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Jenna Fischer: Smart, Funny, and Fit


Jenna Fischer, the star of The Office reveals in the November issue of Shape, how she stays slim and healthy…and still maintains her sense of humor.

She may be an Emmy-nominated actress for her role on The Office but talk to her for a few minutes and it’s clear just how like the rest of us she really is.

It was her can-do attitude that convinced Jenna to move to Los Angeles 12 years ago with nothing but her cat, Andy, and her 85-words-a-minute typing skills. For seven years, she worked various temp jobs while waiting for her big break. These days, despite her fame and bigger paycheck, Jenna works hard to stay grounded—and healthy. The actress talked with Shape about how she does it and offered our readers an inside look at exactly which gym-moves are her favorites.

Take this job and love it!

On The Office, Jenna plays Pam, the receptionist. It's a profession she got pretty familiar with while working as an executive assistant before landing her role on the show. "I actually liked the routine of going to an office every day, having a desk, and making coffee," she says. "And when I had a good boss, I liked anticipating his needs. Even when it came to making lunch reservations, I'd think, "How can I do this better than just calling up and saying, 'Table for two'? I know! I'll make friends with the maitre d' and get the best seat in the place.' It was little things like that that made the work fun."

Get over it...

Just over two years ago, Jenna fell down a flight of stairs at a restaurant in New York City and broke her back in four places. "And to add insult to injury, I ended up throwing my own drink in my face. My hair was caked with a putrid pineapple smell. It was awful," she says. To make matters worse, she couldn’t work out and used feeling bad as an excuse to indulge in cheeseburgers and doughnuts. "Before the accident, I wore size 26 jeans! I was truly in the best shape of my life," says Jenna. "Afterward, I gained 10 pounds and got flabby." Once she recovered, she started hiking with friends and cutting back on her high-fat favorites. "I lost the first few pounds, which was a great motivator,” she says, “but I had to do more."

Make yourself the "butt" of your own jokes

"If I could tell women one thing, it would be that everyone worries about their bodies and what they look like in their clothes," says Jenna. "I've heard gorgeous actresses say, 'My ears are too pointy' or 'My feet are horrible.' But rather than complain about it, we should be laughing at our imperfections to make ourselves feel better. I'll squeeze the jiggle on my thigh for you just to show you I'm not perfect!" Of course, that doesn't mean Jenna wasn't thrilled when she got back down to her pre-accident size 26. "I went shopping with my girlfriends recently, and I fit into my old-size jeans. I'm like, 'Do you like these? I don't care!' They could have been acid-washed and I would've bought them simply because of the size!"