Tracy Anderson's mental hack will help you 'lose unhealthy weight' -- and keep it off
If you’ve managed to retain anything from your high school Biology class, it’s most likely this following bit of information: The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
And though social media and meme culture have made light of the scientific fact that we’ve all managed to have drilled into our heads it’s because it’s true — if our mitochondria aren’t functioning at their optimal level of performance, our bodies and our overall functionality begin to suffer as well.
As we grow older (particularly by the time we hit our 30s) our mitochondrial function begins to decline at rapid rates each decade, thanks to dwindling levels of antioxidant CoQ10.
Translation: The older we get, the less energy our cells are able to naturally provide.
This of course takes a toll on our physical health, mental health and our overall wellness — when you combine that automatic disadvantage with an ever-busy and demanding schedule, things can begin to feel overwhelming.
If there’s anyone who doesn’t have time for that, it’s superstar fitness entrepreneur and creator of the Tracy Anderson Method, Tracy Anderson :
“I wanted my audience to know that if they can just support their bodies, it helps them to get their workouts in and finished, to sleep better, function better, to go the distance in this insanely busy world that we all live in.”
Anderson swears by one product to get her CoQ10 levels back to optimal levels:
“I really champion [MitoQ’s] innovation to be able to get CoQ10 which is an antioxidant in all of us that starts to leave our bodies in our 30s … our supply diminishes as we age and it’s vital to our health. You can’t get enough of it in food, that’s one thing that we know. Many of the forms of CoQ10 out there don’t get to the center of the mitochondria but the science behind MitoQ is that it does … that’s really remarkable. [CoQ10 is vital in] making sure that our bodies are good at recognizing when a cell is ready to shelf off and when it’s damaged and it needs to be gone. And making sure the free radicals don’t get the best of causing cellular damage in our bodies -- it’s really a vital antioxidant. MitoQ is amazing and I take two every single day."
Being the best, healthiest version of yourself means being healthy enough to know when to step back and take time to do things that bring you peace and a sense of normalcy — For Anderson, this comes through parenting:
“I find that I have to just step back and do the things that feel sort of normal and personal just to me. I’ve been serving other people for 20-focused years so I’ve gotten into a real pattern of serving, serving, serving.
Every single week on my online studio, I have to produce three brand-new classes every single week … it’s important for me to slow down and make sure that I’m balanced. I'm a mom of two, so making sure that I’m showing up in that way is just as restorative for me to have my mom time as it is for [my kids] to have their mom time.
I think one of the most vital things for moms is to realize that our kids need us to show up ... make sure that you’re showing up because we always need our moms. I still need my mom today, my son who’s 20 in college needs me every day. The lesson is that if you want to be showing up, you need to take care of your health. And you also need to teach [your kids] that they need to take care of their health. The way that we take care of our health is with daily focused exercise. Going for a walk is not exercise, that’s daily activity.
You need to show [your kids] that whether it’s 30 minutes a day or 60 minutes a day just like brushing their teeth, they have to get their exercise in. And then also knowing how to eat right and make good food choices, make sure you get enough sleep, what’s an okay mount of alcohol to have (if at all) ... The whole supplement world can be very confusing for kids who are trying to drink five-hour energy to stay up and study … leading by example and knowing that you make smart choices for yourself -- you have to walk the walk.”
A major component in Anderson’s lead-by-example method when it comes to wellness is instilling the importance of smart nutrition:
“It’s a balance of things — that’s why investing in becoming a really good exerciser is so key because you need it or else the food will get the best of us.
Even if somebody is very genetically blessed with their metabolism, your metabolism can change throughout the course of your life. It slows as you age and also with pregnancy. Having a healthy, good relationship with food that’s very clear ... and knowing what it means to wipe the slate clean without depriving yourself is also key. There is a balance and the days that you can’t work out, that’s not the day where it’s eat whatever you want -- that’s the day where it’s fish and vegetables."
So what are some of Anderson’s personal go-to’s when it comes to food?
"I love lean proteins. I don’t eat any four-legged animals at all but I’ll eat eggs — it's also about knowing where to get things or having the time to just prepare it for yourself. I’ll do a couple of eggs with arugula (I love arugula) and even some simple arugula on the side or a simple pesto dressing. I also love these organic GoMacro bars — I don’t really love protein bars, but this is this family-owned business and I love the chocolate peanut butter ones and they are all organic and they taste good — they don’t taste like protein.
We all love a treat and I have chocolate every single day -- I have to, I just love it … i’m just one of those people that was born with a big appetite.”
It’s clear that a proper balance between nutrition and health is crucial to Anderson’s success, something she learned across the pond while training one of her most well-known clients:
"I actually got so good at my research of creating my method that there was a point … where I was training Gwyneth Paltrow and I was dunking an Oreo in Pillsbury frosting in London and she was like ‘That stuff is gonna kill you!’
I had gotten so good at getting the body I wanted form just exercise that if felt so free to eat what I wanted and that was in my late ‘20s early 30s. I made a real change after that to eat better and to learn … I’d been telling my clients what the right balance is for years."
For those trying to lose weight, Anderson puts the emphasis on this same sense of balance:
"If you’re trying to lose unhealthy weight, I always prefer a short-term amount of stress because I think that long-term stress is really bad for the body … once you get to a good balanced place then you can afford to have more freedom in the more highly caloric foods that you eat."
But if you’re looking for a quick fix when it comes to weight loss or thinking about jumping on the next hottest fitness or diet craze, Anderson heeds a warning:
"Be very careful about people’s resumes and what they know. There are so many [professionals] out there right now that just believe that everyone in the world wants to look like a celebrity so they work really hard at just getting a celebrity client and they don’t work hard at their content at all. And even if the celebrity goes [to the professional] one time or two times they’ll pimp that out … you can make anything look like anything these days on social media. It’s so scary and dangerous, these people don’t have the knowledge to actually help serve you. It is really hard to learn how to take care of yourself, it's really hard to design your body, it's really difficult to take the responsibility of knowing that you know that this is going to work for other people — this is the hopes and dreams of peoples' bodies.
In my experience it's about connecting to yourself, it’s why I don’t talk to people during my classes. It’s hot and it's humid and its strategic and it's a whole process of you connecting to yourself in a very strategic but kind of primal way. It's programmed to make everybody know that you can move in your body in your own way."
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