If you follow Gwyneth Paltrow, chances are you also know Tracy Anderson, the celebrity trainer touted with transforming Paltrow’s “dumpy”—GP’s words, not mine—butt.
It’s thanks to the both of them that I find myself rolling repeatedly (and rather inelegantly) into some sort of lunge-pushup-leg-in-air-combo on a yoga mat in a ballroom at the Westin Chicago River North Hotel. I’m one of 50 women signed up for the first G. Sport Sessions by goop and Westin hotels, a pop-up Tracy Anderson Method workout taught (much more elegantly, may I add) by the Tracy Anderson herself, and followed by a Q&A and healthy breakfast.
The goop collabo is part of the luxury hotel chain’s wellness-first philosophy aimed at accommodating—and enticing—a new generation of travellers who no longer want to throw their healthy eating and exercise habits into the garbage when they go on holiday or are travelling for business. (To that end, Westin hotels also allow guests to rent New Balance running gear.)
Anderson is an ideal partner for this program; she’s always on the road. In fact, she’s been in three countries and four cities in the past three days when I sit with her on a sunny patio before the workout. Most of us would be buried under our covers or hooked up to an IV of coffee, but the trainer—who to be fair, does have a Starbucks in her hand—is as cheery during our interview and “on” as if she’s been relaxing at home all week. Turns out, the moment she arrived back into her home base in New York, she straight went to her fitness studio for a workout. (Of course she did—but also, this has been proven to help with jet lag.)
Here are some of her top travel and workout tips.
ON THE FOODS SHE ALWAYS PACKS IN HER CARRY-ON “GoMacro bars are my favourites. I always like the peanut butter and chocolate chip ones with protein. Also, Matt’s Munchies; they’re basically like organic fruit roll ups and they just give you a little pick-me-up. Because when you’re travelling, your brain gets stressed out and the more stressed out it gets, the more your emotional self is like ‘please nurture me. Have the pizza.’ I always keep chocolate too. Because chocolate can make any woman happy and if it’s just actual organic chocolate—even if it’s milk chocolate not dark chocolate—it doesn’t have much flour and it’s so much better for you than eating a cookie.
ON THE BEAUTY OF GOOP “I love that goop brings forward a lot of options for you ask ‘Who am I? What do I like? Do I want to stick a jade egg up my you-know-what or not?’ Gwyneth, by the way, is not an invasive person. She’s like ‘You can pick and chose but here it is for you.’ And that’s how her nature was with me, which is why our relationship works. It’s a very authentic relationship. She just wanted to share me with the world the way that she shares all of this stuff with the world.”
ON WHY WE NEED TO STOP COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS “Over the years, people have asked me ‘How do you get Jennifer Lopez’s butt in three moves? How do you get Gwyneth Paltrow’s legs in three moves?’ Guess what, you can’t! If you focus on wanting to be someone else, you’re going completely miss the opportunity to be yourself. I want you focused on yourself. I want you to know who you are, what feels balanced, what doesn’t, what are your proportions now, and what can you get your proportions to? It has to be inwardly focused. It can’t be flipping through Instagram and magazines and saying ‘I want what they have!’”
ON WHAT SHE’S READING “The Age of Overwhelm by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. We live in an age of complete and utter overwhelm and we need to learn how to shift. Like we can’t just stay on the other side of the fence and say that were not going to build buildings or have better iPhones or all these things but how are we going to align ourselves with it and make sure we don’t de-nature ourselves in the process.”
The next G. Sport Session takes place in Austin on Aug. 25.