Life Lessons from Kelly Ripa

Some people have strong role models, mentors and world leaders who they someday aspire to live up to. I have Kelly Ripa. I also have mentors and wonderful women who I interact with in person, but Kelly has given me some solid advice over the years and I like to think that she was speaking directly to me through my television screen while I sat on my parents’ couch enjoying diet popcorn throughout my teen years.

Back in high school, my mom and I would record LIVE with Regis and Kelly and catch up on the show over the weekend. At one point, we even attended a live show during a trip to New York. We stood in line for about an hour, hoping that our online registration would get us in, and then sat in the studio audience during two recordings. As part of each show, they drew a name from the audience to win that day’s giveaway. With a big audience and a slim chance of winning, we fell out of our chairs when they called my mom’s name to come up and win a set of luggage. It was a very exciting moment for 16-year-old Kristen. It’s been years since we stopped watching, mostly because I moved out and got rid of cable TV, but I still catch myself remembering life tips from Kelly when certain situations arise.

At first glance, this might not seem like pivotal advice, but these tips have come in handy more times than not. To name a few:

  • Bathroom seat protectors can double as face oil-absorbing sheets in a crunch. I seem to always desperately need an oil-absorbing sheet right after stepping off of a plane, despite my efforts to moisturize beforehand and drink water before and during the trip. I typically walk into the bathroom, realize my face looks as slick as the runway we just left, and grab one of the always-available seat protectors to save myself from the dreaded “glistening” look. Fortunately, almost all restrooms in airports, office buildings and higher-end restaurants have these. And they are always free.
  • McDonald’s Happy Meals are a good compromise when you are craving fries, but don’t want to succumb to a Big Mac. Kelly Ripa is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen and she works extremely hard to be in the shape that she is in. Knowing that someone with her dedication to healthy living occasionally treats herself to a Happy Meal changed my world. Years later, I still crave a Happy Meal about once a month and will drive through and enjoy a $3 meal of pure joy.
  • Barre workouts will make you skinny. I blame Kelly for my obsession with Pure Barre and Dancer’s Shape classes. She was way ahead of the barre trend and introduced her viewers to Physique 57 back in the early 2000s. I bought the DVDs and attempted to replicate the exercises all through college and still find that a combo of barre method + running works best for my body type. If it’s good enough for Kelly, then it’s good enough for me. I realize that she also works with a trainer and probably eats much healthier than I do (mostly because you can’t find good queso in New York), but I have her to thank for introducing me to a workout that I actually enjoy.

Looking back on all I’ve learned from Kelly over the years makes me want to start watching her show again. Maybe this blog post will help persuade Ben that adding cable back into our lives wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Or maybe Hulu will start running the show. If any network executives at Hulu are reading this post, I’m talking to you.

With that, I might just go enjoy a Happy Meal for dinner tonight. I’m sure the kids’ burger + fries weren’t meant to be enjoyed with a glass or two of Cabernet, but I bet Kelly would approve.

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