I’ll admit, Tracy Anderson has been on my shit list for a while. I’ve stopped myself from releasing my inner bitch on her several times now, because once my inner bitch comes out, it’s hard to get her to shut up. But I can hold my tongue no longer.
Tracy Anderson is a celebrity “trainer” and meal planner and general guru to stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and Madonna (although Madge reportedly dumped her recently). She notoriously came up with the gem of a theory that “no woman should lift more than 3 pounds.” She has always been a subject of ridicule in fitness communities and allegedly a scam artist, too. But her asininity reached new levels this week with a couple of headlines.
(Before we continue, I must subject you to this video, if you haven’t seen it before. Remember that this is the chick we’re discussing here. I dare you to watch this without pissing your pants.)
(Snort. I am all for workin’ up a sweat by throwing a dance party in my living room, but I don’t need a video to show me how!)
Anyway. Miz Anderson was in the news this week for feeding baby food to Jennifer Aniston. Via Huffington Post:
“The diet involves eating 14 servings of baby food a day followed by a healthy adult dinner, and Jen has reportedly lost 7 pounds in the past week.”
Well, shit! Why haven’t I boarded this fame train? I am going to come up with a diet called the cat food diet in which you eat cat food all day followed by a healthy human dinner. Cheaper than baby food, too! And no high chair required!
Seriously, this gimmick is older than dirt. I’m gonna call it the Dullness Diet: these “programs” prescribe that you eat a single food almost exclusively, usually claiming that it’s some sort of superfood and that eating it in large quantities will produce some magical chemical reaction in your gut* that sheds pounds. This is crap. What really happens is that you get bored and sick of said food, therefore you eat very very little, and drop a bunch of (water) weight quickly. Obviously not a great long term solution.
So, okay, that was pretty bad but I initially kept my trap shut. Because, well, if Jennifer Aniston wants to eat baby food in Hawaii, she’s a grown-ass woman and that’s her bizness.
Then today, I came across this crap-on-a-stick from Gwyneth Paltrow’s oddly-named webstie, GOOP. (Honestly, this always makes me think of Ben Stiller’s hair gel in There’s Something About Mary.**) G-Palz is a “business partner” of Anderson’s and is probably her most high-profile client/proponent/shameless-promotion-whore.
In her latest “newsletter,” GP explains how she got in shape for her new movie role using a diet and workout plan provided by the Tracester. I’m going to quote my favorite part:
“To really get in line, I followed her strict diet for 5 days to lose my extra winter weight. Now, I am not a good dieter and I cannot ever do it for long, only when there is a goal in sight, which there was in this case. This regime got me into the shape of my life and I continue to return to it when I have a specific event so that I can do ridiculous things like be a 37 year old mother of two and wear shorts! An extra special thank you to Tracy for her generosity in providing us with this incredible content free of charge!”
First: The “shape of her life.” In five effing days. That must me a pretty pathetic life if you can hit your peak in five days!
Second: There is nothing “ridiculous” about being a 37-year-old mother who wears shorts. Really. Way to make thousands of women who have perfectly healthy bodies feel ashamed of themselves.
Third: I don’t owe Tracy Anderson a fart much less a damn thank you for providing this “incredible content free of charge.” If you go on to read the diet plan that follows, you’ll notice that it’s basically some product placement (some diet bars, a protein powder, some “very low calorie” wraps) nested in a diet plan that cannot possibly add up to more than a thousand calories a day. And it’s not exactly ground-breaking stuff. “Put an avocado in a tortilla.” “Chop some vegetables and eat them for dinner.” Wow! Incredible!
Really, the third point is what bothers me most, and what really got under my skin enough to make a whole blog post about this woman. Aside from endorsing a foolish and dangerous meal plan that is far too low in calories to be safe for anyone, this whole thing is pretty much a slam to the health blogging world.
I mean, there are literally thousands of bloggers out there who produce truly incredible content and share it with the rest of the world for free. I know I don’t keep a blogroll on here (I should!), but I can easily think of a dozen women who churn out amazing recipes, fitness inspiration and general awesomeness on a daily basis.
Like Cara, who consistently proves that healthy cooking doesn’t have to be bland or boring.
Or Kate, whose dedication to cooking wholesome meals for her family means consistently awesome recipes for her readers.
Or Bree, who exemplifies why women absolutely should lift more than three pounds.
I could go on and on. And those are just a handful of my “friends” from the tiny corner of the internet where I spend my time. There are literally thousands of others out there.
(Oh, and P.S.? All of the gals above are so much smokin’ hotter than Gwynnie. Being in shape – being strong and fast and nurturing your body with good foods – is sexy. Dropping ten pounds because all you’re eating is kale juice or baby food? Not so much.)
And that is what gets me about the publicity that these celebrities get. The internet is SO full of great information and inspiration – more than any other time in history, people can connect and learn from each other and support each other in working to be happy and healthy. Yet stupid Tracy Anderson makes up some shit about baby food, or Gwyneth Paltrow blogs about her five-day starvation diet, and it’s all over CNN. Being famous does not make you smart. Ugh.
It makes me so sad that people will read about Tracy, Jen, and Gwen in US Weekly and rush to the store to buy Gerber or ignore their rumbling tummies or drop their hard-earned money on DVDs that preach about doing bicep curls with Q-Tips.
[Inner bitch replaces her snarl with a truly sad face at this point. Because truly, it is sad.]
Well, hell. I feel better now. The inner bitch needed to come out and say that. I’m gonna stuff her back inside now. I’ll be back with a normal daily post later on tonight.
*Some call it diarrhea!
**So freaking classic. One of the best movie scenes ever.