Supporting one another is an important—if not the most important—role that we have as women, and these strong leading ladies are doing their part to help all of us feel empowered. See which stars are talking health and happiness in Hollywood this week, and tell us: Who keeps you inspired? Tweet us @Shape_Magazine, tag us on @Instagram, or comment below.
1. Flaws and all. Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain wants you to know that nobody is perfect. While opening up about her past experiences with bullying, Chastain tells Glamour magazine, "[As a child] I was told every day at school that I was ugly. And that no one wanted to be my friend. The most cruel things." Today, however, the Oscar nominee says she’s supportive of other women in Hollywood and aims to portray strong, real women in her roles. "When I play a female lead, like the role in Zero Dark Thirty, even if she's strong, I try to give her as many flaws as I can,” she explains. “I think to play a female hero without faults is actually doing a disservice to women.”
2. Think it, believe it, achieve it. At least that’s what Oprah Winfrey wants you to do. "I wake up every morning and the first sentence that comes through my brain is, 'Thank you,’” the TV host explains in the new issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, dedicated entirely to “The Power of Gratitude.” "If you focus on what you have, you will begin to see that you have more. And if you focus on what you don't have, you will always live in a space of lack," she writes. In case Oprah's words aren't enough to inspire you to start practicing gratitude, check out these five science-backed ways that feeling grateful can help improve your health.
3. Blowing it out of the water. Swimming superstar Natalie Coughlin is going “full stream ahead” in preparation for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. So much so, the 12-time medalist is even taking on the boys! “It’s fun lifting with them in the weight room,” she tells Access Hollywood of her recent training with the UC Berkeley’s men’s swimming team. “I do my best to keep up, but it’s really motivating." What’s another one of the athlete’s secrets? Yoga! Coughlin explains, “The practice of yoga is a lot about being mindful and being present in the moment and being with your body and shutting out the rest of the world. In the pool because you can’t have your music and can’t do anything but be present you can take that into the water.
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4. Packing a punch. Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi shows off a mean right hook in her latest fitness Instagram video, captioned: “Boxing #workoutwednesday.” The healthy and wellness guru mixed up her workout routine from last week’s sweat session. Her previous “#workoutwednesday” showed her circuit of suspended rows, medicine ball sit ups, and suspended knee tucks. So how does the foodie fuel her boxing sessions? She tells us that she always drinks lots of water, eats before she gets hungry, and fills up on healthy foods such as kale, almonds, lentils, and brown rice.
5. The more you know. After a double mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnoses in 2008, Christina Applegate is partnering up with ASICS for their Right Action for Women (RAW) campaign to help raise breast cancer awareness through a line of pink workout clothes and sneakers. “There are a lot of factors as to how cancer happens,” she explained to ELLE. “I have talked to women who do yoga, who are vegan, who have never smoked and/or never drank a day in their life but they have Stage IV breast cancer.” Nonetheless, Applegate stays strong in her commitment to a healthy living, saying, “We should always take care of ourselves because there are many other things that we should be [aware of]: diabetes, obesity, heart disease. There is a myriad of reasons why we should be taking care of ourselves.” Want to learn more? Read up on the six things women don't know about breast cancer—but should.