Gwyneth Paltrow's Harper's Bazaar Cover Delves Into Fitness, Nutrition, Her Father's Death

02/06/2012 01:43 pm ET

While HuffPost Style has been appreciating Harper's Bazaar's new look with cover girl Gwyneth Paltrow, we couldn't help but notice her attitude toward fitness and nutrition.

The movie star has restyled herself as a lifestyle and wellness guru with her website, GOOP (often, to mixed reviews), but she has long focused on nutrition -- famously following a macrobiotic diet back when Atkins and The Zone were fashionable elsewhere in Hollywood. She's also remade herself into something of an athlete, helped along by celebrity trainer Tracey Anderson. Her remarkable fitness wasn't lost on Harper's.

"As she falls naturally into yoga stretches during the course of the conversation, supple as a cat, you realize that this is a woman for whom working out has become essential," writes Justine Picardie in Harper's first cover story since their redesign. "At 39, she looks stronger than she did in her 20s, lean and toned, with the streamlined contours of an athlete."

Interestingly, Paltrow says that much of the impetus for her strict health regimen grew out of personal experience:

She cites the death in 2002 of her beloved father, director Bruce Paltrow, from throat cancer at 58 -- after decades of vodka and smoking -- as a catalyst for her own conversion to clean living. "All I've learned about nutrition and health came from his cancer," she says. "I'll probably have a long and healthy life because he didn't."

Paltrow went on to say: "I don't go back and say I wish he had done this differently, I wish he hadn't smoked, because the fact is that he did and he died. As much grief and pain and trauma and heartache are caused, there was an equal amount of positivity that came out of his death."

Interestingly, she first became interested in macrobiotic eating as she researched healthy foods to serve her ailing father. "It's obviously ridiculous, but I didn't want him to die and the doctors said he had to be healthier," she recently said. "So I started to read about how powerful the body can be if you do not poison it with processed food and white sugar."

The full interview is worth a read, and it's an interesting notion: is the legacy of a loved one's ill health -- particularly a relative with whom you share genetic predispositions -- an impetus for a wellness overhaul? Have you experienced this? Let us know in the comments.