How Busy Philipps Is Teaching Her Daughters Body Confidence
The actress wants her girls to learn firsthand that exercise is about more than the number on the scale (she threw that away years ago, BTW) and that you should always wear a bikini if you feel like it.
Busy Philipps is one of the most #realtalk celebs out there, never shying away from sharing the hard truths about motherhood, anxiety, or body confidence, to name just a few of the topics she regularly dives into on her Instagram page (and she has more than a million über-loyal followers, a book deal, and an upcoming late-night series to show for it). We sat down with Philipps, who recently partnered with Tropicana to launch Tropicana Kids, a new line of organic fruit juice drinks, to talk about how she leads by example for her daughters when it comes to healthy eating, working out, and loving her body. Here's what we learned.
She's teaching her daughters that healthy eating is all about balance.
"My whole philosophy in life is about trying to be balanced and as I've gotten older, I've realized that's the only way that anything is sustainable-any diet, any exercise program, you have to be able to allow yourself balance. And so why shouldn't the same thing apply to my children, you know? Obviously, we try to offer fruit when they want something sweet, but if they don't want the fruit I allow them to have the cookie! And I'm okay with that. I wanted cookies too when I was a kid. I'm also very aware that I'm raising daughters and I don't want them to have weirdness with their food or their bodies. You lead by example or they take all their cues from watching me. I'm their first, currently, still, role model. They'll hate me in a few years I'm sure, but I just try to set a good example in terms of being balanced in what I eat. We have a ton of these Tropicana Kids juices in my fridge. It's been really hot in L.A. so [my daughters and I] drink them in the pool. It's 45 percent juice and filtered water, so I'm into it."
Working out is non-negotiable for her mental health.
"I do LEKFit when in L.A. I'm obsessed with it. It's a mini trampoline workout, and you also use ankle weights and 5-pound arm weights. Classes are usually 50 to 60 minutes and you're on the trampoline probably half the time. There are also infrared heaters on the ceiling, so it's a warmer room; not unbearably hot, but you heat up real fast. It's amazing. I'm drenched afterward. Exercising has really helped me so much, so I do make sure that I make time for that every morning, even if it means I have to move that meeting cause I have to go do my workout, you know? It's non-negotiable for me and that is directly tied to my mental health. It's not even about [my weight], but just the way I feel. I know that if I make it to that workout every day, that's the one priority that I have set for myself." (Related: Why You Should Exercise Even If You're Not In the Mood)
She threw away her scale years ago.
"I stopped weighing myself a long time ago because it was driving me crazy. I knew it was doing me a disservice on a daily basis. I'm also a person who retains water-I fluctuate a ton and that was normal and I was getting fixated on it in a way that was not normal. I was thinking that I needed to control my normal monthly fluctuations and you can't. So I got rid of it. Now feeling good in clothes is mostly how I judge whether I'm feeling great or not. And I find no shame in any size anymore. I used to. You can't get stuck on that either."
She walks around in her underwear for a very important reason.
"I do like my body in a lot of ways and struggle with my own confidence about my body, but I will always wear a bikini if I want to. I'll always like walk around in my underwear in front of my girls. I want them to see me comfortable in my body. I feel like that's really important. Even if I'm in a moment where I'm not really feeling as great about myself as I wish I were. And I refuse to Facetune and have never trimmed my body up for Instagram or whatever. I will use a filter; I do love a filter. But I try to be really aware of that." (Related: Why This New Mom Shared a Photo of Herself In Her Underwear Two Days After Giving Birth)
But body confidence is still a work in progress.
"It's a struggle. I would always take umbrage when I would hear people say like 'oh, having children changed everything'. I mean it does some days, but other days are still like, 'I feel fat' or whatever. You still succumb to your old brain-it's hard not to. It's a constant conversation that I'm having internally, which I hope changes for younger generations. I do think it helps that media is changing the way they're presenting different types of bodies, which is so important. And the types of messages that are sent to especially young girls and women about health and bodies is shifting. Women are being told that their self-worth is not tied to their bodies. So hopefully the record that plays in my daughters' brains is different than the record that plays in my 39-year-old brain that was raised in the '80s and '90s."
She has no time for body-shamers.
"People have ideas about what they think health is. And obviously, that's what shaming is. I gained so much weight with both my pregnancies. I was really, really big and I had really big kids. I never had gestational diabetes. My blood pressure was always good. I didn't have hypertension or anything. My babies were both born healthy, and naturally. And there were so many people-strangers, in public, not on social media-during both my pregnancies who would tell me to my face that the way I looked was unhealthy or not natural. They'd say, 'Oh my God it's unnatural to be that big at six months!' I'm like, it's actually just the way my body is, so it's not actually unnatural, it's the most natural thing! We're all good here." (Related: We Need to Change the Way We Think About Weight Gain During Pregnancy)