The queen of the Internet is going offline to build a better future for her kids—and the rest of us.
One minute into our Zoom call, Chrissy Teigen flashes me, demonstrating what happens to her body when she overextends herself. She opens her floral-printed Meng silk robe to show me the bruising and healing across her rib cage from her breast-implant removal two weeks ago, covering her nipple with a snicker. “I was raising my arms and moving too much and pulled some stitches,” she explains. “I just don’t know how to slow down sometimes.”
The 34-year-old has a full plate running two companies: Cravings by Chrissy Teigen—her lifestyle brand with a cookware and tabletop line at Target and Macy’s, a blog with videos and recipes, and two best-selling cookbooks—and Suit & Thai Productions, her production company, which has a first-look deal with Hulu (including an upcoming show with the working title Family Style, cohosted with David Chang) and the second season of Quibi series Chrissy’s Court with her mom, Pepper. After helping her mom with her Thai cookbook all quarantine, Teigen will tackle Cravings 3, which she describes as “how I eat now: brighter and healthier.” But, most important, it’s the cookbook she’s having the most fun working on. “While writing the first, I was pregnant, and for the second I was deep in postpartum depression. I’m having a good time, and my confidence has grown. I fully embrace carbs now—like, putting sweet-potato spread on a baguette. A year ago, I would have said you can’t put a starch on bread; now I’m like, who cares? There are no rules.”
As she looks ahead to moving into her recently purchased first office and starting up production again on Family Style, the idea of juggling everything makes her dizzy with excitement and anxiety. “I’m having a hard time being any kind of mogul and running companies because it’s hard for me to work on, or even talk about, two things at once,” she says. “With my anxiety, the worst thing is not giving enough to enough people. It’s like going grocery shopping when you’re full; if I feel like I have too many good things going on, I can’t say yes to another good thing.”
Setting limits and boundaries has been one of the most important lessons for Teigen in quarantine, but remembering how to say no remains one of her biggest struggles.
One place she has successfully set boundaries is on social media. “I’m barely online anymore, and that was at the request of my therapist,” says Teigen, who has over 43 million collective followers across Twitter and Instagram. “I didn’t start therapy until quarantine. I used to avoid it and make fun of the idea of it, and then I found the right person and it changed my world. People think I’m tough, but I’m such an empath, and I take on other people’s pain and sadness as my own. And when I let people down, I’m hyperaware of it. Sometimes I feel like people aren’t going to be as hard on me as I am on myself. So it’s good for me to take a break.”