Lena Dunham's Most Inspiring Health, Fitness, and Body Positive Moments
That Time She Tried Something New and Scary
Dunham took the advice of her bf Jack Antanoff and decided to pick up something new—acroyoga! Here, the star tries out a flying partner pose at Tracy Anderson's studio. (Want more? See 17 Instagram Photos of Incredible Partner Exercises.)
...And Stuck with It!
...And Even Tried It with Her BFF
When She Opened Up About Her Mental Health (While Rocking Awesome Leggings)
While rocking a "Florida mom inspired workout look," Dunham got real about the importance of exercise when it comes to her mental health: "Promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls Season 5 and here is why: it has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible. 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 ass, it's about the brain. Thank you @tracyandersonmethod for showing me the light," she wrote.
When She Owned Her Workout Wardrobe Mishap
Always one to laugh at herself, Dunham posted this photo of her clothing mishap with a goofy grin on her face. "Late to @tracyandersonmethod & forgot my workout clothes so had to snag a size large bra and size small pants (wrong in myriad ways.) But do we soldier on? Yes, yes we do because we want to be a strong & happy lady #largebrasmallpantscantlose," Dunham captioned this photo. This is one we can all relate to....
When She Motived Us to Get Outside Our Workout Comfort Zone
Not only did Dunham make us want to give the whole two-piece thing a go with this Outdoor Voices ensemble, but she also inspired us to try something new—even something we think we hate—with this 'gram: "Not usually one to post a paparazzi shot but this fills me with pride. Basically my whole life I have hated running and run like a wounded baby Pterodactyl. It was embarrassing and honestly I did not trust myself to escape a burning building or even move briskly towards a buffet. @jennikonner is directing the season finale of Girls and decided that as Hannah evolved so would her run, so she got me a training session with Matt Wilpers from Mile High Run Club. Within an hour I had a different relationship to this formerly torturous activity. I felt strong, swift and proud. I'm not about to embrace that triathlon life but it's a true joy to continue getting more connected to my body and its powers."
When She Gave the Best Mental Health Advice of All Time
Sure, it might seem like Dunham has it all together as the writer/producer/star of her own show, but this post proved she struggles just as much as the rest of us. "TBH this was a rough week. It felt like my body, my hormones, my general sense of well-being were betraying me. I wanted to crumple into a pile or hide like a sweatshirt in the lost and found. And I felt as though there wasn't a way to ask for the space and time I needed without hurting someone else. What a shitty feeling, but isn't that the reality for so many of us? I am certainly no self-help guru but here is what I know tonight: when you take the time and space you need, kindly and responsibly, you're suddenly available to the people you love in a whole new way. There is no other answer (except Calvins... Nothing gets between us.)," Dunham wrote. (Find out Why Burnout Should Be Taken Seriously.)
When She Posed Topless
That Time She Rocked a Workout Onesie and Didn't Give a Damn
Never one to care about finding herself on a 'wost dressed' list, Dunham captioned this post: "What the Daily Mail calls an eyesore I call a damn dream, @marahoffman. This onesie takes me from @tracyandersonmethod to brunch to fetal position and I couldn't feel more heroic. Was literally psyched about the paparazzi photo so I would have evidence of it #thanksforthehelpcreepyguyintruckerhat #OnesieNation." Kudos to Lena for owning this onesie look (and a big yes to workout clothes that can take you from the gym to brunch).
When She Got Real About Meds and Mental Health
"Lately I've been noticing that nearly every pop cultural image we see of a woman on psychiatric medication is that of an out-of-control, exhausting and exhausted girl who needs help. But guess what? Most women on meds are women who have been brave enough to help themselves. It's important that we see normalizing portrayals of people, women, choosing to take action when it comes to their mental health," Dunham captioned this photo in a brave attempt to open up and educate others about her mental health struggles. "Meds didn't make me a hollowed out version of my former self or a messy bar patron with a bad bleach job. They allowed to really meet myself. I wish that for every lady who has ever struggled. There's really no shame."
When She Opened Up About Her Illness
In a recent Instagram post, Dunham opened up about her struggle with endometriosis, explaining it's the reason she won't be able to do press for the new season of Girls. "As many of you know I have endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women's reproductive health. I am currently going through a rough patch with the illness and my body (along with my amazing doctors) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it's time to rest. That's a hard thing to do, but I'm trying, because all I want is to make season 6 of Girls the best one yet... So many women with this disease literally don't have the option of time off and I won't take it for granted."
When She Took a Stand Against Photoshopping
When Dunham noticed an altered photo of her on a Spanish mag, she wasn't shy about speaking out. She explained that she was 'genuinely honored' to be on the cover, "BUT this is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like- the magazine has done more than the average photoshop. So if you're into what I do, why not be honest with your readers?"
The mag defended itself, claiming they didn't alter the photo, so Dunham took to Instagram again the next day to thank them for how they handled the situation while still sticking to her guns on the practice. She wrote: "...it's a weird feeling to see a photo and not know if it's your own body anymore...I'm not blaming anyone (y'know, except society at large.) I have a long and complicated history with retouching. I wanna live in this wild world and play the game and get my work seen, and I also want to be honest about who I am and what I stand for," she wrote. "Maybe it's turning 30. Maybe it's seeing my candidate of choice get bashed as much for having a normal woman's body as she is for her policies. Maybe it's getting sick and realizing ALL that matters is that this body work, not that it be milky white and slim. But I want something different now. Thanks for helping me figure that out and sorry to make you the problem, you cool Spanish magazine you. Time to get to the bottom of this in a bigger way. Time to walk the talk..."