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Khloé Kardashian: "I Love My Shape Because I've Earned Every Curve"

Khloé Kardashian is obviously smart, confident, and tough as hell. After all, she wears makeup to gym; she's a savvy businesswoman with two shows, a lifestyle app, and a book, Strong Looks Better Naked; and she's the rock who nursed her ex through his recent health crisis. (Check out eight things we learned about healthy living from her book.) She's also persistently overcome body shaming (she tell us people used to refer to her as "the fat one") and now looks and feels better than ever. Here, our May cover star shares her rules for being strong, happy, and not taking any BS.

Make Your Health a Priority—No Buts

"When Lamar and I broke up [in 2013], I had all these emotions that I didn't know what to do with. Some people suggested therapy, but instead I joined my local Equinox gym, where I'd get on an elliptical and watch bad reality TV. As a result, I started losing weight. Once I realized I could shed some pounds that way, I began working out regularly with my trainer, Gunnar Peterson, and I made a commitment to get healthy. He taught me that the trick to staying motivated is to find what you really love to do. We did cardio, calisthenics, circuit training, Pilates, and boxing."

Khloe Kardashian

Look Good Along the Way

"When I buy a cute outfit, I'm super excited to go to the gym the next day. And when I look good at the gym, I'm inspired to do an extra squat or an extra lunge. Just because you're going to work out, you don't have to look like a slob. I also always wear hoop earrings; they're like my security blanket. People laugh at me, but why not? They make me feel more dressed up. I also wear makeup when I work out. I put on a tinted moisturizer, mascara, and cherry lip balm, and fill in my eyebrows. If I feel cuter with a little lip color and mascara, why should anybody else care?"

Burn Off a Bad Mood

"When Lamar was in the hospital, I stopped doing the one thing I really needed: exercise. The gym takes all the anxiety away when I'm overwhelmed or stressed out. Now I'm back to three days a week with Gunnar and turning exercise into a habit again. Other days, Kourtney and I do 'sister' workouts with her trainer, Don [of Don-A-Matrix Training], who is fabulous. If I can't get to the trainer, I take classes at SoulCycle or Hot 8 Yoga. And if I don't have time to go to a class, I use the treadmill I have at home. This morning, I couldn't go to the gym, so I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, and now I feel so happy. It clears my mind of all the crap and puts me in a really good mood."

Khloe Kardashian

Think Before You Eat

"Sticking with a regular workout routine definitely affects my diet. When I'm mindful about exercising, I'm mindful about the fuel I'm putting in my body. And I find that when I work out in the morning, I want to make better eating choices for the rest of the day. My biggest mistake when I'm really busy is that I tend to skip breakfast and end up starving or bingeing on fast food. That's why I always keep Justin's Almond Butter packs in my car. Otherwise, though, I am a creature of habit and stick with the same foods. I like a banana and almond butter for breakfast, a protein shake after my workout, Chinese chicken salad for lunch, and steamed veggies and chicken for dinner. I gave up dairy, and that totally changed my body, but it's the hardest thing for me to stop eating, because I love cheese."

Love Your Shape

"I love my shape because I've earned every curve. I work hard in the gym to get it. But I also loved my shape before, when I was even curvier. I was always incredibly comfortable in my skin. Everybody else saw me in a different way, but I didn't see myself that way. I still wore bodycon dresses back then; I didn't cover up with a muumuu. Today I put in the work to get the curves I have and every bit of firmness. I feel empowered and badass that I was able to accomplish everything I have." (Find out how Khloé Kardashian shuts down body image haters.)

For more from Khloé—including her workout playlist, her gym pet peeve, and go-to beauty tips—pick up the May issue of Shape, on newsstands April 19.

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