Q&A with Aly Teich
At The Sweat Life, we really believe that there is no best of anything, only what works best for you — which goes to say, there is also no best body. Everyone has their own hang-ups about their body image, areas that they would like to improve and body parts they love to flaunt, and what you see is not always what you get. #Sweat Your Body is the start of an ongoing feature, one that promises to be quite eye-opening. And thank you ahead of time to the rockstars who are brave enough to #sweat their bodies for the world to see, and tell us what they love — and what they don’t.
First up: Sweat Life founder, Aly Teich.
How would you describe your body type?
Athletic, toned, thin, but still with curves.
Why do you think you have your body?
All of us have our bodies due to a mixture of genetics and lifestyle choices. From a genetics standpoint, both my parents are on the thin side, naturally toned (even well into their late-70s), and have never had to do much physical activity to maintain such physiques. I was also, quite literally, born an athlete. I came tumbling out doing a double black flip twist (I love you, mom), and I managed to play every sport under the sun growing up. Now, I am working out for a living.
What do you do to maintain a healthy body image?
Perhaps I am lucky in the fact that my body does lean a bit more towards the societal standards of what a “good body” is supposed to look like, and thus it is easier for me to embrace my body and my figure. However, I, too, stress about how my clothes are fitting — if I look bloated, that my butt sits about an inch (or two) lower than it did just a few short years ago.
I always gain perspective by looking at other people and realizing what it is I truly find beautiful in them. Rarely do I find the person with simply the “best” body in the room to be the most attractive or appealing. I am generally attracted to a person’s energy and how they carry themselves. So I try to remember this same message for myself.
What triggers you to stress the most about your body?
Considering I’ve chosen a path where my body is constantly on public display, I think photos and photo shoots these days stress me out the most. I’ve done my fair share of fitness modeling in the past, and remember a time when I would stress so much about needing to be thin and perfectly toned. Now I find myself stressing over whether I look healthy and whether I am setting a good example for my readers.
A friend of mine recently texted me out of the blue telling me I looked far too thin in my photos and “needed to eat a cheeseburger.” I wanted to write back and say that I think she would have thought twice before texting a friend that had perhaps put on a few pounds saying that they maybe needed to “lay off the cheeseburgers.” Without realizing it, her comment was equally harsh. I think part of this is because as a society we have been trained to see thin as beautiful. I always challenge people to keep an open mind about how they approach their friends’ and other people’s bodies, and if there really is cause for concern, to approach it as such.
What does your workout routine consist of?
It depends on the day, but due to the nature of my job I am generally doing 1-3 workouts of some variety, 5-7 days a week. I try to keep some consistency for myself (and my sanity) with spinning, yoga, and a variety of outdoor sports, which truly make me the happiest.
How would you describe your eating habits?
Seeing as my fitness routine is fairly intense, I find myself constantly fueling (read: I am ALWAYS hungry). I manage to stay as healthy as possible during the day — but in a city with some of the best restaurants and perhaps the greatest eating culture in the world, it is often hard to pass up on trying the best dish at the newest restaurant, even if I know it’s due to the pounds of butter it was soaked in.
On a micro level, I drink a lot of green juice (likely 1-2 per day), which helps me get a power punch of nutrients and alkalizing properties. I have to admit I eat a lot more grab-and-go bars and other quick food than I would like to, because I often need quick fuel that is light on the stomach between workouts, but try my best to have a full and balanced meal at least three times a day, and get my solid share of fresh veggies and fruit.
Drinking is the one thing I likely should cut back on, and I am not even a heavy drinker compared to many my age. But I most certainly feel a difference when I have had even one glass of wine versus having no alcohol in my system. However, I am also realistic that I am 32, live in New York, enjoy socializing, and man, I love me some rosé! So perhaps I’ll attack the drinking thing at another point in life.
What’s your favorite thing about your body?
I’d say that I love the fact that I feel both feminine and athletic at the same time. I am generally toned and in many ways built like an athlete, but yet, was blessed with feminine curves, which help me still feel sexy and womanly.
What would you change?
I hate this question. (Yes, I made it up, so I will answer it. There’s not one person who would not change anything about their body, including me.) I think if I were able to change anything, I would make my legs longer. I’m fairly sure I have the upper body of a person who is usually 5’10” and the lower body of someone who is usually 5’3” - netting me out at a disproportionate 5’7’. My poor feet have had to pay the price for this silly fixation of mine, as I often wear heels to make my legs feel longer.
When did you feel the best about your body?
I feel best about my body when I am FEELING my best, which I find interesting. I think there have been times in life when I have felt emotionally horrible, but felt great about the way I look - yet I realize that’s just unsustainable. When I am happy, and I mean DEEPLY happy, it effects everything - including the way I feel in my own skin.
On a literal level - I feel best about my body after a seriously solid sweat session and when I am putting foods in my body that make me feel good. I also absolutely love feeling sore from a workout, as I can quite literally feel my muscles getting stronger.
What outfit do you feel best in?
This is a tough one. I guess I am most often found in a sports bra and spandex pants of some variety - and this is when I feel my most comfortable - strong, athletic, and sweaty. In civilian life, I am a big fan of dresses. I love clothes that accentuate the parts of my body I feel most confident about - for me, that would be my arms, my stomach (when appropriate), and my back. I think all women have beautiful backs!
Are you comfortable naked?
This completely depends. Generally, yes. Like anything else, I think it depends how I am feeling on that day, but yes, I do feel comfortable naked (apparently since the day I was born).
Any last words?
I don’t think there is such a thing as what a woman’s body (or man’s body, for that matter) is “supposed” to look like. It is important to me that people know, I do not consider myself to be any standard of what a woman’s body is supposed to look like, just because I am the face of this company. And due to the nature of The Sweat Life, my body is on display A LOT.
Again, perhaps due to my genetics and my lifestyle I somehow fit into society’s definition of a “good body.” However, I truly think the most beautiful people are the people who feel great in their own skin, no matter what their shape. You can just see it in the way they carry themselves — and to me, that is true beauty. Do I feel lucky for and comfortable with my body? Yes. However, I do not want that to be mistaken with the idea that I think people are supposed to look like me, or use me for a standard of how they want to look. It should be about how you FEEL. If you feel great, you will love the way you look.