Kate Hudson on what makes her happy, raising her first daughter and joining WW (Exclusive)


Kate Hudson is absolutely loving her life with a daughter.

The "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" actress welcomed daughter, Rani Rose, with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa in October, adding to her brood that already includes sons Ryder, 15, and Bingham 7.

In the months since, Hudson, 39, has been focusing on her health and happiness, getting back into the fitness routine that she so famously loves and partnering with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) in an effort to lose 25 pounds and maintain healthy changes that suit her active lifestyle.

AOL's Gibson Johns recently caught up with the Fabletics founder to talk about her partnership with WW, inheriting the "joy gene" from her mother, Goldie Hawn, her approach to raising her daughter "genderless" and the few workouts she was able to do while pregnant without getting sick.

Check out our conversation with Kate Hudson below:

You first announced you were teaming up with WW by posting a video of you having a conversation with Oprah over FaceTime and, in it, you talk about your #MyWhy being longevity and extending your life for as long as possible. Is that something that has always been top of mind for you? Or did this work with WW bring it to the forefront ?

I’ve always had that. When you really love life, you just kind of want to hang onto it for as long as you can, and I really like this life. I’d like to stretch it out for as long as I can and be working at my optimum for as much of it as possible. I recognize that this vessel is what I’ve got and want to make sure that I’m honoring and taking care of it. Even though sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m a little bit lazy or am a little hard on my body, but it’s important to stay conscious and mindful and balanced.

It's also important to give yourself those moments to cheat a little bit, too, though.

Yeah, that’s one thing I like about the WW program: the flexibility and what it allows you. We always talk about it at Fabletics: We like our girls to feel flexible and that everything is available to them. It’s not just for one person. Everyone is included. It’s the same thing at WW, which is a program that celebrates the individual, and it’s about what works for you, what you like and it’s tailored to an individual's journey -- it's not about having step one, two. You have to put in what you get out, and it’s there to help support that.

You're part of the “For Every Body” campaign, which is a title that negates so many of the misconceptions about the WW brand. People think it’s only about only losing a bunch of weight, but it’s become much more about a lifestyle change and honoring that lifestyle. Did you have that misconception before you started your WW program?

I did. Like most women. I had no concept of what it was. I thought I did, but I didn’t. I’m one of the guilty that never really paid attention to that. Because this is something that I’m so passionate about and talk about all the time, they came to me for the right reason. It’s a great fit, and I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would’ve been the fit for me, when in fact it’s completely parallel to everything that I talk about and do. Now I use the program -- right now it’s different because I just had a baby -- but I’ve had babies and I’ve gone through this and I understand food and my body. I’m very tuned in, but at the same time, it is something that I can use to have a barometer. It’s so simple and far more simple than what I’ve been doing before.

To me, the biggest part of it is, how do you inspire people or incentivize them to see this as getting healthier and making lifestyle changes that don’t feel daunting? People know I love being active. That, to me, is something I actually enjoy. Eating healthy -- eh -- I have good discipline, but people always ask me, “How do you do it?” And it’s like, you need support. I’ve always said that. You’ve got to reach out to your friends and make it fun. Make the leap and recognize that you’re not going to make any shifts if it’s not a lifestyle shift. You have to enjoy it! It’s about baby steps, and the programs that are about having to follow something rigidly are going to lose a lot of people. What WW has done, to me, is just really awesome.

In the video with Oprah, you also say that “happiness is the ticket.” What does happiness mean to you?

I find that happiness is different for everyone. It’s subjective. It’s like being an extrovert or an introvert. Sitting at home and reading a book might make one person happy, but being up in the club might make someone else happy. You’re never going to be able to sell the idea of happiness, because you have to find out what that is and connect internally to the things that make you feel good.

What are those things for you?

Freedom. That’s my big word: Freedom and feeling liberated. That is, to me, where contentment and happiness lie. Not feeling tied down. Being okay saying “no.” Feeling secure and safe in yourself and your family and your relationship. When you create that safe haven, nothing else really matters. Also, I never feel like I have anything to hide. There are parts of my life that are private and I like to keep to myself, but there’s not part of me that -- if exposed -- I’m worried about. That feels good and liberating to me. It’s not fun to feel like you have to keep things hidden. When you can just be exactly yourself, that’s where happiness comes for me. Also feeling light. What I mean by that is mentally. That comes also with when you’re [physically] strong. That, with mental lightness, always makes me feel happy.

Oprah told you that you got the “joy gene” from your mom, Goldie Hawn. Do you agree with that? Did she instill you with innate happiness?

The joy gene! [Laughs] Yeah. I think it’s the mix between the joy gene and a really solid upbringing of love and security. Feeling secure. It wasn’t without it’s sh-t like everyone else, but our upbringing was filled with love and I felt very emotionally safe growing up. That probably had a lot to do with that. And, yes, I find that an optimistic gene is real, and I might have gotten that. [Smiles]

Your daughter, Rani, is so cute, and everyone is so happy for you and Danny. She's your first girl, and it’s been just you and the boys [sons Ryder, 15, and Bingham, 7] for so long. Did you get any advice from your mom about raising a daughter?

No, because I was a daughter! I lived it!

But does having a baby girl make you do anything differently or change your approach at all?

It doesn’t really change my approach, but there’s definitely a difference. I think you just raise your kids individually regardless - like a genderless [approach]. We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as. I will say that, right now, she is incredibly feminine in her energy, her sounds and her way. It’s very different from the boys, and it’s really fun to actually want to buy kids’ clothes. With the boys it was just like onesies … actually, I did pretty good with the boys. [Laughs] But with her it’s a whole other ball game. There’s some stuff that I’m like, “I can’t do that to her, because it’s so over-the-top.”

I come from a family of four kids, and the youngest is the only girl. You were also the only girl in a family of four kids. What was that like growing up?

I was a tomboy in a spinning dress. My middle brother, [Boston,] who is closest to me in age, was basically my sister because I put makeup on him all the time, and I’d dress him up and he loved it. But growing up as a girl with all boys, you end up with a thick skin. You really do. People say, “Oh, your brothers must’ve really protected you.” And I’m like, “They threw me right into the fire!”

I've been following you on social media for years, and you've always shown off your love of pilates. Is that your favorite workout?

It has been since I was 19. To me, pilates strengthens you from the inside out. I love everything about it. It’s like anything: If your core is strong, everything else will follow suit, and it’s all about core strength. Even though you do isolate and all of that, getting your core that strong is everything. I also find that pilates gets harder and harder and harder -- it never gets easier! -- and I like stuff like that. I’m one of those. It's really fun to be able to get the body moving in a way that your core strength is so strong that you’re moving in ways you can’t believe. Then, when you start realizing it takes you into a whole other level, it’s so much fun. I also like that I never get bored, because there’s so much to do. I haven’t been doing it for a while, though, and I can’t wait.

So, if you weren't doing pilates, how were you staying active during your pregnancy?

Yoga was my pregnancy thing. I couldn’t do pilates. I don’t know if it was the movement or whatever, but it would just make me feel sick. The only thing I could really do was yoga, because I could manage and hold poses. I couldn’t do any cardio pregnant. I was really sick with her. Yoga was the thing. It was really stretching and walking and some strength. Now, I’m dying to get back into pilates with the holidays being over.

This interview has been edited and condensed.