Don’t let Padma Lakshmi’s sexy exterior fool you. The “Top Chef” judge describes herself as a “truck driver trapped” in her body.
In an interview for the November issue of Playboy, Lakshmi credits her fast metabolism for keeping her large appetite in check.
“I’m lucky. I have a fast metabolism, I’m tall, and my digestive tract is ironclad and can really take a beating,” the model and “Top Chef” judge told Playboy. “Having been a model for 15 years, I also know a thing or two about how to dress if I’ve put on a few pounds. And I usually gain between 10 and 15 pounds over six weeks each season. Then I spend 12 weeks working it off. But it’s worth it. When the timer goes off and the food is ready, I’m really excited to eat.”
When asked if she gets hit on a lot, the 42-year-old native of India said she frustrates guys because she has a man’s mentality.
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“Honestly, I’m like a truck driver trapped in this body,” Lakshmi told the magazine. “I don’t want to be your best friend. I don’t expect you to give me a birthday card or send me flowers. I don’t need fancy trips. You could take me across the street. Don’t get me wrong. That stuff’s nice, but I am a physical and sensual person. I love to be held. I love massages. I’m just not a Hallmark kind of gal.”
The “Top Chef” judge also dished on her three-year marriage to novelist Salman Rushdie, saying she has no regrets over their relationship. She said it didn’t bother her when some were scratching their heads over the marriage.
“If you saw us together you would know exactly why we were together. Now there is somebody who has great wit and is a great flirt. I don’t regret a day I spent with Salman, but it was tiring,” she said of the writer who had a death sentence on his head for penning “The Satanic Verses.” “He has a big life, and it only got bigger when we were together. I’m happy to have stood next to him holding his hand, but we were in very different parts of our lives.”
Lakshmi also recalled the first time she posed nude and having jitters about going topless.
“In fact, I canceled on [photographer] Helmut Newton at first. And no one ever canceled on Helmut. I got cold feet. He called to book me again six or seven weeks later,” she said. “This time he said it wasn’t going to be nude — just topless. He said I could put my hair in front, which I did. What he was most interested in was my scar.”