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Just like Victoria Beckham, I've ditched restrictive diets and punishing exercise at 50

Punishing cardio and calorie counting? Like Victoria Beckham, Rosie Green has given up both and is feeling ‘stronger’ than ever…

By: Rosie Green
June 7, 2024
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In the late nineties and early noughties, wellness wasn't a thing. Vegans were weirdos, yoga was for hippies and shakes weren’t "immune boosting" or "detoxing", they were what you got after a big night out.

In the world of glossy magazines, thin was in. Kate Moss famously said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," and staying sample size was the number one priority for the models and celebrities I worked with daily.

We magazine girls wanted to fit into those outfits too, so we carefully monitored our food consumption. That said, I mostly failed to get into those fashion cupboard clothes because I liked boozy nights out and jacket potatoes too much. 

Woman smiling against the sea © Instagram
Wellness wasn't a thing in Rosie's twenties

The nineties diet

In the nineties, models, celebrities and mere mortals didn't get super slim by following a balanced diet with lean protein, slow-release carbs and plenty of veggies. No, it was about copious Diet Coke and Marlboros.  

Sugar was somehow okay to eat because if you looked on the back of the packet of Frosties or Party Rings, there weren't a high number of calories. It hadn't occurred to us all that sugar would be converted to fat.

So accepted was sugar that they even handed out Chupa Chups lollies backstage at the fashion shows.

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Bridget Jones' battle with her body image was representative of so many of us. We all had a calorie counter ticker taping in our heads. Toast plus a biscuit in the office, plus Pret sandwich plus seven cocktails and accompanying bowls of nuts = 3,000 calories = self-loathing.

To counter such excess, we would then go on horrendous diets such as the cabbage soup diet, the cayenne pepper diet, and the Atkins diet. And do depleting spin/legs bums and tums sessions till we thought we were going to pass out. 

Rosie Green smiling in jeans and jumper
Rosie Green followed fad diets in her younger years

Despite all the angst, all the sweat, and all the deprivation I still didn't look how I wanted. And I suspect Victoria Beckham, who recently said she feels stronger now than in her twenties, when she said she was "addicted" to green juice, was equally dispirited.

VB and I are both now 50, and we have changed up our approach to exercise.

Victoria Beckham lifting weights in her home gym© Instagram
Victoria Beckham had added weight training to her workouts

Our new approach

When it comes to exercise, Victoria says she's her strongest ever now, and I think she looks happier in her body. She says she now does weights rather than cardio in her five weekly personal training sessions. 

woman in a gym
Rosie says weight training keeps her strong

I still run with my dog, but using my own body weight (think press ups, triceps dips using a chair) plus free weights in twice-weekly workouts has changed the way I look and feel.  Creating muscle means my body burns more calories at rest, which means I can eat more food. 

woman in activewear on balcony
Rosie's approach to fitness has shifted

Ahh calories. I don't have a running total in my head like I used to. I'm just trying to eat nutritious foods that haven't been too messed about with. To quote author Michael Pollen: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

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Of course, I don’t think VB has changed tact completely. She says she is still "Very disciplined with the way that I eat, the way that I work out and the way I work. That's just who I am.'

victoria harper wine glass© Photo: Instagram
Victoria like to indulge in a glass of wine

There are many who would question if she is too slim. But it does feel like she has relaxed a little and arrived at her desired shape in a better way. I’ll leave the final words to her. 

Woman in black swimsuit next to swimming pool
Rosie is feeling fabulous at 50!

"I'm not going to be one of these, 'Ah, there are too many calories in a glass of wine,' types. Life's too short. Let’s have a nice time."

Cheers to that. 

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