Believe it or not, it was never Cameron Diaz's intention to be known for her phenomenal figure.
"I fell into fitness by accident. But it's become something I depend on physically and emotionally," the 41-year-old actress says in the February 2014 issue of Self. "I feel so much more empowered now."
Exercise isn't the only way Diaz stays healthy, however. She also treats processed food as if it's poison.
"I saw a Taco Bell yesterday—it made my stomach scream. If I had nothing else to do, I would be, like, 'Three bean-and-cheese burritos and give me some nachos with extra cheese sauce!' I would so kill that s--t," the Other Woman star says of the popular fast food chain's menu. "But what I've learned is that just 'cause you can chew it and swallow it and poop it out doesn't mean it's food."
Diaz, who recently released The Body Book, hopes to be an inspiration to women everywhere. "I love the science of the body, and I love to give information and see people utilize it in their own lives. I want women to know that it's never too late to start paying attention to their bodies."
"Until I started training at 27 for Charlie's Angels, I didn't. I literally quit smoking a month before. I was, like, 'Ugh, I've got to do this training. I guess I should stop smoking now.' We trained eight hours a day, seven days a week for three months, and I was dying. Crying every day. On Monday, I wondered how am I ever going to do this, but soon enough, I had a six-pack," she remembers. "At 27, I wasn't consciously saying, 'I'm doing this for when I'm 41.' But at 41, I'm saying, 'Thank God I started at 27.'"
These days, Diaz is more concerned about how she feels rather than how she looks.
"I'm definitely not in the best shape of my life. I had a couple of hernias fixed last summer, so I took six weeks off to rest and heal—and see what happens if I have a liter of olive oil a week. It was sort of an experiment," she tells Self, laughing. "If I wasn't cooking, I was eating. It was amazing! I put weight on and loved it. But as soon as I went back to my normal workout and eating, I dropped it. I was, like, 'Where's my booty?'"