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Padma Lakshmi shares the advice she would give her younger self: 'Find some inner strength'

She recently made her debut in the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit” magazine for their 2023 issue at the age of 52.

Padma Lakshmi shares the advice she would give her younger self: 'Find some inner strength'
Cover Image Source: Endometriosis Foundation Of America's 10th Annual Blossom Ball - Getty Images/ Dimitrios Kambouris

Padma Lakshmi has something empowering to tell her younger self and her words of advice are sure to be insightful for everyone in their youth. Speaking to PEOPLE at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's New York City launch party, she said, "I would say don't be so hard on yourself. That's what I would tell my younger self."

The author, mother and the host of the reality show “Top Chef” recently made her debut in the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit” magazine for their 2023 issue at the age of 52 and spoke about the sense of empowerment that has come with age.

Cover Image Source: 2023 Time100 Gala - Getty Images/ Jamie McCarthy
Cover Image Source: 2023 Time100 Gala - Getty Images/ Jamie McCarthy

Speaking at the launch party on May 18, she said she would like to pass on that same sentiment to her younger self, who started her career as a model. "Just try to find some inner strength because as long as you do your part with eating healthy and working out, that will take care of itself," Lakshmi said. Another understanding that has come with age has been that "it's more important to feel beautiful, and whatever makes you feel beautiful is what you should focus on, no matter what you look like," said the former model.



 

Lakshmi has started to realize a lot more things. "My thighs may have been leaner, and my boobs were probably slightly higher in earlier parts of my life, but I have never felt better about myself. I hope they see a full woman in all my facets and nuances and some contradictions. I wouldn't go back to my 20s if you paid me all the money in the world," she told Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.

And this is what she wants to share with others: "Sometimes a whole new phase that's even more exciting than anything you've ever experienced before can happen well over 40. I love where I am in my life and know my body is not perfect by any means, but I feel beautiful. I feel like I have a very lucky, fruitful, productive life."



 

Recently, a person commented on Lakshmi’s pictures that she had fat arms and should “lift weights.” It came on the eve of her being on the magazine’s issue. She told Sports Illustrated, “I was a little bit freaked out because I knew that I couldn’t get as tight and lean as I could if I had some more time,” she said, reports BuzzFeed. “But then I just looked in the mirror and I reminded myself, I’m not here because I’m the world’s greatest model. I’m here because I’m me. I’m not getting this in my 20s. I’m getting this now, at this point, and it’s so much sweeter because I’m doing it now.”

She added, “It shows women everywhere that your femininity and your sex appeal and your beauty is not something that stops at a certain age. The one thing I would say for young women looking at this is don’t worry about aging. Don’t worry about a clock. Be on your own clock.”



 

The New York bestselling author also shared the struggles of being in camera-ready shape all year. "I’m not gonna lie. You have to work out all the time," Lakshmi told Fox News. "I probably work out when I have the time, one to two hours a day, six days a week. I eat a lot of food both on ‘Top Chef’ and on ‘Taste the Nation.' And, honestly, I eat very simply at home."

"It’s really difficult," she said. "It’s just a push and pull. I have a great wardrobe stylist on ‘Top Chef’ who buys me things in three different sizes... I always tell women, ‘Don’t try and squeeze into those jeans you wore in college. Just get a bigger size.’ Because you’ll look slimmer in the size that’s right for you."



 

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