October 21, 2015 12:00 PM

Drew Barrymore opens up about the lessons she learned throughout her troubled childhood and how she finally found her happily ever after. Subscribe now for this exclusive interview, only in PEOPLE!

Drew Barrymore likes to exercise. But it’s not to have that Hollywood body-after-baby.

Finding time for kickboxing, yoga and doing the elliptical a few times a week “is more for mental,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “I never looked good in a bathing suit, so now I look worse in a bathing suit. I have cellulite. But I would much rather have my kids and look a little worse in a bathing suit!”

While life as mom to Olive, 3, and Frankie, 18 months, keeps her on the go, Barrymore says she was at first conscious of losing the baby weight.

“I tried to go gluten-free because I thought it would help me lose weight,” she says. “It did no such thing. And I was just unhappy.”

Dave Benett/Getty

Now her priorities have shifted. “It just isn’t at the forefront of my mind,” she adds. “I took my pants off last night and looked at the back of my legs and was like, ‘Oh f—, seriously? This is … God!’ ”

Her husband, art consultant Will Kopelman, “is the most complimentary person ever. I think that’s really important for women to have someone who really makes you feel good about yourself because that would be a giant disadvantage to your process of making babies or just being a woman in general to have someone make you feel like you had to be a certain way to turn them on or to be beautiful in their eyes,” the actress adds. “Be it complimentary or uncomplimentary, it really swings the pendulum vastly in each direction.”

Now Barrymore is happy exactly the way she is. “It’s maintenance,” she says. “Having a hot body is just not my thing. I care a little, I don’t care a lot.”

For more of our exclusive interview with Barrymore — in which she reveals her own memories of childhood and the happiness she’s found as a wife and mother — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Julie Jordan

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