Padma Lakshmi Shares Swimsuit Photos "Reminiscing on the Big Moments of This Year"
Writer and TV host Padma Lakshmi is looking back on a spectacular 2023—a high point of which was her Sports Illustrated cover. Lakshmi, 53, shared a reel of all her bikini shots for the spread, which she is clearly very proud of. "Reminiscing on the big moments of this year. Returning to my modeling roots with @si_swimsuit was most definitely one for the books!!" she captioned the Instagram post. "Goddess vibes," a fan commented. Lakshmi is looking forward to big things since leaving Top Chef—here's what her approach to health and wellness looks like now.
Grace and Realism
Lakshmi has a down-to-earth approach to wellness. "The biggest, most important thing I can do toward my own wellness is to understand that on no given day am I going to be exactly how I want to be, nor will I have done all the things that I'm supposed to do in between," she tells New Beauty. "Maybe there wasn't time that day to do a deep condition on my hair or get an immaculate pedicure, or go to the gym, or put on moisturizer after I get out of bed. All of those things are only possible in one day if I don't do anything else. But, I run an office with employees, I have my show, I have my child, I have my mother, I have my friends. I have all these things."
To Lakshmi, working out is about so much more than just looking good. "It is a big priority of mine to always go to the gym regularly, whether I'm in town or not, and just make space for that," she tells New Beauty. "As much as exercising has given me physically, it's given me way more emotionally and mentally. I started boxing when I was 30, and it revolutionized my life. A poet named Mary Carr introduced me to it and gave me a lesson for my 30th birthday, and I have never looked back. I love it so much. I didn't really start doing Pilates until after I had a baby. I'm not a professional dancer. I didn't know about it, to be honest. That's also given me a physique I never had in my 20s. I only gained that in my 40s."
Listen To Your Gut
Lakshmi hopes her daughter grows up with a healthy sense of confidence and belief in herself. "The biggest thing I hope I can foster in Krishna, my daughter, is to listen to her gut," she tells Esquire. "It's something my mother taught me when I was very young, and I hope I can cultivate that muscle—because it is a muscle. I don't get a badge for Good Indian Motherhood if my daughter suddenly parrots everything back in Hindi or Tamil. Culture is a respect for the family, not whether she wears Indian clothes or has a bindi."
Forging Her Own Path
Lakshmi is not interested in convention or tradition just for the sake of it. "I never felt pressured to have a conventional family, because that did not work for me," she tells Esquire. "I saw my mother feel a lot of shame because she was a divorcée in the early seventies—it's why we came to America. I don't want to be cynical—if it gives somebody happiness, great—but for me, the whole idea of standing in front of a room with a bunch of people to talk about how much you love each other… who cares?"
Self-Care and Accomplishments
Lakshmi's idea of self-care has changed with getting older. "When I feel good, it comes from the things I've accomplished in my advocacy and in my professional life," she tells New Beauty. "That is where I have my greatest source of confidence. That is something I have today that I didn't have in my 20s and 30s. I hadn't published six books. I hadn't done these shows. I hadn't been able to work with the UN and the ACLU as an ambassador. I hadn't started the Endometriosis Foundation of America. I do think that taking care of yourself and wellness is integral to having a serene and fruitful life, but the way we define wellness can be expanded to more than just beauty treatments and matcha tea."