All we need is a little time and discipline, says the actress-turned-activewear-mogul in her new book Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways To Love Your Body.
“When you understand yourself and connect to how you can become body smart, you realise pretty quickly that the perfect, the ideal, is not the goal,” says the Golden Globe winner.
“Instead, [it is] feeling good in your body. That’s what leads to confidence, to feeling and looking fit, and being pretty happy.”
Here are just five of the lessons that Kate teaches in her book:
1. Your body is smarter than you
At any given moment, your body is trying to tell you something—the question is, are you listening? Kate’s foolproof way for paying attention to yourself (and your needs) is by documenting it in a drawing board—a place where you track your thoughts, feelings, questions, and fears. (In the actress’ case, it’s a journal.) “Your drawing board is a mirror of the inside of your head, heart, and body. It’s a dynamic, ever-changing reflection of what’s going on inside of you so you are aware of all of you,” she says.
2. It’s only situations that are out of control (not you)
According to Kate, the key with stress is not allowing it to define us. She learned that lesson while on the brink of a nervous breakdown; Kate called her mum Goldie Hawn for some advice.
“I want you to squint your eyes really small and get your vision really fuzzy,” Goldie told her daughter. “Squint your eyes and imagine you’re seeing everything around you for the first time.” When she did that, Kate found herself looking at, say, the chair she was sitting on, instead of thinking about those feelings that were overwhelming her. Moral of the story? “What she was telling me, and what she explained later on, was not to forget that you are good and that everything is all right,” says Kate. “The situation is what feels out of control. You are okay.”
3. Give yourself permission to be selfish
Kate says the secret to not burning out is embracing “selfishness” and focusing on herself. “If you don’t put your needs, your desires, and your dreams first, then you will not succeed. For many, especially us parents, this may seem totally selfish. We are programmed to put our families first—our culture tells us that we need to sacrifice in order to show love,” says Kate.
“Not much in an average day is a life-or-death situation; other people and their needs are going to wait until you finish your exercise or meditation.
Kate says that when we take care of ourselves first, we are in a much stronger place to take care of those we love.
4. Eating healthy is important – but so is pleasure
“If I want to go out and eat at a restaurant with amazing food, I’ll do that, like, once a week where I’m not thinking about it,” Kate says. “I want to indulge! I want to do things that are not healthy sometimes.”
But, she recommends that you see it as a treat and as an experience of life, not just a mindless activity.
5. Your body is constantly changing
Kate believes life is about moving, seeing, and doing, in the way that works best for you. “I didn’t just wake up one day understanding how to take care of myself. I had to learn how to do so over time, and I continue to learn—each and every day. This is a process, and my body is constantly changing. So is yours. And when I learned how to accept that I will always be like this, I relaxed. Our bodies do not stand still for time.”
Kate stresses that any and all activity is important, but that you first have to find out what you love, which will make you want to exercise. “Exercise really comes down to moving in a way that makes you feel good,” she explains.