About a month ago I got to check an item off my bucket list when I attended a Vitality Week Bootcamp with Tracy Anderson. Eeeeek! Pinch me, because it was so amazing that I’m still not totally convinced this actually happened. Tracy has been leading me through my workouts for almost eight years now and I can honestly say I am more motivated and in love with them today than ever before. Not that I ever wasn’t obsessed…seriously, just ask my girlfriends who have all been included (forced?) in one of my group Tracy sessions at some point in time. I believe in her method to my core and I will share my love, ask you to do one with me and get you on the bandwagon any chance I get. I’ve busted her crazy arm movements out at totally inappropriate times, have done her treadmill dancing work out (which yes, is dancing while on a treadmill) in the middle of a packed gym and I have without question sold more of her DVDs than anyone else on earth. But one of the main reasons (besides loving the results) I continue to choose this workout is because it stays interesting with ever changing and evolving content to keep your mind working as hard as your body is. I LOVE THAT!
So when I had the chance to attend the Vitality Weekend Bootcamp and connect in person I jumped at the chance. The truth is I didn’t really expect more than just a good butt kicking workout, but I ended up walking away with so much more. Below are five high level takeaways if you are interested to learn more about her approach to health and wellness.
1. FOOD – When asked about the struggle to deal with emotional eating Tracy shared her opinion with a cute little story of her daughter, Penny. She explained that on any given day Penny might ask for a fruit roll up dozens of times. But just because Penny asks for a fruit roll up doesn’t mean she will give her one because she knows that giving her daughter 20 fruit roll ups in a day isn’t good for her. Why then do we not have adult conversations with ourselves when it comes to the treats and splurges we justify on a regular basis. To be clear, Tracy talked at great length about how beautiful food is, how she loves her daily chocolate bar, will order fries when she wants them and drinks a glass or two of wine regularly. But those are choices she makes after thinking about how they will impact the way she will feel after – is it worth it, do I really want that, or am I doing this without feeling any connection to it? – and knowing she will be in the gym to treat her body right the next day. If the answer is, YES, I want those fries…eat the fries! But just make sure you are in tune with the decisions you make and how they will impact how you feel both physically and emotionally. So so so guilty of hundreds of unnecessary fries orders, but also pretty happy with thousands I’ve made too. Haha!
2. THE SCALE – I don’t feel like the scale is for everyone. It hasn’t been for me most of my life because I felt like all it ever did was make me feel bad about a stupid number. But after hearing Tracy explain how she approaches the scale I have a new way of viewing the scale as a tool. She weighs herself every day and lives comfortably within a five pound range. Sometimes she will have days or weeks where she sits happily at the high end of her range but then knows when it’s time to reel it in and eat clean with attention to some good workouts to make sure it doesn’t go to a place where she will start to feel uncomfortable. The same theory applies to the low end of the range as she knows it’s not healthy for her to drop below a healthy weight. When I returned home from the weekend I bought a scale and realized it wasn’t something to fear but to use as a benchmark, because instead of placing value on the number popping up I was able to use it as a guide for approaching my fitness. (this works for me but I know it can be bad for some people so just make sure to listen to your gut on what’s best for you).
3. WORKOUT DURATION – I asked this question in the group Q&A session because I never have time to do both her muscular structure mat video and the cardio dance, which together would total somewhere between 1.5-2 hours. Her answer was simple. The muscular structure mat video is the foundation of her method (55-65 minutes on the streaming platform, 30 minutes on the Metamorphosis DVDs). On days you do the mat video alone, eat clean and shoot for trying to add some extra walking into your day and some cardio on the weekend when you have more time. Done.
4. THE MASTER PLAN – I have been doing this workout for so long but it has always been from the tiny screen on my computer. Being in class and watching Tracy teach in person was completely eye opening. First of all, she works her ass off. This is her workout too, she is dripping with sweat and grunting through the moves like the rest of us (but about a million times more graceful). She made it very clear that she does the mat and dance once a day as her workout and that’s it. She’s not off adding in extra hours to look the way she does so when she is there she makes it count. Watching her you can see the intention she brings to every single move she does. Someone actually asked her what she thinks about during class and her answer was ‘YOU!’ She said she is constantly focused on what comes next to build upon the sequence or get to a certain muscle, to make this meaningful and effective for all of us. I have been loyal to this method for so long because it totally changed my body for the better, but I left the weekend with a renewed sense of trust that I was in really good hands.
5. PREGNANCY – All of my friends are having babies and there are a few copies of Tracy’s Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy DVDs floating around in our crew. I have been doing this workout for so long and have been religious with the more challenging streaming content since it launched last Spring so I guess I just assumed that someone like me would be able to continue working out with what I was already doing versus having to switch to (what I’m assuming is) easier content during pregnancy. Well, when asked Tracy could not have been more clear, switch to the Pregnancy Project*. She said the health of your baby comes first and she knows she can get you back if not better post baby so to not stress about it. There were a lot of young women in our class and I think we all appreciated hearing this. By the way, a really great interview on this exact topic HERE. (*this is all given your doctor is ok with you working out of course)
At the risk of sounding dramatic this weekend in LA with Tracy was truly life changing for me because I feel like it opened my eyes to so many things I’m doing right and should be proud of myself for. As women we are often too quick to point out our failures and find our flaws instead of celebrating our beauty and achievements. For me, the Tracy Anderson Method has always been a fitness regiment that I love and believe in but now it feels so much more like a connection to myself mentally, physically and emotionally. Very thankful for the #tamily and looking forward to many more Vitality Weeks to come.
Last but not least, I’ve blogged about Tracy before with some of my favorite YouTube videos for quick hitting workouts when you’re short on time or traveling HERE. Below is a new video featured recently on Lenny Letter if you are interested in trying it out (if you haven’t signed up for Lenny, you should, go girls!).