Robyn Lawley: “The worst part about dieting is the mind games”
Celebrated Australian beauty Robyn Lawley has appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia and French Elle, posed for Sports Illustrated, is a passionate advocate for body type diversity in the modelling industry, and for the past 18 months, she's flicked her glorious head of hair back and forth as the latest Pantene ambassador. The LA-based model touched down in Sydney recently to talk Pantene's 3 Minute Miracle, so we grabbed a moment to talk health, fitness and training secrets with the refreshingly candid mother of one.
Firstly, as the Pantene ambassador, what hair tips or secrets do you have?
Well I don't know if this is really a secret, but with conditioner - because I'd never have time to get treatments - I just make sure I comb it through really well for like three minutes [instead of] a treatment. I have to comb it through because I have such thick hair. If I just put it on top it's not getting in there or doing anything. The benefit of this was any conditioner was a treatment, but now Pantene has actually made a treatment in conditioner form so it's like my dream come true!
Let's move onto health and diet. What would be your day on a plate?
I'm pretty relaxed - I like a hearty breakfast with eggs and a coffee. For lunch, maybe sushi and some snacks during the day, like nuts or macaroons that are sitting around - I'm not too stressed about it. For dinner, I love Mexican or Italian. I try not to eat huge meals, and pick local, seasonal goods. For me, the more local it is the more I'm going to enjoy it.
Is there anything that you avoid?
I don't touch fat-free or diet, I don't touch any preservative food or fast food. I basically just don't touch fake food. I'm very much like a European person.
Have you had a lot of experience trying out different diets and eating patterns? Were there any really disastrous ones?
Yep, I did everything when I was younger. The funny thing about starving yourself is you crave the wrong foods. When you're starving your body is in free fall because it's freaking out. When you eat normally and don't worry about those things, you never think about it. The worst part about dieting was the mind games, it was just constantly thinking and berating and starving and ruining... and I'm [now] just like, 'I haven't got time for this!'. That was the biggest struggle for me, the mind games and the waste of time I spent on it. I wish I could take it back.
It's sad to think how much time we spend thinking about food.
It is sad. That's what I've spent my life on, so much worrying about this make-believe thing that's for an existential purpose. I think the best way to make yourself feel good if you don't necessarily feel like you look good or your best - because I think it should be more about feeling - is definitely by eating locally, good food. I lived in France and I saw them plant their own vegetables and pick local vegetables and that mentality is something that we've greatly lost in Australia. So I would recommend taking your kids to local markets, planting vegetables and getting them back into what really matters.
Do you have any food indulgences or weaknesses?
So many! I'd rather just do it in that moment than have to be thinking about it, paranoid for hours. If I feel like some chocolate, I'll eat it - I ate a whole bar last night of this amazing chocolate in the room. I'm very good though, I don't like being full and I hate stepping over that mark of feeling gross. I'll always stop before then, even if the heavens and earth are singing in my head. If I'm full, I'm full, so don't push it.
What about your fitness regime? What kind of training do you do?
In LA I go to Santa Monica and kickbox. I either do classes or I do one-on-one with a trainer and I love it because it does everything. I've been getting good at the skip rope, feeling all badass. Once I can do that for 10 minutes, I'll be feeling like 'pow, pow, pow!' I go to a traditional boxing gym and everyone is judged on their skipping level. So you instantly know if someone can box or if they can't.
What training would you do if you had a bikini shoot coming up?
I up it a little more, like I'll go everyday if I can, make it more of a priority. Obviously I should be doing that all year round because I'm bikini modelling all year round! But it's hard and it's easier to make short goals. If I could do it every day I would because I love it, it's just that I can't do kickboxing every day, I need someone to let me hit and kick.
You recently had a baby, how did you go getting back into shape?
Well that's all still going and it'll be going on for a while, it just takes time. I'm not stressed about it, I feel like this is a way different body - everything, such as my hips have changed. I knew my body quite well before, but even my bellybutton has changed - weird things like that! My [stomach] muscles are finally coming together now and it's been a year.
It's challenging, it's not a walk in the park to have a kid and bounce back. Unfortunately we put too much emphasis on the look part and not the core and stability because if we were doing it more for those reasons, it would be awesome. Skipping is great for pelvic floor after a baby - everyone should skip!
Do you have any training tips for people who are lazy or lack motivation?
I'm with you! No I'm joking. You know what? Starting a sport or something with a group mentality is a great way to get motivation that you don't have. I hate the gym and I can't join a team because I'm a model and have a terrible lifestyle - but if you can do anything routinely, do it! Have fun! Learn martial arts or have a goal, like kickboxing. Have something you can get good at.
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