Did Padma Lakshmi feel pressured to drop the baby weight quickly to get back to filming Top Chef?
"I did, and then I didn't," the host, 39, who welcomed daughter Krishna three months ago but returned to work after just six weeks, told UsMagazine.com at the second Annual Blossom Ball at the New York Public Library Thursday.
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"I did for a minute and then I just had to give it up because it was an unhealthy and futile exercise," adds Lakshmi, who struggled to get pregnant because of her endometriosis. "Because of my condition, I had a complicated pregnancy, and so I was bedridden for six weeks."
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"The minute I wasn't bedridden... I got to work.... I was 25 pounds heavier than people are used to seeing me. There was nothing I could do about it, so I just accepted it," she adds. "I just thought, I had a baby, that's way more important. Women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes and I wanted to show women that you can dress well, that you can still feel sexy, that you can still feel confident, and it was OK if my boobs were big because I was feeding another human being."
Still, the new mom -- who boxes and runs on the treadmill -- has a few more pounds to go.
"I felt good then, I feel good now, I'll feel even better when I lose the last 15 pounds," she told Us.
Lakshmi says she loves spending "quiet moments" with her daughter. "I love giving her a bath in the bathtub. I love just holding her and nursing her and falling asleep with her on my chest."
And like mother, like daughter.
"Luckily, she's a good eater," she says. "She doesn't have any choice -- It's basically me or nothing!"