“Some of us want to be shamed! When I was in law school, I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me going into that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where you going, fat ass?’ And it works!”
… says the 47 year-old NBC News host.
Watch the full segment, including fit mom’s comeback below:
On the fact that she always wants to be asked for consent, even when complimented:
It is so simple. Of course people want to be complimented, but you want to be complimented in a way that respects who you are—maybe you don’t want to be complimented on your clothing. You have that right to say to your coworker, “That’s not a thing that I enjoy.” “Oh, no problem. I won’t do that anymore.” It is all about respect and giving people a choice about how we are touching and talking about their body. Historically, women have not had ownership of our own bodies. And it is enough. It is enough. You do not get to touch my body or comment on my body as you please. Period.
On how being sexualized does not mean that she is not a feminist:
‘I think a lot of people really feel that the idea of a woman being sexual or being sexualized is the opposite of feminism. When I feel like, in some ways, that conversation itself can be oppressive to women, because you’re telling them how to dress and how to act, which is actually the opposite of feminism.’
Well, for years, stylists insisted on bringing me sample [sizes]. Insisted! And then finally one day I said to my publicist, “I want you to tell them that unless they want to make me feel bad or make me cry”—because it’s slightly limiting and you feel it’s your fault—”then stop bringing me sample sizes!” Then the next thing they say is, “Oh, don’t worry! We’ll leave it all open in the back, and we can cut it.” I’m like, “That makes me feel so confident, with big clamps and things sewn into it.” I’m like, maybe I can act, but I’m not a magician! I was always considered the athletic one, and that translated into big. I was the big one. Thankfully, so many more body types are accepted these days.
She doesn’t deny herself foods:
We’ve been taught, “Deny yourself pleasure.” But moderation is harder because it requires really committing to balance. I find that if I say, “I’m not gonna eat ice cream” or “I’m not gonna drink,” all I want to do is drink and eat ice cream. It’s some kind of psychological battle. When I tell my trainer I had a glass of wine, he’ll say, “Liquid bread!” And I’m like, “Ugh, but it was a nice one.”
She’s trying to avoid back surgery:
I’ve had to enter into a very sort of rigorous rehabilitation program to avoid surgery on my back. I’ve already had four surgeries on my feet and two on my knee—all from Broadway dancing injuries. On Broadway, they don’t really rehab the dancers like they do in sports. It’s, “The show must go on.“ Maybe you’ll get five minutes with a physical therapist, or they’ll get someone to come in and tape you with kinesiology tape, which is what I sort of lived on for a long time.
On accepting her body as athletic instead of trying to be model thin:
“When I turned 30, I looked at my life and realized that I’d always been on a diet and working out to be the size of a model. I thought, I’m 5’3″, and I inherited my mom’s beautiful muscular body—it’s just not going to happen. So I began eating well to take care of myself—I’m almost 100 percent vegan, and I’m off dairy and gluten. I realized that my health and happiness were way more important than being at the gym all the time. It’s strong not only physically but also emotionally. I used to be frustrated by my body type as a kid. I had muscles without trying and failed when I attempted to lose weight. Now I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I’m an athlete.”
On comparing herself to others on social media:
“I think that as a society we’re always looking to social media to compare ourselves with how other people look and eat. I put Instagram and Twitter in a separate category in my phone, so I don’t check them all the time and am not constantly aware of what other people are doing. I think people use social media to compare themselves with others too much, and it has really negative effects on the psyche.”
On her healthy habits:
“On days when I need to keep my energy up, I try to eat really clean. I try not to have too much caffeine besides coffee in the morning. In the past year, I’ve started meditating for 10 to 15 minutes a day, which is super important to me. I’m not a morning person, but I force myself to workout before work, which gives me an energy boost.”