<p><span></span>While most women in Hollywood are working to drop a dress size, <a href="http://dynamic.bauerpublishing.com/mt-search.fcgi?blog_id=2&tag=tyra%20banks&limit=20&IncludeBlogs=2"><strong>Tyra Banks</strong></a> is happy to have put on a few pounds. "I'm proud of my curves and my butt and my bust and my thicker thighs," she tells <em>Life & Style</em> exclusively in the new issue, on newsstands now.<br />
For more than two decades, the supermodel has been on a weight roller coaster that ultimately left her feeling too skinny for her 5-foot-10 frame. As a superskinny teen, Tyra admits that she was "a little bit reclusive" because she was self-conscious about her body. "At 14, 15 years old I started to gain a little bit of weight and feel better about myself," the 37-year-old confides.
But in 2006, a photo surfaced of Tyra at the beach in a one-piece bathing suit looking noticeably heavier and faced criticism of her body. Tyra decided it was time to be more health conscious, so she turned to her Top Model colleagues for motivation. "We all made a pact to do a three-month health-and-fitness challenge."
Tyra dropped 20 pounds and won the challenge, but she quickly remembered why she hadn't been comfortable being too thin in the past. "I didn't like myself that small, so I gained back some weight," she tells Life & Style. Now she stays active without obsessing and eats what she wants in moderation. In her new book, Modelland, out Sept. 13, Tyra says, "The message is really about expanding the definition of beauty."
For more from Tyra Banks, pick up the new issue of Life & Style Weekly, on newsstands nationwide Friday.
Photo Credit: Getty
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