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How Christina Applegate Stays Healthy and Happy

The actress dishes about 'Anchorman 2,' parenting, and self-esteem.

Applegate's Breast Cancer continued...

"I've also been a vegetarian since I was 15," she adds. "I stay away from things that don't make my body feel good. That's not to say I don't like a good pizza, but I'll have a gluten-free pizza," Applegate says. "I have a taste for weird stuff. My taste buds are well-trained. And my whole family avoids preservatives and toxins. We eat organic, including Sadie."

Like many mothers, Applegate says finding the time for exercise is no easy task. "It's been a struggle for the last couple of years to get into a rhythm again," she says. "Before, when it was just me, I could go [indoor cycling] or see my trainer, or take a 2-hour dance class, or whatever. Since Sadie, it's been hard. I'm still struggling to leave behind the last remnants of being pregnant. I try to do some kind of cardio: [indoor cycling], elliptical, or treadmill. I go between those three things. And my trainer does weight training and core-strength work with me. After I [gave birth] my back gave me a lot of trouble, so I've been working hard to build core strength to make it strong again."

While some women pin up supermodel photos as their workout ideals, Applegate's motivation is a picture of herself from her twenties. She laughs out loud when she admits this. "I used to have a killer stomach," she says. "Why didn't I know it? I use that photo for motivation. I won't ever be 5′11″," she adds ruefully. "But at least I know this is actually attainable!"

Which circles back to how girls and women feel about themselves, and how hard they scrutinize their supposed flaws. "It's that self-esteem thing again," Applegate muses. "Why don't any of us know it? Because I had it going on! I just didn't realize it."

Applegate the Comedian

With Anchorman 2 opening nationwide in December, she says she feels better than ever about herself and her choices. She admits that before her NBC series Up All Night with Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph was canceled last spring, she felt out of whack.

"I left for work before Sadie woke up. I'd see her for lunch every day and go right back to the set. It was really hard," she says now. "When you work a 12- or 14-hour-per-day job, balance is hard to find." Film work, with its stop-start schedules and hours of downtime between takes, seems to suit her better. If the film set is also loaded with laughter, so much the better. "I've never met a funnier group," she says of the Anchorman 2 cast, which includes comedy vets Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, and Sacha Baron Cohen. "It was so hard to keep a straight face on the set. I managed to do it on the first Anchorman, but on this one I gave up. I would just lose it."

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