If there’s one thing you can say about Lea Michele, she’s not fake humble nor does she seem unaware of her own personality. She knows who she is, she has a high opinion of herself and she’ll tell you about it. She’ll also tell you that you can do it too, and there are no excuses. (My words, but she pretty much said that.) There’s something no-nonsense about Lea which I admire, but I can only take her in small doses. Lea covers the November issue of Shape, where she talks about setting goals, meeting goals, and loving herself and her body. These seem to be her favorite topics.
On how facing criticism has made her stronger:
“I was raised to be confident. But confidence also comes from getting knocked down. When you go through something tough, you come out of it a stronger person. We live in a social media-driven world, where people say whatever they want, and if you’re going to engage with them, you have to be confident. Everybody is always going to have an opinion, and they’re entitled to that. You just have to know who you are and what you believe in.”
On why the scale doesn’t determine her self-worth:
“As I get older, my body is always changing. Right now I have so much energy, my skin looks good, and my butt is higher than it’s ever been. I’ve been skinnier and I’ve been a little bit bigger, and I’m never hard on myself one way or the other. The fact that I’m active, eating well, and taking care of myself is all that matters—not a number.”
On why she loves her shape:
“I love my shape because it’s unique to me. I’m 5’2”, and I get a lot of compliments on my legs, which is funny for a short girl. But they’re one of my favorite things about my body.”
On how putting in the work pays off:
“I constantly set goals for myself, and then I achieve them. I’m not someone who says they’re going to do something and then doesn’t. Follow-through is a huge thing for me. It’s something I look for in friendships and relationships. I pride myself on achieving goals and constantly growing and getting stronger. It’s about not becoming stagnant or letting anything hold me back.”
On learning to listen to her body:
“If I have one of those days when I don’t want to work out, I ask myself why. I’ve learned how to listen to my body and know what I need in that moment. And I’m grateful for that. It took me a very long time to get to this place. Now I can tell when my body is saying to take a break from working out, or when it’s saying, No, you’re being a little lazy, so that I can push myself to get going.”
On enjoying what she eats:
“I was vegan for a while, I was vegetarian for 10 years, and now I’ve incorporated meat back into my diet. I eat as healthy as possible because I know food fuels me. I usually start my day with avocado toast or a green smoothie. I love a big salad for lunch; I’m always concocting recipes like kale Caesar or spinach artichoke salad. For dinner I’m flexible. If I’m going out and I want a bowl of pasta, I’ll eat it. I’m not hard on myself.”
Lea isn’t apologizing or trying to take up less space, she’s got a very healthy, if inflated, sense of self. She’s not wrong, you do have to believe in yourself, set goals and give yourself credit for it. I just don’t see her as a person who has much awareness of anyone else’s viewpoints or struggles. I did relate to what she said about how she looks for friends who follow through. I don’t think my friends have to be type A or anything but they do have to show up when they say they will and be capable of making plans ahead of time. It’s really difficult for me to be friends with people who flake out on plans. Sometimes I wonder how those type of people get through life.
Photos credit: Don Flood/SHAPE Magazine