What's Her Secret: Astrid McGuire

The model turned celeb-fitness guru of the new CosmoBody video on-demand service talks motivation, vanity, acupuncture and 4 am wake-ups.

Art by Tanya Leigh Washington

Model turned celeb-fitness guru Astrid McGuire of the new CosmoBody video on-demand service talks motivation, vanity, acupuncture and 4 am wake-ups.

What does wellness mean to you? "Wellness is life to your full potential. I don't want people to be, like, 'Oh, I can only eat one green apple a day and work out for four hours.' You want wellness to be all-encompassing: your relationships, your workouts, your job. You have this one life, and you want to live it to your fullest potential, and you have to be good to yourself to do it. Some people can be all right with six hours of sleep. I need eight, otherwise English goes out the window, I'm like, 'I have to take a nap.' And I'm thrilled to be in this industry where I can help people understand that you want to feel confident, you want to feel good, no matter what size you are. If you find your own health and your wellness, then your lifestyle is above and beyond better than others."

How do you maintain that in your own life? "Some people would say I'm quite extreme, but it's what makes me happy. I like to say that I'm a little bit of a loser, but I mean loser in the best form! I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is read a motivational quote. That sets my intention for the day. From there, I start my day. If I have to wake up at 4 am, I'm grateful—not miserable because it's so early. I'm going to get this ball rolling! The night before, I line up everything I need for that day. I'm really into making my own raw food and nut milk, too, and  keeping my body as healthy as possible. A lot of Chinese herbal supplements, and if I have a headache, I'm reaching for more water for hydration and maybe doing trigger-point pressure before I do anything else. Sometimes my mother's like, 'You've been in LA too long.'"

What's Her Secret: Astrid McGuire
Source: Astrid McGuire

How did you learn about all of these useful alternatives? "I made it a point. I'm really fascinated by other options of health. I started as a model, so vanity has been ingrained in me, but I know that you can't have the outside looking good if you don't take care of the inside. Three years ago, I had food poisoning six times in one year. And I went, 'Something is not right. What can I do?' I did a lot of Eastern study, I had blood work done. I had to figure out how to improve my insides so I do have a glow to my skin and extra energy, and I don't have to survive on endless cups of coffee; that I can find alternatives. Everybody has to find what works for them."

What else did you learn? "I discovered, and I had a feeling, that dairy and I weren't friends—before it became a trend. I lived in Europe for many years and the food over there is so different compared to here. I didn't have any issues when I lived in Italy. And when I came back to the states, everything went haywire. I [also] work with an acupuncturist, I go once a week if able. And I call myself a grasshopper because I just want to know everything! I'll come in and say, 'I believe my spleen and therefore my liver…' and he'll say, 'You're learning, grasshopper.'"

How does your philosophy play out when you work with clients? "The workout has to be something that's going to make you return. You want to feel great at the end of the workout, but you also want to feel, 'Man I'm done!' I help my clients find that balance. As humans, we're hard on ourselves. If someone says, 'Oh, I suck. Oh, I'm fat,' I immediately say, 'Give me three positive things.' And they roll their eyes, and I wait. Three things! It changes their attitude, maybe they walk out a little bit taller, and also a little more toned, but they feel good about themselves. And that's what I want for each person."

What's your own fitness regime like outside of the gym? "I love to do yoga, being that I'm more of a strength-training boot camp, I'm very tight. Yoga puts me out of my comfort zone. What I apply on the mat I take into a daily situation. I tell my clients, 'I want you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.' For me to try to get into crow, when everyone else is, like, upside down, and I'm going, 'Well, I can bench press all of you but for me to try to balance!'. And I love it. I also do a lot of hikes. I try to breathe in the energy of the universe. For me, when I see that Hollywood sign, it's everything to me. It's like, I belong, I know what I'm doing, I'm so grateful to be here.' I'm this girl from Michigan who went after her goals."

Do you feel you were always called to teach others? "I started modeling when I was 14 years old. I thought that was my direction, but in retrospect, I was the girl teaching my roommates that eating was actually good for them. And learning to go to the gym was actually going to give them more energy and make their bodies look better than the opposite side of the modeling world, which is known to be smoking cigarettes and Diet Coke and that's it. I look back and I say, 'Wow, I was already training without knowing I was training. Everything I went through at such a young age, having my agents telling me I had to lose weight in my hips and I had four days to do it or I wasn't going to get the job. I had to make a decision right then and there that my body was going to be treated as a gift, and I wasn't going to go there. Now, to be in this position as a trainer to help people with their wellness and lifestyle, I get it! I know the pressures. We all have to find our inside beauty for the outside to be shining."

What's Her Secret: Astrid McGuire
(Source: CosmoBody)