Thursday 24 August 2017

Lena Dunham shows off incredible weight loss (and here's how she did it)

Actress Lena Dunham attends
Actress Lena Dunham attends "My Art" premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Actress Lena Dunham attends "My Art" premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Actress Lena Dunham attends "My Art" premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner at Variety Power Women Lucheon on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Actress Lena Dunham attends "My Art" premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Actress Lena Dunham arrives for Variety's Power of Women luncheon in New York City, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Lena Dunham attends Variety's Power of Women: New York Presented by Lifetime, at Cipriani Midtown on Friday, April 21, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Sasha Brady

Lena Dunham showcased a fitter and more toned appearance as she stepped out at a red carpet event in New York this weekend.

The Girls creator recently turned to exercise to help her become physically and mentally fit and the results of her new regime were clearly visible when she attended Variety's Power of Women in New York on Friday.

Dunham has credited A-list fitness guru Tracy Anderson with helping her tone up.

Anderson, who counts Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Madonna as celebrity clients, designed a bespoke fitness plan for the 31-year-old.

Lena Dunham attends Variety's Power of Women: New York Presented by Lifetime, at Cipriani Midtown on Friday, April 21, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Lena Dunham attends Variety's Power of Women: New York Presented by Lifetime, at Cipriani Midtown on Friday, April 21, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

"With Tracy it's not about getting everyone to look a specific way. It's about getting everyone to feel strong," Dunham recently told the Daily Telegraph.

Instead of weight loss being the main focus of her fitness plan, Anderson focused on building Dunham's strength with specially designed exercise plans that weren't heavily regimented.

Fitness guru Tracy Anderson. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Fitness guru Tracy Anderson. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

"It's a mix of aerobics, strength training and something that kind of resembles pilates but that she created on her own. What I like about it is Tracy really listens to your body and what you're capable of. There's no weird pressure. It's honestly like if one day I have a UTI and I can't jump up and down, she'll say 'OK, we'll adjust that'.

"I have been about 30 pounds heavier and I've been about 30 pounds lighter, and it has never had an effect on my ability to find love or connect with people," she said.

Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner at Variety Power Women Lucheon on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner at Variety Power Women Lucheon on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

But Dunham explained that for her, one of the biggest motivations for exercise, was the positive impact it had on her mental health.

She credits exercise with helping to ease her anxiety.

"To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it's mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I'm glad I did.

"It ain't about the a**, it's about the brain," she said.

Actress Lena Dunham attends
Actress Lena Dunham attends "My Art" premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

But the Hollywood actress isn't too hung up on regimes. For her, something as simple as a run can help her feel good.

“It [running] was the last thing I wanted to do. When it became something that actually gave me pleasure, I was shocked. Also, endorphins are real. You run with someone for an hour, you feel pretty good. Running for an hour does not make you feel worse," she said.

And for the New Yorker, it's the effort that counts and makes her feel like she's doing something good for her body.

“As I get older, I’m realising more and more that it doesn’t really matter if I’m good at it, it just matters that I try. My own effort, my own willingness, are becoming what’s appealing to me.”

Dunham has always been a passionate campaigner for body positivity and doesn't conform to the conventional, unrealistic beauty standards usually pedalled by Hollywood.

She recently explained that her desire to show a body like hers in popular media, is one of the reasons she started acting in her own work.

"I knew that I wanted my characters to have a similar relationship to their own physicality that I do," she explained, "which is that, despite a knowledge that my body didn't necessarily meet a perfect norm, I've also always felt [comfortable]."

However, her recent weight loss has seen her become the target of vitriolic criticism on Twitter, with people accusing her of "selling out".

"It really was evidence that as a woman in Hollywood, you just can’t win," Dunham said of the comments.

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