When Lena Dunham attended the opening of celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson’s new studio in New York City, she rocked a grey workout tank top, fun patterned leggings, and a huge smile. It wasn’t long before many took to social media to comment on her appearance, namely, her weight. Dunham explained at the event why she has been working out with Anderson so much lately. Spoiler alert: It’s not because she wanted to shed a few pounds.
“I came to her and was like, ‘I have endometriosis, I have chronic physical pain, I just want to feel stronger, I just want to have a stronger core, I want to feel like I have more power throughout my day, how do I get there?'” she told People. The Girls actress has been very open about her battle with the chronic disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Although she has had some rough patches with the condition over the years, she is now using a healthy diet and exercise to help her cope with the symptoms.
The body-image activist recently posted a powerful Instagram in which she shut down those who assumed she was exercising so much in order to lose weight. Dunham said that she doesn’t give “the tiniest of sh*ts what anyone else feels” about her body and that she’s proud of herself, no matter what her dress size may be. The Golden Globe winner went on to explain how her health was the main motivation of the lifestyle change, not the fat-shaming haters. “My weight loss isn’t a triumph and it also isn’t some sign I’ve finally given in to the voices of trolls. Because my body belongs to ME – at every phase, in every iteration,” she wrote. See more of her response here:
“I’ve gone on red carpets in couture as a size 14. I’ve done sex scenes days after surgery, mottled with scars. I’ve accepted that my body is an ever changing organism, not a fixed entity- what goes up must come down and vice versa. I smile just as wide no matter my current size because I’m proud of what this body has seen and done and represented. Chronic illness sufferer. Body-shaming vigilante. Sexual assault survivor. Raging hottie. Just like all of YOU. Right now I’m struggling to control my endometriosis through a healthy diet and exercise . . . I refuse to celebrate these bullshit before-and-after pictures. Don’t we have infinitely more pressing news to attend to? So much love to all my web friends who demand that life be more than a daily weigh in, who know their merit has nothing to do with their size, who fight to be seen and heard and accepted. I love you- Lena”
The actress has also been taking up yoga lately, as she recently shared a photo of her nailing a pose with the caption, “Health is wealth.”
A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on Mar 14, 2017 at 5:24pm PDT
See? Dunham just proved something we always knew to be true: there are so many health benefits of exercise that have nothing to do with getting the “perfect body.”
A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@theashleygraham) on Mar 10, 2017 at 10:03am PST
Maybe it’s her smoking-hot Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot, or her ability to disrupt every stereotype associated with being a model, but Ashley Graham has been a serious source of inspiration and our number one girl crush this year. She’s frequently posting her impressive workouts on Instagram, but her latest sweat session at New York City’s The Dogpound gym has us in awe.
After confessing to indulging in a sweet treat the night before, Ashley’s trainer is making her sweat it out, but from the smile on her face, we bet that cupcake was worth it! She’s running up the block with trainer Dawin Pena pulling her back, as Ashley details the “chocolate with white frosting” cupcake and replicates the drool coming down her mouth. OK before we talk about the cupcake, we have to point out that her huge smile and insane strength are applaudable because that workout is no joke.
Dawin also shared a video of their workout on Instagram, giving fans and fitness junkies another source of fitspo, seen below. With sledgehammer tire smashing, slide board lateral exercises, and more beast mode exercises, it’s no wonder Ashley’s in such incredible shape. Her workout is a sweet reminder that we should enjoy dessert and allow ourselves to indulge in our favorite treats, because it’s great fuel for workouts!
After the confessions we had fun. 😉☝🏼️@theashleygraham want to hear the confessions go to Ashley profile 😋 #ashleygraham #dogpound #workhard #positivevibes #BeastMode #TINY #TEAMWORK #BROTHERHOOD #health #fitness #workout #bodybuilding #train #health #active #strong #determination #lifestyle #nopainnogain #fitnessmotivation #curvymodel #curvyisthenewfit #curves #curvywomen #curvesaresexy #curvydivas #dawinknowsbest #happyfriday #plussize #plussizemodel #plussizefitness
A post shared by Dawin Peña (@tiny_dp) on Mar 10, 2017 at 10:36am PST
A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Mar 6, 2017 at 3:19pm PST
We might’ve spent our childhood embarrassing ourselves in an effort to replicate Britney Spears’s dance routine with our friends, but who knew that things would come full circle and we’d be following her workout moves years later? Britney is constantly flaunting her impressive yoga skills on Instagram, but now it’s her ab workout that’s got us ready to hit the gym.
She recently worked out with celebrity trainer Ashley Conrad, who had Britney using a box for a sweat-dripping ab session. She makes it look too easy! While we’re typically using that box for triceps dips and step-ups, Britney’s video has us ready to take on the box for our next set of v-sits.
Image Source: Getty / PETER PARKS
Venus Williams seems to have conquered a little bit of everything. She’s a veritable tennis master, a skilled clothing designer, a talented interior designer, and savvy business owner. But though her résumé is stacked, there are two things Venus still wants to accomplish: continuing to empower women and giving back.
Early in her tennis career, Venus picked up on the disparity between the prize payouts for men and women, and in the early 2000s, after making her distinct mark in the sport, she decided to do something about it. “The world is a place where every opportunity is available, being strong and resilient is really what has taken women so far in these last number of years,” she told me while we were discussing Brawny’s Strength Has No Gender Campaign. In 2005, Venus won the singles title at Wimbledon. In 2006, she spoke out about the pay gap at Wimbledon. In 2007, Wimbledon leveled the playing field.
As part of Brawny’s Strength Has No Gender campaign, Venus is taking that opportunity to sing the praises of other women and build female empowerment. “We’re highlighting women who are amazing, like Vernice Armour, who is the first African American female naval aviator,” she said, before continuing on with a nod to inspirations closer to home. Venus said she credits her mom, Oracene Price, for raising her to be resilient. “She taught us to be leaders and to be confident and to be strong,” she said.
Image Source: Getty / Scott Barbour
It goes without saying that Venus also gets inspiration and empowerment from the other women in her family: all her sisters, including fellow tennis star Serena. “Look at all the barriers she’s broken down,” Venus said of her sister. And it’s true: between the two of them they’ve created huge waves in not only tennis, but in the world, and they congratulate each other along the way each time. At the end of this year’s Australian Open, where Serena edged out Venus to take the win, Venus said in her post-match interview, “Serena Williams, that’s my little sister guys!” And Serena fired right back, thanking Venus for inspiring her to be the best player she can be.
“By living your dream you set an example and you empower other women to live their dreams as well.”
Venus spends each day being thankful for where she is and wants to pay it forward as her next mission. “I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a lot of different amazing causes and charities, so that will be my main focus outside tennis and business,” she said of what she wants to focus on next.
As for that female empowerment that’s always on her mind and being a strong woman, Venus said living your dream is where it all starts: “I feel like standing up for what you believe in – I feel that it’s helping women around you, and I think it’s living your dream, because by living your dream you set an example and you empower other women to live their dreams as well,” she said.
We love seeing Britney Spears’s workouts, but they’re typically all yoga (she’s crazy flexible – remember her amazing handstand?). Recently, she’s been giving us a glimpse at her gym routine with celebrity trainer Ashley Conrad.
A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Feb 28, 2017 at 4:07pm PST
Britney’s accessories of choice in this workout are a VIPR, Hoka One One running shoes, and also . . . a choker? Britney seems to be way, way ahead of the trend on this active look, and we’re into it.
This post was originally published on Feb. 28, 2017.
A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Feb 24, 2017 at 12:36pm PST
Britney Spears is constantly blowing our minds with her impressive flexibility and upside-down yoga moves, but now we’re seeing how she does it, and excuse us while we pick our jaws up off the floor. Britney flaunted her perfect handstand moves on Instagram, writing, “Owning my temple, my body, through yoga.” She’s balancing her handstand against the wall, but Britney has also used a Bosu ball to tone her upper body. She loves being upside down, and her muscular core and arms can attest to that!