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Kyle Richards on Getting Insanely Fit at 54 and Navigating Her Split From Mauricio Umansky (Exclusive)

Kyle Richards is in the best shape of her life. “I think back to when I was in my 20s and 30s, and I look better than I did then, and that’s after having four kids,” says the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star. “It’s definitely never too late.” Richards, 54, has made fitness a priority as she continues to navigate her separation from her husband of 27 years, Mauricio Umansky. (They are parents to daughters Alexia, 27, Sophia, 23, and Portia, 15; Richards also shares Farrah, 35, with ex Guraish Aldjufrie.) “When I was younger, I used to work out to lose weight,” says the former actress. “Now it’s for me — first and foremost, my mental health. The fact that it makes me look good is just a bonus.” Richards opens more about staying fit and what the future holds in Us Weekly‘s cover story.

You look fantastic. What inspired you to transform your body?
I had a breast reduction [in 2022], and I wasn’t able to work out for eight weeks. At the time, I was on vacation in Europe, eating pasta and drinking wine and cocktails. By the end of the trip, I didn’t recognize myself. I had also just lost my best friend to suicide, and I wasn’t taking care of myself. And [it was] making me feel more depressed. So after we left, I said, “That’s it. I’m not going to have bad carbs — no sugar, no pasta, no bread, no alcohol. And I’m going to work out every single day.”

Did you notice a big difference?
I started seeing results pretty fast. Even though I wasn’t a big drinker, removing alcohol made such a difference in my skin and how I felt.

What do you do for exercise?
I’ve always worked out, but I was doing the same thing on repeat — I’d go on hikes and spin. I started including weights, hot yoga [and] running, especially when going through a hard time. It really clears my head.

Your abs are amazing!
I wanted to get a tummy tuck when I had my breast reduction, and the doctor wouldn’t do it; he said we’ll talk about it [later]. I started doing a Peloton 10-minute abs thing, then 15 minutes every day.

Some people have called your 
new look your “revenge body.” 
Do you agree with that?
It’s certainly not meant to be a revenge body. It’s meant to be an I-feel-good body.

“I’m very determined in what I want from my life and what my personal goals are,” says Richards in Us Weekly’s cover story. Us Weekly

You’ve been open about overcoming body struggles. Are you proud of getting to such a healthy place?
As someone who [had] body image issues their whole life, it’s kind of funny that I’d be on the cover of [a diet and fitness] issue [of the magazine]. Growing up with my sisters, they were both blond and skinny, which [was] very much the look. I was brunette and curvy, and I was always trying to be thin. I started working out when I was 15, but I’ve learned to switch things up and what my body needs.

What do you do when you’re not motivated?
I make the commitment every day. If I have to take a 5 A.M. flight, fine, I have to skip my workout at my house, but I can always do abs in my hotel room.

What do you eat during
a typical day?
Breakfast is either a protein shake with a banana or oatmeal with berries. 
For a snack, I like apples and peanut butter or string cheese. I eat raw nuts when I want something crunchy or a healthy popcorn. Lunch is chicken or grilled fish on salad. At night, I eat a lot of salmon, halibut, chicken paillard with arugula and lemon. I like eating at home so I know what’s going into my food.

Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky Relationship Timeline

Related: Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky's Relationship Timeline

Would you say your diet is just as important as exercise?
You have to be committed to both. If I don’t eat well, it affects my mood.

What’s your ultimate body goal?
I don’t want to lose any more weight. I’m five-foot-two, and the heaviest I ever was was 132 [pounds], which I believe was after my trip to Europe. Now it’s settled at 117. [But] I need to change up my workouts because my body has become accustomed. I have this trainer — CoryG Fitness on Instagram — and he’ll email me a routine. You have to keep changing it constantly, otherwise the progress will halt.

Do you have a favorite body part?
My stomach surprises me. When I’m lying down, I can see I have a six-pack. When I stand up, I have loose skin from having babies, so I won’t be posing standing up. [Laughs] My legs are also really strong. I’ve been spinning for years.

Kyle Richards Cover Rollout
“I alternate between arms and legs and do abs every day,” Richards says of her workout routine. Courtesy of Kyle Richards/Instagram

What’s your advice for people looking to make lifestyle changes?
It’s about surrounding yourself with people who will support you. My friends happen to be like me. We want to take care of our bodies and enjoy hiking and then grabbing coffee.

Are you still not drinking?
I haven’t had one drop of alcohol since July 15, 2022. I don’t miss it. After two glasses of wine, I’d wake up and feel [like I was] dragging. Like, “I’m going to skip my workout today. I’m tired, and I feel like having In-N-Out.” It was a domino effect. I was never a big drinker, so you’d think, how much of a difference could it make? But it really does.

Do you think you’ll continue to abstain from alcohol?
I don’t see myself drinking again. I love the way I feel and look.

Kyle Richards Inner Circle The RHOBH Stars Closest Friends From Morgan Wade to Faye Resnick

Related: ‘RHOBH’ Star Kyle Richards’ Inner Circle: From Morgan Wade to Faye Resnick

Has everyone been supportive of your decision to stop drinking?
When you choose to stop drinking on your own, it’s interesting how it’s met with such resistance from your peers. In the beginning, I was like, I’m just going to pretend [I’m drinking]. I would whisper to the waiter, “I’m going to order a vodka soda, and then just bring me a club soda.” But then a couple of my friends were like, “What are you doing? You drink margaritas.” It just got to the point where I was like, “Why am I having to pretend at my age?” I think about my daughters and peer pressure, and here I am, feeling like I don’t want to be pressured into this. So I stopped pretending. I was just like, “Guys, I promise you, I am still going to be fun.”

On RHOBH, some cast members talked about you going to the gym on vacation and hinted you’ve
replaced alcohol with exercise…
I don’t understand why doing something good for you is looked down upon. I was up at five o’clock, why wouldn’t I do something that makes me feel good and gives me energy? Maybe it’s a reflection of something they don’t like about themselves.

What does self-care mean to you?
Today [was] a self-care day. I worked out, took Portia to school and now I need to go to HomeGoods and buy ridiculous things I don’t need. That makes me feel good! And then I’ll go to bed early with a good book.

Kyle Richards Cover Rollout
Richards and Umansky with daughters (from left) Alexia, Farrah, Sophia and Portia. “We’re trying to remind them we’re a family no matter what,” she says. Courtesy of Kyle Richards/Instagram

Have you been watching this season of RHOBH?
Yes. Sometimes it gives me anxiety, and sometimes it’s OK. It was difficult shooting the season because I was going through stuff in my marriage, but our daughters didn’t know, and I didn’t feel like sharing it on camera quite yet. But I was honest with the [cast]. When they started grilling me, I was like, “Why are you acting like I haven’t been honest? I told you it’s the worst year we’ve ever had.” Did they want me to take them inside my bedroom? I don’t know what they wanted me to do. I felt like people I considered my friends hurt me.

Was there anything specific you were nervous for viewers to see?
[Things] about my marriage. I didn’t know how to navigate it off-camera, let alone on-camera.

What’s your message to fans?
People were upset when they heard [Mauricio and I] were having problems. I felt like we let people down. [Starts crying] Some were saying [our marriage] was a farce the whole time. But there were also sweet and supportive messages. I didn’t know so many people cared, but they’ve been in my home for 13 years watching us.

Do you feel closer to a place
of happiness now?
In a lot of ways, I feel happy, but 
I’m also still struggling because it’s all new to me. I’ve been married
my whole life.

What’s your relationship with Mauricio currently?
We still live in the same house and we spent [the holidays] together. I have no idea how long we’ll be like that, but we are trying to be as normal as possible in a very un-normal situation.

Is there still love there?
We love each other. We go to therapy. We both want to see each other happy. I don’t know what the future looks like. That’s the hardest part because the unknown is scary.

Kyle Richards Cover Rollout
“I was like, ‘OK, this is what I’m going to do to take charge of feeling good mentally and physically,’” Richards says of setting a wellness plan. Courtesy of Kyle Richards/Instagram

You recently ran a 10K with your friend [singer] Morgan Wade. Do you motivate each other?
All my friends do. I’ve been shooting a documentary on the road with Morgan, so we’ll go to the gym together.

What’s happening with the doc?
I’ll probably be shooting that for [a few] more months. It started out as a documentary and then kind of turned into something else… I better stop.

Are you and Morgan sick of all
the dating rumors?
I don’t even think about it anymore. It doesn’t faze me.

Do you regret putting your friendship with her on the show?
In the beginning I did because even though she’s an artist and a musician, she’s not someone who wants this attention. I felt bad about that.

Kyle Richards and Morgan Wade’s Quotes About Each Other

Related: Everything Kyle Richards and Morgan Wade Have Said About Each Other

How did Mauricio respond to the RHOBH scene where you tattoo your initial on Morgan’s arm?
He likes Morgan a lot. We’ve gone to her shows [as a] family. What they didn’t show [in that scene] was me saying, “I’m going to do a tattoo on you,” and her saying, “You can, I don’t care.” I was drawing flowers, a pumpkin, but I can’t draw to save my life, so that’s why I ended up just doing a K.

You wrote a memoir in 2011. Would you ever write another book?
I’d write one about mental health and anxiety. I think I had my first panic attack when I was 12, and it got so bad during different times in my life that it was debilitating. I took Prozac, I took Lexapro, and oddly enough, I don’t take anything now even though I’m going through such a hard time. I used humor [and had other] ways of dealing with it because nobody wanted to talk about it. But when I lost my best friend, I thought, “OK, this is a mental health issue I would like to address because of what happened to her and how it affected me.”

What did 2023 teach you?
That I can handle a lot more than I ever imagined and am stronger than I realized.

What are you looking to leave
behind as we go into the new year?
Negativity and any stress and pain I’ve been holding on to. I want things to be a little more quiet and I want to go into 2024 happy and at peace.

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