- The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality star released her new book “Strong Looks Better Naked” last week, offering a look into her renewed obsession with health, how heartache and her highly-publicized relationship with Lamar Odom made her more resilient, and the strength she’s found within herself and from her family of headline-making women.
- We spoke with Kardashian on the phone for a candid conversation about the adversity she’s faced, how the gym ultimately became her refuge from the chaos, who her favorite sister to work out with is (hint: it’s NOT Kim Kardashian) and why San Diego has such a special place in her heart.
MD: Hi Khloe! We’re excited to have you here in San Diego.
KK: I’m so excited. You know my mom and my grandma are from San Diego.
MD: I know! That’s actually what I wanted to ask you about. Do you have a favorite memory or favorite place to visit here?
KK: My grandmother lives in La Jolla, and she has a children’s clothing store called Shannon & Co. on Wall St. I used to stay there with her as a kid, a week here and there, and I would work in her store. I used to go and see the seals all the time. I just went to see my grandmother like a month ago, and the seals have taken over that f*cking beach. It’s insane how many seals there are now. I love the seals and that was a huge memory for me, but I have to tell you it smelled so bad. Definitely as a kid, it’s my fondest memory. But honey, that smell was not worth it as an adult (laughs).
MD: Family is obviously a huge part of your life. Going along with the whole health theme of your book, I want to know: Do you guys ever workout together, and who do you love to work out with most?
>KK: Definitely! It depends. Kimberly and I, before she was pregnant, used to workout together. But I would get kind of irritated with her because she doesn’t really do much and somehow she just gets this perfect body. She kind of walks on the treadmill, and I am like sprint racing like I’m in a decathlon. So I don’t really like to work out with her.
Kendall and I share the same trainer and sometimes we’ll share the hour together. Kendall’s actually a beast.
But my favorite little workout buddy has to be Kourtney. Kourtney started working out after her third baby, and she looks fantastic. But Kourtney goes balls-to-the-wall in her workout. She kills it. I definitely thought she was going to be a complainer, but she’s not at all. She is like Serena Williams, she’s a grunter (laughs). You know how Venus and Serena play, they grunt after every swing? Kourtney grunts after every squat, and it’s a little uncomfortable.
MD: Was there a certain moment in your life when you stopped and said, “Okay, this is what I’m going to commit to. Fitness is going to become my whole passion”?
KK: I was going through a really difficult time in my life, and I was just figuring out if I was going to file for divorce or not. It wasn’t about weight at all. It was that I needed a stress reliever, and I didn’t know where else to go where I felt alone and safe but I still wanted to be around people. My house obviously had all of these emotions and things in it, and I couldn’t just go to my parent’s house or my sister’s because I would be asked too many questions. [The gym] was just the safest place where I still got that emotional release. Then the side effects started happening. I started losing weight, and I started really enjoying the workout process. It was definitely gradual and it took time.
MD: Was there one shocking thing that you learned from starting to workout consistently?
KK: It’s definitely not as easy as anyone thinks. I hate when I hear people say, ‘I just lost 10 pounds in a week!’ I’m like ‘Oh, shut the f*ck up.’ I don’t know how that happens. It’s really hard. But I also think what’s shocking is how much I enjoy working out and how it’s part of my routine. I don’t weigh myself, and I don’t own a scale. It’s about how I feel. I think when you feel good, you look good and you just exude all this confidence that you have. I just love the way I feel, even how clear-headed I am. I think what surprised me most is how much I enjoy it now.
MD: Who do you look to for inspiration when you’re feeling weak?
KK: My family in and of itself. We literally live a real-life soap opera, like the things that happen in my family are just – I don’t know, they’re crazy and they don’t happen to the normal person. So just to see either how my mom handles something or Kourtney might handle something or Kimberly or Kendall, Kylie, Caitlyn, whatever… We take so much from each other and we bring each other so much strength and support. We have a lot of strong women in our family, and I’m really grateful for that.
MD: I know there’s a lot of healthy recipes that you share in the book, and your mom also came out with her own cookbook earlier this year. So who’s the best cook in your family?
KK: I would love to say me. I learned from my mom; she’s the one who got me to start cooking. My mom’s a fantastic cook, but I think I experiment more. I love to try new things and to see if I can make something or not. If you’re like, ‘I want shrimp fried rice,’ I say, ‘Okay, I could do that.’ I actually have no idea how to do that, and I’ll just like figure it out. I like to test myself a little bit.
MD: Since you’re on the road all of the time, how do you manage to get your workouts in?
KK: It’s definitely hard. For me, genuinely when I don’t work out, I feel like sh*t mentally. I don’t feel good about myself or it really throws me off my diet for that day. I tend to eat thoughtless food. When you work out, it sets the tone for your day, so I just try to make it a priority. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, you have to give yourself that time.
I try to think ahead and I always make sure the hotel I’m staying in has a 24-hour gym. You can’t kill yourself, though. You have to understand that sleep is just as important as fitness so you have to listen to your body and see how you’re feeling.
MD: So do you ever take a rest day? Do you ever just let yourself go once in awhile?
KK: Just recently I’ve been in the hospital for almost three-and-a-half weeks straight, and finally everyone was saying, ‘Khloe, you have to get out of the hospital and just for an hour, go to the gym and do something that’s for you. Nothing’s going to happen to Lamar.’ I had such anxiety going to the gym, but as soon as I left, and Kendall and I worked out with my trainer, I felt like ‘Oh my god, I’m OK. I’m a human again!’ I just felt so good. But for those three-and-a-half weeks, I didn’t think about the gym because I was thinking about other things, and I don’t beat myself up about it.
MD: I know the book covers a lot of ground, but what do you most want people reading it to take away?
KK: It’s not about one size fits all. It’s about being strong, mind, body and soul. I think people are so jaded with what beauty is these days, and so much of that has to do with social media and what we compare ourselves to. Instagram and social media, that’s nothing that will keep you warm at night. That’s nothing that really matters in the grand scheme of things. You have to love yourself first, and you have to be strong from within. I think if you’re strong from within, that just exudes what beauty is and what real strength is, and that’s what I want people to take away.
MD: What can we expect at the book signing on Friday?
KK: I honestly get really nervous that no one is going to show up! I hope that people come (laughs). I just don’t want to be there alone signing my own book for myself. I swear if I know at least one other person is going to be there, then I feel good, like we can just talk for two hours. I love San Diego, so I’m really excited.