Gisele Bündchen’s new book is a chance to take a few “Lessons” from one of the world’s most prominent supermodels – the highest-paid in her industry for 15 years, until she was dethroned by Kendall Jenner in 2017.
The 38-year-old, who hails from the southwestern Brazilian city of Horizontina, opens up about motherhood, marriage to NFL star Tom Brady and several personal struggles throughout the pages of “Lessons: My Path to A Meaningful Life” (Avery), in addition to last week’s revelation about her panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.
Here are five more things we discovered reading her memoir:
1. She regrets getting breast implants
Bündchen, who’d been nicknamed “The Body,” acknowledges her shape has changed after giving birth and breastfeeding her children — Benjamin, 8 and Vivian, 5, — for about two years each, rendering her breasts “much smaller” and “slightly lopsided.”
When she returned to work, people would comment on her modified chest. “Suddenly, I was very self-conscious about the way they looked,” she writes.
That insecurity moved Bündchen to make “one of the most upsetting decisions of my life.” She opted for a boob job with the expectation that “no one will make those comments anymore, and I will feel like myself again.”
But surgery only made things worse, she discovered. “I became uncomfortable with the size of my breasts,” she writes. “I felt angry and depressed.” “I’d done something for myself,” Bündchen writes, “but mostly to try to please others.”
2. She ignored a doctor’s warnings about home birth
Bündchen made news when she said her son’s 2009 home birth “wasn’t painful, not even a little bit.” In “Lessons,” she expands on the experience, which she said “felt natural and right.”
But her plans for delivering her first-born in the bathtub were nearly dashed at her four-month checkup.
“The doctor told me that it was too dangerous for me to have a home birth,” she says. “He said that Benny was in an unusual position, my hips were too small, and the odds just weren’t in my favor.”
While he suggested Bündchen schedule a C-section, she refused. “My attitude was, ‘I don’t think you get to decide this!’ No one was going to talk me out of it.” (That included Brady, who was initially not on board.)
Her one regret: “I’m 5-foot-11, and the bathtub was — well – not a whole lot bigger than that.”
3. Her world turned “upside down” after learning of her “bonus child” Jack
“Two months into our relationship, Tom told me that his ex-girlfriend (“Blue Bloods” actress Bridget Moynahan) was pregnant,” Bündchen writes. “The very next day the news was everywhere, and I felt my world had been turned upside down.”
“Needless to say, that wasn’t an easy time,” she continues. “But it was a time that brought about so much growth,” adding that “Jack, my bonus child (born in 2007), has been a huge gift and blessing in my life.”
4. Why her marriage works
Bündchen writes that Brady, whom she met on a blind date, “is someone you can count on. It’s a quality I hadn’t experienced in any of my other romantic relationships. I love my husband – and most of all, I trust him. With Tom, who provides our family with a stable foundation, I’m able to create a home.”
She says they also “complement each other,” adding, “My husband is rational, analytical, and a man of few words. I’m emotional, intuitive, changeable, and a woman of many words. I’ve learned a lot from Tom.”
5. What she actually eats
Bündchen also sheds some light on the Brady bunch’s much-publicized diet.
“Our family’s diet has evolved to be a whole-food, plant-based diet that ideally emphasizes organic and local ingredients, including raw or lightly steamed vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, with the occasional small piece of meat or seafood added into the mix,” she explains, adding they are “mostly” gluten-free, but not “100 percent dairy free.”
Bündchen who says she’s attempted vegetarianism twice only to encounter anemia, eats “meat twice a month, and seafood once a week.”
She also has green juice, berry smoothies, salads and soup loaded with vegetables for lunch and opts for small portions. Her indulgences include dark chocolate, which she describes as her “obsession” and goat and sheep cheese, which she eats “sparingly.”
She doesn’t miss an opportunity to jab her man, who famously didn’t taste a strawberry until earlier this year at age 40: “Nothing beats the sweetness of a strawberry in June (even if Tom would disagree with me).”
Erin Jensen, USA Today