Ask Alexandra – April 2000
I am 15yrs old and a health nut! i am a vegetarian and try to stay strong around my friends when we go out to the movies or mc donalds, i must confess it’s tempting to fall of the wagon. do you ever feel the urge to fall of the wagon? i also found out you are into yoga something i have been interested in, but haven’t tried yet. do you feel you benifit from yoga and if so in what way. and would you put some pictures of you doing yoga on your site? you are a very motovational and inspiring person and a personal role model to me. i wish the women of hollywood were as sincere and involed with the enviorment and social issues as you are. you are in a class by yourself!
best wishes, alissa watson
Firstly, congratulations for caring enough about your health, the animals and the environment to be a vegetarian. It is not always easy to do what is right, but it is worth it, I promise you.
I became a vegetarian when I was 14, and when I was 21 I briefly ate fish again because I was playing a bodybuilder in a TV movie (“Getting Physical”) and my trainer, Francisco Columbu (Arnold Swarzennegger’s training partner), really wanted me to eat fish for the protein. I wasn’t as ardent an animal activist back then, but I wasn’t comfortable with it, so I gave it up as soon as the job was over. I now know that egg whites would have been even better and I wouldn’t have had to compromise my beliefs. Now I would not do that, but sometimes you have to live and learn! If you are wavering in your decision to be a vegetarian, perhaps you should purchase John Robbins book, “Diet for a New America”. His descriptions of how animals are treated on factory farms will strengthen your resolve. Leaf through the book if you feel tempted to eat animals and you will be inspired to do the right thing. Bring your own food if you are going somewhere that caters only to meat eaters! Remember, however, that being a vegetarian is a personal choice so dont make your friends feel bad about eating meat – it will only make them defensive if you preach. Just lead by quiet example.
As for yoga, I dont think you will be seeing any photos of me practicing! I look like too ungainly ! I do recommend it to all of you who are looking to de-stress, get rid of back pain, become more limber, or just get a great workout!
Thank you for writing, Alissa!
I’m 35, going on to 36 (10 April), and I just want to say that I enjoyed seeing you on Baywatch here in Deutschland (Germany), what I mean is that I enjoyed seeing someone who is a natural beauty (I just can’t get that excited about Pamela like other guys I know), you brought to the show a natural grace and sunny personality, and Yankee self-reliance and strength (on this, ask Katherine Hepburn, your fellow “homegirl”, she’ll know what I’m talking about). Question: Does yr. hubby whatzisname (no jealousy intended) Ian share your hobbies/activism with you?
P.S. – Since you’re a vegetarian, here’s an early poem from Leonard Cohen, if you can figure out what he means, I’ll blow a kiss over to you on request. Here it goes:
A PERSON WHO EATS MEAT
A person who eats meat
wants to get his teeth into something
A person who does not eat meat
wants to get his teeth into something else
If these thoughts even interest you for a moment
then you are lost
Thanks for being here on earth and on the web,
a secret admirer,
I am afraid that I dont even know who Leonard Cohen is! I didn’t quite get the poem either, so I guess no kiss from you. No worries, you mentioned my beloved Ian (he will be my husband in September), and he will take care of me in the Kiss Department! Yes, Ian and I do have alot in common: we share a love of running, biking and swimming (he currently is coaching several athletes in the sport of triathlon), and we are both environmentalists. He likes to go to movies more than I do, but we adore doing the crossword together. I am never happier than when I am curled up with Ian, and our cat Henry, on a Sunday with nothing to do but to be together.
I enjoyed your rather sassy letter. Is that what being an ex-pat does
I’ve seen you in several movies an other television appearances and I’m truly hooked. I live pretty close to where you grew up and recently discovered we share the same birthday. Mine is 7/29/1965. I really look up to you and your success. I have a 3 year old daughter and would like to see her succeed in life in doing whatever makes her happy. I justed wanted to ask of you how your parents were while you were growing up. Did they support you have alot to do with your sucess. I find myself looking into the future with feelings that my little sweetheart has the opportunity to excel in anything she does and that I will help her in any way that I can. I’m really into fittness and sporting activities and my daughter shows the same interests by watching me and asking questions. You are a true role model for her. I just hope she never has to resort to getting arrested (ha! ha!).
Thanks for this opportunity to write to you. You are a very respectable person.
Take care, and Godspeed!
Don in Mass.
Thank you for your beautiful letter. Your daughter is so fortunate to have such a loving father.
I am so grateful to my parents for raising us the way they did. Although I was scolded and punished when I deserved it, my parents never made me feel like a bad person – it was just my actions that were wrong. My mom drove us to every extracurricular activity we were involved in and came to all our sports games, so I developed into a well rounded person with many interests. They were very supportive in every area, but we had a strict curfew and we had daily chores. We did not have a TV in the house, so we were encouraged to read – hence I got very good grades. Manners were a serious thing in our home: we didnt say “sir” or “ma’am” ( although I am thinking of teaching my kid – when I have one – to say that), but we shook hands and looked people in the eye and wrote thank you notes promptly and no elbows on the table etc. So I guess we had a mixture of firm boundaries and a confidence that anything was possible.
I mostly learned my values from watching my mom and dad. My mom was very health-conscious, she recycled everything possible, she donated blood regularly, and she voted etc. She also boycotted companies she felt were immoral. I think teaching by example is the most important thing you can do for your daughter. I wish you the best of luck and the greatest of joys with her.