I have a confession to make: I’m 31 years old, and before this year, I had never been able to do a “real” push up. I’ve always had to do a modified version, and even then I struggled. That is, until I started following fitness star Kayla Itsines on Instagram. Her before-and-after photos of regular women just like me getting stronger and more fit inspired me. I downloaded the app, treated myself to fancy workout clothes, and got to work. It hasn’t been pretty, but thanks to Kayla, I can now carry my son in his car seat without having to stop and catch my breath every five feet. Itsines is just one celeb dishing out some serious wellness inspiration. Check out these seven celebrities’ routines for restoring health to mind, body, and soul. Drew Barrymore Recently, internet trolls tried to come after my girl Drew for posting a photo of herself without makeup. Even though she looked totally gorgeous in the photo, Barrymore admitted that the comments stung. Instead of wallowing in self-pity though, Barrymore practiced self-love. In a pic posted to Instagram, Barrymore commented, “Yesterday I saw comments on my Instagram feed about my post that were mean, cruel, and ugly. It hurt me. And you know what women do when they get hurt???? They pick themselves up! Go get a haircut. Put on some lipstick and chant ‘if you don’t have something nice to say… don’t say anything at all’ thank you @markishkreli @yumi_mori for picking a girl up and dusting her off. And more than anything, helping me feel pretty. Pretty is on the inside. But a little love on the outside never hurts.” Whitney Thore I love Whitney Thore, the star of TLC’s My Big, Fat, Fabulous Life, and not just because she’s from my home state of North Carolina. Thore has become a vocal advocate for body positivity and self-love, both on her show and through her website, No Body Shame. Thore became YouTube famous with her viral “fat girl dancing” videos, which seek to show that women don’t have to be a certain shape to practice wellness—or have fun doing it. Thore believes that wellness isn’t just about a particular workout or diet. In an interview with The Gloss, she says: “It’s not just about body image … I want to reach anyone that has something they feel is holding them back from just living in the moment and being happy.” Jessamyn Stanley Another Carolina girl (we really are best in the world, y’all), Jessamyn Stanley is a body positivity advocate and yoga instructor. One reason I love Stanley is how refreshingly honest she is. Even though she’s written a book, amassed more than 300,000 Instagram followers, and now teaches yoga all over the world, Stanley did not always love yoga. In fact, she hated it. According to a post by Stanley on Tumblr: “I think it’s really important for me to say that my first yoga experience was hell on earth. Are you hearing me? HELL. ON. EARTH.” Lucky for us, Stanley gave yoga another chance and has this advice for wannabe yogis: “Don’t be intimidated by your inexperience—even world weary yoga teachers are lifelong students. We are all constantly learning and evolving, and your evolution is absolutely perfect from the start.” Julianne Hough Julianne Hough is serious fitness goals. I mean, have you seen her abs? But Hough is so much more than a rockin’ bod. She created her website, JulianneHough.com, as a space for women to be the “best versions of ourselves through style, fitness, and giving back to the world around us.” Most recently, Hough shared her struggle with endometriosis, a painful condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. Other famous celebs like Lena Dunham have recently revealed their own battle with endometriosis, but the condition is still a mystery for most women. Hough is committed to raising awareness for endometriosis through her organization MeInEndo and says, “Through this campaign aimed at inspiring women to learn about and understand endometriosis, I too have learned so much. Most importantly, I’ve learned I’m not alone. … Together, we can change the way endometriosis is understood.” Ashley Graham I typically think of Dress Barn as being a place women of a certain age might shop, but Ashley Graham changed my mind. When her Dress Barn collaboration came out, I bought every. single. piece. She’s almost (but not quite) replaced Dolly Parton as my style icon. And that’s not a statement I make lightly! One of the best things about Ashley Graham is the way she stays true to her own wellness routine and shuts down haters. Recently, Graham had the best response to some ugly comments about her workouts on Instagram: “Just for the record—I work out to: stay healthy, feel good, get rid of jet lag, clear my head, show big girls we can move like the rest of em, stay flexible and strong, have more energy … I don’t work out to lose weight or my curves, bc I love the skin I’m in…” Preach, Ashley! Paloma Elsesser The new face of Fenty, Paloma Elsesser is not just a bombshell but an advocate for body positivity and women’s wellness. Recently Elsesser appeared in Glossier’s campaign for their new Body Hero line. In an Instagram post, here’s what she had to say about the experience: “I did this to show that being fat isn’t a burden. Being fat isn’t ugly or shameful. To prove to one person that it isn’t BRAVE to be fat, but bountiful. And for that young girl looking on Instagram, or walking down Spring St, that she is … perfect despite the precarious and irresponsible versions of beauty we are urged to digest.” Like Ashley Graham and Jessamyn Stanley, Elsesser also wants women to know that wellness has nothing to do with size. In an interview with Coveteur, Elsesser says, “This image that we’re now unpacking is that there’s no one body type—we all have different body types, everything can sit differently.” How does Elsesser maintain a wellness routine while also being a jet set supermodel? “There is so much chaos [in the world], so it’s important that we, as women, as human beings, are able to tap out in a positive way. [I was living in a] negative, destructive way that I was just not willing to participate in anymore. [And for me] that was wellness, having tranquility.” Serena Williams I don’t know about you, but when I was in my first trimester, it was all I could do to drag myself to work on time, much less work out. That’s why Serena Williams is and always will be the GOAT. Not only did she slay on the court, but she won the Australian Open while in her first trimester. Serena’s secret to wellness? Killer self-confidence. After the birth of her son Alexis, she posted on Instagram, “’I’m ready to get back at it. My belief in myself has never been stronger.” In an interview with Fitness magazine, Williams revealed that although she eats a healthy diet and maintains a wellness routine even when she’s not training, she does have days where she feels a little inadequate. “When I was young I thought I should be built more like an athlete—long and lean—not with a womanly figure. But then people my age started coming up to me, saying, ‘I love you because of the way you look.’ They could relate to me. That was really motivating.” Williams’ advice for women? “I learned to be proud of my curves and to embrace my large boobs and my butt. It’s all about loving who you are and realizing that you’re beautiful.” In my opinion, that’s the only wellness routine women really need to follow.
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