Diane Bondareff/Invision for Tracy Anderson
Catherine Kast
March 16, 2017 06:04 PM

Lena Dunham is living proof that trainer Tracy Anderson’s fitness method works.

Anderson — who calls her method “designing” rather than just training — discourages her clients from coveting celebrity bodies.

“Women always think that they need to look like someone else,” the trainer told PEOPLE at the opening of her New York City flagship on Wednesday evening. “One reason why I don’t give my time to a lot of celebrities who want it is because the journey for them to want to be themselves is really distanced … I really want examples like Lena, like Jennifer Lopez, like Gwyneth, that are really proud of who they are, and they just want to be healthy and balanced for themselves.”

For Dunham, 30, who showed up at the opening to support her longtime friend Anderson, this was key: “I think for me the big thing was that Tracy just very clearly wasn’t trying to change my body,” she told PEOPLE.

“I remember going to Crunch [gym] when I was around 18 and they asked me to name my ideal celebrity body — like Jessica Alba? I was like, no, I’m leaving,” Dunham told Women’s Wear Daily at the event. “Tracy made me feel like I could take care of my body because of me and not to conform to somebody else’s stereotype.”

Anderson’s “design” process goes beyond the physical. “My objective when I’m sitting down with someone, they may start and say, ‘I want this to happen,’ and I really slow them down, and I want to know them,” she says.

And she only was able to help others when she changed her relationship with her own body and “got physically available to myself on my own terms,” Anderson told PEOPLE earlier this month,  “There is so much noise about what is ‘pretty’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘sexy’ or ‘trendy’ with our physical bodies that people don’t even know how to own their own body or assess what they even want.”

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