Everybody, and every body, is different. We all have different things that make us feel our healthiest. Actress Vanessa Hudgens, who is no stranger to the search for a healthy lifestyle, seems to have found something that makes her feel her healthiest: intermittent fasting. It’s a phrase that’s been thrown around a lot lately, in a climate of many popular health and diet fads. ‘Does intermittent fasting work for women?’ ‘Is intermittent fasting healthy?’ Looks like the former High School Musical star has a lot to say about the answers to those questions.
In a discussion with Women’s Health Magazine, she talks about how her introduction to the lifestyle was the first thing to really catch her eye. A friend of hers, who was using the eating pattern in his own life, had some serious energy during his day-to-day after implementing the eating pattern. It got Vanessa interested in the specifics of the lifestyle, which really is just cycling periods of eating and fasting. Most people cycle between an 8-hour eating window (let’s say 12-8 p.m.) and a 16-hour fasting window, but there are varied time frames you can choose depending on your comfort level. Of course, eating well during your “eating window” is ideal, but Vanessa knows you just gotta indulge every now and then. “You’ve gotta pick and choose your time,” she told Women’s Health. “It’s about having priorities.”
For Vanessa, one of her “priorities” is wellness, body positivity, and empowerment. “If I ever get to the point that I’m not happy with my body, I’ll do something about it,” she said. “You will always have the power to do something. Sometimes it will take a little longer than you would like, and sometimes it may be a little more extreme. But if you honestly have a goal, you can do it. You just need to figure out the right way to get there.” For Vanessa, intermittent fasting allowed her to reach her honest goal: to feel healthier and more confident.
“Because I’m very petite, I’ve always felt that women who are taller are smarter and more powerful,” Vanessa spoke on being a bit vertically challenged, at 5’3”. “I would feel less than because of my size. I see how women who are 5′9″ walk into a room, and I am so attracted to the space they take up. But then I started to realize that you can take up space without height—with your achievements, points of view, and opinions. Now that I’ve realized I can work through it, I’m like, ‘How do I make myself feel more confident?’” For Vanessa, her confidence stems not only from her wellness, but also style choices (a pantsuit makes her feel ten feet tall) and self-care Sundays (skincare, Billie Holiday, and a candle burning on a night off).
Exercise is another huge piece of Vanessa’s puzzle – getting your body to move is just as important to your wellness and confidence journey as picking the right top that day, or pantsuit, in Miss Hudgens’ case. Her outlook on exercising could get even the least excited person ready to take a class with her at her favorite spot, SoulCycle. “Working out is like moving meditation. I feel you can work through things better in movement than being stagnant. You’re pushing through and surviving, and you know you will succeed and get through it no matter how uncomfortable it is. That spills into life, ’cause then you can walk into things with more certainty that you’ll end up all right.”
Walking through life with more certainty is probably something we all aspire to and it’s really cool to see Vanessa so candid with the world on how she, slowly but surely, is figuring out her way there. If the foundation of that mindset is to feel healthy in the skin you’re in, then Vanessa’s really doing something right with intermittent fasting. She’s been simply radiant this year and after reading her wellness routine, it seems like the cyclical fasting periods are giving her that glow from the inside, out.