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Tina Fey on Fitness and Working Out

Tina Fey Says No to Working Out

In the November issue of Harper's Bazaar, funny woman Tina Fey reveals that she doesn't work out — at all. Looking at 39-year-old Fey I would not have guessed that she stays away from the gym. She's slim and carries herself with style and sex appeal. It's also surprising to hear that any woman working in an industry driven in large part by image is able to escape having a personal trainer.

When asked why she stays away from the gym, it comes down to not enough time in her day. The woman is busy, very busy. She's got a hit show to write, is a wife and mother, and is an Emmy-award-winning actress.

To hear what Tina thinks about working out,


"Work, come home, play, kid bounce, work again, go to bed." She has thought about yoga, even done it a couple times. "But," she notes, "even yoga classes go on 80 or 90 minutes." The ethos of Gwyneth Paltrow or Madonna, with their two hours plus of bendiness a day, is not for Tina. "You will still die," she observes. "I'll do grave yoga. Someone can come and stretch me in my grave."

Tina explains her relationship to the business of celebrity this way:

"I like to delude myself that I'm in the old-Hollywood mode. I just tailor my clothes well and try to keep my skin clear. While it would be great to work out an hour a day, there is something inherently sort of selfish about it. I can't do it."

Despite not working out, the actress does focus on maintaining a healthy diet. At the age of 29, Fey dropped an astounding 35 pounds after going on Weight Watchers. The actress describes it as a time in her life where she learned to eat properly, something she still continues to do.

What do you think? Does working in a workout seem selfish to you?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
I work full time and do a post grad course and I still find half an hour a day to work out! What! I'll just be going to the grave later than she will. I don't believe she isn't controlling her weight SOMEHOW. So, if it isn't exercise it has to be through her diet. Working hard on a show? She probably lives on coffee.
Advah Advah 7 years
I agree with Vanonymous. Sure I could fit in a workout in my week but instead choose not to for many reasons, the main one being I'm too tired at the end of my day to even consider going to the gym and going home at 9.30pm. It's a question of choice and I completely understand why she'd make it. And let's be honest, she makes enough money to afford a generally healthier lifestyle than most of us (her groceries bill must be waaay bigger than mine) - you can still reasonably take care of yourself without hopping on the treadmill.
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 7 years
I don't think that taking the time for yourself to do ANYTHING that benefits your health is selfish. Having said that, I also think it's possible to get by without actually working out. If you lead a reasonably active lifestyle, get out and about, and eat a healthful diet, it IS possible to be "healthy" without racking up hours at the gym. She says, defensively. :)
Spectra Spectra 7 years
What's wrong with being a little bit selfish every day for an hour? Focusing on everyone else 24 hours a day would drain everyone. I know that spending an hour or an hour and a half working out makes me feel less resentful of having to take care of all the other people in my life and most of my friends who work out say the same thing. My own mom never worked out and never, EVER wanted to go biking with us or do anything with us, plus she was a b*tch on wheels most of the time. To me, THAT behavior was incredibly selfish. I don't see why Tina Fey has to call working out "selfish"; why doesn't she just say she doesn't like it and doesn't feel she has time for it and move on? Oh, and I agree with runningesq...we all have the same 24 hours in a day and we can spend it how we choose to. When I'm really busy, I'll squeeze in a short workout at lunch and maybe another 30 minutes after work. If working out was important to her, I'm sure Tina could find a way to work out; most other celebs do.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
It is selfish, but it is something a woman should do for herself. There are ways a woman can work out in tiny blocks of the day while her kids are sleeping. I think her comment came out the wrong way.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
"I'm not seeing how she's saying that it shouldn't be a priority for other people, or that she sees other people who do work out as "selfish." Zulkey - If you read the entire post, she said that working out for an hour a day is "inherently selfish."
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
shrug. I just think she's entitled to her point of view. We don't lead the same life she does so I just am grateful that I do have the time and ability to exercise--I don't think she's judging the people who do.
syako syako 7 years
I definitely wouldn't consider myself "butthurt" (yuck) about this, but it does annoy me when comments like this are made about working out. I don't mind what people choose to do in their lives or how they justify their decisions, but I do mind when someone implies that those who have chosen otherwise are selfish for doing so. And since this is a fitness blog, I think it's the appropriate place for us to say why we do or do not agree with her statement.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I'm failing to see why people are getting so butthurt about this. So Tina Fey doesn't see working out as a priority for her. I'm not seeing how she's saying that it shouldn't be a priority for other people, or that she sees other people who do work out as "selfish." Can't a person just have their own way of doing and seeing things without people extrapolating it to mean that it's their prescription for the world?
SillyGirl SillyGirl 7 years
If working out is selfish, then so be it. I selfishly want to be as focused as I can be at work. I selfishly want to be as happy as I can be with my family. I selfishly want to be pain free. I selfishly want to make sure the hours I spend time sleeping actually make me rested, so i can spend even more time at work, more time with my family, and more time continuing my own hobbies. I need exercise to do this.
TammyO TammyO 7 years
Ok so when I was 200+ pounds after having my second child and could hardly keep up with them and was out of breath after climbing the stairs, that's ok? Yeah that's not selfish...NOT I now run when the kids are in school, lost tons of weight, have a better self esteem, have a better lung capacity and I can now keep up with my girls and even out run them when I have to. I've learned how to listen to my body and take care of it so I can live a longer healthier life for my girls. Not only that, but I will teach them how they can do this for themselves and support them with body issues that they might have when they get older. Yeah how selfish of me! I'm sure Tina knows that exercise like running decreases the chance of breast cancer, right?
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
Aw, I love Tina Fey. For one thing, I'm sure she exercises (playing and running around with her kids) but she does not consider that a "work out". I think what she's referring to are mothers (in particular celebrity mothers) who are so vain and obsessed with their appearance that their kids are left with a nanny all day while they do 4 hour pilates sessions. I think it is important for mothers to be a good role model to children by taking care of themselves, but I think many celebrity moms over-do it and end up neglecting their children.
kclulu kclulu 7 years
I think some people just dont like to workout and come up with reasons to justify it. Clearly work is a priority and it takes up a great deal of her time so when she isnt working she wants to spend it with her family and I can't fault her for that. Sure there are people who are just as busy if not more so who find time for it but that doesnt mean that everyone should or needs to. I say go with what works for you, I would be a grump if I didn't work out so that is something that is important to me but I don't expect everyone to feel that way. She is probably running around all day anyway so even if she isnt doing focused exercise it doesnt mean she isnt getting any.
crystalvillage06 crystalvillage06 7 years
I like Tina Fey but I do not like this interview. I am with everyone else who has commented. We are all busy. I work, have a son, go to school, volunteer, and work out. It makes me a happier healthier person for me and my family. I really don't like the message she is sending with this and it is somewhat condescending.
syako syako 7 years
Exactly! I would rather workout either with my child or pushing my child in a stroller during a jog. What a great example for your children on what a healthy lifestyle looks like! :)
bushra bushra 7 years
kimmieb124: am in exactly the same position as you (though i have a boy ;)) anyway, you words are just what i needed to get me back into my routine. how often do you workout during the week?
runningesq runningesq 7 years
It is a cop out. everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, and while some of us are busier than others, I truly believe that everyone can fit in a workout. No, she may not have time to train for a century ride or an Ironman, but she certainly could fit in 45 minutes a day. There are so many ways and places to work out --- in your house, walking, etc. In fact, why doesn't Tina take her baby out in the stroller and walk/ run WITH HER? and kimmieB: I think it's fantastic you carve out time to workout, even with your super busy schedule. a happy healthy mom is a happy family. :) don't feel guilty girlie !!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
And we're all busy, that is never a good reason not to do something. I don't care if you work two jobs or don't work outside the home at all. If it's not a priority for you, or not something you're interested in doing then say that, but don't use the "I'm too busy" excuse. Because you can find or even make time for things that are important or of interest to you.
syako syako 7 years
Yeah I was thinking more about this, and it really annoys me when people make these excuses for the choices that they make that are demeaning to all the others who made the different choice. Can't we just say "I chose not to do this" and be done with it? Why do we have to call people names and be demeaning?
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I have to agree with the majority here. Since I've been working out regularly and making fitness a priority in my life my family has benefitted just as much as I have. I can take care of them so much better than I could have before. They're happier too, it's not just me who is happier, I'm not the only one getting the benefits of my fitness regimen.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Oh PLEASE, that is such a cop out excuse. I've always loved Tina Fey, but this just bothers me. When I was growing up, my mom worked TWO jobs, did all the cooking and cleaning, and still got up at 5:00 a.m. every day to work out. It's troubling to me that she holds herself out as being so "liberal" and yet has no problem perpetuating the sexist idea that a woman should always put herself last.
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