. She works out hard 6 days a week and eats the strictest of diets and never, ever lets up. This is the realty of an age defying body and is the new face of celebrity fitness.

Celebrities who work to get their bodies fit and healthy don’t just lounge in front of the TV, eat take-outs and hope for the best. They don’t drink alcohol most evenings and they don’t overeat. They take their body image very seriously indeed because looking better than good is how they make their money.

So isn’t it time to stop envying the results celebrities achieve with their workouts and start being inspired by their dedication and single mindedness? We should stop poring over images of them looking lean and toned only to feel resentful that we’re not as lucky as they are to be famous and fit – we should see their great bodies as the fantastic end goal we too could have if we were willing to put in the same amount of work or, in many cases, just a fraction of the effort they put in.

Not every celebrity is as strict as Gwyneth and Madonna. There are some who have great fitness levels that are more achievable and just as aspirational. Take Evangeline Lily or Anna Friel as examples. They are regularly photographed out running. Jennifer Aniston works out everyday to maintain the bikini body of a 25 year old despite being 40. And look at any of the contestants from Dancing with the Stars who rightly boast about their fabulous new figures gained from tough, daily 8 hour dance sessions. Working hard for your body is very much a badge of honour these days and great results are well and truly earned.

Celebrities who still yo-yo diet are out of favour because we all know how it will end. The new era of celebrity sees their body as their tool of the trade and shortcuts and fad diets simply won’t do. Sad to admit but everytime you see Oprah lose weight from a different faddy diet, in the back of your mind you wonder how long it will be till it all piles back on. We’re always suspicious of sudden weight loss and not very respectful of it but it’s time to focus on the positive role models who show us what hard work in the gym can achieve.

There’s no denying that there are great advantages to having a personal trainer on call but the single factor that gets results is free and you wont find it in a private gym or on a Balinese Yoga retreat.

It’s in your head and it’s readily available.

A good dose of determination is what it takes for anyone to have their dream figure. Celebrities have this motivation in bucket loads because they know they will be photographed wherever they go and they know women and men the world over will be scrutinising the images in search of saddle bags and cellulite. The key to making this principle work for you is setting your own goals and focusing completely on what you will achieve if you put the effort in. Model the celebrity approach and think about all your forthcoming social engagements and situations where you may be photographed or you’ll be ‘on display’. Imagine how great you’ll feel if you’re in the best shape of your life whenever you meet friends, colleagues or someone takes a family snap.

Focus on the exciting aspects of looking stunning and feeling confident and you’ll find it much easier to follow in celebrity footsteps and embrace regular fitness and make it a fundamental part of your life.