The 7 craziest celebrity diet and fitness moments of ’08

Sometimes, it is enough to keep my mind on my own scale or waistband or servings of vegetables. Most times, though, it is far easier to ignore my own healthy living and focus on someone else’s attempts to be fit. Thank goodness so many celebrities are so good at distracting me from upside down yoga and de-aspartaming my pantry with their own crazy diets and workouts.

Here are our nominations for the most wackadoodle ways celebrities are squeezed their ”healthy” living in between movies, albums and press junkets in 2008.

1. Sharing a meal made for one with another size zero star. Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes turned their supposedly sweet friendship into a scary diet club when they were spotted sharing a minimalist meal. Posh is well-known for her rigid diet rules and for trying to whip fellow Spice Girls into shape by insisting they do tons of sit-ups and eat only strawberries, lettuce and edamame along with her. Posh doesn’t really need my judgment she’s probably tired and hungry enough. But if poor Katie’s divvying up a little plate of dry salad for lunch, I have to believe someone instructed her to do it (cough-Posh or Tom-cough). It just makes me sad that someone with a husband who is rumored to insist on the kinds of shoes she wears and hairstyle she sports can’t even enjoy her own healthy lunch with a girlfriend.

2. Copying the crazy diet to get in comeback shape. I saw the documentary and I know Britney is not a fan of the word ”comeback” because it implies she went somewhere (and even if she did go somewhere, we’re all supposed to — wink wink — pretend we don’t have any clue where she went). But now that Brit’s back from wherever it is she didn’t go, her body seems to be in fighting shape. I am cheering her on for that, especially since she’s been under so much unnecessary scrutiny every time she exhales. Britney has all the torn fishnets to prove she’s been dancing back into shape, and she’s also spoken out about restricting her diet as well (although you wouldn’t have known it from the scene in the documentary where Papa Spears serves her grits made with Velveeta). Cutting way back on the refined sugar? That sounds pretty good for the pop star. Pulling a Posh to drastically cut back on calories? Yeahhh, you might re-think that choice.

3. Playing a woman dying from an eating disorder. Blake Lively, the lovely star of ”Gossip Girl” says she got into the best shape of her life with intensive toning workouts and weight loss to play a woman dying of complications from bulimia. While we definitely give thumbs up to working out and feeling better in your own skin, the already slim Lively said she lost ”serious weight.” As if that wasn’t concern enough, it makes us shake our heads to hear a celeb say she felt at her healthiest when she’d dropped enough weight to appear near death. And, Blake, you are welcome to return the trophy to us when you get in great shape playing an empowered, self-confident woman who eats three squares a day (plus whole grain snacks in between meals).

4. Breastfeeding. Kelly Retherford is only one of many Hollywood moms who have told gossip magazines they lost all the baby weight simply by breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding can burn 200 – 500 calories a day on average, mothers need to consume about 1,800 calories a day to keep up adequate milk production. I imagine things are quite different in a celebrity playgroup than in my own, but I’ve never known a breastfeeding mother who wasn’t as famished and thirsty nursing as she was pregnant. Given all that, the lack of sleep and the slowing of activity to recover from birth and take care of the newborn, I have a very hard time believing that breastfeeding alone is helping famous mothers slim all the way down. It’s not that I don’t buy the story entirely. I am sure there are some women who have seen how breastfeeding benefits their own bodies. I’m just very suspicious of nursing for six months or six years being all it takes to get back in those skinny jeans again.

5. Running. In heels. It’s obvious that Kelly Ripa’s arms that she’s doing a lot more to stay in shape than fundraising events with silly themes, like this High Heel-A-Thon in New York City. But all those women at the starting line, looking so serious in their peep toes and platforms and jog bras makes me think Kelly Ripa could be the one to beat, not just in this race but also in the crazy celebrity diet and fitness marathon. It also makes me think the talk show host should maybe hook up with Posh Spice (who might be developing High Heel-A-Thon technology that would dust every pair of Louboutin’s on the course with these wonders) to split a strawberry or a two and devise a plan to really get Katie Holmes in shape.

6. Doing lots of yoga. Facial yoga, that is. Yes, this one’s about Victoria Beckham, too. Posh says she does facial yoga to ward off aging. Call me crazy, but I thought smiling exercised the facial muscles. Maybe yoga is more appealing to Posh than actually appearing happy. Or maybe after lots of Botox, doing hard core exercise is necessary just to move those muscles again. I don’t personally know. I’m just throwing out ideas and trying to really understand the motivation of an A-lister.

7. Using drugs, cigarettes, laxatives, Swedish fish, fasting, cleansing, and caffeine to downsize. If you’ve seen one photo of Mary-Kate with a venti coffee and cigarette, you’ve seen a thousand pictures of other celebrities sucking down stuff so they don’t put things that might actually nourish their bodies into their mouths. There’s no need to elaborate on this epidemic of spotlighted women who are depriving, abusing, and killing themselves to whittle down their waists and create more white space between their thighs. There is, however, a need to talk to our daughters and girlfriends and selves when we think it’s time to give our own diets a celebrity-style makeover. There is also a need to laugh at the ridiculousness of how celebrities are slimming down and toning up — or at least how they tell the rest of us they are doing it.

In the interest of goodwill toward all and putting positive energy out into the universe, we do want to honorably mention those celebrities who got this whole nutrition and exercise thing right in ’08. Here are the sanest celebrity fitness headlines we read this year.

1. Pink’s obliques are still making us blush.

2. Russell Simmons is surprisingly Zen.

3. Wii can’t help but love Angelina.

4. Jennifer Lopez birthed two babies and not long after, became a triathlete.

5. Demi Moore said, ”Enough is enough.”

6. Janet Jackson put an end to one weight loss inquisition.

7. Kate Winslet proved time again how relatable and ”perfect” she really is, making her our body image hero of 2008.

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