Though she's created an empire with her Naturally Thin diet books and exercise DVD, Bethenny Frankel admits she wasn't always so health-conscious.
"I used to get drunk and binge on everything in the deli, and then do a juice fast or starve, then do it all over again," the 40-year-old Bethenny Getting Married? star tells the January issue of Redbook (on newsstands December 21).
But when the natural foods chef learned she was pregnant with daughter Bryn in 2009, Frankel was determined to not overeat "out of emotion."
"Most people treat pregnancy like the big binge, and then they can't take the excess weight off so they go on a crash diet," the Bravo star explains. "When people find out you're pregnant, they're like, 'Oh, my God, you're going to gain all this weight, and you're going to get hemorrhoids, and you're not going to be able to go to the bathroom.' I didn't listen to anyone; I knew I was going to do it my way."
After giving birth on May 8 (and rocking a size-4 swimsuit for Us Weekly three weeks later!), Frankel credits her Body by Bethenny yoga DVD for helping her shed the 35 pounds she gained while pregnant.
"I do it two to three times a week," she says. "I do yoga at night with my husband [Jason Hoppy] after we put the baby down. I say, a family that namastes together, stays together."
Indeed. With her family-focused Bravo show greenlit for a second season, Frankel is happy her Real Housewives of New York City days are behind her.
"I'm completely done with women being rewarded for bad behavior," she says of her former castmates. "I don't bite the hand that feeds me, and I'm very grateful to Bravo, but thank God I got out of that alive. It was fun the first season. Then it got not fun, and then it got scary and unhealthy and disgusting."