Tracy Anderson Talks 'The Restart Project,' Her Show With Gwyneth Paltrow
Tracy Anderson attends day 2 of the 4th Annual WIE Symposium at Center 548 on September 21, 2013 in New York City. (September 20, 2013 - Source: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images North America)
Renowned fitness expert Tracy Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow have joined forces on an inspiring new webseries. Produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, The Restart Project premieres December 16 on AOL On. In each episode, Tracy and Gwyneth hang out with one woman who has overcome adversity––be it illness, injury, or loss––and transformed not only her body, but her life. We spoke with Tracy, known for her Metamorphosis fitness method, about the series, body-mind connection, and what balance actually means.
Hi Tracy. So, what is The Restart Project about?
This show is about highlighting women who have been thrown some of life's most difficult challenges, and they chose to connect more with themselves physically to help heal, take care of themselves, and not let the circumstances beat them down.
What appealed to you about this series?
I'm interested in the steps that come before vanity. I've been in this business for a very long time, and it's really, really difficult to create change in a wheel of commercialism and celebrity culture that's driven by things [that are] not helpful to us. [Some] women are so focused on, "How do I get Gwyneth Paltrow's legs, how do I look like this, is Kim Kardashian juice cleansing this week?" It's such noise, and it's so far from being able to create balance... I wanted to be a part of something where we looked at women who––Can you imagine hearing that your son died in the military? Can you imagine being given a two percent chance to live? Can you imagine losing a leg? This happens to people, and... [these women then] climbed mountains, and ran marathons, and became healthy-minded with what they put into their bodies.
Sounds like there's a bit of that "If they can do it, maybe I can do it" message?
Yeah, absolutely, I hope that's the chord that it strikes. Because that's what's going to help women... Even to be as secure as they deserve to be. Women are so programmed to be, "Oh my God, my boyfriend broke up with me," or, "This guy isn't interested in me," or, "What do I have to do to get him to like me." It's such crap. I wish women would be able to look at themselves in the mirror. Which is why I did [the fitness method] Metamorphosis. It's like, look at yourself in the mirror: "Where am I unbalanced? Let me fix it." Identify your self [as opposed to a celebrity or anyone else]... I think women like this need to be celebrated and showcased. It's like, "My husband left me, I was sleeping in a car, I was diagnosed with cancer, and what am I going to do? Am I going to take another puff of a cigarette... or am I going to get my shit together and deal with my issues?"
The word balance gets thrown around a lot these days. What's your definition?
Balance is making sure that you listen to what comes up in you each day. Because a lot of us don't deal with our past issues, our childhood, bad relationships.. all kinds of things. [Like] "Why am I not getting good grades in school, or why am I not being noticed at work?" It's a broad spectrum. When things come up in people each day, balance is about hearing it inside, and knowing where to put it and what to do with it. Balance is not like, "Today I'm going to have five peanut m&ms, and two glasses of wine, and 20 minutes of abs, and when I clean the house I'm going to bop around." That's not balance.
Celebrity fitness expert Tracy Anderson trains with POM Coconut and invited guests during a private workout at Le Parker Meridien on September 20, 2013 in New York City. (Getty Images)more pics »On the contrary, right?
Balance is showing up for yourself, understanding what you want your lifestyle to be like. It' s not scrapbooking, it's not about the noise we create. It's really about quieting all that down and looking inside and saying, "Am I in order? Are my relationships in order? Is my job in order? Is my house in order? Am I able to put my Blackberry or iPhone down for an hour? If I do it, what comes up in me?" We constantly have to be in check with ourselves.
Right. And I think living in your body is part of that. There's a misconception sometimes that our physicality and emotions are separate, but on the contrary, I feel our bodies, feelings, and histories are all intertwined.
I agree. It's funny, when Gwyneth and I started training together, she started to cry in one of the sessions, and she was like, "I don't have any idea why I'm crying." I was like, I know why you're crying. You're actually really connecting to yourself. When you really connect to yourself it is an emotional exercise. We have over 600 muscles in our body and our brain is accessed through all of that. When people are on these ridiculous machines playing loud music or watching TV when they're supposed to be connecting to their bodies it drives me crazy. You have to be present during your workout. If you reach the level of understanding how to be present, things will come out for you. And it's just about you connecting to yourself more and embracing yourself more.
(Courtesy: The Restart Project, Ryan Seacrest Productions/ AOL On)
Tracy Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow during Licensing Expo 2013 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Pacific Coast News)more pics »