“The Office” star Jenna Fischer recently posed in a bikini for the cover of Shape Magazine. Fox 411 notes that she has one of those, “Wow, who knew?” bodies, and while she does look great, Shape also has a long history of airbrushing the living daylights out of people. I’m not saying Jenna doesn’t look that great, just that Self is not to be trusted in this regard.
Jenna gave a cute interview to them. Apparently they asked her to take on a 10 day challenge in which she was supposed to improve several aspects of her health. Her first decision was to day the 10 day challenge in 14 days. She’s big on being realistic. It seems Jenna has a problem with doing just one thing at a time, and that became very apparent throughout the project. Here are a few of her challenges:
When the editors of SELF pitched me the idea of doing a get-healthier-and-happier challenge, I was instantly onboard. This is going to change my life! I thought. It’s like having my own personal life coach! No sooner did I hang up than regret began to set in. Challenges? I already wake up at 5 A.M.; what more do you want from me? My brain likes to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County and pet my cat. It does not like being challenged. But I was stuck. So my first order of business was to give myself two weeks instead of the 10 days SELF suggested. Then I tackled an easy one first. —Jenna Fischer
• Make a healthy, tasty Crock-Pot meal
First thought: My boyfriend is going to love this one!
Result Ladies, if you have a Crock-Pot you got for your wedding and never use, dig it out and start cooking. This is the best invention since the microwave for busy women who want a home-cooked meal. You can make so many great things: turkey chili, pot roast, chicken breasts, ribs and my all-time favorite—Mom’s Stuffed Peppers. I prepared everything the night before, threw it in the Crock-Pot in the morning, set it on low and came home to dinner. My boyfriend adored it. We had more time to spend together that evening. Since we didn’t have to cook, it left time for hanky-panky!
• Dress in a fresh way for work
First thought: Does a hoodie count?
Result I started by looking in my closet for a pair of pants. In five years on The Office, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn something other than mismatched sweats to work. I removed every pair of pants and put back only ones that fit. (I had a lot of hopeful pants in there.) I started sorting all of my T-shirts. Two hours later, my room was a disaster and it was time for bed. I haven’t finished my closet project, but I’ve learned a lot. I don’t have a good pair of black pants that fit; I don’t have a single casual skirt that isn’t five years old. Most of my T-shirts are shrunken or faded. No wonder I dress dumpy all the time! I did find an adorable pair of purple corduroy pants. I wore them to work the next day with a comfy gray sweater and a scarf.
• On a workday, go for a 20-minute jog
First thought: I hate the editors of SELF magazine.
Result My brain says, I do not want to do this. I’m tired. My feet hurt. Is that a swollen gland? Skip this challenge; they’ll never know. OK, I have to do this. How can I make it fun? I need a kick-ass iPod mix! An hour later, I had a mix and no more excuses. I went jogging. And it was awesome! I want to do this every day! I feel energized, strong, clearheaded. I alternated between jogging and power-walking, but that doesn’t matter. The point is that I got out there and didn’t stop moving. If I keep this up, I might be able to put some of those pants back into my closet!
• Reconnect with an old friend
First thought: Where do I start!
Result I called my best friend from high school, Ellen. We had lost touch in college but saw each other again at our 10-year reunion. We keep in touch with emails here and there. I called her on a Sunday. I put on my headset, and we chatted for 30 minutes while I cleaned my kitchen. It was a great conversation and reminded me of how important it is to feel a connection to those people who have known you for longer than your current success in life. The hands-free headset is the key to keeping in touch. They only cost about $20 at Target. You don’t have to choose between chatting and cleaning the kitchen. I did both!
My favorite thing about the challenges was having the opportunity to concentrate on one area of my life at a time and really examine the way I approach each. And of all the challenges, the BlackBerry embargo has had the most lasting effects. While I was shooting my latest movie in New York [Solitary Man, with Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito], I left my BlackBerry in my trailer on most days. If I did bring it to the set with me, I didn’t carry it in my pocket but left it by my chair instead. My workdays have been much less stressful because of that change. I came away from my SELF live-better challenges with a great overall lesson: one thing at a time.
As mentioned at the end, Jenna had to go without her Blackberry for a day and ended up really liking it. She also noted that the only challenge she didn’t complete was reading for 30 minutes – just once. She said that even when she reads, it’s always a script or something work-related. She felt guilty and like she couldn’t make time for something that would demand 100% focus and was purely for pleasure. It sounds like she’s dealing with a lot of the stresses we all face. We’ve got so much technology around – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – but you can start to forget how much it interferes with your life. You’ve got to be hooked in and connected 24/7, and if you’re not you feel like you’re slacking.
I’m sort of surprised she chose to go the bikini route. I love Jenna to death, she strikes me as one of the few actors who’s still totally the same person as she was before she was famous. There’s nothing wrong with the bikini, it just seems unnecessary and a bit beneath her. C’est la vie.
Here’s Jenna at the Los Angeles premiere of Inglourious Basterds on August 10th. Images thanks to WENN.com .