Living in a Spice World: Mel B Talks Fitness, Mommyhood and More


Former Spice Girl turned fitness guru, Mel B is 35-year-old supermom who is currently launching her own exercise game to help you get into shape. "Get Fit with Mel B" is an interactive game for Play Station Move where you work out alongside Melanie Brown, or "Mel B" if you're going with stage names, who plays the role of your personal trainer and encourager. In the game, a digital version of the former pop superstar stands next to a 3D version of you on screen. As you follow her lead through rounds of exercises, her peppy attitude serves as encouragement, while her still-flat-after-two-kids abs serve as an incentive to get your butt movin'. Because what's cooler than an in-home personal trainer? A hot one with a British accent! In an exclusive interview with the fitness guru herself, Modern Mom got the latest scoop about all things Mel B.

How does anyone, let alone a celeb like Scary Spice herself (who, FYI, is not just the famous British pop singer, but also an actress, TV show host, and author), make time to exercise? She doesn't admit that it's easy. In Mel's experience, you have to set your priorities. She's got mouths to feed, kids to tote to and from school, young minds to help with homework, and a husband to spend time with. If she doesn't get a chance to work out during the day while the kids are at school, she does it after they go to bed. As a mother her first priority is her family, and because of this simple fact she "schedule[s] around the kids", as opposed to scheduling her family time around her exercise routine. Lucky for Mel, she doesn't have to worry too much about getting great meals to compliment her healthy lifestyle. She supplements her home-cooked meals with meals from Freshology, a food delivery service–and to top it off, her movie producer husband Stephen Belafonte is a gourmet chef!

In addition to strutting her bangin' bod around town, Mel B is a dedicated mom. Asked how she would describe her parenting style, she responded, "I'm fun but I'm strict." Not surprising coming from a woman who was a single mom for 6 years! The hardest part about that time in her life, she admitted, was having to balance everything. "You have to be a dad and a mom, and do everything yourself," Mel said, "It can be tiring." But, as always, the benefits of parenting far outweigh the costs. The first thing that popped into Mel's head when we asked her to reflect on the word "mom" was "the amount of cuddles and kisses you get from your kids. I love it."

Brown has wanted to be a mom since she was 12 years old, she said. Growing up she was surrounded by kids, and getting pregnant at 16 years old was not uncommon for many of the girls in her childhood community. She forced herself to wait to have kids until she was financially secure and able to give them a stable and happy life, but she always had the urge to become a mommy. Getting pregnant at 24 years old with her first child, Phoenix, who's now 11, seemed to her like waiting a lifetime! With her psychological preparation for the role of mom and the fact that she's been a mother for over a decade now, nothing surprises her about parenting, she admitted.

Not wanting the conversation to end, I sought to discover a few unconventional things about the lovely Mel B. I was delighted to find out that she loves pizza and burgers. And even though she's super focused on exercising and eating right (and doing it in the public eye), she indulges in her guilty pleasures "about once a week".  Also, she laughingly admitted that she's "kind of a bit obsessed with Twitter" and told us to look her up (@officialmelb). And remember when Mel was on "Dancing with the Stars" a few seasons back? She told us she absolutely loved the experience and reminisced with us about how it was "hard work, but great". Since I was (ok, am…) a huge Spice Girls fan, I couldn't end this interview without asking the memorable, formerly frizzy-haired British megastar about her experience with international fame. What was her favorite part about being a Spice? "I got to travel the world with my four best friends," she said. And, as anyone would suspect, the five Spices really were a family unit. "One minute we'd argue, and the next minute we'd drop it," Mel said of the girls' tight-knit bond. Going on "holiday" together (gotta love that British lingo!), jetting around the globe, singing your heart out to your own catchy pop hits–spicing up your life has never sounded so good.



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