By peoplestaff225
Updated April 09, 2009 08:00 AM
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Last week, we ran Part I of our exclusive interview with Brooke Burke, focusing on her challenges — and triumphs! — as mom to four children.

This week, we’re sharing Part II of our chat, in which Brooke talks about her body after baby secrets, the foods she loves and her favorite parts of pregnancy.

CBB: Readers want to know what the secret is, being a mom to four and having a great body.

The first thing that goes when you become a mother is time for yourself. So I’m always preaching that the woman really does come first. Even though your children are a priority, you’ve got to carve out time for yourself, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. And I’ve always been someone who’s had a healthy lifestyle. I think 90 percent of it is what you eat: I work out, I do Pilates. I don’t have a lot of time with all the kids and all my businesses to go to the gym, or go to a 90-minute yoga class, but I try to pick my spots. I try to take really long walks with the kids if I can.

I’ve always been a person that believes in eating often and eating smart, clean meals. I also do a lot of cooking and a lot of cooking for the children. I don’t think about it as dieting, but as designing a healthy lifestyle, a healthy way of eating that you can enjoy with your lifestyle. And once you do that, it’s easier to maintain.

Do you work out with the kids?

I don’t. I stretch with them, because they really enjoy that. I’ve taken my babies to yoga, which is really sweet. But I try not to. When I’m working out, it’s the only “me time” that I get, so I try to make the most of it mentally and physically.

Our reader N wants to know when you find the time to work out?

I try to pick my spots either when they’re napping or stimulated in another activity so I don’t have to feel bad about it. But I think it’s important for moms to just make the time to commit to it and not get distracted. Don’t do anything but feel good about it; you’re going to have more energy if you work out, and feel better about yourself. Emotionally, it’s a release of a lot of stress we hold onto. It’s just super important for a woman to feel good about herself and take the time for herself, and feel healthy.

I will say, with Dancing With the Stars, the training I did for that show was an unbelievable workout – unlike anything I’ve ever done in my life. I had a little bit of baby fat left when I started the show because Shaya was only three months old – I was getting back to my ideal size – but dancing for five, eight hours every day was the best workout I’ve ever done.

We spoke to Mel B. recently – she has a new workout video – and she says that she decided to work out on her own when she had Angel. It’s really inspiring to see moms that are squeezing the workout time in just like everyone else.

It’s so easy to give up everything and to get so busy with the children and your life, but even if it’s your walk you’re taking with your baby in the stroller, or your other girlfriends, even if it’s 20 minutes, just to make the most of that time and do something for yourself really makes you a stronger person; it helps your patience, your emotions. You need to have an outlet, and for me, working out is my “me time.”

Our readers XOXO and D want to know if your Baboosh Baby Tauts can help with their stomachs even though they aren’t using it right after they gave birth.

Absolutely. There are a lot of different beliefs for tightening up your core. I think just being conscious of it and being aware to engage your muscles will help any woman’s tummy get in shape. The concept behind it is to create compression and help your uterus go back to its original size as quickly as possible. It’s a healthy approach to getting your tummy back. We sell them to people who haven’t even had children, because it feels good and holds in that baggy skin. It makes you more aware of your posture and trains your tummy muscles – the more you use them the firmer you get. It reminds you to keep everything engaged; it acts like a girdle in many ways so it feels good, and was designed for postpartum bellies. It has a lot of positive characteristics!

The more you don’t use your tummy muscles, the more lazy that they get. There are lots of little things you can do. Take it little by little – our bodies change after pregnancy, it’s part of it, and that’s ok. But there are lots of great ways of giving your body its best shot at getting back in shape.

Readers Ann and Carlene are curious about your exercise routine during your pregnancy with Shaya.

I walked a lot. I pretty much did what I normally did, sit-ups, Pilates. I didn’t change my workout, and I checked with my doctor first. I had a healthy pregnancy, I had energy, I felt good and didn’t have compromising situations. But Pilates was nice and gentle, and totally approved by my doctor. I did yoga, which helped me stretch into my growing body. I ate healthily, as much as I could; you have a little leeway when you’re pregnant and can cheat a little bit!

Readers Melissa and Ann would like to know how you got back into shape after giving birth to Shaya.

I don’t do much with weights. I do Pilates and really like it – I want to enjoy my workout, not suffer through it. Pilates feels good on my back, feels good to stretch and uses my core muscles, which I’m most concerned about. For me, getting out and doing a little cardio, even a walk, feels good. If you don’t have access to a gym you can do sit-ups and push-ups with your own weight. Doing exercises around the house is so much better than doing nothing. But having a healthy diet is really the most important thing.

Do you have the Pilates machine?

I do have the Reformer. But I also have a floor routine that I do by myself at home, that honestly takes me 10 minutes. It’s designed for the whole saddlebag area, like your outer thighs, and I try and do that three or four times a week. There are so many workouts designed for busy moms right now that really work.

I know you eat healthily, but do you have a pig-out food?

I eat cheeseburgers once in a while. It’s funny, I never started craving them until my last two pregnancies. But I got a lot of them with Rain and Shaya! I got them without the bun, though, so it’s not as bad of a meal. I also love Margherita pizza, with cheese and olive oil. It’s so yummy.

Reader Alison wants to know what you think was the most “fashionable” aspect of your belly while pregnant?

I wish it was a fashion statement! It’s funny, but fortunately miniskirts were kind of back in style with my third baby. I was working, so I had a television pregnancy too, which adds a lot of pressure, but as my baby got bigger my skirts got shorter – I was diverting attention from the belly! But I don’t think I ever really felt fashionable – I worked through my pregnancies – so I didn’t get the chance to rock it like other moms do. I love to see a woman with her belly out there – it’s so sexy! – but I had all winter pregnancies.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about being pregnant?

My least favorite part was the onset of hormones that no one prepares you for that come along with it – that was really challenging. There’s so much stuff that we go through that no one ever talks about. It’s always uncomfortable for everyone toward the end. I’ve had really good pregnancies, though, so I can’t complain.

My favorite part was being part of a miracle! I think it’s such a blessing to be able to have a child, and good and bad, whatever you go through, it’s so worth it, and it’s such an unbelievable time – you have someone growing inside of you! I missed that feeling, I loved being pregnant. I gave in with Shaya now, being number four and maybe being my last; I wanted him to stay a little baby. I really cherished and embraced this last pregnancy because I didn’t know if I would be pregnant again. So it’s just a really beautiful time.

— Danielle

Come back next week for the conclusion of our interview!

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