After surviving what she herself termed Scary Island on television’s The Real Housewives of New York City, she was dubbed Crazy Kelly and forced to endure media scrutiny and a trial of public opinion on how she handled facing off against the mean girls. But here on another island, in the city she calls home when she’s not out in Easthampton, Kelly Killoren Bensimon appears calm, casually talking with bloggers and reporters during a press tour for her new book I Can Make You Hot! The Supermodel Diet, available in stores and online.
Kelly’s laughter and energy were infectious as I sat with her and a few other bloggers. Although it was unseasonably cold for New York, the atmosphere in her penthouse suite was warm and inviting, an intimate gathering complete with fresh smoothies and fruit on demand. :~) A few minutes into our interview and she had us all laughing along with her. That hilarity continued throughout our 45 minute conversation, with gems like “I’ve always been really positive. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the Midwestern corn!”
It isn’t enough that Kelly’s beautiful and funny, she has to be caring also! Twice during our time together she was actually concerned about me, asking how I was handling the separation and impending divorce. Every bit the sexy, happy person she claims you will be if you follow her plan, Kelly Bensimon made me feel like I was talking to a good friend, an advocate for my happiness. They may call her Crazy Kelly, but I’d say she’s crazy quirky, crazy kind, and just plain, crazy hot!
“HOT is really an acronym for Healthy Options Today,” she explains with a shrug. Really? Have you looked in a mirror lately? At 43 years old, you’re the kind of hot college girls, moms, and women of all ages strive to be! Kelly explained that it wasn’t always this way.
“I always had that song in my head, that if I lost 10 pounds, I would be prettier, I would be a better model, people would like me more… no one’s looking at your waistline at the dinner table and nobody’s like, oh my God, I can’t go out with her, she needs to lose 10 pounds… I’m lucky I finally came to that realization.”
But you were a model! You still are this gorgeous, long, lean woman.
“It’s not about being the skinniest version of you, because that’s really not happy.” So how would Kelly describe being hot and happy? She tells people “just to be the best version of them, because if you’re smiling and feeling good about yourself then other people are going to respond to that as well.” And explaining further, she advises “treating your body like a Ferrari, it’s like you want your engine to purr all the time.”
So why write a book about losing weight?
“I have two tween girls. So as a mother of two from the Midwest, it’s really my responsibility to be a healthy advocate for them… Listen, they’re going to eat McDonald’s and I’m not going to stop them. I’m not the tofu mom, like if you don’t eat tofu all day long I’m not gonna talk to you… I am encouraging my kids to eat well, but also, to learn how to balance… I’m not a weight loss program. This is a lifestyle diet.”
What kinds of lifestyle changes are you suggesting then?
“The whole book is really about nurturing, it’s not about starving… you’re drinking water, you’re sleeping well, you’re eating well, you’re taking care of you… If I can encourage you to change your dinner plate for lunch and your salad plate for dinner, you’re already switching it up… You’re tricking yourself and everybody needs that. I need it.”
Kelly’s biggest advice is to be “an active participant in life, not blaming people, just going for it and being accountable for every mistake… I don’t regret it, but I’m like, I learned from that, okay I got it, I’ll move on from that.”
Is that how you dealt with what happened during and after the Real Housewives of New York?
“Listen, if you’re not being real, then what are you gonna do, cry in your closet? So nobody knows? So you’re hiding? Or would you rather people see, okay, this is her threshold for pain. This is her threshold for empathy and for pain… Right after scary island, I was like, oh my God, margaritas, someone help me! I was like, margaritas, chips, guacamole. I’m like, the world hates me, they think I’m crazy! I was like, one more margarita and the next day… and then after I was like, okay, I cannot go out and have margaritas at night anymore. I have to get myself back on track… I do a lot of handstands and headstands… it’s just like everything’s just pouring out of you and it’s like, you’re out of that headstand after like a minute, and you’re like, Woooo, who cares what they think… Let ‘em talk, all the time!”
So in addition to enjoying the blood rushing to your head, how else do you stay fit physically and emotionally?
“First of all I think that running is just a simple solution. You put the shoes on, you don’t need to go to a gym, it’s very inexpensive, you sweat, you’re done… Run twenty minutes a day and run with a friend so that you can, like, not have a therapist… you vented everything out and you feel better about yourself… [and] jumping rope is UN-BE-lievable. You can time yourself and just like, add time every day.”
Really? Just twenty minutes and I’ll look like you?! But you just ran the New York City Half Marathon!
“I’m a jogger, let’s make that clear. I am not a runner! I run after people and away from people… I think the 20 minutes is something doable. It gets your heart rate going and it gets your body moving.”
Then it must be the food. The recipes in your book all result in bland and boring diet food, right?
“It’s my food work week, it’s like 6 days, this is how I’m doing it and then, you know, the seventh day you can do whatever you want… and that’s really the way that it works. I mean, if I know that I can have it, I don’t want it. You always want what you can’t have… [but when I do indulge on Sunday funday,] I really love the drunken wings, ‘cause you cook them with beer!”
Umm, well other than the drunken wings (!) everything else you eat on this supermodel diet must be less appetizing and your daughters must hate it.
“[Actually] my kids’ friends are always like, ‘Can we pleeease have Mrs. Bensimon’s pancakes.’ And I was like, wow, cooool, I’m that mom now? Great!” Kelly was nice enough to share the secret of those amazing kid-pleasing and good-for-you pancakes: a little vanilla and coconut milk instead of cow’s milk!
Speaking of your kids, how do you handle being a single mom, a writer, a television personality, and everything else you’ve accomplished, and still seem so upbeat and energetic and look so damn hot?
“I don’t juggle it all. I’m constantly running from everything, from life to work… [but] I don’t want to be mediocre… On my tombstone, it’s going to be like, she was a great mother and a great woman. It’s not going to say she was a party animal until 2 o’clock in the morning… [and] there’s like a uniform for life… after I wash my face, I always put mascara on… if you’re very simple, clean, even if it’s leggings and a sweatshirt, it just shows other people that you have a sense of respect for yourself… It’s not like dressing up, it’s self-respect.”
So what do you want your girls to learn from you?
“[I] tell my girls that Bensimons have rules… I want them to be great women, I want them to be great friends. I don’t want them to be mean and be the pot-stirrer. I don’t want that for my kids… [and] the greatest gift you can give to a child is that they’re awesome and they’re going to do great. So anytime they think they’re going to fall, they’re like, wait, I can do this. I can actually do this.”
That is an awesome message for anyone! And it’s exactly the kind of sentiment that comes across in the unbelievably fun to read new book I Can Make You Hot! The Supermodel Diet. You can buy the book now and get started on your path to what you consider true hotness. Or, you can comment on this post and tell me what you think is hottest about you. One random person will be chosen in a drawing on Sunday evening and receive a free copy of this life-changing book, signed by Kelly Killoren Bensimon herself!
I can tell you, if the woman I met is any indication, you’re going to be a happier, healthier, hotter version of yourself before you know it!