The New Kelly Ripa
Why Health Is a PriorityDo you have any fears about your health?
KR: I used to smoke, so lung cancer is the thing that keeps me awake at night. I worry, Did I quit in enough time? Did I do it for too long? It's one of those things where I think, Boy, what a foolish thing I did. I'm not from the generation where you can go, "Oh, I didn't know it was bad for me." No. Everybody knew it was bad.Have you also changed your eating habits?
KR: We've always been healthy eaters, mostly to keep our cholesterol levels down. There's diabetes on Mark's side of the family and my father had heart surgery, so we're conscious on a level that we probably wouldn't ordinarily be. It was my father having heart surgery 10 years ago that convinced me to get my cholesterol checked. I found out my number was 151, and the doctors told me, "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it, because your cholesterol is low." That encouraged me to stay with a healthy diet, continue eating leafy greens, and try to cut back on saturated fat. Because it's better to maintain what's good now than try to fix what's gone wrong later.Is that how you got involved with the American Heart Association?
KR: Yes, and Regis's heart scare was a reminder to stay on top of the issue. As women, we're more interested in stuff that affects us immediately rather than thinking long-term. I also support the HEART for Women Act, which asks the government for funding for women and heart disease awareness. [Go to www.fitnessmagazine.com/heart for more info.] I think one of the biggest contributors to heart disease is portion size -- Americans don't know what a healthy portion looks like. We had a nutrition expert on our show, and she showed us portions of fish, chicken, and meat. You think, If someone brought that to me at a restaurant, I'd send it back and say where's the rest of it? We are definitely overfed.What does your husband say about your new fitness kick?
KR: The great thing about Mark is that he's so encouraging. When I was pregnant with my first son and I gained 68 pounds, Mark made me feel like the Queen of Sheba every day -- "You're so beautiful, you're so gorgeous." It's nice to have a partner who notices things like, "Wow, that was impressive, you ran down to the water and back and you shaved four minutes off your time." At this point, we've been married too long for him to say, "Oh, you look so hot in that!"
What do you think of this story? Leave a Comment.