She may have told her haters to “Kiss my fat a–” on her old talk show when tabloids had a lot to say about her weight, but these days, Tyra Banks has taken a different approach when it comes to such conversations about weight and the body shaming she’s dealt with for much of her time in the spotlight.
“I used to feel like my body was not mine,” the 44-year-old told PEOPLE in their newest issue. “I’ve been too thin or too big. And I used to feel like I was betraying people if I lost weight.”
After that infamous talk show moment in 2007, Banks said she decided to do what she wanted when it came to her size. She no longer cared what people thought and allowed her weight to go up and down as she saw fit. When her son York was born in 2016, she actually decided to put on some more weight.
“When he was first born, maybe because it was through surrogacy, I wanted to be bigger for him,” she said. “I felt that was love in a way. I wanted him to feel that cush and that nurture.”
But Banks told PEOPLE that the weight became an issue health wise. Nine months ago, she found herself with an ankle injury, and her doctor encouraged her to shed some pounds in order for it to heal properly. So she did.
“I lost 30 lbs” she said, telling the magazine she now stands at 159 lbs for her 5’10” frame. “And she was right. Now I’m a different body type. But I don’t feel like I’m betraying people. I’ve still got a–, I’ve still got boobs!”
She also has a nutritionist who helps her eat her best so she can feel her best and stay at her best size for her son’s sake.
“I feel physically good,” she said. “And having a son later in life, I want to still be able to hold him and run around and chase him and not get spasms!”
But don’t expect her to eat like a rabbit. Banks said she still likes what she likes.
“I’m all about moderation, but you have to indulge,” Banks said. “My mom and I together are very dangerous. We love ice cream!”