I'm following Maria Sharapova religiously right now for the US Open, so I was thrilled to see her on the cover of Shape.
The debate's still up on whether or not we're loving Maria's bright red tennis dress, but here's what she had to say on dieting and working out:
Banish the word “diet” from your vocabulary: To say Maria enjoys eating is like saying she’s a pretty good tennis player. “Nothing makes me happier than having an amazing meal,” she says. “But I never diet because I need to be strong.” Maria eats three big meals a day, always making sure to have a balance of both carbs and proteins, and she snacks on fresh fruit along with a slice of ham or some other protein. And she never denies herself a sweet if she wants it. “The moment someone says I can’t have something, forget it. I want it even more,” she says. “If I crave a cookie, I eat it.”
Shake up your exercise routine: Playing tennis nearly every day can get boring, so Maria makes it a point to switch up her activities whenever she can. “I bike and do yoga. But my new favorite thing is a salsa dance class called Video-sync,” she says. The program, developed by J. Marcos at Sports Club/LA in Miami, combines dance and fitness with a focus on core work to build strong abs. The classes aren’t highly choreographed, so Maria can let loose without stressing about getting the steps right. “I love it,” she says. “It’s so energetic and fun!”
And does Maria ever give her body an exercise break? To find out, just
Know when to give your body a break: “I’m usually go-go-go, but when I hit the wall, that’s it — I’m done,” says Maria. Earlier this year, she injured her shoulder, which forced her to take 10 weeks off from competing. “I try to be smart about it,” she says.
“If my body is tired or injured, I’ll let it rest.” Her favorite ways to de-stress include going to spas (she loves massages) and relaxing on the beach. Shopping also helps her unwind: “I love to shop for clothes and jewelry, especially vintage stuff,” she says.
There is a lot more in the interview, so check out the September 2007 issue of Shape on newsstands now.