Do Celebrities Make Good Health Role Models?
My answer: It depends. Obviously, there are plenty of celebrities who engage in all manner of self-destructive behaviors—ranging from addiction problems to extreme diets—that you would never want to emulate. But there are also a whole slew of celebrities who approach life as healthfully as they can. And while their daily lives look quite different than ours, and they have more resources at their disposal (healthy prepared meals delivered to them daily, one-on-one sessions with personal trainers multiple times a week), I think there is definitely enough overlap that us regular folks can glean some useful tips/inspiration. Here are a few of my celebrity health role models. Who do you look up to (celebrity or otherwise)?
Jennifer Garner—Confession: Jennifer Garner is my favorite celebrity, period. She has grace and poise, is genuinely kind, funny, loyal, and has a fun and energetic spirit. Plus, she kicks butt. I first became a fan when she was in Alias. But even after she’d had her daughter Violet, there she was in The Kingdom making short work of her opponents. I also really respect that she didn’t bow to industry pressure to lose her baby weight dangerously fast. She credits portion control with helping her slim down, and she did it in a time frame that was healthy both for her and for her daughters, whom she nursed.
—Food is an integral part of her life; she enjoys both cooking and eating. (A girl after my own heart.) But she’s also honest about how much time and hard work it takes for her to stay in shape—an hour and a half of exercise, five days a week. She’s admitted that she could probably exercise less if she ate less, but she loves food, so it’s a tradeoff she’s willing to make. I think that’s a smart strategy.
Sheryl Crow—She credits running with helping her fight depression (along with therapy and medication when needed), something I can absolutely relate to. She also admits she used to rely on alcohol to help her with the stress of performing, but once she realized what a dangerous path she was on, she quit. I have tremendous respect for that.
Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh—Their two Olympic gold medals notwithstanding, I am inspired by their incredible teamwork. They play to each others’ strengths, and they’ve put in so much time together that they make beach volleyball seem way easier than it actually is. I can’t wait to see them compete in 2012.