Lisa Ling’s Diet and Fitness Regimen
How does Celebrity Lisa Ling stay in shape? What is her celebrity workout? Below are some of our favorite highlights from an interview with Lisa Ling with Runner’s World Magazine where she talks about her passion for running and how she trained for a marthon, what she things about carbohydrates, and what other types of exercises she does to keep in such perfect shape!
How did you take up running?
“I started running when I was 21 years old and studying in China. I was studying Chinese in Beijing. It was just such a carefree time for me that I was eating nonstop. The food there is so delicious and dirt cheap. You can get a bowl of noodles for 10 cents. I ended up actually gaining weight in the beginning of my trip there. I decided that I had to do something about it. There was a big track there and a fancy gym in a fancy hotel. At the time, in 1994 in China, there weren’t very many. So it was kind of an excuse to go to the fancy gym. And that’s when I started running.”
So you had never done it before?
“I used to be so twig skinny that I couldn’t eat enough, because I was just naturally skinny. Until I went to China.”
How much weight did you gain?
“Not a lot, maybe like six pounds. But it showed.”
How did you first start out?
“I ran around the track. I think I made it like 11 minutes and then I about went into convulsions. And there was also a really cute guy who would run all the time, and because I wanted to impress him, I started upping the time. During my stay there, which was only like three months long, I eventually got up to about 45 minutes to an hour, and I’ve been running pretty consistently since.”
Now, how many days do you run?
“I would say I run at least six days a week. I try to run 45 every day. But yesterday, for example, I only ran 43. It’s just so hot in Miami.”
So how far does that get you?
“About four and a half miles.”
Do you mix it up? Do you go faster or longer?
“I never run hills. My quads are already big enough. I don’t run to build muscle; I do it for cardio. I usually pick the same track. I’m so obsessive about running, I will literally refuse to move to certain places if it’s not good jogging in the neighborhood.”
You ran the Boston Marathon in ’01 in honor of your cousin and your uncle?
That must have been a really emotional experience.
“It was awesome.”
When did you start training for it?
“Two months before. It’s funny, I would advise anyone to train sufficiently for a marathon. But for me, it was such a mental thing. I had raised money for this very important cause to me and I had to finish it. So for me it was totally a mind over matter thing. Even if I hadn’t trained at all, I was going to finish that damn marathon. I got up to 17 miles in training.”
How did it go for you that day?
“I had a pulled hamstring the entire time I was running. Two weeks before the marathon I was watching the Oscars, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was winning all these awards. I was trying to impress my boyfriend. I try to impress boys with the silliest things. I went down in the splits without stretching, and I pulled my hamstring. It was so painful, but regardless, I had to run that marathon. So two weeks later, I ran. I was in excruciating pain from the second I started to the second I finished, but I was so high on life. You know how it feels to run a marathon; it’s just the most amazing, amazing feeling. Everyone’s cheering and the energy is so vibrant. That I just, you know, for the most part I just totally ran through it.”
Did you hit any rough patches? Did you hit the wall?
“You know what, I really didn’t. For 26.2 miles, I had a huge smile on my face the whole time.”
Do you have any other forms of exercise?
“Um, I used to do everything. I used to go to a gym and I used to do Bikram Yoga. For me, I can only do workouts that make me sweat profusely. Because I compare everything to running, so that kind of lame yoga…I can’t do that. I’ll fall asleep if I do that. It has to be rigorous.”
Do you have a running/food relationship?
“Of course. I use it to justify carbs. But I’m still pretty careful. Actually, when I’m not running, I’m skinnier. If I stop running for a week, I’ll lose weight. I’m very muscular. When I’m running actively, I have a voracious appetite. I’m hungry all the time.”
So do you tend to avoid carbs?
“I try not to eat too many carbs. For no good reason. Even if I eat carbs or no carbs, I weigh the same. I’m not crazy.”
Do you ever get out of bed and don’t want to go?
“Yes, all the time, and that is why I will sometimes run at night. But I try very, very hard to do it as soon as I wake up. Let’s just put it this way: I can only run with an iPod and having consumed a fair amount of caffeine. If I run in the morning, I have to drink a huge cup of coffee. If I run in the afternoon, I have to either drink a huge cup of coffee or drink a Red Bull.”