She’s been gracing the silver screen since she was four years old, but Drew Barrymore says looking good for all those films, television shows, and red carpet appearances “takes so much.” The 45-year-old child prodigy is the first to admit when something is challenging: She’s previously shared how hard it is to maintain her desired weight, especially after becoming a mother for her two daughters. “This takes me so much work. Diet and exercise and fighting like a lion for it!” she wrote on Instagram. But the actress-turned-producer and all-around wonder woman pulled back the curtain (more like ripped it down!) on just how intense her commitment to fitness is by taking to her Instagram profile this past week, sharing a series of videos and pictures demonstrating her 20-pound weight loss journey in the last year or so.
During what she has coined as “#WellnessWeek” via Instagram, Barrymore shared a before-and-after picture of her between the birth of her second child in 2014 and a more-recent shot of her promoting Santa Clarita Diet, but fans found what she admitted about her transformation even more interesting. “If I looked decent on anything that I have done since I had my two kids, I have clawed my way there. You can too! However, it is hard to sustain and can take a lot of the joy out of life with food,” she said. “I have to eat just right and work my ass off! I cannot fight that I have the propensity to be the Pillsbury dough boy!”
There are so many wise nuggets that Barrymore has learned over the years when it comes to staying sane while juggling a career, a personal life, and the need to stay fit all the same. Here’s what the actress has said about her own fitness journey and how she manages to work out every day.
On sticking to a routine:
Between all the hours on set, traveling for work, and also being present for her family, you’d think exercising is the last thing she has time for — but that’s not the case. “Okay, so not working out, there’s just no excuse not to do it. If I’m on the go or I’m traveling, which I always am — I’m always flying and always working, I’m a ‘Willy-Lowman-business-girl’ on the go — but, again, mother of two, genetics, age, body type… I gotta work out,” she explained in an Instagram video, documenting her love for workouts that combine elements of cardio, dance, and calisthenics. “Right here in your room, one hour, get it done, and I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get it done in the morning, it’s not getting done.”
Barrymore often posts shoutouts to one of her trainers, Taryn Toomey, the founder of a boutique fitness program called The Class. When she’s traveling and doesn’t have access to a proper studio, Barrymore said she’ll turn her immediate surroundings into a dance floor to sweat it out while following along on her phone. Before she gets going on her workout, however, Barrymore said she takes a probiotic supplement and enjoys a big glass of lemon-infused water. “It’s a great way to jump-start your body for the day,” she told Grubstreet. She also doesn’t eat breakfast until after she’s finished her workout.
On hacking the vegan diet:
While she hasn’t clarified if she follows a specific diet plan currently, Barrymore has shared nuggets via Instagram about what she loves to eat on a regular basis. Her favorite breakfast often includes a heart-healthy avocado toast or an occasional scrambled egg; she also is a fan of a midday snack, and when time allots, is known to get her chef on at home in her kitchen. She’s previously mentioned that she often cooks her way through vegan recipes, and has lost upwards of 20 pounds in 2017 by playing with a flexitarian approach.
Speaking to US Weekly, Barrymore highlighted her inspiration of Kimberly Snyder, a plant-based health influencer and author of Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life, and how she influences what she cooks at home. “I feel really great,” she said, explaining her weight loss before filming Santa Clarita Diet. “I followed Kimberly Snyder’s methods, but I added some protein like fish and chicken since she’s all vegetarian or vegan. I’ve been very disciplined, and all I did was cry and dream about pizza. I am still dreaming and crying about pizza.”
Barrymore may not be totally vegan, but choosing to follow a flexitarian lifestyle may help her keep fit while she’s filming or working on set. Plus, her Instagram feed shows us she loves to keep up with Italian icon Giada DeLaurentiis and new recipes from Food & Wine magazine.
On a “rollercoaster” struggle with weight:
Barrymore recently addressed her weight loss (and gain) over the last few years via Instagram. “I go up and I go down. The rollercoaster of my body is a challenging, but beautiful ride. I made two kids,” she wrote, speaking about her daughters Olive, 7, and Frankie, 4. “The single most important purpose for me being on this planet is for them! It is a true miracle I was able to have these two girls. So whatever the aftermath on my body, well bring it on!”
But she also acknowledged that her own plight is no walk in the park. “There have been times I have stood in my closet and just cried. Hated getting dressed. Didn’t feel good! It takes so much for me to look decent,” she shared.
On her love for yoga:
When she’s not dancing or getting cardio exercise in through calisthenics, Barrymore shares she has found balance with her love of yoga. “#YOGA my long time love that I have explored the globe over!” she recently captioned an Instagram video, in which she shared that she’s been practicing yoga for more than 25 years.
“Stillness is as powerful and thought provoking and emotionally compelling as hurling yourself around, throwing yourself to music, working out your anger, working through things,” she said. “Being quiet and still can bring some of the most powerful things to our bodies…So I want to promote being a long, long, long-time yogie.”
On how Marnie Alton “healed” her:
Barrymore’s trainer has been working with her for more than 15 years, per an Instagram tribute that she recently shared. “This woman is my long time teacher and dear important friend. She has helped me. Healed me. Encouraged me to keep going when I felt like being strong was an insurmountable task,” Barrymore said. “Every spring, when I would start training to become #SHEILAHAMMOND Marnie was the one who got me there. I lost 20 pounds and trained like a mother. She also is the most amazing person. She is poetry in a human being.”
According to Marnie Alton’s website, the fitness trainer is the founder of M/Body, a certified dance studio in Los Angeles that incorporates elements of classic dance (think: plié ballet skills) into cardio movements. “We utilize the three pillars of wellness every day. You need to create muscle mass to support bones, especially as women,” Alton told Health magazine. “You need to sweat to keep metabolism and your cardio healthy. And you need to stretch.”
For Barrymore, Alton is more than a fitness instructor — she said the trainer helps her nourish her spirit during workout classes. “Her classes are always booked up and we all love to run to her for her spirit and leadership for all things healthy,” Barrymore said. “We hope the people in the wellness world are actually healthy in their hearts and minds. It’s not all about being terminators! It’s about how to find yourself…. How to be your best self. But we need guidance and we hope our teachers are smart and wise and sane!”
On accepting that she’s human:
Barrymore has earned a reputation among her peers in Hollywood for being brutally honest, and the revelations she’s shared this month and over the last year have proved that. But the actress also said that it wasn’t always this way: She’s has worked hard to accept all of her imperfections over the years while living life in the spotlight. An earlier Instagram post, shared in 2018, contains a nugget of her self-growth (and a pair of telling before-and-after photos).
“What I propose: Some days are great and beautiful,” she wrote. “Sure, I can be this with two hours of hair and makeup and amazing photography and lighting. I also feel beautiful after a sweaty workout… But it all takes work! Which is good because we can achieve it.”
“What I can’t hide is that some days are difficult and not so pretty…. (swipe for photo #2) and I realize I am lucky with solvable problems and my gratitude is never ending. But sometimes life can just get to you and take you down for a minute! But we cry and then pick ourselves up and put one foot in front of the other. Can anyone relate?”
Yes, Drew Barrymore, we most certainly can.