BY JENNY SCHAFER
Model, legendary volleyball player, mother of three, Web site creator of thehoneyline.com, Gabrielle Reece shares her health and wellness secrets – and it’s not all about the fitness!
From the glossy pages of fashion magazines, to the trenches of real-life motherhood, Gabrielle Reece somehow balances it all. Model mom to three adorable girls, Reece, 5 ½, Brody, 1, and 13 ½ -year-old stepdaughter Bela, Gabby sat down for an exclusive interview with Celebrity Baby Scoop.
The 39-year-old legendary athlete opened up about her Web site HoneyLine, her positive outlook on life and how she would rather discuss a holistic approach to health rather than the “same old fitness questions.” Gabby talks candidly about her positive approaches to parenting, life with professional big-wave surfer husband Laird Hamilton, how being a stepmom has made her a better mom, what it’s like living with the paparazzi, and how she wants to help shatter the myths that all women and mothers are supposed to be perfect and have it all figured out.
Click below to read the full interview
CBS: How did HoneyLine start?
GR: ”I wanted to create a site for women to connect and share their experiences and knowledge. Whether it’s the best restaurants in the neighborhood, your favorite recipes or the best parenting tips, we all turn to our 3 or 4 best girlfriends to get anything answered. We all have something to share and contribute. The idea of the HoneyLine is to create a place to connect and share our ideas, big or small. It could be about healthy snacks, to relationship tips, to fitness tips, to finding the best jeans for a body type with short legs and a big butt. Whatever it is, the HoneyLine is open to sharing it.”
CBS: Is there any topic that is off limits?
GR: ”We want to cover it all, but we want to focus on keeping it positive. It’s not a place to just moan and groan about life. Of course venting is welcome and normal, but we do have our limits. I’ve always been plugged into the supportive sisterhood from being a professional athlete. I want to create that same kind of supportive environment on the HoneyLine – it’s like a harsh honesty from your friends, but in a supportive way.”
CBS: Is it a daily forum?
GR: “Yes we have over 20 experts on various topics on any given day and we also post tips and ideas from our readers. We have three 30 minute workouts posted every day and members get the opportunity to track their ideas and progress – either publicly or privately – in order to keep track of their own HoneyLine. I always tell people to keep a diary, so this is a way of doing that online while setting goals, sharing and connecting with others.”
CBS: Do you share your own ideas and personal experiences?
GR: ”Definitely, when it makes sense and when it’s relevant. I’m not going to ramble on about myself, but I definitely share my own ideas and tips. My goal with the HoneyLine is to let women know that you’re not alone and to encourage each other to ask questions in life. It’s a place to help you be the best ‘you’ possible. My focus is to make all things true and positive on the HoneyLine.”
I’ve always been plugged into the supportive sisterhood from being a professional athlete. I want to create that same kind of supportive environment on the HoneyLine – it’s like a harsh honesty from your friends, but in a supportive way.”
CBS: We all know you’re a fitness enthusiast, but do you also believe in taking a holistic approach to overall health for your mind, body and spirit?
GR: “Definitely. You could be eating perfect, working out twice a day and be in the greatest shape, but be a stress monster. You’d be missing the point! Of course I believe in eating healthy and exercising, but I believe in taking care of myself on the whole. This is the point I’m really trying to drive home on the HoneyLine. This is what I’d rather talk about more: a healthy attitude and taking responsibility in life. Everyone knows me and my husband are professional athletes and we’re always asked about that aspect of our lives. Blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard us talking about our fitness routines before. I’d rather focus more on having a good perspective and balance in life. You’ve got to learn to work from the inside out. What sustains you has got to be something more than just physical fitness. You’ve got to learn to get to the ‘why’ and ask the hard questions in life.”
CBS: It sounds like you’re very ‘together’ and self-aware – Do you have your moments too?
GR: “Of course! We all have stress, the key is learning how to balance stress the best. Like the other day I was with my 5-year-old and my 1-year-old and I could hear myself saying to myself “I don’t have patience today.” It’s OK to be honest with ourselves and not to be perfect. The more we share with each other the more we learn and the easier it gets. I don’t want to pretend I’m perfect, my kids are perfect, my husband is perfect or my marriage is perfect. I just want to strive to make my life the best it can be. Women feel the pressure to do everything perfect. I feel it too, but it’s a setup. Once you get to a place in your life to realize this, you tend to be easier on yourself.”
CBS: Why do we have these pressures to be ‘perfect’ in every way?
GR: “It’s not unique, we all feel it. It’s the way we’re built. I feel guilt all the time – I’m not spending enough time with the kids, or my husband or my friends, and so on. It’s unrealistic to be all things to all people. It’s unfair to have all the pressures of the world on our shoulders.”
CBS: How do you shake the guilt when it rears its ugly head?
GR: “For me, it’s all about perspective and how you learn to deal with one another. Your family can smell blood when it comes to guilt. If you are always apologizing whenever you go to work or do something for yourself, your kids will learn to feed on that. They’ll learn to give you the guilt trip. It’s the same with our husbands. If we’re always saying sorry for going out and having our own lives, they’ll learn to guilt you into staying home and doing everything at home. It’s just like when a child has a temper tantrum. If you let them whine about everything and not get to the bottom of what’s bothering them, they’ll continue to throw tantrums when you’re around.”
CBS: Have you always had these positive philosophies in life?
GR: “It’s evolved as I’ve grown – through relationships and children. I’ve learned what a gift it is to feel good. But yes, since I was about 19 and really into athletics, I learned to keep it positive. Athletes learn to live with injuries – even if it’s a pinky finger that’s been injured, you learn how valuable it is to have a pinky finger and how badly you need it. The same can be said about life in general. It’s important to take care of ourselves and learn not to take ourselves for granted.”
CBS: What are your feelings about the cycle of the paparazzi taking pictures of you and your family, to popular websites like ours, to the homes of your fans?
GR: “Listen, I am putting myself ‘out-there’ to be interviewed and both my husband and I are in the public eye. It’s really a matter of give and take. I’ve never said “I can’t stand” that part of my life. That being said, we’re not as popular as some other families. The paparazzi aren’t outside our home or my kids’ schools, so we don’t have to deal with that. We live in Malibu and Hawaii, so when we’re out in Malibu at certain restaurants and playgrounds, it’s to be expected. Often my husband will go up to the paparazzi at LAX or other spots and ask what their names are and say things like “if you just asked us, we might pose for you.” He’s more ‘in-your-face’ with them than me. It’s a good thing we’re not a more popular family I think.”
CBS: We know about your two girls Reece and Brody, but you’re also stepmom to Bela.
GR: “Yes, Bela is just about 14. She was 4 months old when I met Laird so I’ve been in her life since the beginning. We joke that she’s our only child that looks like me – Brody looks exactly like Laird. She lives with us part time – she’s a great kid and she’s teaching me a lot about parenting. We’ve always had a very good and reasonable relationship. In some ways she doesn’t push the genetic buttons that my two girls do. We’ve been talking with her about lots of different topics as she’s growing up. We’re really trying to keep it as open as possible. I tell here that I’m trying my best to remember what it’s like to be 14, and remind her that her dad has absolutely no idea what it’s like to be a 14-year-old girl. Laird joked the other day that parenting is all about us growing up. He’s so right! We’re really trying our best to be open, yet set the boundaries with her. It’s an intense dance for a parent – you don’t want to be too open, but you always want them to turn to you for anything.”
CBS: Do you have nannies for the girls?
GR: “Yes. I take the girls everywhere I go and the nanny helps out when I’m working. I don’t leave the girls with my husband until they’re 4 – not that he’s not a great dad, it just works best for us that way. We have a great French-Canadian nanny who is so intelligent and so great with the girls.”
CBS: Do you and Laird want to try for a boy?
GR: “Oh God, in some ways I’d be so stoked if someone came and placed a baby on my lap – either a boy or a girl. But I don’t think I’d want to go through another pregnancy. Secretly, I think it’s not a bad thing if Laird doesn’t have a son. I think he loves being wanted and surrounded by girls.”
CBS: Are your disciplining styles similar?
GR: “I’m the bad guy because I’m the mom and Laird has more broad strokes. Like, he’ll come into the room and say “be quiet” to the girls after I’ve been trying to deal with it. He’s more fun than me. I’m fine with that. I’m not here to be their best friend – this isn’t a popularity contest. I have a job as a mom to guide my kids from right and wrong, teach them manners, help them find what they love. I’m always looking for ways to be positive with the kids.”
CBS: Any last words about HoneyLine?
GR: “The key component to HoneyLine is that everyone has something to contribute and share. It doesn’t have to be profound, kid-related, or anything in particular. Everyone has something to contribute. It’s all about connecting women with women and sharing what we know.”
Gabby’s HoneyLine TV show airs on Rachael Ray. Previews of the show can be found on HoneyLine, plus extra interviews from her celebrity guests: Sheryl Crow, Cindy Crawford, Courteney Cox, Eva Longoria, and Julia Louis Dreyfus.