Running in a sauna suit? A $425 cleanse? Bringing your personal chef to cook for you at restaurants because you can’t trust the food? Stars, they really are just like us! Sorta! While I’ll never have a personal chef (but neither will I have people with telephoto lenses trying to take pictures of me bending over in a swimsuit, so there’s that), when it comes to making diet and fitness mistakes, it turns out celebrities are just like the rest of us. This week I did a slideshow for Shape.com highlighting some of the bad advice certain A-listers are spewing of late. Not to mock them – heaven knows I’ve made so many mistakes in the name of “health” that I could write a book about them (oh wait, I DID) – but because it makes me feel better to know everyone struggles with trying to figure this whole healthy living thing out. And because it made me laugh out loud when Serena Williams said, “I don’t like anything physical. If it involves sitting down or shopping, I’m excellent at it.” Honesty for the win!
But my favorite quote was from Katherine Heigel, because it is such a perfect example of how no woman, no matter how talented or beautiful, escapes the comparing curse:
“On comparing herself to other stars, Katherine Heigl recently said she doesn’t “have the discipline to work out 2 hours a day like Jennifer Aniston and doesn’t want to eat packaged meals like Jessica Alba.” She adds, “It’s only now that I realize how hard those girls work for their bodies, and what level of commitment they make to do that. I’m too lazy and I like food and I like my free time too much to spend it working out!”
While we admire Heigl for being true to herself and her natural body shape, she shows the danger of comparing ourselves to other women. Eating properly and exercising are good for you in so many ways, even if they never make you look like Aniston or Alba.” (May I say it feels weird to put my own quote in block quotes??)
To read the rest: 7 Celebrity Health Tips That Are Anything But Healthy
On the other end of the spectrum, I got to do an awesome slideshow featuring some of my fave bloggers (YOU GUYS!) and what they carry in their gym bag. Due to some technical difficulties (Dear Editor, the Internet ate my e-mail) it’s taken a couple of months to finally get posted but it’s now live on Shape. Go check out MizFit, Cranky Fitness, Mama Sweat, Cort the Sport, Ulli, All Health Breaks Loose, Bikini or Bust, Man Bicep, Go Tami Go, Truth 2 Being Fit, and TGI Paleo and see what these fit ladies are hiding in their gym bags! (Hint: one of them has 7 tubes of lip gloss!)
As a mom, I loved Mama Sweat/Kara’s description of her bag:
“Like most moms with un-potty-trained children, the must-haves include diapers, wipes, changing pad, sippy cup, and emergency snack (for both of us). I also keep everything I would need if I get the opportunity to shower (which rarely happens). I also want to be prepared for any workout, because I never know how I’ll feel once I walk in the door. So you’ll find everything from swim goggles to cycling shoes in my bag, and another important item: an extra sports bra. You never know.”
And the picture is hilarious as she’s holding her baby, her gym bag and possibly the dog too.
All of which made me think about where we get our health advice from. Obviously straight from the scientists and researchers would be ideal but let’s be honest, that often takes more time and money than most of us have. (And also more brain cells than I have left over after spending 14 straight hours with tiny tyrants who think nothing of peeling 4 pounds of oranges and shoving the peels in our new couch so I wouldn’t find them. Of course they overlooked the Hansel & Gretel-esque trail of partially chewed orange segments pointing like a guilty arrow at their feet.) The next level up would be sites like MSN Health or WebMD but they lack a certain charm. And then we have bloggers. Bloggers often get a lot of flack for giving advice that we are either unqualified to give or is just outright bad – which is exactly why I try never to give advice. But I tend to think of blogging as the modern-day equivalent of the backyard fence – it may not be the most accurate but it’s the most accessible and there’s something to be said for anecdotal evidence.
And the final tier of information is your mother. In case you don’t remember, your mother basically out-ranks everyone and you should always listen to her advice, mostly because she can tell when you’re getting a cold just by hearing you on the phone.
What sources do you trust for your health and fitness advice? What’s the most heinous piece of advice you’ve ever heard a celeb/writer/blogger give (We’ll leave your mother out of this)?