Spotlight on Women's Health
An Interview About Being Your Healthiest You: Lauren Potter
May 01, 2016
We make decisions that affect our health every day — what we eat for lunch, how we use our break time, and when we go to bed. This National Women's Health Week, we're asking all women to take simple steps for better health. Think of the small tweaks you can make throughout the day for a healthier you — no matter your age.
As an ambassador for National Women's Health Week, Lauren Potter is joining the Office on Women's Health in empowering women to prioritize their physical and mental health. She shares her tips for staying motivated, de-stressing, and believing in yourself. She also talks about Glee and what it's like to be a role model.
Lauren Potter made her acting debut in the movie Mr. Blue Sky, where her performance caught the attention of the producers of the hit FOX television series, Glee. She played the spunky character Becky Jackson for six seasons. Most recently, Lauren starred in and executive-produced the indie drama Guest Room, which made its debut at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival. Lauren currently travels to different universities and organizations as a motivational speaker and an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Q: Can you tell us why you're excited to be an ambassador for National Women's Health Week?
A: I am excited because I think it is so important for women to be healthy and to share their ideas on what works for them as they try to be healthier.
Q: What are some of the ways you prioritize your health?
A: Right now, I'm working really hard to get back to my healthy weight so I look and feel my very best. I'm trying to make better food choices, and I'm exercising every day. I'm also wearing a step monitor so I make sure I'm walking 10,000 steps every day.
Q: Why do you think women should get annual well-woman visits?
A: My mom is a registered nurse, and my stepdad is an OB-GYN, and they always taught me how important it is to get annual checkups. My mom had breast cancer, but because she always got her yearly exams, she caught it early and is healthy now. I am so glad!
Q: When it comes to exercise, how do you motivate yourself to get moving, especially after a long day?
A: You know, sometimes it is really hard to do! Sometimes I just want to rest, but I know how important it is, so I go to a fun class at my gym or take a walk. My fitness monitor helps me stay motivated, too. I have to get those steps in!
Q: Do you have any tips for eating healthier throughout the day?
A: Sometimes it is hard, especially when I'm traveling, and I sometimes blow it! But I just get back on track and get back to making good food choices. I feel happy and proud when I make the right choices most of the time and I see the results!
Q: When it comes to your mental health, how do you like to de-stress?
A: I like to watch movies or go to my favorite coffee place and watch people, and of course I like to go to the gym and bust a sweat!
Q: What would you say to women who may doubt themselves sometimes?
A: Instead of thinking you can't do something, just think you can do anything you put your mind to. I've had a lot of challenges in my life, but with the support of people who love and care about me, I have been able to live out my dreams and do things that a lot of people said I couldn't do.
Q: What do you want people to know about living with a disability?
A: I don't want people to think of me as having a disability; I just have different abilities. I think we are all more alike than different. We all want to belong and to love and be loved. I always say, "Different isn't bad; it's just different."
Q: Will you tell us what it was like to play Becky on Glee?
A: Playing Becky on Glee was SO amazing. I had so much fun over the last six years. It was fun being so spunky and funny, but I also got to do some really dramatic and sometimes even sad scenes. Everyone in my Glee family was so nice and supportive. Because of Glee, I've gotten to do so many amazing things, and I've gotten to meet so many amazing people and speak out about things that are important.
Q: Now that Glee is over, what are some of the projects you're working on?
A: Well, I'm still speaking around the country at universities and for different organizations. I also filmed an episode of the HBO show Veep and starred in a short film called Guest Room, which I'm really proud of. I'm hoping for more great opportunities!
Q: Through your work, you've become a role model for so many people — whether they live with disabilities or not. How does it feel?
A: I love hearing from my fans that I inspire them. I feel very proud when people say that I am a role model. I just think I am very lucky to be doing what I love. I have to work hard, but it is so worth it when people tell me that I have taught them that we are all more alike than different. We are all special and important. We all need to be there for each other and build each other up, not down!
To learn more about how you can lead a healthier life, visit the National Women's Health Week website.
The statements and opinions in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health.