Get a body like Jennifer Aniston. Get a butt like Jennifer Lopez. Love your curves like Christina Hendricks. Lose your baby weight like Angelina Jolie. Dump your bump like Beyonce.
There is no end to the enticements for us women to change our bodies to be like the stars -- or just to be other than we are. Myself included. I try not to read those articles when they pop up on Google and yet I find myself transfixed -- for hours.
Maybe I'll learn something about getting slimmer hips. Yup, I'd like to have thinner thighs (no cellulite please) bigger boobs (that's not going to happen), a smaller waist (fat chance), and while you're at it can you stop that turkey waddle under my chin (it never used to be there!) Actually, I have a butt like J-Lo. I'm finally fashionable. Big butts are in -- for the moment. People are paying for pads to make their tushes look tighter, their bums plumper. My genes were kind to me in that one area.
But take my body overall at age 54 and there are sad changes that mostly can't be helped. It's not for lack of trying. I walk. I train in the Japanese Martial Art of Aikido. I practice yoga. Though it doesn't matter what age we are, we're always trying to look younger, thinner, better.
I was over at my neighbor's house the other day and noticed a book by her bedside called, "How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better" by Charla Krupp. My neighbor is 10 years younger than I am. And, by the way, she is gorgeous, toned and thin. Which mostly has nothing to do with how we see ourselves.
Back to Jennifer Aniston and her body beautiful secrets. The articles on Jen say she's toned, but still fem, lean, but not skinny. Smooth, but not fake. Jennifer Aniston's yoga teacher, Los Angeles yogi Mandy Ingber, helped Aniston incorporate yoga into her fitness routine.
Ingber notes that "the key to a killer body starts with loving the body you already have and taking 5-15 minutes each day to just sit and breathe." Hey, I can do that. I like it. It doesn't involve drinking a shake that tastes gross and doesn't fill you up or eating tons of raw stuff that leaves you feeling healthy, but unsatisfied. I actually do make one raw food drink a day with plenty of fresh greens, olive oil, flax seeds and more. Because you need to follow up in the physical world to align your breathing with your actions. But if you're going to do something to change your diet or body it has to be something that's realistic that you know you can commit to for longer than a week.
Next is Jennifer Aniston's workout...
"You have to work out your glutes." Yeah, I need that. My bum is sagging. I had a pilates instructor who was a total inspiration. We all wanted Anabel's ass. It was round, high and firm. Whenever I flagged during her intense training I just stared at her ass and said to myself, "That could be mine... if I can just make it through this workout." Of course it never happened. Still, my tuckus isn't so terrible.
But longing for something you don't have doesn't stop there. Next is toning your abs. Uh huh, got some extra flab around the middle. I clicked through on that. And now I have to tone my arms. OK almost done. But no, now what if I want a body like Demi Moore? I have to strengthen my core. I have to...
This could turn into a Michael Jackson syndrome where you start on plastic surgery and you never stop -- even when you hardly have a nose left and you don't look anything like yourself. All this toning and firming and scrambling for a better bod makes me want to eat a bag of cookies. I stop myself, though, knowing that all that sugar is just going to turn me into a bummed out butterball. So instead, I go back to the beginning to Mandy Ingber's sage words about starting with something simple -- the breath. I'm going to breathe my way to self-acceptance. Her advice is not so crazy after all.
For more by Susan Harrow, click here.
For more on celebrity fitness, click here.
Media Coach & Marketing Strategist
& Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul (HarperCollins)
Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your entire life around it.
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