June 22, 2009

Shape sat down with Julianne Hough, Martina McBride, and LeAnn Rimes as they revealed their simple tips for staying fit, strong, and sexy.

Three amazing women. Three busy lifestyles. Three different ways to approach health and well-being.

From the moment we got them together they acted like best girlfriends, gabbing over coffee about husbands, boyfriends, and kids, and comparing notes on how they deal with their insanely busy lives.

Check out some of their real-life solutions to balancing it all, from healthy eating to much more, that they shared with each other.

Shape: What's your typical diet like?

Julianne: I'm probably the worst person to talk to about that because I pretty much eat what I want. My trick is to stop as soon as I'm full. Last night my sister ordered Mexican food and I was like, "What are you trying to do to me? I have a shoot tomorrow!" But I ate until I felt satisfied, and then I was done.

Martina: I became fascinated with nutrition when I got pregnant with Delaney [her 14-year-old daughter]. I love to read about healthy eating and preach to my husband, who doesn't listen. Now I'm trying to teach it to my daughters. And it's working, because they all love green vegetables like broccoli but funny enough, not other colorful ones, like carrots, squash, and beets. I'm always telling my girls, "As long as what's on your plate is healthy, you should eat, eat, eat!" And they should be able to have treats too. We should all have treats, just not...

LeAnn: ...all the time. But there are days when you can't stop yourself!

Martina: So what? Why do we get so angry at ourselves when we eat foods we love? Do you think guys walk around going, "I just ate a cheeseburger and I'm so mad at myself"?

LeAnn: No, they don't! I just saw my husband [Dean Sheremet] at the food table eating a brownie, and he already had another one in his hand. And I said, "Are you going to eat two of those?" And he's like, "Yeah!" And I said, "I hate you right now [laughs]!"

Julianne Hough, Martina McBride and LeAnn Rimes chat about self esteem issues, the meaning of true beauty and how they balance family life with the glamour of their careers.

Julianne: I love that you encourage your daughters to eat. There are a lot of teenagers out there who look at me and say, "Well, she's 21, I want to look like her." But I want everyone to know, especially young girls, I eat. I am not starving myself. I'm concerned about young women and their self-esteem being based on what they see on TV or in magazines. It's not about being beautiful on the outside, it's about loving yourself and who you are.

Martina: When I do a magazine shoot like this, I have to explain to my three daughters [Delaney; Emma, 11; and Eva, 4] that it takes a team of professionals to do my hair and makeup so I look this way. I have girls who are concerned about how they look compared to models or what have you. It's my responsibility to teach them that beauty is more than superficial.

LeAnn: It has to be hard for them to understand that it's part of your job to look glamorous. I'm 26 and I'm still a little self-conscious about my looks. When I was a kid, I had psoriasis over 80 percent of my body. Luckily, I've found a medicine that helps control it, but I never know when it will stop working or if I'll have to deal with it again. It's still a struggle, but as you get older, I think your perspective changes.

Martina: Wait until you're 42 [laughs]! When I turned 39 or 40, my body really started changing. I was always thin. I guess I have good genes, so I never worried too much about my weight. But after my third baby, I began storing fat in little places where I never used to [points under her arm]. I was like, "What is that?" That's when I started being a little more careful about my food intake and working out more seriously.

Shape: What did you all think of the way Jessica Simpson was treated in the tabloids over her weight gain?

LeAnn: I think it's just sad for someone to be picked on like that for gaining a few pounds here or there. Women's bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Look at the three of us: We have completely different bodies, which is a good thing. Wouldn't it be bad if we all looked the same?

Martina: I agree with LeAnn. Why focus on that? Jessica Simpson got singled out, which isn't fair. What's upsetting is that when you look through those tabloid magazines, all they write about is who wore what best or what's wrong with their hair or makeup. It's constant judging.

Julianne: And often what's written just isn't true. One magazine recently reported that I drink only orange juice for my carbs. I want to clear that up right now. If I did that, it would kill me. I don't want anyone to read that and believe it.

LeAnn: I've been in the tabloids recently too, and it's been really hard for me [they reported she was romantically linked to her married Northern Lights co-star, Eddie Cibrian]. I've been in the public eye since I was 14, so I have a tough skin. It's fine dragging me through the mud, but don't drag my loved ones through it. They're my family, and it hurts them. All I'll say is, I know what's in my heart and what's true.

Martina McBride, Julianne Hough and LeAnn Rimes discuss celebrity rumors.

Julianne: The rumors are always flying around and can be so cruel. You have to stay true to yourself.

LeAnn: What gets me is that people believe everything they read.

Martina: Well, if it's on the Internet, it must be true [laughs]. And it's pointless to respond because it just fuels the fire.

The country stars share what it's like to be the subject of celebrity rumors.

Julianne: When I was on Dancing With the Stars with Helio Castroneves, they were writing that we were an item. Hey, I love the guy to death, but I wouldn't touch him with a 10-foot pole [laughs]!

LeAnn: It's the weirdest possible thing to go through. I feel like people are looking and pointing at me like I'm in a fishbowl. I've learned to let it roll off my back, but it's super hard, and it really hurts.

Julianne: People see you as this famous person and expect you to follow every rule. I've gotten some really mean e-mails from fans telling me they think I've changed, that I'm not the sweet, innocent Julianne I used to be. My cure for that is to tell myself I'm awesome, I'm confident, and I totally believe in myself!