It has been nearly one year since Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady divorced after 13 years of marriage, and Bundchen is opening up about how tough this past year has been; in addition to her divorce last October, the past few years have included, of course, the pandemic, and Bundchen navigating having two ailing parents. “It’s been very tough on my family,” she said. “It’s been a lot—in every area of my life. I feel like whenever it rains, it pours. With all the different twists and turns that life takes, all we can do is the best we can given what happens in our surroundings.”
Bundchen said she gets through the tough times through meditation, daily exercise, and a dedication to wellness through nutrition. “I work out every single day,” she said, adding that she mixes it up with walks, yoga, and weights. “I think if I didn’t have all the different tools that I have to support me during these times, it would’ve been very hard,” she said. “And I think we all can relate to that, because I think we all have gone through our rollercoasters of life.”
Bundchen gave up alcohol about three years ago in an effort to sleep better and feel more present in her daily life, she said. “Right after I turned 40, actually, I felt a huge difference between when I had the glass of wine and when I didn’t have the glass of wine,” she said. “It’s socially accepted to have a glass of wine. And people even say, ‘Oh, it’s healthy for you.’ Well, it is not healthy for me. If you want to ask of your body what I ask of my body, which is a lot, I can’t be having all these things [alcohol, caffeine] because they add up.”
She said she “immediately” felt a shift in her day-to-day life once she stopped drinking. “I became more clear,” Bundchen said. “I felt a bit more foggy before. Now I’m very sharp and very present and I notice things that I didn’t notice before. When I’m not drinking, I’m sleeping much better. You have to be loving to yourself. You ask a lot of your body. You’ve got to do a reset. You have got to take care of this only vehicle you got, right?”
Feeling centered in her body matters to the supermodel: “I feel like whenever you can bring yourself back into feeling your body and just being present, it’s great,” Bundchen said. “You’re kind of in your body, and you’re really present. You’re breathing, you’re connecting.”
Of people—especially women, and especially moms—feeling guilty about self-care practices, Bundchen said “No one is going to do it for you. The only person that’s going to make those choices is you. Because, ultimately, you’re the first person who’s going to be impacted by it. But then, it’s your children, it’s your husband, it’s your family. You got to put the oxygen mask on you first.” She added “It’s not a selfish thing. People have been teaching us that it’s selfish if you take care of you. How is that selfish? When you feel good, you’re a better mom, you’re a better friend, you’re calmer, you’re more patient, you’re more loving, you’re more grounded. So you can’t feel guilty about prioritizing yourself. Because that’s loving you and loving the people you love the most, which are going to be impacted by how well you are. Because if you’re sick, everyone hurts.”
She has recently relocated to Miami, which suits her, she said. “I love the sunshine,” Bundchen said. “Wherever the sun is, I feel like the happiest always. Just feeling the sun, just taking a dip in the ocean, just running on the sand and just feeling the grass on my feet. Just being in nature just gives you energy. It just makes you feel good.” Her children are thriving, Bundchen said. “I just feel so proud of them,” she said. “They’re so loving. They’re growing up to be just so thoughtful and considerate of others.” (She and Brady share son Benjamin and daughter Vivian, and Bundchen is also close to Brady’s son Jack from his relationship with Bridget Moynahan.)
And achievement, to her, is doing parenting right: “I think, for me, success means that I have raised children who have right values,” Bundchen said. “You know what I mean? Because then, whenever I’m ready to leave, I know I have left something behind that is beautiful and that is an asset versus something different. It makes me proud to see how they’re all becoming their own little individual selves, but how their principles and their values are so strong. It makes me so happy to see that they’re flourishing into their own beings.”
And of life’s ups and downs—which Bundchen has seen plenty of these past few years—she said “Whenever the curveballs get thrown at you, do you crumble, or do you rise? It’s a choice, right? You’ve got to rise.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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