The only thing that I truly have control over is my own body. As I mature, and my body changes, I really have to stay on top of things to adjust my habits accordingly and make the smartest choices for me. It wasn’t always that way. When I was making my living as a bikini model in my 20s, I had a body-builder boyfriend whose muscle mass far outweighed his common sense. Guess I could’ve used more of the latter myself, because he had me convinced that it was healthy to obsessively measure every morsel of food before it went into my mouth, eat according to a strict schedule, and subsist on tuna fish, applesauce and oatmeal mixed together, YES, in one disgusting bowl. I weighed myself first thing in the morning, and despaired if my size-2 jeans felt the slightest bit snug.
Today, I’m a crazed, carpooling mother of four with my 40th birthday in (slightly unnerving) sight, and I don’t even own a scale. I wear what looks best on me, I eat what tastes best, and I do what feels best. The result?
I’m in the best shape I’ve even been in, and I’ve honestly never felt better.
(I’m also a lot more kissable. There just aren’t enough Tic-Tacs in the world to adequately mask tuna-oat breath.)
Of course, the years and the pregnancies have both thrown a few curves my way, but happily, I’ve gained more wisdom than pounds, because I’ve finally figured out an enjoyable, doable way to maintain my physique, keep my energy up and savor the decadent moments in life. And if you think I stay fit by living on freeze-dried algae tablets, keeping a personal trainer on salary or having some Beverly Hills doc discreetly vacuum out the fat, you’ve dialed the wrong celebrity. Hello? I live with a Frenchman! We have appetizer cook-offs before dinner. Red meat and red wine are consumed with gusto. We sneak downstairs to devour midnight paninis after making love (for the record, though, David is the one eating the grilled chocolate-Nutella calorie bombs; I hold out for half of the turkey-provolone-Dijon special.)
My approach to empty calories? Earn ‘em or burn ‘em.
You won’t find me touting some silly fad diet, or miserably following a workout regimen that would make a Marine whimper and cringe. My commitment isn’t to any specific program or self-promoting guru. It’s to myself. It’s not a trend; it’s a way of life. I don’t think it’s vain to admit that looking good makes me feel good. And when I feel good, that translates into the kind of confidence that serves me well whether I’m in the boardroom or the bedroom. I can’t say this enough: Confidence is hot!
Caring for yourself means caring for your body, pure and simple. What if you applied even a fraction of the attention you pay to your child’s health and well-being to yourself? We’re all so accustomed to disregarding our own needs as moms, because having kids changes our priorities so dramatically. But motherhood changes your perspective in more subtle ways, too, and it’s a shame to discard the self-awareness that pregnancy provides once you’ve left the delivery room. Becoming a mother gave me a whole new respect for my body.