Lea Michele covers Shape: ‘I constantly set goals, then I achieve them’

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.”

[From Shape]

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

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36 Responses to “Lea Michele covers Shape: ‘I constantly set goals, then I achieve them’”

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  1. Sabrine says:

    She’s had work done but it looks fantastic as does her body.

  2. AlleyCat says:

    She does have a great body, if not an annoying personality. I am soooo lazy and I am the pickiest eater alive. I’ve been trying to eat better and exercise more, but it’s just so hard to after 10 hour days at work. Also, I can’t seem to force myself to eat vegetables, so I’m losing on that battle too. I’m so jealous of people who enjoy eating healthy foods. So boooooo to you Lea.

  3. perplexed says:

    Well, to be fair, she is talking to Shape magazine. Ate least the forum about talking about exercise goals make sense. If she’s a doer and a person of action, I don’t see why she should have to pretend otherwise. And they are asking about herself, not other people, so I wouldn’t expect her to pontificate about why other people can’t exercise as well as she can.

    • Val says:

      I totally agree with you. Also if she was a man, I doubt we would have the same knee-jerk opinion on her “inflated sense of self”.

  4. yiza says:

    If I looked like that I’d have an inflated opinion of myself too! It is true that she doesn’t have much insight into the life of an individual with a 10-hour a day desk job, for sure. But it is true that even people like me who are “too busy” to go to the gym could probably make the time. I work long, unpredictable hours (corporate lawyer) and sometimes flake on plans by canceling at the last minute, but it’s not because i want to, it’s because gainful employment. Fortunately most of my friends are in the same boat and understand.

    • Lex says:

      Oh for sure – it’s easy to criticize celebrities who have time and incentive to exercise and look good but there are few of us who couldn’t actually incorporate even more incidental exercise into our days – it’s just that we don’t want to/can’t be bothered.

      Get off the bus three stops early and walk the rest of the way; don’t sit during your lunch break – eat and then walk; ask for a standing desk at work if you sit all day; use a small glass/bottle so you have to get up lots to fill it up w water. Small little things that can make us all healthier! It’s not about carving 1h every day to sweat it in a gym.

  5. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    She has a beautiful voice and clearly works hard to stay in shape to get work in HW but she needs to tone the try hard down, she doesn’t come across well.

    • Esmom says:

      Agreed. She talks about being confident but I often get an insecure vibe from her, especially on the red carpet.

  6. Anilehcim says:

    Serious question without any shade intended: is she promoting something? What is she up to these days? I feel like the only time I see media coverage of her is when she’s on the cover of a health/fitness magazine, or when she’s photographed leaving yoga.

    • Pri says:

      Scream Queens her show on FOX has returned for season 2.

      Why isn’t she headlining a show on Broadway….I don’t get the career decision to stay in LA??

      • Mia4S says:

        It’s a shame she’s gone the LA route but I guess I can’t argue because the money is pretty great. Scream Queens is doing OK, fine, nothing special. She is a medium actress but a tremendous singer. She’ll never be a Hollywood leading lady but she could rule Broadway.

      • Megan says:

        I just finished watching the first season of Scream Queens and I thought she was hysterical in it.

      • Sunsetsnow says:

        She wants the easy $$$$$ and fame that comes with Hollywood.

  7. Esmom says:

    I try really hard not to be the friend who flakes out on plans…but I admit I’m often relieved when the other person cancels or reschedules. I wish I could be the kind of person who’s game for anything, anytime, like many of my friends. I need more alone time the older I get, it seems. I’ve taken to declining invitations and I’m always feeling guilty about it.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I’m the same way but I’ve discovered that it can pay off to actually be the person who says “You guys, I know we were planning on going to that exhibition but if I’m completely honest, I’d rather chew glass.” More often than not there will be a round of “Oh thank god, let’s get a beer.” If I know though that the person is super excited and looking forward to it, I’ll suck it up and that can also pay off. And they do the same for me (I think). But we all have those days.

      On goals: I have them. And I achieve them. This week my goal is to not fall asleep on the couch after work. So far, I’ve achieved that.

      • Esmom says:

        I hear you on your goals, lol. And I know we all have our days when it’s hard to be social. I’m actually good with meeting a friend or two for a walk or coffee or lunch. But big groups, like a ladies night out or god forbid an entire weekend or a party have gotten so hard for me. It’s like my tolerance for open ended socializing has weakened. I really feel like I’m becoming a recluse sometimes when I see and hear about all the stuff other people are doing every week. You sound like a good and loyal friend! 😊

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        The secret to being a good and loyal friend – in my experience – is to get rid of all the idiots. 😉 Or at least the ones whose idea of friendship doesn’t allow for me to have an off day. And oh god, I hear you on the big groups and the nights out. I can do them for special occasions but going out every weekend like that sounds like my idea of hell. You have to be on all night or someone will ask you what’s wrong. Also … I just get tired. And I can’t drink like others can. Anymore. A little wine, a cocktail or two. But hours of drinking? No. No face mask in the world can fix that and my Sunday will be shot to sh*t. I think it’s fair to say no to things that you just don’t enjoy. There’s no point.

    • detritus says:

      I have social anxiety, so I flake often. Especially big parties. I some even really want to go, then I work myself into a tizzy and get stressed and it becomes the focus of all my stress and I just bail. Also my friends sometimes suck and don’t realize being with more than 6-8 people at once amps up my foot in mouth syndrome and I just don’t enjoy it.

    • Lex says:

      It’s a trait drilled in to females to always be people pleasers and do everything. I’m really trying to be more mindful and only say yes to things that I actually want to do as in the past I’ve been like “YEAH GREAT OMG SOUNDS FUN” when I am actually dying inside at the thought of going to that terrible event and when it comes I then have to make up some elaborate lies. I am forcing myself not to give 100 excuses either – “Ohh I WOULD but I really can’t because my cat/grandma/work/roof blah blah blah” because then I’d meet those pushy people who want to solve the problem so I can attend (LIKE TAKE A HINT, OMG)

      A simple “no thanks, not this time.” is all people need from me – if they push, they obviously don’t respect my wants or needs so I don’t really care if I offend them.

    • Danielle says:

      Reading alot of these replies…if you don’t say you will go, you’re not flaking out. I’m an introvert, and I make sure not to schedule myself too many days close together for social stuff.

  8. Kath says:

    Gosh, bully for her.

    I thought she said she’d never get a nose job?

  9. JenniferJustice says:

    “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.”

    Hmmm…I don’t think “confidence” is the word she was looking for….more like strength or integrity. I get this is from Shape Mag and they’re asking her specifically about her body, but she still comes off conceited and no, not entirely honest. She’s had work done and she’s known for doing coke, so it’s not all about healthy habits. And saying she wasn’t hard on herself about the ‘numbers’….I call bullshit! That’s what the coke was/is for.

  10. Feline says:


  11. Jenn4037 says:

    It’s like she has deliberately made herself look more like Idina Menzel (who is aging gracefully and very well).

  12. Happy21 says:

    I used to really like her but I’m sick and tired of hearing about her from her. The Miss Perfect. Miss Amazing. Miss Everything bores me. Yes, she looks amazing, yes she works hard to look that amazing but I don’t need to constantly hear from her how fabulous she is for doing it.

  13. elle says:

    …. after plastic surgery.” Fixed that cover quote for ya, Lea,

    She looks less like a predatory bird with her new nose, which is sad. She already had the face she deserved.

    • Stella Alpina says:


      The one major goal she hasn’t achieved is Hollywood A-List Movie Actress. It’s no secret she wants it. She’s in Scream Queens because of Ryan Murphy (Glee creator/producer). Is she getting anything else?

      She worked hard for that body. Her new nose is another story. But the numerous stories of her diva self-importance and the try-hard attempts to be a bombshell are off-putting.

      As others have said, her voice is suited for Broadway. I don’t think she has the versatility to have a career like Barbra Streisand. Lea may have the ambition and some talent, but if the public isn’t interested in seeing her, then she ain’t climbing higher.

    • LeAnn Stinks says:


  14. Mimz, says:

    I’m re-watching Glee now (Finn!! You guys!!)
    And I may not be a fan of hers, but she is MAD talented. Her voice is… really amazing. And I think saying that she’s not a good actress is unfair, I think she’s great, but more for Broadway.
    This is one more classic case of “I hate her because her character in glee was so annoying and she seems to be exactly like that” (plus rumours and Naya Rivera’s account), yet, she has been promoting herself, but been very discreet in her private life (compared to 98% of hollywood), and talks lots about body positivity and keeping goals and etc).
    Everyone doesn’t need to be likeable TBH.