Alessandra Ambrosio Didn't Go to the Gym Until Her First Victoria's Secret Show – and Used to Binge on Sweets

Alessandra Ambrosio Didn't Go to the Gym Until Her First Victoria's Secret Show
Alessandra Ambrosio
David Bellemere

04/08/2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Model Alessandra Ambrosio was never a gym rat.

"[The gym] had always been an enemy for me," she tells Net-A-Porter's The Edit. "It wasn't until I did my first Victoria's Secret show that I started exercising."

"Even when I got pregnant with my daughter and moved to California, I couldn't understand this lifestyle my fiancé [businessman Jamie Mazur] had. For him, exercise was physical and mental at the same time; going to the gym was his friend."

But after welcoming her daughter Anja, 7, and later her son Noah, 3, the Brazilian model, 34, made it a regular part of her life – for her health and her daughter's.



"Now that it's a healthy, normal part of my daily routine, my kids will grow up seeing it in the same way, and I love that," Ambrosio says.

Alessandra Ambrosio Didn't Go to the Gym Until Her First Victoria's Secret Show – and Used to Binge on Sweets| Victoria's Secret, Diet & Fitness, Diets, Fitness, Nutrition, The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Bodywatch, Models, Alessandra Ambrosio, Victoria's Secret

Alessandra Ambrosio

David Bellemere

Age and experience has completely changed how Ambrosio approaches her health. She also said that used to go overboard on the sweets but managed to move past it.

"I've been through that stage," she says. "It started when I first began making my own money at 15. I would go to the supermarket and fill my bag with cookies, ice cream and yoghurt: everything sweet you can imagine. And there were times in my life when I would eat a whole packet of cookies. But then I taught myself not to do that – basically by reminding myself how horrible it felt the last time."

"Oh, and of course I would lose my job, so that was another incentive."

RELATED VIDEO: How Do the Victoria's Secret Angels Maintain Their Fit Shape?

But while the mom of two had to really ramp up her exercise and diet post-baby, she's happier with her body than ever.

"Your body will never go back to exactly what it was before pregnancy, whatever people tell you. It can't. But I think I have a better body now than before I had kids," Ambrosio says. "It's partly because I work out, whereas before I didn't, but also to do with the shape – it just looks more formed now and I feel better about it than I did."

"Not that it was easy getting back into shape post-pregnancy: after having Anja I only had three months to lose all the weight [for the 2008 Victoria's Secret show] and I was on this 1200-calorie-a-day meal-delivery service that I hated. I couldn't do that again."

Alessandra Ambrosio Didn't Go to the Gym Until Her First Victoria's Secret Show – and Used to Binge on Sweets| Victoria's Secret, Diet & Fitness, Diets, Fitness, Nutrition, The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Bodywatch, Models, Alessandra Ambrosio, Victoria's Secret

Alessandra Ambrosio

David Bellemere

Despite the stress of modeling and staying in tip-top shape for the sake of job security, Ambrosio hopes to be in the industry for years to come.

"Although there might eventually come a time when I want to focus on other areas in my life, if I manage to keep going until I'm 50, like Cindy [Crawford], then great. You might die tomorrow, after all, so why make decisions about what you will and won't do now?"
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