6 Ways To Get Elle MacPherson's Fab Body

james duigan book

James Duigan's new book Clean and Lean Flat Tummy Fast!, with his beautiful missis Maria Lally on the cover

Last week, asked if I wanted to meet James Duigan (fitness expert, Bodysim owner, and his most famous claim to fame - personal trainer to Elle MacPherson), I said yeah, sure! This affable Aussie has a new book out, Clean and Lean Flat Tummy Fast!, €14,99, which is ideal for that pre-holiday panic so many of us get into - there's a chapter devoted to the six-day tummy transformer - and I thought it'd make a good piece for the blog.

When also asked if I'd also like a personal training session with James I hastily declined. Yes, that, if captured in pix, would make a pretty hilarious piece for Beaut.ie and while not remotely averse to sending myself up, maybe not while I'm being stretchered off.

book shots

What kind of tummy do I have? Oh James, you don't want to know


So I settled for a chat on a comfy chair. And here, what do we all really want to know from the horses mouth? Well - I'll tell you what I want to know, girls. I want to know how Elle MacPherson looks so frigging amazing at 46. So I badgered James until he told me. I'm not sure you'll love the answers because there are - fairly unsurprisingly - no quick fixes here. There's no magic Elle pill you can take to suddenly awaken six feet tall with toned, cellulite-free legs to your chin, sweeping locks and lustre-filled eyes in your line-free face.

Just lots of hard work, perseverence, and one pretty essential ingredient. It gets the number one slot:

  1. She has fabulous genetics
    Oh we'll just have to face it.  This lady had excellent raw material to work with from the outset. "Yes," James laughs, "she is blessed genetically."
  2. She varies her exercise routine
    "She does metabolic routines," he says.  Her aim is to look lean and like a beach babe, never boxy or like a body builder.  He's keen to point out to me that she's very much a hands-on mum, does the school run and has a hectic work schedule and so exercise has to fit in around that. "She does it when she can," he confirms. "Sometimes it's three to four times a week, sometimes not."  Phew! She is human!
  3. She adds in complementary sports to keep fitness fun
    "She learned how to surf, she hikes with the kids and she jogs occasionally - she builds extra activities in that are fun that help her keep fit," James reveals. Oh, if only I could fool myself in a similar manner that moving about as opposed to slobbing on the couch was fun, I would be on to a winner!
  4. She's adapted her fitness routine as she's gotten older
    "Yes," James says, "she has done lots of different things over the years. You have to mix it up to keep things fresh." He tells me she does yoga very occasionally but was papped coming out of a class once and then the press reported it as Elle's yoga addiction, which made them both laugh.
  5. She believes in herself
    Now, this one made my brows raise a little. I would have thought it was a little easier for a glamazon like The Body to feel good about herself than most.  I heard James out. "The real key to looking beautiful - and I know it's a bit 'airy fairy' - is about self acceptance. For Elle, self-acceptance is a bit of a double-edged sword. She's tall and in shape but she's still subject to constant criticism and scrutiny."  One of her main motivating factors behind doing Britain's Next Top Model, he says, was all to do with helping girls with self-belief. Aww!
  6. She eats the right things
    Possibly the hardest one of all for most of us - oh, after the genes and all that hiking - is staying on the food wagon. "Elle eats a lot of living foods," James reveals. "So she has a lot of vegetables, sprouts, everything's natural, loads of colours on her plate." Does she eat meat? "Fish," he confirms. And, um, I query, does she ever go crazy and y'know, devour an Easter egg in one sitting? Somehow I felt I already knew the answer to that. "It's not like she never has chocolate," laughs James, but it's in moderation.


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