The ultimate motivational figure in fitness, Tracy Anderson has been training big-name celebs (think: Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow) for years. And now, thanks to her super-popular fitness programs, studios, and DVDs, she's a star in her own right — she's even dropping her first book this December.
In her upcoming book, Total Teen: Tracy Anderson's Guide to Health, Happiness, and Ruling Your World, the fitness star aims to provide young women with the fun cardio workouts, quick 'n' nutritious recipes, and motivational, body-positive stories they need to develop healthy habits at an earlier age.
But she's also using the book's release as a platform to open up about her own struggles with gaining weight and maintaining a positive body image. In a recent interview with People, the now-super-fit Anderson revealed that even she isn't exempt from body image struggles.
"At 19, I gained almost 40 pounds at school," she said. "There wasn't a support system for me to learn what could be happening or identify and heal this imbalance in a healthy way. I felt awkward and ashamed going to class. I felt like I was failing unintentionally, and it ultimately made me feel like the roadblock was too big for me to live my passion successfully and in a healthy way."
Thankfully, though, that's when Anderson met a doctor who taught her to focus less on the physical imperfections she wished she could change and more on her body's "muscular structure." She credits him with setting her on the path toward a healthier lifestyle and helping her accept her body.
Ultimately, the celeb trainer said she began to love her body "when I got physically available to myself on my own terms."
"I feel like this is truly key," she explained. "There is so much noise about what is 'pretty' or 'healthy' or 'sexy' or 'trendy' with our physical bodies that people don't even know how to own their own body or assess what they even want."
Since getting to know her body and learning to love its strength, Anderson has continued to spread a message of self-love to her clients — and with her new book, she hopes she can spread it to young women, too.
"It would be so boring if we were all the same," she told People. "Knowing that you are enough and you are who you are meant to be can really calm the noise."