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She Has Her Rules--and Her Exceptions


Claudia Schiffer apologized, over a firm handclasp, for being a good half-hour late. The supermodel had been stumping all morning for the "Perfectly Fit" video series for arms, abs, legs and buns.

With all of that out of the way, we relaxed at a corner table at the Four Seasons. While the waiter took Schiffer's order--"Do you have strawberry juice?"--it struck us that she is even prettier in person. Does she credit her parents, Gudrun and Heinz, who live in her native Rheinberg, Germany?

"I think they're good looking," Schiffer offered in a soft accent. "It's funny actually. I have the nose from my father and mouth from my mother." Their famous 25-year-old daughter, wearing an orange turtleneck, black leather pants, black ballet flats and one single piece of jewelry--a substantial oval diamond engagement ring from David Copperfield--added, "It's all thanks to them that I was able to enter this profession."

Question: It's hard to imagine how exercising could improve anything on you.

Answer: First of all, [I exercise] just to stay thin--that has nothing to do with my profession. I've always liked to be thin because I feel the most happy and because I just feel good in my clothes.

Q: I understand you weren't planning on a modeling career.

A: My father's a lawyer, so the dream was to have somebody--and I'm the oldest--coming into his law firm.

Q: Did you do any kind of exercising before you started modeling?

A: When I was in school, I did ballet up to age 15 and then tennis, which I really like, and a few months of jazz and aerobics. I even tried tap dancing--not that you would say that I was really good at it. My girlfriend and I would take the train into the next city and then walk another half an hour to tap dance.

Q: I'm trying to picture you in tap shoes.

A: They were black and shiny and totally old-fashioned looking.

Q: What do you eat to stay so slim?

A: For the breakfast I always have only fruit. Like when I'm here in California, I have oranges because they're really good. Could be strawberries, bananas, apples. If I'm on exotic location, I have pineapple or papaya, but that's not very often. And I like not to have milk in anything. I try to avoid dairy products.

So then for lunch, usually it's salads and soups or a little bit of chicken or it could be fish. And for dinner basically the same.

I do have exceptions, though.

Q: Thank goodness. Let's talk about those.

A: I have a very sweet tooth. Like chocolate, I like very much. And when I have a craving, I do make exceptions. You know, if I have a day where I really have a lot of cravings, for the balance the next day I really carefully watch what I eat.

Q: That way the exceptions taste even better.

A: Right, because you don't feel guilty. The worst thing is feeling guilty. No, I enjoy myself and then, back to the normal routine. I mean, that's what I tell myself. You have to look at what you like to eat as being a luxury and not do exceptions every day. The only thing I can suggest--if you exercise, you can eat so much more. Unbelievable.

Q: What do you drink? Bottled water?

A: I can't drink the bubble water. It hurts my throat so I drink flat water. Drinking a lot of water cleanses the system and it's really good for your skin.

Q: Want to share a tip on skin care?

A: Always take your makeup off and wash your face before you go to bed. Morning, put moisturizer on. Keeping your skin always moisturized, that's really important. Not many people know that.

Q: I learned that from my mom.

A: I learned it from my mom.

Q: You must miss your mother.

A: Yes, I do. You know, a lot of my friends when it's their birthday, they actually celebrate the mother that had them. So we actually celebrate the birthday of the mother--"Thank you for bringing me up." Isn't that great? I love that.

* Guest Workout appears every other Wednesday.

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