One woman went on a quest to discover if a sun sign can pinpoint her perfect sweat sesh.
Photo: Getty Images / Mike Harrington / lishenjun
I'm as skeptical about the stars as Bill Nye. Still, there are days when I slip into the trap, like many of us do, of clicking on stories like "What Drink to Order on Your First Date, Based on Your Zodiac Sign" or "Which Disney Villain Are You, Based On Your Astrological Sign?" (Ugh, guilty. I guess there could be worse reasons to delete my search history?) With thousands of decisions requiring our attention each and every day, there's something downright irresistible about the stars calling the shots rather than relying on intuition.
And I'm not the only one: On the first of each month, fans anxiously await predictions for the weeks ahead from the popular astrologer, Susan Miller. The number of Americans who agree that astrology could be "sort of scientific" or "very scientific" has been inching up slowly since 2014, according to a National Science Foundation survey. Not surprisingly, those in the 18 to 24 age group seem most accepting of zodiac-related advice.
With lady bosses like Natalie Portman, Venus Williams, and Angelina Jolie also among the Gemini ranks and others like Beyoncé admitting their belief in all things astrology, it's tempting to think that following suggestions suited to our common birth timing might make me an iota as successful as them. So I went on my own weeklong horoscope-based wellness quest to follow the advice of various online astrology reports I found in every corner of the Internet. (That's the beginning of every great plan ever, right?) My goal was to see if conceding to the so-called Gemini traits (like being expressive, adaptable, and constantly busy) might actually lead to living my happiest, most balanced and best life. Here's how I fared.
Day 1: Meal Prep
Since I'm "chaotic" and "always on the go," my day one challenge for myself is to meal prep for the week so I don't resort to fast food, microwave meals, or skipping dinner altogether. Luckily, it's Sunday and I have time to swing by the grocery store to load up on my favorite yogurts to build breakfast parfaits and snag bags of salad greens and salmon fillets to have on hand for quick-fix BYOB (build your own bowl) dinners.
Stars align! Meal prepping, at least for breakfast and lunch, is already a habit I employ. My just-say-yes mentality leads to chronic overbooking, so getting ahead on a Sunday streamlines mealtime and cuts down on stress. (Related: 7 Vegetarian Meal-Prep Ideas with Just 10 Ingredients)
So retrograde. The same site said I might struggle making prep a habit since I "hate planning"—a fact that anyone who has seen my color-coded Google Calendar can testify is a blatant lie.
Day 2: Interval Training
The stormy, dreary spring forecast made it easy to stay inside for a workout and try my interval training mandate since, as a Gemini, I'm "notorious for getting bored easily" and "variety is a must." (Mental note: Research how many ClassPass members are Geminis.) I was craving something low-impact, so I designed my own WOD and alternated 1,200 meters of rowing with 20 kettlebell swings and 20 push-ups for five rounds.
Stars align! Since hanging up my racing sneakers, I have been an interval training devotee. With a mix of strength and cardio (rather than cardio alone) I've never been stronger—and feel way less beat-down. Forget the science of HIIT—I can credit my Gem personality with this spot-on sweat sesh theory, right?
So retrograde. I'm actually happy to follow the same workout routine from week to week (yoga Sunday, intervals Tuesday and Thursday, barre Friday, spin Saturday) as long as there's variety within those guidelines. The consistency keeps me accountable and allows for easy tracking of gains.
Day 3: Eating ~Exotically~
Since Geminis have "lots of imagination," their dinner companions are instructed to serve exotic dishes rather than comfort food to win us over. I'm a proud single lady, so I stopped by a new-to-me restaurant with a pal to split a pajeon (a Korean green onion pancake) as a "try something new" appetizer and slurp on some pho.
Stars align! I like to consider myself someone with an adventurous palate and aim to check off three never-done-before items each week, so this challenge feels like a natural fit. (P.S. Check out these 4 ingredients that can transform any bland dish.)
So retrograde. My adventurous mentality is less about my zodiac sign and more about a quest triggered to kick my "safe" routine to the curb after battling anorexia.
Day 4: Drink Red Wine
To complement my chakra's apparent "emerald essence," I order a glass of red Bordeaux to enjoy alongside my steak dinner. Much more fitting for this meal than for one of my meal-prepped bowls, it turned out to be a lovely pairing and a perfect day to indulge.
So retrograde. The same astrological prediction said the early part of this month would bring a financial windfall. My wallet is feeling lighter, rather than heavier, after that dinner...
Day 5: Shop Smart
With no real explanation, I'm instructed to stock up on tangerines, cucumbers, feta cheese, dill, snap peas, and chips. That sounds like one epic Chopped ingredient basket. Maybe that's the whole point—after all, the same prediction says I'm in need of some serious "mental stimulation."
Stars align! Dill, feta, plus some plain Greek yogurt made for a delicious dip for those snap peas, cucumbers, and chips.
So retrograde. May isn't exactly tangerine season and I'm not that fond of them as is. Can Tangerine LaCroix count?
Day 6: Practice Pilates
In an effort to focus on my breathing and get out of my head (guilty!), Pilates is the gym class of the day. I boat pose my way through my lunch break and walk back to my desk with a case of the good shakes.
Stars align! Getting my brain to sign off can be a challenge, and channeling my energy on one thing (like breathing) does calm me down.
So retrograde. I find I get much more zen benefits out of a chill yoga session than Pilates. Also, name a modern-day, smartphone-carrying human who isn't in their head. I'll wait. (Geminis aren't the only tornado-brained humans on Earth, okay?)
Day 7: Crush Cardio
Scratch that calm breathing idea. Turns out, cardio is what I need to keep my lungs and body strong. Rather than hit the gym for intervals, I do a quick lap around the lake near my office to tally up 3 miles.
Stars align! It was refreshing to mix things up and dip my toe back into running—and prove to myself that my lungs and endurance could still hold up.
So retrograde. The mixed messages about what workout is best has me convinced that the weekly combo-platter pattern I started with was best all along. (Not to mention, this particular prediction's claim that my sign is "prone to bronchial problems" and "nervous tension" has me on defense; last time I checked, neither of the Gemini twins is an M.D.)—
While I had a few "Wow, I DO love red Bordeaux! How do they know?!" moments throughout the week, most Gemini connections seemed like a stretch. (#SorryBeyoncé)
Still, I admit, there's something comforting about astrology readings that "get" us or justify a questionable behavior or trait we already express on the reg. But you know what's even more reassuring? Tuning in to your body's cravings. Making decisions based on current circumstances. Trusting your gut (or, ya know, a professional) instead of the stars.