Daphne Oz and Katie Lee Biegel on 'Letting Go' of Body Insecurities: 'Every Body Is Beautiful'

The two cookbook authors share how their body image has changed after having kids

Katie Lee, Daphne Oz
Katie Lee Biegel and Daphne Oz. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty

For both Daphne Oz and Katie Lee Biegel, their body image has changed in the last few years — and they couldn't be happier about it.

The cookbook authors and WW ambassadors are close friends, and after pregnancies — four for Oz and one for Lee Biegel — they share a similar mindset on "letting go" of body insecurities, as Lee Biegel tells PEOPLE in a joint interview.

"It's been a journey for me the last year in figuring out how to focus less on how I look and more about how I feel," Lee Biegel, who welcomed her first child, Iris Marion, a year ago, says of postpartum life. "Before I had a baby I was so into exercise and it was so much easier to manage everything that I eat. And I cared a lot more about how I looked and how clothes looked on me and now I care much more about feeling like I have energy and feeling like I have strength to keep up with this little baby."

Oz, too, says that these days she focuses more on how she feels in her body than obsessing over what she puts into it or what it weighs on a scale.

"The older I get, the more I realize that when you're young, you really do think that that the number on the scale is going to make you feel a certain way or that goals should be like outwardly defined. And the older I get, hopefully the wiser I get, the more I realize how really and truly the more I invest in myself, the more I'm doing the internal work — that's when not only do the results follow, but also like my internal confidence goes through the roof," she says.

Lee Biegel says that pregnancy changed her body image, along with the pandemic.

"Pre-pandemic, we were always getting dressed and going somewhere. And so you put on an outfit and decide that you don't like the way you look so you change. You do it three or four times," she says. "Now I'm not really going anywhere so I don't really have that conversation with the mirror. I just feel like I'm so much less focused on the way that I look and it feels really good to let go of that."

For Oz, she feels like she's "been on this journey of feeling strong in my skin for a while, not just in the last year and a half.

"I've always talked openly about being an overweight kid in a family full of health nuts and finding my way to a healthy lifestyle in college," she says. "I'm very, very grateful to have come to a really strong and happy place in my own skin. I recognize that there are clothes that won't fit or there are those fluctuations and you have to meet yourself where you are and feel grateful in that moment."

"Sometimes I look and feel my best at weights that are higher than like the lowest weight I've been at. For me it's not just about a number on a scale," Oz continues. "I recognize more and more that the days I feel the best on that journey are not only determined by a number on a scale or a size of jeans or a specific metric; it's a lot of things coming together."

RELATED VIDEO: Daphne Oz Shares Her Hearty 'Go-To Breakfast' — and the 'Only Rule at Mealtime' for Her Kids

And both women are making a point to model a healthy body image as they raise daughters — Lee Biegel with Iris and Oz with Philomena, 7, Domenica, 3 and Giovanna, 2.

"I just really want my daughter to feel good about herself, more than anything," Lee Biegel says. "Whatever her body looks like when as she grows, I want her to always feel good. I don't want her to ever think twice about the way that she looks. I just want her to embrace her body."

Oz adds that "we, as women, know what it's like to grow up and feel like your idea of beauty is determined by something outside of you, which is a really weird and uncomfortable and powerless place. And so for me, what I want for my daughters to feel like is that it comes from inside of them."

They're both also "thankful that times are really changing when it comes to what beautiful means," says Lee Biegel. "I grew up in a time when a good body meant that you looked like a Barbie doll and now so many different types of bodies are embraced and everybody is beautiful. And I love that."

"I think our girls are gonna grow up in a very different mindset than what it was in the eighties," Oz agrees.

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