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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Padma Lakshmi is Tired of Trying to Fit Into a Size 0 Dress a Teenager Wore

The Top Chef host will no longer let the pressure to be "thin" affect her or her daughter. 

By Chantel Morel
‘Top Chef’ Clubhouse Quickfire with Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio!

As the host of Top Chef, it is no surprise that every season Padma Lakshmi gains a few pounds. It is her job to nibble on some of the best dishes in the world. However, after each season wraps, Padma feels pressure to go on a strict diet.

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

But, Padma has finally decided that enough is enough, and she will no longer allow herself to stress over being uber thin or “red carpet ready.” Consuming nearly 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day during the Top Chef season, Padma reveald in a Hollywood Reporter column that she typically gains “10 to 17 pounds every season.” Then, she feels the pressure to take those pounds off. 

“Like many women in Hollywood, I gear up for the awards by dieting, vigorously exercising, searching for a dress no one else will have and hoping for the best. It's always a nail-biting extravaganza at fittings, praying that a few pretty dresses that came down the runway on a teenage model who is a size 0 will miraculously fit my 40-something body,” she writes. While Padma shares that she truly enjoys attending award shows like the upcoming Emmy Awards, the host admits that she worries about being able to fit into outfits every year.

Up until now, Padma has maintained a rigorous diet in preperation for award shows But then, she noticed that her own body issues were starting to affect her 7-year-old daughter as well.

"She's noticed, and suddenly she's told me and others in our circle, 'I don't want to eat because I'm watching my figure,' or, 'I weigh too much.' I wasn't thinking anything of the sort when I was 7 or 10 or even 13," she writes.

This quickly helped Padma realize just how much of an impact her own self-esteem and views had on her daughter. “She's not getting these messages only from me, she's getting them from every billboard, from every magazine that's casually lying on our coffee table. I can't block my child from reality and the culture that we live in. But I have a responsibility to make sure that she has a healthy self-image and a normal childhood. I don't want her to ever be ashamed of her body."

Now, Padma has decided that she will no longer stress her weight as much, and instead will embrace her figure at whatever size she is. “Every message I telegraph about food and our bodies is important. So, this year, I've decided my weight will not be my focus. If I need a bigger dress, so be it. That one day—or any day—on the red carpet isn't nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn't measure her worth by her dress size.”

This is a beautiful and powerful message Padma is not only sharing with her daughter, but with women everywhere. Way to go, Padma!



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