WCW: Tracy Anderson
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are dedicating this week’s #WCW to fellow fitness junkie and celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson. While Tracy is most known for her celebrity clients and renowned fitness method, she also is committed to getting people to move for a cause.
After her close friend and business partner was diagnosed with breast cancer, Tracy realized that there is so much more we can do in the fitness industry to not only help raise awareness and money for breast cancer research, but also encourage all women to become the best versions of themselves in health, body and mind.
We got the chance to chat with her about her overall leadership and activism in Breast Cancer Awareness, and what some of her favorite health and fitness tips are today.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the Move to Cure Campaign, how you started working with this charity and what this charity means to you?
My dear friend, Maria Baum, who is also now my partner and CEO, is a breast cancer survivor. She’s young, beautiful and a mother of four—so when Maria was diagnosed, she quickly came to the realization, “I can’t just survive this. I have to do more.”
One of the great things about Maria is that as a breast cancer survivor, she has been able to identify the areas that really need fundraising, and help raise money where an actual impact will be made with breast cancer research. In 2012, she started the Paddle & Party for Pink in partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars towards ground breaking research. I jumped on board helping Maria with this charity over the past three years, and even though this event has seen incredible success, I realized we can still do more and make a greater impact.
Even though I never personally had breast cancer, my dear friends and women everywhere are enough of a reason to want to advocate and support a cause for people that can actually find a cure. So in 2015, I joined forces with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to create Move to Cure, which is really about how “moving” and being active is an important part about showing up and taking care of your health. Whether you're fighting cancer or just trying live a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to make the time to exercise and incorporate fitness into your life no matter what.
Through your extensive work and leadership with breast cancer awareness, how has your outlook on cancer, life, and body changed?
The most important thing is that we have to slow down and realized how fortunate we are. I think that when you have something like a breast cancer diagnosis in the middle of of your life, whether it be as a working mom of four kids or just as a young woman, it pauses your life and forces you to consider all of your choices and how you operate.
So for me, the biggest thing is to support and encourage people to really learn how to command themselves, and take a life stance with their health. It’s not just about having a healthy lifestyle—you need to be able to process your stress, handle your bandwidth, and most of all, love yourself.
What advice would you like to give women who have either just been diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are recent survivors?
What’s difficult with breast cancer is that it affects such a feminine part of your body, that really is what we associate with being sexy or what defines us as women.
I think that women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or are going through treatment need to realize our true beauty and sexuality comes from within. They need to do everything they can that allows them to be good to themselves and stay connected to their femininity, because it’s not the end all be all. Don’t focus on what it is that’s going to shift their change in body and in life, but focus on how they can emotionally, intellectually, and physically connect to themselves in the most meaningful way—which is much deeper than any one body part.
You’ve accomplished so much and have made such an iconic name for yourself in the fitness and health industry. What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were first starting out in the industry?
There’s this thing called your gut, and it’s really, really important. And you have another thing thats attached to your gut that allows it to speak—that’s called your voice. I think giving your gut a voice, and listening to your body when things don't feel quite right, is definitely the best advice I could give anyone.
I always felt like I had a very strong voice for what I know to be true when it comes to fitness because of the amount of research and development and studies I have done over the years. But when you’re really good at what you do, and then build a business out of it, the worst thing that you can do when you maybe don’t know what you’re doing is letting other people do it or decide for you.
So trust your gut because it really is the only true guide that you can rely on.
What would you tell someone who is intimidated by the Tracy Anderson Method? I think that what people need to realize is that I’m not just a celebrity trainer, and have developed the Tracy Anderson Method for them; for every single person, at any fitness level, at any price point. I’m so for every single person to have the tools to being their most balanced and connected self.
There is so much personal growth that is much more work than what you need to do to get a great butt—It’s a process and a journey so you don't start when you say, “I need to lose weight, or get on a diet plan.” You start now! Jump in and know that no one is judging you. It’s about you and your time. Do you prefer AM workouts or PM workouts?
I really care about people getting proper sleep. It’s important you get in your workout and become consistent in your routine so that your body can start to understand what it can rely and count on. I have a lot of clients who come at 5 am and get in their work out because they are a working mom and have to pick up the kids from day care, or have to be out with clients at night. So if the morning works for you, then stick to the mornings and go to bed earlier. As long as you’re getting enough sleep and allowing your body to nourish and rest itself, it doesn’t matter.
What’s your favorite post-workout snack to refuel? Lately, my favorite post-work out snack as been organic string cheese. There are a lot of diets that are against dairy, but I’m not afraid of it—as long as it’s organic and grass fed. I have done significant research to discover that there are actually certain enzymes in dairy that can really help with stomach fat. A lot of times I’ll drink a horizon chocolate milk right after a workout which is great to replenish your blood sugar after a workout.
But if you are against dairy, a hard boiled egg is a great post workout snack as well.
What are your favorite healthy eating tips and tricks you can share with us?
Be organic. It’s so important. I personally believe that everyone should cut out gluten in their diet, but being organic and making sure you are getting it in your vegetables and lean protein is so important. You don't have to be on some crazy extreme diet to lose weight. You’re not going to lose weight by just eating quinoa every day, it’s really about getting in your vegetables, lean protein and eating organic.
I’m also a big believer in chocolate. I always have a chocolate bar with me throughout the day because the worst thing you could do is not have that available and then go eat a plate of brownies later instead!
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about you?
For the most part, I never wear workout leggings that cost more than $60. And I don’t take elevators—I’ve been trapped once and need to get over it, but haven't taken them ever since!
Who is a strong woman who inspires you? Susan Downey, who is Robert Downy Jr.’s wife and a good friend of mine. She's an incredibly talented producer and strong business woman, but also an amazing wife and mother. She's got a great sense of her voice, and I admire her a lot.
Tracy is being honored on Thursday, October 13th at the Annual Pink Agenda Gala for her involvement with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and outstanding activism and leadership in the fight against breast cancer. For more information on Move to Cure and how you can break a sweat while supporting breast cancer research, visit https://www.bcrfcure.org/