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Padma Lakshmi Is Happy at 146 Lbs: It ‘Shouldn’t Be About’ My Looks ‘at This Point in My Career’ (Exclusive)

Whenever Bravo’s hit series Top Chef is filming, host Padma Lakshmi is essentially a professional eater. Considering the competition reality show is now in the middle of producing its 17th season, that means she’s got a whole lot of food, diet and professional wisdom.

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“I’ve been filming since June,” Lakshmi told Us Weekly exclusively at the 71st Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22, in L.A, “and I haven’t had time to diet, so I’m about 146 pounds right now.”

Padma Lakshmi arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Though that’s a normal and healthy weight for a woman who is 5-foot-9, Lakshmi notes that it’s higher than what she usually clocks in at. Not that she’s giving the number on the scale much of her time. “I’m lucky because I gained weight exponentially, everywhere. I don’t care. I was just happy there was a dress this pretty that fit,” she said of the ethereal blue Christian Siriano gown she wore to the ceremony. “And at the end of the day it’s just about feeling comfortable. I’m done trying to squeeze my bum into something that is too small. I don’t care. You know, it shouldn’t be about what I look like at this point in my career.”

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Yes, as executive producer of the Emmy-winning Bravo series and a New York Times bestselling author, Lakshmi, 49, has plenty of ways to occupy her mind — and Spanx isn’t one of them.

Padma Lakshmi attends the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Rob Latour/Shutterstock

The mother of 9-year-old Krishna — with whom she walked the red carpet on Sunday night — shared with Us that she wore shapewear “when I was pregnant or after I just had the baby because I went back to filming Top Chef six weeks after Krishna was born, so I did wear it then, but it is very constricting.”

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Now, she’s done with it! “I mean, I don’t even have a bra on right now,” she shared. “I mean I don’t, I just think the female body is beautiful in its natural state. I don’t believe in — I know we all have to do things to make it all smooth and beautiful. But really at the end of the day, who cares?”

The body-positive and body-neutral movements continue to gain traction in Hollywood. Everyone from Jameela Jamil, who recently celebrated new Instagram restrictions eliminating diet product promotion to users under 18, to plus-size model and cover star Tess Holiday, to troll-slamming Chrissy Teigen have joined the growing chorus of activist voices.

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