Dear Gena Lee, can you describe yourself in a few words?
I was lucky enough to be in one of the most popular shows in the world, Baywatch. It has allowed me to reach so many people who are suffering from thyroid disease nationally and internationally. I have a new book out on October 8, 2013 called “Beautiful Inside & Out” with New York Times bestseller Mary Shomon about my personal journey with thyroid disease. I’m a mother to 4 beautiful children and divide my time between Los Angeles and Scottsdale, AZ. I also write for Yahoo! and Celebrity Baby Scoop on beauty and parenting advice.
How old are your kids?
My kids are Spencer 16, Caia 11 (stepdaughter), Hudson 7, and Stella 4 — BUSY!
So the big question everyone wants to ask, how haveyou managed to keep your “Baywatch” body despite having 4 kids?
Keeping fit after 40 is a challenge. It’s certainly not like it was when I was 25. I eat healthy; I’m gluten free, dairy free and try to eat as clean as I can. I exercise for an hour 3 times a week, lightweights, core work. Keeping it simple is key for me. When I’m busy it helps me de-stress and of course keep fit.
What kind of work-out routine did you have during your pregnancies? Did they differ between one and the other? What did you do to get back in shape?
During all my pregnancies I always tried to keep active. They’re all so different too; with both boys I gained 40 pounds and had way less energy. With Stella, I was running, doing weights, eating healthy and only gained 25lbs. I think what’s key is to do something active everyday, even if it’s a nice long waddle to your mailbox and back! Hey, it counts!
Getting back into shape after: it was tough, but I had a goal and kept at it until I was back in my jeans! With Spencer I had to be in the famous red suit 7 weeks after he was born. So, it was go time! With Hudson, I had more time and less stress, so it was about a year before I felt good again. With Stella, I was in my jeans 2-3 weeks after she was born. Shooting for People Magazine in a bikini when she was 4 months old… I had very different demands from most women, so this isn’t typical by any means. I always say, it took you 9 months to get there. It takes 9 months to get back!
Was there any particular pregnancy where you found it more difficult to stay in shape than normal?
Hudson defiantly was my lazy, chocolate eating, feet propped up pregnancy out of my three. It was also the hardest to get the weight off, but I was very sick at the time with undiagnosed thyroid disease, which certainly didn’t help matters.
Did you have any tricks to get back in shape? For example, some women swear by the tight postpartum corset and don’t remove it until their tummy is back to normal.
My trick to getting back into shape? Eating healthy and exercising! Simple, but true. No belly wraps or other gadgets… I wish that worked, but it doesn’t!
Did you have any favorite maternity brands or maternity lingerie?
I was the poster girl for “Pea in the Pod”! I loved that store. I always bought myself one really nice pair of jeans. I once paid $300, but I wore those out! I say, buy things that make you feel good: jeans, lingerie, a new top. You’re creating life, you deserve it!
You mentioned your struggle with Thyroid disease, which is one of the side effects of pregnancy weight gain. Can you tell us more about it and about your battle?
I suffer from Hashimoto’s disease, which is on going. I had to change my diet and really, my entire life, to be able to live healthy, and I still have my days! That’s why I decided to write the book “Beautiful Inside & Out” because I want to help as many people as I can. It’s not a pretty disease and I battled with weight, moods, and just feeling awful. That’s when I decided to create ‘Thyroid Sexy‘ on Facebook!
Can you also tell us more about “’Thyroid Sexy“?
‘Thyroid Sexy was created when I was at my lowest. My motivation came from my suffering. I desperately wanted to find comfort from others who were going through the same thing. No one seemed to understand or even thought it was in my head. I fought to keep myself from going under and Thyroid Sexy is the one thing that kept me a float. Now, it’s continued on to help thousands of people. I feel so blessed! We’re now starting a Thyroid Sexy Foundation to raise money for people who can’t afford labs or medication.
How do you manage to have time for yourself whilst looking after 4 kids, and a husband? Do you ever find “me time”?
Finding “me” time is tricky with all that I have going on, but it’s important to pick a day that’s just for you. I always book a massage or facial and work my schedule around it. I believe it makes me a better wife and mother. If not, you’ll go cray cray, as my kids say for crazy! Trust me, just get the massage and relax!
What is your beauty routine? Any favorite products?
I keep my beauty routine really simple. I use Kate Somerville products, Kiehl’s moisturizer, and never go to sleep with makeup on! When I have an event, I’ll make my eyes smokey and brighten up my lipstick, but for an every day simple look, I keep it clean. My favorite lipstick is MAC.
When I’m not working and just running around with the kids, I’m a NO makeup kind of girl. I also wash my hair every other day to give it more volume and texture. I call that my sexy hair!
Thank you so much Gena Lee!
Photos by Phyllis Lane
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