Take advice from a gal who knows: Your weight loss journey can be really empowering. Real Housewives of Orange County star Emily Simpson told Life & Style exclusively about her best advice for loving yourself during every moment of your transformation — plus, she dished on her progress in the gym.

“I feel like the most important thing is even if you’re on a weight loss journey, it doesn’t mean you can’t embrace where you are in that moment and still dress nice and feel good about yourself and feel sexy,” the 43-year-old exclusively explained during Guess Who B*tch Game Night at Moxy Chelsea. “Even though you know your goal is to lose 20 pounds, it doesn’t mean you have to wear sweats every day and feel like s—t about yourself. Own every single step of the way. Even when I was bigger and I was filming, I was like, I’m still going to dress nice, I’m still going to put makeup on.”

Because of that attitude, the Ohio native has attracted a lot of curvy fans who are really happy to see someone like Em representing them on screen — and she’s proud of that fact.

Emily Simpson
Moxy Chelsea

“Being on the show, I’ve had so many women reach out to me and say thank you for having a lot of confidence and dressing nice and being bigger than the other women. I see myself in you and I relate to you more and now I feel better about myself,” she revealed. “So when women send me those messages, it makes me feel good and like I can be a champion for curvy girls. You can be beautiful, you can be sexy. You don’t have to have a certain weight on the scale or a certain size dress. Be a 12, be a 14, be an 8. I don’t give a f—k. Just rock it! If you rock it, that’s it.”

But just because she’s found herself in a position to be a role model for bigger babes, it doesn’t mean she isn’t making strides in her own health and fitness journey still. In fact, she’s really glad she had that moment of clarity on screen when she weighed herself during the October 8 episode.

“I hadn’t weighed myself in about a year. And I knew I gained weight but I had no idea how much. I’ve never weighed that much in my life. I didn’t want to do it but I’m glad I did because it was an a-ha moment where I was like, OK, you can’t keep living in denial,” she explained. “So when we were done filming in May, I hired a personal trainer and I worked out with her over the summer and I did the best I could.”

Despite her hip injury, she did the damn thing. “I worked out with her three times a week at 6 a.m. I was never late. And I knew I had to hire a personal trainer because otherwise I would hit snooze, snooze, snooze. But knowing that she was sitting there waiting for me, it made me get up and go. It was consistency. So just doing that over and over and over, it started to come off and I lost 15 pounds before the reunion.”

Though her current weight loss accomplishments are, well, serious accomplishments, she’s realistic about how far she can go — and wants other women to, too. “I’m not skinny, I’ve never been built skinny. I’ve never had a skinny frame. I’ve always been tall and big boned and wide shoulders,” she said. “So another thing is just embracing that you’re built differently than other people and just saying it is what it is. I’m not going to weigh 120 pounds. Ever. And that’s OK.”