Every year a different workout hits the market with new promises that the old promises failed to keep. Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks. Get a six-pack in 6 days. Lift that booty, tone those thighs, have arms like the First Lady. Promises. Promises. Promises. But what if someone told you that all you have to do is love and respect the body you have, keep your promises to it and it will return the favor by doing what you want it to do?
Celebrity Fitness Trainer (and my friend) Kacy Duke says that’s all you have to do. Well, it’s not exactly all you have to do, but it’s a significant part of the deal. Kacy believes in her philosophy so much that she wrote a book –Show It Love – that promotes maintaining an amorous relationship between you and your body. The popular workout tome helped women (and men) all around the globe love the skin they’re in and craft a new silhouette to adore.
Kacy has followed up Show It Love with a new workout DVD, I Am. I Can. I Do., which takes all the movement principles from the book and puts them into action. Last Thursday night I, along with talented Photographer Leila Jacue, skipped on down to La Pomme in the Flatiron District to help celebrate the release of the soon-to-be smash hit.
The party had the fingerprints of a typical Kacy Duke event; it was classy, filled with cool people and fun! The gnosh was delish – there was an endless supply of yummy hors d’oeuvres as well as refreshing Vita CoCo and a variety of tasty Popchips (I’m now a new fan of both).
The guest list was fab – there were lots of Noo Yawk notables in the house such as Emmy Award-Winning Makeup Artist Valenté Frazier, Celebrity Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist Chuckie Amos, Celebrity Makeup Artist Gregg Brockington, Nutritionist Dr. Jeffrey Morrison of the Daily Benefit, Activist Suzanne Africa Engo, and renowned Photographer Mark Seliger, who shot the cover of I Am. I Can. I Do.
And of course your favorite socialite was present feeling super girlie in my Fancy Jersey Dress and black & champagne pumps with a cute rose embellishment.
The best part of the night was scoring a radically fabulous Swag Bag filled with goodies from Asics, Pom, Dove, O.P.I., Mally Cosmetics, Vita CoCo, Popchips, Equinox and Salonpas. Yes, be jealous!
I Am. I Can. I Do. was filmed by acclaimed Cinematographer Till Neumann and features real-life Kacy Duke client, Emma Campion, who lost 30 pounds doing it the Kacy way. After the party, I caught up with the Fitness Goddess to talk about falling in love with your body and being unrealistic.
TL: What is your workout philosophy?
KD: You have to love and respect your body in its current form – however flawed you think it is – so you can go about transforming it. You have to come from a place of self-love and self-acceptance.
TL: How is this workout DVD different from all the rest on the market?
KD: This particular DVD will help build beautiful lines on your body without the bulk. It pumps and elongates the muscles, which give you the sexy, sinewy body that women want. It’s the balancing of the three elements of self – emotional (I Am), spiritual (I Can), physical (I Do).
I Am. I Can. I Do. gives the body the foundation. Gives the body the chance to warm up, to feel the strength and see its capabilities. A lot of personal trainers like to show you their strength. It’s not about them. This is your body, at your own time, strength and pace. And when you’re ready to move on, you move on.
It’s an evolution, not a revolution.
TL: Break down the components of the workout for me.
KD: I Am. Is about warming up the body. It’s a foundation of helping you develop a relationship with yourself, having a friendship with your body.
I Can. You’re surprised at what your body can do. You’re taking it to the next level of pushing and challenging your body a bit.
I Do. Is the physical component. It’s the most challenging one, but it works like magic because you have the other components [I Am. & I Can.] in place. They support you so by the time you get to the “I Do,” the physical flash is just the icing on the cake. You look good, but more importantly you feel good and you have the tools to maintain the body for the long haul. (The interview continues after the trailer).
TL: How do men and women differ in their approach to working out & weight loss?
KD: Men always want to build strength and bulk up. “I wanna get strong, I wanna have big arms, etc.”
Women want the instant physical flash – “I want to get into these skinny jeans. I want to fit into my wedding dress” – instead long-term tools that help to develop and maintain a beautiful body. That is what you concentrate on with I Am. I Can. I Do. – long-term results.
TL: Can men benefit from this workout DVD too?
KD: This one is geared toward woman. Men will get something out of it, but I Am. I Can. I Do. the male version is coming out soon.
TL: I often hear people say about celebrities, “They have the money, so it’s easy for them to stay in shape.” What’s your response?
KD: Having money and being a celebrity does not give you a “get out of shape free” card. It’s a fair playing ground. The only difference with celebrities is they have a strong sense of self and they have the world constantly judging them and looking at them. They are works in progress and if they can continue to be works in progress, so can we.
Look at Oprah. Even though she may gain weight, she doesn’t give up. So what if you go off track, everybody does. You just have to get back up. Don’t hate yourself. Nobody is perfect. What is perfection, but one’s perception?
TL: What are some solid tips for reaching weight loss goals?
KD: Set unrealistic goals and go for it. I don’t believe in realistic goals like, “I will work out on Mondays and Wednesdays.” If you miss a day then you might throw in the towel. Find something positive to do for yourself every day. That includes rest, message, exercise, meditation, and hot salt baths. It all helps. So when someone asks how many days a week do you work on your body, you can say “everyday!” Maybe you won’t do every single thing, but you will do a few of those things a week and you will feel good.
KD: The air cost nothing. It’s up to you to invest in yourself. You can take a walk. You can buy a workout DVD, rent a DVD, there are all kinds of fitness programs on television. Build an exercise library. Go for one exercise and add to your arsenal of exercises. There really are no excuses!
Movement is a privilege. Our body constantly holds us up, carries us through so much in life – tragedies, celebrations, failures, victories – how dare we not try our best to be good to it. You have to have a relationship with your body. Walk hand in hand instead of allowing it to drag behind you. Have conversations with your body, “This week we’re going to try something difficult. But if you just hang in there with me, I promise I will be good to you. I will feed you properly, massage you and get you plenty of rest.” And keep those promises. I know this is a new concept for most people and it might be strange at first, but it works.
The yelling, the screaming, the constant dieting is NOT working America! It’s about building that relationship with your body and showing it love and respect. And when you show the body love and respect, it gives it back ten-fold. This brings it back around to my original point of celebrating the body you have to get the body you want.
Kacy Duke’s philosophy & system is tried and true. It’s one that A-Listers like Denzel Washington, Maxwell, Julianne Moore, Gwen Stephanie, Samuel Jackson and many of her other celebrity clients can attest to. No wonder she was named “New York’s top workout guru” by New York Magazine and best trainer in the city by Allure. Her system works!
Believe me, after one hour with Kacy Duke you will not only buy into the “I Am. I Can. I Do.” mantra, you will embrace it like an old friend.