Eva Longoria is a true multi-hyphenate. Once best-known as an actress, the Desperate Housewives and The Young and the Restless star now lays claim to several additional roles. She is the executive producer of the upcoming Apple TV series Land of Women, in which she also stars; has directed a variety of TV episodes; and will release her feature directorial debut, Flamin’ Hot, later this year. She is an advocate for Latina representation, and does substantial philanthropic and activist work. She received a master’s degree in Chicano Studies in 2013, writing her thesis on Latinas in STEM. In 2018, at age 43, she had her first child. And recently, she partnered with InMode, a non-invasive body treatment brand that uses radio frequency technology to smooth and refine problem areas.
Longoria spoke to FIRST for Women about how she stays healthy and happy as a hardworking mom. Here’s what she had to say.
On taking creative control of her career.
Looking at Longoria’s extensive resume, you might wonder how she gets it all done. When it comes to her career, “it all overlaps,” she says. “My production company, my directing, and my acting really is an extension of my activism, because I produce and direct content that tries to change the media’s mind about Latinos.” As an entrepreneur, Longoria seeks to uplift women and challenge conventional narratives. Take her tequila brand, Casa Del Sol: “My tequila is very female-forward,” she states. “We have a female master distiller and a female CEO in a very macho industry. Everything has to have a reason.”
Moving behind the screen has also been a form of empowerment. Longoria turned to directing because “with acting, I felt like I was always going and standing on a mark and saying my lines and realizing I had no control over the final product. I didn’t get to pick the take, I didn’t get to pick the person opposite me. I didn’t get to pick the music. I didn’t get to pick anything,” she admits. “You’re at the mercy of producers and directors. So I thought, ‘Wait, who decides this?’ and they said, ‘Well, the producers and directors.’ I said, ‘Great. I want to be that person.’ That’s how it started, with me having the desire to take control of what I was putting out into the world.”
Taking control has been a common theme for Longoria, both on and off set — as she’s also been making a point to take charge of wellness and her work-life balance.
On following her own instincts as a mom.
As a mom, Longoria has come to recognize the importance of setting boundaries. “It’s so funny,” she says. “Scheduling and priority became so much easier” once she had her son. “There are so many non-negotiables now,” she explains. “Where before it was like, ‘Should I do this?,’ ‘I could do that,’ ‘Maybe I’ll do this.’ Now it’s so clear what the priorities are with my son, and everything revolves around that. It’s easier to say ‘no’ to things.”
When talking to other mothers of young children, Longoria says, “my advice is always to not take anybody’s advice.” As she sees it, “there are just too many experts out there and people telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. Like, what are the markers for your child to be at? Are they behind? Are they ahead? Are they reading by now? Are they having too much screen time? Are they eating enough greens? It’s just too much.” Celebrity or otherwise, “It’s way too much for any new mom,” she says. “So I always recommend people follow their own instincts.”
On getting her body back.
Longoria has done InMode treatments — which use proprietary devices to tone the body and minimize imperfections without surgery or scarring, and which she fittingly first discovered from a fellow mom — to help get her body back into shape. She says these treatments are “good for when you feel like you’re doing everything right but not getting the results you like,” but acknowledges that when it comes to bouncing back post-baby, “the biggest challenge is dealing with the societal norms around it.”
“People point out that you look different,” she says, “And it’s like, ‘yeah, I just had a baby! I created another human being!’ The big challenge for women is to shut out the noise.” Longoria recommends that you use treatments, workouts, and diets that feel right for your lifestyle — and most importantly, “make sure you’re going at your own pace.”
Longoria paints motherhood and the subsequent journey to get in shape in a refreshingly positive light: “I was super thankful to my body for the miracle that it produced,” she says. Highlighting the importance of uplifting self-talk, she explains, “how we speak to ourselves matters. It’s so important to be thankful and tell your body, ‘thank you so much.’”
On practicing prodigious self-care.
In addition to InMode, Longoria is committed to exercising and healthy eating. “Working out for me is a mental health break,” she says. Her positive attitude towards fitness is aspirational, and she frames it in simple terms: “I really enjoy feeling good, and after a workout I just feel so good. I love that I have that hour where I’m focused on myself.” Her workout routine focuses on strength training with heavy weights — “at my age, that’s the only workout that really changes my body,” she claims. On days off, she dabbles in yoga and loves jumping on a trampoline.
Despite her busy schedule, Longoria also makes time to relax. “I really do the whole nine yards in my bath routine,” she laughs. She uses Epsom salts, bath bombs, and candles to unwind, plus she makes sure to partake in bodywork like massages, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture. “I really listen to my body as far as what it needs,” she says.
Family and food are also priorities. Longoria wrote a cookbook in 2011 and recently launched a cookware line; “food is in my DNA,” she says. Food is indeed a powerful form of self-care — and when it comes to unwinding and feeling good, Longoria keeps it very simple. “My number one thing is being home with my husband and my son making a nice meal,” she says. It’s the ideal way to take a break from the spotlight and stay thankful, healthy, grounded.