• Tue, Aug 28 2012

Tracy Anderson: Women “Use Pregnancy As An Excuse To Let Their Bodies Go”

tracy anderson weight loss methodAfter super-strict celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson gave birth in May, we were nervous. Nervous that she’d apply her hard-core, sometimes body-negative, often bordering-on-unhealthy advice not only to regular women, but to new moms, too. Lo and behold, she has. In an interview with Dujour magazine, Anderson cut right to the snarky chase, noting that “A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that’s the worst thing.”

Really, Tracy? Is it the worst thing? Is it actually the very worst thing that a pregnant woman can do? Because I’m fairly sure that the Surgeon General and a lot of other people can think of some greater offenses.

The former dancer isn’t speaking from a place of inexperience; she’s publicly discussed her own awakening after she, herself, “let her body go” during her first pregnancy.

But not this time. This time, she followed her own brand of possibly-crazy advice, and gained just 30 pounds. She also exercised and dieted her way through the pregnancy, telling Dujour that, all along, she knew she’d use it to create a new workout and dietary regimen that employs the methods of her infamous “Metamorphosis” plan, but is targeted at pregnant women. Here’s more from the interview:

“I always knew I wanted to do this project,” she says. “I’ve seen so many women who come to me right after [having children] with disaster bodies that have gone through hell, or they come to me years later and say, ‘Oh, my body is like this because I had three kids.’”

“Disaster bodies.” That’s what you’re doing to yourself, women of America. You’re letting your bodies go “through hell” and allowing them to turn into superfund sites that are toxic and tragic and woefully out of shape. Don’t blame the baby! It’s your own lazy fault!

I can only imagine what fresh self-esteem-wrecking bombs the combination of that attitude and her new plan will create for new moms.

Because her “Metamorphosis” plan is pretty strict–so strict, in fact, that when Rebecca Wilcox tried it, she says she suffered from hunger-induced blackouts. It recommends on an ultra low calorie intake (check out this sample meal plan for Gwyneth Paltrow, Queen of GOOP), prescribes an amount of exercise (at least one hour, six days per week) that few women, pregnant or otherwise, have either the time or effort to fully complete, and focuses more on being “teeny tiny” than on being healthy. None of which bodes well for the ongoing and often unhealthy conversation surrounding post-baby weight loss.

tracy anderson weight loss pregnancy

Here is a photo of Tracy Anderson, in the gym and about to pop, which she Tweeted.

New moms are constantly being told that the most important thing to do during the first few weeks of motherhood isn’t bond with the baby, but rather, battle their postpartum bulge. And it’s pretty disappointing that, rather than making her slightly more forgiving, her pregnancy has simply reinforced her belief that “letting yourself go” is the “worst thing.”

Anderson has, however, found empathy for at least one group of women: Those with large breasts.

“It was like, ‘Holy boobs! Where did they come from?’ I had to stop and put on multiple sports bras,” she laughs. “I texted a few of my friends who have big boobs and I was like, ‘I’m so sorry I was so mean to you about dancing and jumping because I can’t do it right now!’”

Now if only she could text the same thing to all of those women with “disaster bodies” who she’s going to make feel bad about themselves by espousing the belief that every women, ever, should strive to be “teeny tiny,” even after having a child.

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  • Marci

    This is infuriating!
    If pregnancy isn’t a crime then why the need to hide all the evidence?! Show me a woman who has been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and I’ll show you a woman who would give anything for the “disaster body” that may come from carrying a HUMAN BEING in your body for 9 months.

    Motherhood is not about vanity.

    These little people who have waited 9 months to meet us couldn’t care less about rock hard Abs or killer biceps..they actually appreciate the warmth and softness of our nurturing bodies. New moms have every right to feel good about themselves after giving birth..but that doesn’t mean they need to spend more time with their treadmills than their children. They need to be kind and patient with themselves and when they’re ready, will find a way of eating and getting the exercise they need to be healthy and happy…HEALTHY is the objective, NOT neccessarily skinny.

  • Bridget

    More than a few women think because they are prenany then can gain 70 or 80 pounds. THEN they have a 6 pound baby. REALLY?? Come on. MOST of that is empty even dangerous calories that have nothing but negative effect on the mother and the baby. THEN the mother will not breast feed and talk about the changes the having a baby had on their bodies. IT isn’t pregnancy that has this effect it is your behavior during the pregnancy. NO you don’t have starve yourself but 25 at the very most 30 pounds BUT over that you are creating a problem that has nothing to do with baby weight.

    4 children and I never gained more than 20 pounds per baby. I weight more now at 46 than I did at 26 9 months pregnant. I breast feed each child which took me back to my pre baby weight with little or no work. Women need to stop lying to themselves.

  • Bailey

    Almost every woman I know has been pregnant in the last 2 years (myself included) and I would say the majority of them treat their body as a garbage disposal when they are pregnant. They may not drink coffee or alcohol but most see pregnancy as a free pass to eat whatever they want without guilt. Honestly, if I hadn’t spent most of my 2 pregnancies very, very sick, I probably would have indulged a little more than I should have too.

    As far as losing the weight after the baby is born, I think women tend to give up on their bodies, and I say this as someone who is 30 lbs heavier than when I got pregnant the first time, so I’m guilty of this too. So many of the women I know continue to wear maternity clothes looooong after their babies are born and they are totally ok with it. I think the expectation to be back in bikini shape 3 months postpartum is completely ridiculous, but if your youngest is 2 1/2, you aren’t still carrying around “baby weight.”

    • CW

      Yeah, the whole “eating for two” thing is a myth. The mom’s body only needs 100 extra calories per day, or the equivalent of eating a single apple. I wasn’t able to lose the last 10 lbs. until after I stopped nursing with each of my 3 babies, but the rest of it came off quickly because I had gained a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy (29-31 lbs.) rather than an excessive one and had continued moderate exercise up until the day before I delivered.

  • M.W.N.

    I really feel that we are being way too hard on women here.
    SOME women overindulge during pregnancy and don’t try to lose weight afterwards, but certainly NOT all of them.

    Judging people we don’t know is a useless exercise. You can’t look at a woman and ASSUME that she’s carrying extra weight because she’s “Given up” or doesn’t care about herself anymore. There could be several reasons why she hasn’t been able to lose weight and it’s really NOBODY’S business.

    There has to be some balance. Ms. Anderson obviously spends a HUGE amount of time on her diet and exercise routine and I won’t judge her for it..I just wish people wouldn’t judge those who choose NOT to give in to our fat-phobic, thin obsessed world either.

    • maureen

      our world may be thin-obsessed but we’re not fat-phobic: most Americans are now obese or overweight, so thin people are a minority. Let’s not pretend fat folks are some martyrs braving the big scary world here ;) That said, I agree with you most women simply can’t be like Tracy because of time constraints. Her jobs IS to exercise! She gets paid quite a lot to do it. Most of us have jobs, plus kids, and exercise is just another thing on the to do list.

  • Kel

    I gained 30 pounds with my first–which is a bit too much considering I was overweight to start. I haven’t been exercising that much (mostly just walking with the baby) and my eating habits are certainly not “garbage disposal” territory, but they’re not saintly either. It’s been almost 6 months since having the kid and I haven’t really lost the weight and I suppose that compared to Ms. Anderson’s figure, yes, I have a post-pregnancy “disaster body.”

    But you know how hard it is to take care of a newborn AND finish and defend your dissertation? Pretty damn hard.

    So, Ms. Anderson, that’s DR. Disaster Body to you. There are sometimes other things that women have to worry about besides their post-baby waistlines.

  • Patti Cioccio

    Wow…As a former figure competitor and during my pregnancy I used to think this way…Oh people just let them selves go. I trained and ate well during my whole pregnancy. My world was rocked when my little girl was born two years a go. Now i do NOT judge. You do what you can when you can and try to balance. This is what it is BALANCE! I had severe PPD for a year and believe me I felt like an absolute piece of crap.
    It is a REALLY big change when all you did was just for YOU. I realize now that I have to eat well, get sleep, work, take care of a baby, and exercise for that outlet and get quality time in with my little family.
    That is what is most important. At least she realized what she had said and now knows that life is not like this in the working world of women. That is so much pressure to women. You do what you can When you can and always put your energy into improving yourself so you can be the Greatest mommy you can possibly be

  • Michele

    We advocate a more gradual approach to weight loss. “The number one thing new mothers have to have is a certain amount of patience with their body,” she says. “It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to their fighting weight.
    http://postpregnancyworkout.net/

  • Shellie

    Wow. If “most women” can’t fit in an hour a day six days a week, then they’re not really dead-set on returning to their healthy pre-baby bodies. I gained SIXTY pounds during pregnancy. I bond with my now 7-year-old child daily, work full time, prepare fresh meals nightly and yes, fit in at LEAST an hour a day of exercise. Not only is it good for my body, it’s good for my mental health and I feel better on every level for taking a little time to improve myself each day. Your articles usually make me laugh and nod in agreement, but this one just sounds hateful.