Bethenny Frankel has joined the team as a guest editor for Fashion Week at E! The Real Housewives of New York star is also the founder of Skinnygirl and B Strong, her charity initiative to help women in crisis, the author of several self-help books and a serious yoga fan. She'll be taking a break from entrepreneurship and mom time to share tips about everything from the where to workout to the best protein-packed snacks. Today, Bethenny is reflecting on her relationship with exercise and becoming a voice for women in the fitness world.
Yoga is very centering and makes you very present and appreciative. It's also meditative, and I think those are all properties of how someone feels when they're practicing religion. It makes you present and grateful to yourself. And, yoga is a quiet time—it's an hour minimum to yourself where you can pray for other people and you have an intention, so it's very similar [to a religious experience].
Now, with Hurricane Harvey, I've gravitated more to yoga. My business and my heart have been focused to hurricane relief efforts. Sometimes you dedicate your practice to something, and I've dedicated my practice to the victims of the terrible weather patterns right now.
Exercise comes into play at different times. In the beginning of my divorce I was craving something like the Tracy Anderson method because it was tough, and I had to take out my aggression, but that was just one phase of my life… I'm such a type-A person and I have a very stressful life and schedule, [yoga is now] my time to myself where I really don't think about anything else. If you're very stressed out, it can calm you down and it can help you get a better night's sleep. So yoga has different purposes and functions for me.
I walk on the beach in the Hamptons all year round, I snowboard, I just took up wake boarding which I'm obsessed with so I'll do that in the summer and when I'm away. And that's really it—I don't get too crazy. There is a world where I'll mix in a spinning class once in a while or a Tracy Anderson class a few times a year, but it's not as consistent.
Exercise should be like a good friend, and if you haven't seen each other for a while, you'll want to reconnect. I don't want to be mad at exercise. I don't want to be like, "I have to see you again today, and do this again for an hour?" I don't want to feel that way, I want to be happy about it, like I'll be craving a yoga class in a couple days after not going.
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I'm not getting up at 6:30 in the morning to work out. Sleep is number one in my book. That is the most valuable commodity. It is more important than money, it is more important than working out, it is more important than anything. So I'm not waking up really early to get a workout in, I work out when I can. And if I'm on a vacation and I go for seven days, every day if I can wake up and walk on the beach and I feel good about myself, then that's great.
I feel the responsibility to impart [information about nutrition and exercise] because everyone is overthinking it. Everybody is thinking the minute you hit 40, you're going to blow up like a tick and that all of these rules need to be followed. They think you have to work out 6 days a week and you have to do weights and you can't eat carbs and you can't eat dairy and you can't eat gluten—everyone is overthinking this problem when it's really about getting back to the basics. Your diet is a bank account and you have to find your balance without listening to all the craziness and not watch all the filtered pictures and watch all the unrealistic people working out in half-tops for ten hours a day because none of it's realistic. You have to quiet the noise, and I'm here to be that balance.
Keep up with Bethenny during Fashion Week at E!, as she shares her best tips and advice for all things fitness.
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