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Jessica Alba, 34, has been a familiar face in Hollywood for years, but it wasn't until she became a mom that she felt smart and stopped feeling like an imposter, she says in the October issue of Self magazine.
"It's not until you feel whole in yourself that you fit in anywhere," she tells Self. "And it took me becoming a mom to actually feel that way."
Although she still makes movies, her job as the founder of The Honest Company is her 9-to-5. Her idea to start the business came after she broke out in hives while pregnant after using baby laundry detergent.
"I was horrified by the realities around the use of chemicals, and also the link that these chemicals have to a lot of illnesses, from obesity to lung disease to cancer, allergies, eczema—all of it," she says. Alba shared she was also a "sickly kid" who suffered from asthma. As she thought about bringing her first child into the world, all she could think about was how to help her child lead a healthy life.
Alba, who says she's "always been business-minded," credits her parents for her "start what you finish" mentality and her non-stop drive since becoming a mom helped her launch The Honest Company in 2012 — a business now worth $1.7 billion, 350 employees and plans to expand into Asia.
"My parents made me stick to stuff, pick myself up. It's painful to go through, but I appreciate that tough love," she told the mag.
And she's carried that tough-love practice into adulthood, now self-imposed. Known to post workout pics with her gym buddies on Instagram — and showing off her amazing body — Alba also revealed in the interview that the gym isn't really her favorite place, but that it's a necessary evil.
"I don't like working out," she says. "But I feel really good after. It gives me energy. It just sets a good foundation for the day. Being strong helps me feel confident and beautiful."
Alba regularly attends Soul Cycle and hot yoga classes in addition to her regular gym routine, and short meditation time when she can pack it into her busy schedule. And, the actress, mom and entrepreneur shares that gym time is her me-time, with her most productive thinking happening during or just after a workout.
As for her diet, she shares that she tries to eat as fresh as possible and that she's currently trying to cut back on eating meat and switching to a more plant-based diet — in part because meat consumption has an impact on the environment. "If I can do my little part," she says, "I try."