Khloé Kardashian Reveals Why Her Mental Health Ultimately Comes First
Khloé Kardashian knows that her mental health and her physical health are as closely related as she is to her famous family.
The reality star, 37, recently opened up to Health about her approach to fitness, and how it ultimately comes down to making choices on a holistic level: To feel good outside, you have to feel good on the inside, too.
"For me, it's about practicing healthy habits on a daily basis. I have to think of it as a lifestyle rather than thinking I want to try this diet or some other thing someone was talking about," explained Kardashian. "I'm so over that stage in my life. It's cliché, but it's all about mind, body, and soul. If I am not mentally strong then I physically feel like I can't do what I want to do. So, it is really not about the physical appearance. That's a by-product. You can tell when someone is genuinely happy from the inside out."
Kardashian said she first turned to exercise while going through her divorce from Lamar Odom (she filed for divorce in 2013 and their split was finalized three years later). Although challenging at first, the "release" she got from working out "was worth it." (Related: 5 Great Khloé Kardashian Body Image Quotes)
"At first your body is, like, dying. But emotionally and mentally, the release that I got was worth it," she told Health. "I quickly realized how good I feel when I'm consistent with it. I also like to read books, and I love family time. I'm a hermit crab — my zodiac sign is a Cancer, and I'm very much a homebody. I need my alone time. After my daughter [3-year-old True] goes to bed, I don't want to be around people. I want to lie in bed and watch TV — that's my recharge moment."
Focusing on herself often means trying to quiet all of the outside voices that can make their way into her head — not exactly the easiest task when you have 189 million Instagram followers. "I'm forever trying to drown out the noise that doesn't matter — especially in the world of Instagram. It's such a gift, and it's a curse," said Kardashian. "There's been so many days that I'm like, 'I feel so badass and good.' And then my demeanor will be shot down because someone posted a story about how they perceive me or how they think I look. It's so strange because we know the truth about ourselves. So why let what someone says affect you? But it does. It didn't when I was younger. Normally, when you're older you turn into titanium. Sometimes I let that stuff get to me, and I have to actively drown that noise out."
Before she was able to drown out that noise, it affected her in a big way. The Strong Looks Better Naked (Buy It, $18, amazon.com) author says that she's had an unhealthy relationship with food and was an emotional eater for most of her life. She often turned to crash diets as a means of overcorrecting whenever she dared to binge or even just have a snack that may not be the healthiest. (Related: How Khloé Kardashian Tackled Her Postpartum Hair Loss)
"I had tried every diet under the sun. Remember when Beyoncé did that lemon juice and cayenne pepper thing? I was like, sign me up! That's why I yo-yoed my entire life— I was always chasing some fad," she recalled. "When I started working out, I decided to make some lifestyle changes. So I'd say, for example, this week I am just going to do one thing — I'm just going to cut out sugar. Then, maybe I'd try to do it for a month. After that, I'd try to incorporate another healthy change."
Largely because of her own lifelong struggles with weight and dieting, Kardashian is attuned to the plight many women face when shopping: It's why the Good American founder was determined to have size inclusivity across her clothing brand because every woman, no matter what the number on a tag says, deserves to feel beautiful and know that they belong.
"My [Good American business] partner, Emma [Grede], and I met through my mom. We started having a conversation about clothes and how I felt excluded my whole life," Kardashian said. "I've fluctuated. At my largest, I was a 14 or 16 — which, by the way, is totally standard in the U.S. I always felt excluded from my own family — not by them. On shopping trips, I couldn't shop where they shopped. I'd be indirectly told by brands that their clothes weren't for me because they didn't produce a dress in my size."
Kardashian said that she and Grede are so dedicated to their mission of inclusivity that they turned down lucrative deals with certain retailers who wouldn't carry their full range of sizes. "We built Good American always keeping representation and inclusivity at its core," she explained. "It wasn't a fad that we were trying to follow. And you know, it's in our products, the diversity of the team, and our Good Squad [brand ambassadors]. We want full representation from every angle." (Related: All the Times Khloe Kardashian Inspired Us to Be Body Positive)
Though Kardashian sometimes felt out of place when shopping with her sisters, her family remains as close as ever, which has been crucial in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Kardashian's daughter also learned the importance of family in a big way, and it further cemented the brood's status as a huge part of Kardashian's support system.
"My family is glued to one another regardless, but with COVID and the lockdown, her cousins were her only friends for a bit. There were no play classes or anything like that. Even though she's young, she definitely knows about family," said Kardashian. "As kids, family was always at the core of every conversation. No matter what, you support one another. You're allowed to argue and disagree. I could never imagine not speaking to one of my sisters. It just doesn't happen."
She added to Health, "We're raising the cousins to almost feel like they're siblings. I don't care if they disagree—that's inevitable. And, of course, I want them to talk through their feelings and feel validated. But there's just no option for us to be separated and not talk to one another."
Family is what matters most to Kardashian (and, well, to all of the Kardashians). And through life's ups and downs, the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, the family remains closer than ever.