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Singer and E! News cohost Adrienne Bailon-Houghton has a lot to celebrate this year, from her baby boy’s first birthday to turning 40, and all while running the red carpet. If you’re wondering, “How does this Cheetah Girl do it all?” her answer is quite simple: she doesn’t. Balancing motherhood and her well-being takes priority even if it means realigning her values.
“If there’s something else that’s made my life easier, I feel that it’s recognizing that you can’t do it all at the same time,” she tells POPSUGAR. “I think it’s OK to find balance in your life, and maybe I’m not gonna make every single event and party.” If you breathed a sigh of relief at her answer, so did we. Instead of trying to keep up with the glamorous lifestyles of her peers, the TV host is loving this new era of her life. “It’s just like, I wanna come home, take off my makeup, and cuddle with my son. So I get to have the best of both worlds. And I think what makes it easier is finding balance and being OK with that.”
“I think there’s something so empowering about having a son and turning 40 this year and just wanting to be a great example to him of what health and fitness looks like.”
As part of this new era, she’s renewed her fitness goals with her health coach Massy Arias, whom she also trained with before her wedding in 2016. “I was like, man, I really would love to gain more muscle on my body and overall just feel healthier,” she says. Together, they’re tackling that goal through strength training and nutrition changes. And for fun, Bailon-Houghton is enjoying Rumble boxing and Pilates. “I think there’s something so empowering about having a son and turning 40 this year and just wanting to be a great example to him of what health and fitness looks like.”
Health has always been top of mind for Bailon-Houghton. When she was 15, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition that impacts the thyroid. “I deal with feeling super sluggish and not having energy while at the same time being absolutely starving and experiencing weight gain,” she says. “I definitely think that having a healthy lifestyle for me has really been key to combating Hashimoto’s.”
In addition to exercise, she tries to eat a plant-based diet as much as possible to help with inflammation. “But I’ve gotta be honest: there were times when I didn’t have control of [my symptoms] and I felt exhausted and so hungry and lethargic all day long,” she admits. “There was definitely a time where I even was trying to eat better and I was trying to work out and I wouldn’t see any changes because of the Hashimoto’s, you know, my metabolism was super slowed down.”
When she was a host on “The Real,” fans would comment on the goiter in her neck that’s caused by inflammation from the disease. “That, to me, was probably one of the most frustrating things.” Now, she’s determined to focus on her journey and not compare herself to others. For example, instead of dreading the gym, she’s tried to pay attention to the mental health benefits that always make it worth it.
But as a mom, the hardest part of starting a fitness routine was figuring out a schedule with her son. “I literally wake up with my son, give him a bottle, he goes back to sleep, and my mom takes my place to go lay down with him, so I can leave,” she says. “And when I come back from the workout, he’s waking up, so I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything.”
However, it wasn’t always this easy. “I’m not gonna lie, for the first nine months of his life, I didn’t wanna leave him because I didn’t want to miss anything,” she says. “Even working out was a struggle because I didn’t want to leave to go to the gym for an hour — a whole hour that I could be spending with him!”
Now, she recognizes how crucial it is to take time for herself because in the long run it makes her a better mom. “When I was getting ready to have my son, I asked a lot of moms, like, if there’s one thing that you would want for your child, what would it be?” she says. “And almost every single mom’s answer was, ‘I just want my child to be happy.'” While the advice was sweet, it didn’t sit right with her. “Then I started thinking about how we say that, but sometimes we’re not the greatest example of that. I think the most important thing is carving out space so you can be a happy, healthy mom and then you’ll have a happy baby.”
Image Source: Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer / Getty