When you think of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle choices, you think of a macrobiotic diet, a Tracy Anderson fitness regime and Goop approved beauty and wellness tips. But before she became the go-to celebrity authority on all things healthy living, Paltrow admits that she wasn’t very health-centric at all. Up until her father, famed director and producer Bruch Paltrow, was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, the actress admits having a “laissez-faire attitude” about her health.
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On the heels of the release of Goop’s new beauty guide, GOOP Clean Beauty, for which Paltrow wrote the foreword, she talked to People and described how her father’s diagnoses fueled her intense desire to live a much cleaner lifestyle. “When my father was diagnosed, I started frantically throwing things out. I went through a really fanatical phase of being macrobiotic, and obviously it was motivated by pain,” said Paltrow. “I think that was the hardest and most misguided part…was the idea that I had to go all or nothing. But it’s not about that.”
After dealing with the challenges that go along with a stringent lifestyle, she found that a more balanced life was more beneficial in the long term. “People think, ‘Ugh, if I do this, I have to throw everything away,’ but it’s really just about saying, ‘I am willing to experiment in this area’ and going easy on yourself,” she said. “I drink alcohol and eat French fries. But I’m also motivated to make good changes that are sustainable, even if they’re small, like remembering to drink more water.”
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Now, Paltrow advises, to take the first step toward living cleanly one can start by just cutting out toxins whenever and wherever possible. “It can be one thing at a time. I just ordered a new standing desk like a complete nerd because there’s so much research now about how carcinogenic sitting is,” she said. “But, there are so many chemicals in mascara, so maybe it’s buying a clean [formula]. Or, maybe it’s removing fragrant laundry products that are full of chemicals.”
With her changed perspective comes words of wisdom on how even the smallest choices can ultimately make a big difference. “The more true you are to yourself, the more beautiful you are. And I think that goes hand in hand with making small choices. And after [doing that] you start to feel a little bit better and you get more motivated to keep going.”