Health Makeover with Marilu Henner (cont.)

Event_Moderator When were dancing, did you have particular food you'd eat before going on stage?

M_Henner Between shows I would have small piece of salmon and steamed spinach. I usually had fruit for breakfast. If there was nothing else around, I'd have a piece of fruit. If you want a good solid work-out--if you're running a marathon, you need a carbo load. If you need a shot of energy then you want to have protein but I never mix the two.

Event_Moderator I know people that followed the healthiest lifestyle they could, depriving themselves of things they would normally enjoy and still developed diseases like cancer and diabetes. Some feel it was an exercise in futility. Would you feel this way?

M_Henner We are all genetically predisposed to certain diseases, to certain characteristics. We've been dealt a genetic hand. What we have to do is find out what we've been dealt and deal with that. I know that I have arthritis and heart disease running rampant in my family. Because of that I had to develop a certain lifestyle that is helping me not to develop those diseases. I don't eat like my parents ate. I love living this way. I would never go back to eating red meat and dairy even if you paid me a lot of money and told me it would have no connection to bad health. It smells bad and tastes bad. I've changed my palate over the years and I love the food I eat. I never think of myself as living a life of deprivation. If you're sitting around denying yourself and feeling punished then certain diseases are going to come out anyway because you don't have the right attitude. It's not about attitude for me anymore. It's about preference so I don't want the overly sugared, salted, fatted foods of my youth.

Event_Moderator If you could go back and change anything in your life what would it be and why?

M_Henner No doubt about it. It would be that I would have gotten into health earlier and maybe saved my parents. My biggest regret is that I didn't know as much as I know now. They shouldn't have died as young as they did. It defined my life, my parent's death.

Event_Moderator What do you advise a person to do when they hit a "plateau" in their weight loss attempt?

M_Henner I would say analyze it from every angle.

Event-Moderator Has your body gotten so used to your routine that you need to shock your system a little bit by taking time off or going back to it or stepping up your work-out?

M_Henner Our bodies will get used to the same thing over and over again. It's important for us to do different things. Your body will become complacent and think it's getting the same thing all the time. If you're trying to lose weight, the best thing to do is to make sure you break a sweat for at least 20 minutes a day, every single day, food combine and not eat dairy. That's the most important.

Event_Moderator What about actresses being too thin?

M_Henner In my experience, it's not the camera that adds weight. It's the lack of balancing what you're wearing. I think it's important to be fit, depending on character or role. I think that what's happened is that people have become obsessed and they're too thin for their bodies. There are some that are naturally smaller than other women. They have model bodies but can still look fit. There are other women who have starved themselves to be thin that you can tell should have 10 to 15 pounds more on their frame. That's what you're seeing today. Now they look thin but unhealthy. I look for sparkling eyes, healthy luster to skin. If they have a shallow face and their eyes look dead then you know they're not healthy.

Event_Moderator If you had to gain weight for a role, what would you eat?

M_Henner I still wouldn't eat the bad food. I probably would just eat more of what--I would have to force myself to eat more of what I already eat. I'd probably exercise less. I wouldn't work out for a while at all. I don't think I would gain so much weight but I could gain 10 pounds and then dress a certain way and look 25 pounds heavier for a certain role. I would be able to take it off quickly as long as I put it on with good food.

Event_Moderator How do you recommend dressing to hide weight?

M_Henner You accentuate the positive. If you have good legs but thick waist, then show off your legs. If you can't hide it, decorate it. Show off your legs and as you're slimming down on top. Don't wear baggy clothes on bottom. If you have a tiny waist but legs are thick then you show off that waist. Show off your assets and hide your liabilities. There are so many slimming tricks with clothes. Some of my heaviest episodes on Taxi I actually look thinner because I was so careful about what I was wearing. This is a lot of the stuff in my blue book. There are so many things that you can do.

Let's talk about posture for a second. Posture will make you look thinner. When you sit, if you have a picture taking, make sure you're sitting on your jacket and holding your head up. I use tricks all the time. Have your shoes the same color as your pants so that you have a nice long elongated look. You don't block it off with different colors. You don't chop up the line with different colors. I thought heels would make me look taller but I shouldn't have been walking around in those boots. I should have been in more comfortable shoes because I would have been walking around more. Baggy clothes hanging from someone who is busty will look like a big shelf where as something more fitted will make you look better.

Event_Moderator what is your favorite movie?

M_Henner Ever? I like so many movies. I think if I were to vote for best movie of the year it would be American Beauty but I wouldn't call that my favorite movie of all time. I would say maybe my favorite movie ever...I don't know. I appreciate the Godfather, Gone With the Wind, Two for the Road.....and more.

The tenth and most important step of my program is Gusto and it is all about your attitude. It really makes or breaks your life because attitude is everything. It's how you approach health, relationships, life. You could say what's this opportunity around the corner. If you think of yourself as work in progress than you'll be much more forgiving and you'll have fun. It's never too late and it's never too early for good health and habits. Each day there is a new opportunity. Gusto is that energy that somebody has that you notice as soon as they walk in the room. t has nothing to do with good looks and nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with attitude. It's the ability to take life as the rollercoaster ride that it is and say I still want to put my hands up in the air when I get to the top.