"Dancing With the Stars" host Brooke Burke-Charvet is healthy and happy after surviving thyroid cancer and says exercise is her antidepressant.
Brooke underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor in her throat in December 2012, and has been doing well since then, thanks to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
"I was already eating healthy, but it really confirms how good I feel when I work out," Brooke told Health. "After lying around for a few weeks, I was like, ‘Agh! I need to move. I need to sweat and get that adrenaline rush.’ It’s the best antidepressant. It’s like the best medicine in the world.”
Burke-Charvet, 41, has been taking thyroid drugs for the past decade, and has continued to do so after her surgery.
"After a thyroidectomy, most people have to start taking a synthetic thyroid pill because your thyroid is gone," says the mother of four. "But for 10 years I’ve had Hashimoto’s disease, which is when your thyroid is not functioning properly, so I’d already been taking Synthroid."
Brooke, a former bikini model, stays in shape by eating well and working out daily. "We try to eat a Mediterranean diet — lots of greens, lots of fish, lots of vegetables," she says. "It's really all about portion control.
"Lunch is usually my largest meal. I love sushi. Or I'll do a huge salad with mixed greens and vegetables like cucumbers, and I'm not afraid of avocados. Then I top it with a really nice piece of salmon or other fish."
Burke-Charvet is a longtime fitness fanatic who says daily exercise helps her look and feel her best. "As working women and moms, we make it to all our meetings, get our kids to every appointment, but you have to make yourself a priority," she says. "Just commit. Write it down. Make a plan.
"I try to do my workouts early in the day, after I drop my kids off at school, so they're just done. I think if you procrastinate your workout, as evening falls, it's just never gonna happen! Also, I want that energy. I want that adrenaline."
While most Hollywood celebrities dread getting older, Brooke has a more pragmatic approaching to aging.
"The forties are a reality check," she says. "That's when some people are trying to look 25. I would like to slow down my aging process, but I don't want to look like a pumpkin, all swollen! I don't want to fill every flaw in my face.
"You have to embrace Mother Nature a little. I'm a woman. I'm a wife. I'm a mother of four. I don't want to look like a 25-year-old anymore. I want to be my best healthy self."