Law school does terrible things to you. First of all, it instills in you an awareness of liability--liability everywhere. Every action has risk and everything is a potential lawsuit. If nothing else, law school makes you an insufferable Christmas companion, as you point out the possible causes of action throughout the holiday festivities. The other thing that law school does to you is it steals your body. Maybe not for everyone, but I just stopped working out second semester of my 1L year. I remember the morning I woke up and realized my abs were gone. Not just taking it easy, but gone. Kate inspires me in so many areas, and certainly she has always inspired me to be fit. So, as I kick myself back into fitness gear here in 2L year, I thought we'd talk about Dieting like the Duchess.
Kate first inspired me to pursue fitness more seriously in 2007 when she transformed herself after her break-up with William. Up to that point she had been carrying a little weight left over from university, youth, and likely high calorie cocktails from the hot spots she frequented in London. She was young and beautiful, no doubt, but she was about to transform her image even more radically.
In April of 2007, when William broke her heart, Kate threw herself into very public clubbing. The gorgeous brunette was plastered across every glossy in town as she partied her way through multiple evening watering holes. This was Kate's PR offensive. It was her public, albeit silent, statement to William that he had made a crucial error in letting her slip away. It was ultimately a very successful campaign, and one for which I certainly applaud her. Every now and again, a girl's gotta show her grit. ;)
In private, however, Kate sought healing via a more organic outlet. She joined a group of women training to row across the English Channel for charity. While frost still covered the grass and the morning mist hung heavy in the summer air, Kate would make her way to a dawn rowing exercise on the Thames. When the pink and golden fingers of the rising sun poked the horizon, painting the river with gold and orange hues, Kate was already churning the dark water with her team.
Physical activity is a remarkable therapy. The French taught me to love physical activity. Years ago I spent a very solitary summer in France after an excruciatingly difficult break-up. I passed hours walking Paris by myself. Up to that point I hated walking. It bored and exhausted me, and as an American I felt a car was always far superior transportation, but that summer transformed me. Even today when I go back to Paris I like to spend at least a little time alone walking her streets. My feet find that solitary rhythm and I connect with the soul of the city, with her cobblestones, with the familiar smell, with the quiet nods of the locals. I am in love with walking. Some summers later I visited a new boyfriend's family in Brittany. They planned an entire day hiking a popular island near their summer home. The Jane of five years before would have died, but I relished it. We walked all day exploring the island and ate lunch under the cover of fir trees as a summer shower poured around us. I never walk or hike or run without thinking of France and the French, and being grateful for the gift they gave me: to unplug and connect with nature, to walk and breathe and see and really truly live life. I think Kate was learning that in 2007:
Those mornings, the sun could have peeked into Kate's flat and found her bleary eyed and with a buzzing head. Instead, Kate greeted the morning with joy and anticipation.
Kate sought the river to find peace, calm, and the soothing power that the reality of nature always gives to the grieving, but it had a secondary effect. The princess-to-be found a whole new level of fitness.
I think long-time royal watchers universally agree that this was the summer that Kate's image shifted. She switched up her fashion, but "inside sources" were also quoted as saying that Kate found the increased activity and resulting shift in her body to be a welcome change. The veracity of these reports seems to be borne out in the fact that Kate has never gone back. It was a real turning point for her.
Kate's campaign worked and William wooed his beautiful girlfriend back. Because of the media pressure, Miss Middleton dropped out of the rowing competition, but she didn't give up on her work-out regimen. Next time on Dieting Like the Duchess, we'll explore where she went next.