"The Ups and Downs of Kate Winslet"
How She Shed 4 Stone and the Regime Behind Her Weight Loss
Kate Winslet stares unequivocally into the lens, oozing confidence with her provocative pose. Wearing an open denim jacket and hipster trousers that reveal a toned midriff, the 25-year-old actress looks justifiably proud of her fabulous new figure. Having struggled with her weight for ten months after the birth of daughter Mia, Kate has shed an incredible four stone. She looks radiant - but, happily, has lost none of the sensual curviness that enhances her natural beauty.
At the height of her fame, Kateís refusal to toe the Hollywood line of waif-like skinniness was an inspiration to women. Her open abhorrence of dieting and desire to be known as "curvy Kate, rather than some skinny stick" has not only endeared her to millions but also earmarked her as someone who plays by her own rules.
Nevertheless, she is still part of a culture that insists that their stars (new mothers included) are not overweight - and Kate had gone up to 13 stone. "My bottom looked like a purple-sprouting broccoli, other body parts resembled squashes," she said in a recent interview with fashion magazine In Style. "I was an absolute sight, I really was. How can you feel blooming and sexy when you look like the back end of a bus? People tell you the weight drops off afterwards. Hell-o! It does not! After delivering Mia, I thought, ĎGreat, now I can wear my leather trousers.í I cried when they wouldnít go past my calves."
Wanting to lose the weight but reluctant to go on a diet, Kate took the unusual step of consulting a "facial analyst" who put her on a personal eating plan. And it not only helped her lose weight but also boosted her flagging energy levels and gave her new-found confidence.
Naturopath Elizabeth Gray Gibaud is one of only a few "facial analysis" practitioners in Britain. She has spent the past 30 years developing the remarkable technique, the basics of which have been used in Chinese medicine for more than 1,000 years.
Elizabeth, who runs her own practice in Londonís Notting Hill and sees around 20 patients a day at celebrity alternative health haunt the Hale Clinic, can determine the causes of weight problems or other physical and emotional complaints within minutes of studying a face. She says: "Iím right so often that I know it works.
"The first thing I notice are the colours in the face," Elizabeth says. "Subtle shades of blue, yellow and green tell me a lot about what is going on, especially mineral deficiencies. And lines on your face arenít necessarily an indicator of your age but what the problems are in your body."
Although cynical at first, Kate was amazed by the immediate results. "The weight absolutely dropped off," she admits. "My skinís much better. I never feel tired. I just feel great. Never felt better."
While insisting that the plan is not a diet (she can still eat butter and potatoes), she is now down to a healthy nine-and-a-half stone. "Iím a bit smaller than I was before I had Mia. I donít want to lose any more weight. Iím there now."
The basic treatment is an ancient Oriental diagnostic tool by which your physical and emotional states are measured by analysing the colour and texture of the skin on your face, from which a practitioner can identify any food intolerances or allergies.
For instance, the dark blue under the eyes relates to overwork and imbalance in the kidneys and adrenals. This could be caused by simply not drinking enough water or feeling very stressed. If there is a yellow tinge to the skin, you have a weak digestive system and redness can mean poor circulation or too much hot, spicy food.
A lined, puffy or red forehead could mean you are eating too much rich, oily food such as meat, take-aways, fried food, cream and butter which affect the gallbladder. A puffy face is what the Chinese say results from Ďdampí. It relates to allergic reactions to food, which affect the stomach and spleen and lead to the body being unable to digest food efficiently.
Your face can also reveal physical, emotional and psychological traits, strengths and weaknesses, and it is by looking at the bigger picture that an individual course of action is drawn up. As Elizabeth says, "Itís important that you donít run away with the idea that these are simple one-to-one correlations because similar markings can mean different things in different people. It all depends on the overall picture, so donít try self-diagnosis at home. Everyoneís treatment is different."
As well as identifying specific food intolerances, the treatment includes mineral supplements to help fortify the body and herbal tonics to help detoxify. Such are the often-dramatic alterations to a personís lifestyle - some have to cut out key foods like dairy products, wheat or acidic fruits - that many of Elizabethís patients need extra help. Sometimes sheíll even take patients away for weekends to her Devon retreat to ensure they stick to the regimes. It can be traumatic for those who, like Kate, are desperate to shed weight as quickly as possible.
Kateís weight gain during her pregnancy was used to advantage while filming Enigma (due out next month), in which she played a less-than-glamorous role. "I was the perfect person to play the frumpy friend, because I was frumpy," she said. "I was five months pregnant, but I didnít have a proper bump. I was just really round - well, fat. When I watched Enigma, I was like, ĎWhy didnít anyone tell me just to stop eating?í"
Itís unlikely Kate will be offered any more "frumpy friend" roles thanks to her new svelte figure - which may well annoy as much as it pleases her. Despite her protestations against dieting and having to conform to a certain size, Kate is all too aware that her livelihood depends on it. Itís hard to maintain principles when they could lose you a job. So it was with real resentment that she admitted, shortly after the birth of Mia, that she was trying to diet.
"Itís so insane and bloody boring," she said, obviously exasperated. "I despise myself for it and feel Iím letting a lot of people down. I constantly wave the flag of ĎDonít go on diets because they are rubbish,í but Iíd like to get a bit of the baby weight off or I wonít work."
Past battles with her weight have been well documented. As a teenager she was 13 stone, which earned her the nickname "Blubber" at school. She then became anorexic, fasted and binged. "I starved myself. So seductive - all my bones sticking out. I was that child, looking at the images of models in films, magazines, fashion shows. This is what girls are brought up to believe, that to be thin is to be loved, adored, perfect."
It was an experience which left her with a huge sense of responsibility to be a healthy role model for young girls. "Why slag off my physicality?" she asked angrily when certain quarters criticized her for putting on a few pounds after Titanic. "Because actually I want that to be a good thing. I want it to help young people who are completely messed up. It breaks my heart - I get letter from mothers of girls who were anorexic and no longer are , because theyíve read articles and things that Iíve said.
Having achieved almost iconic status after Titanic, Kate refused to bow to pressure - either to be sucked into the Hollywood machine or to slim down. "Iím the youngest person to be [twice] nominated for the Academy Awards, and that wasnít for being a skeleton," she observed. Nor did she capitalize on her new-found superstardom for signing up for a string of blockbusters. "After Titanic they were all telling me to ride the crest of the wave and take another huge part, but I just couldnít," she once said. "I needed to get something back of myself, to do something small that I cared about."
Her decision paid off in more ways than one. The "something small" was Hideous Kinky, the low-profile British film on which she fell in love with a third assistant director, "a glorious-looking boy" called Jim Threapleton whom she married a year later.
At the height of her career and once again putting her personal happiness before professional considerations, Kate became pregnant. "Iíve never been one for changing what is real in order to make my career buzz," she said last year. "My career comes second. I love it," but if Iím not working all the time I am happy."
Having fulfilled her personal ambitions, Kate now seems ready to pursue her professional goals. With a renewed confidence, a supportive husband, a daughter to dote on and the film world at her feet, life is sweet. "I know weíre very lucky," she admits.
Report: Rosaline Powell
This page was posted August 31. Special thanks to Farida for scanning the article for us! I have used a combination of the scans from the magazine and the pics used in the online promotion for the magazine.
Pic 1: From the InStyle shoot; 2: 'Quills' London premiere, just after having Mia; 3: From 1996; 4: InStyle; 5: At the 2001 BAFTA ceremony; 6: InStyle; 7: Wedding Day, November 1998.