I recently had the pleasure to attend the Kroger’s Wellness Your Way Festival (WYWF). I had the opportunity of interviewing Perez Hilton, “the original influencer”. Perez founded and oversees one of the most iconic websites ever. In addition to his eponymous blog, he is the host of a very successful podcast, has a loyal following across two YouTube channels, has written three books, and has acted in countless TV shows and films — as well as the stage. Most importantly, he is the proud father of three happy and thriving kids, and the proud son of one amazing mother. Perez is one of the most sought-after commentators and your best friend.
Thank you so much for joining us Perez. This festival is about “Wellness Your Way”. What does the term “Wellness Your Way” mean to you?
Wellness your way means mindfulness about living a happier life. My 42 years of existence have taught me that the healthier you are the happier you are.
Was there a story that inspired you to get involved with WYWF?
I was inspired to get involved with the wellness or way festival because I love connecting with people whether in person or through YouTube, social media and my podcast. This is a great way to share my story because visibility matters and visibility changes hearts and minds and also just to entertain people. I’m speaking on a panel about embracing your identify and celebrating your strengths and advocating for you mental, physical and emotional health as a part of the LGBTQ community.
Also Jewel is one of my nearest and dearest friends, this festival is her baby so I want to support her. Jewel’s a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter; she’s sold millions of albums toured the the world and to see how she’s made it a priority to share what she’s learned and what works for her when it comes to health and wellness and she inspires me.
Can you tell me about a wellness challenge you’ve had and overcome?
I had a food “slip up” when my mom was sick. I took six vacations in six months. I was eating to self medicate my feelings and taking my mom on vacations to escape. Thankfully, she’s ok. It began on one vacation where I started over eating and then I just kept stuffing my face. I had to get back on track. Food is an addiction, and people relapse sometimes. But you can always get back on track.
What’s your current wellness mantra or life quote?
Rationalize your fear. Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of stepping inside a gym or whatever you’re struggling with break it down into smaller steps. I treated my health like I was battling an addiction because I think I’m a food addict. I didn’t go cold turkey, I actually didn’t even address the food first I just started by trying to be more active because it was less scary. I’d go for walks. Everybody can do that. It’s free. It’s easy. You don’t need a partner, trainer or gym. For a month I just started walking more and I lost weight that motivated me to keep going. The second month I ate healthier. I didn’t completely change my eating habits I just changed them some. Then after two months of just walking and eating healthier I saw even more results which motivated me to join a gym and continue healthy eating habits.
Consistency is it key too. You can start small for instance, I was only walking 30 minutes a day but I was doing it five times a week.
What’s one wellness product/routine you can’t live without right now?
I go to group fitness classes 6–7 times a week. Weights, cycling a variety of stuff. You don’t need a personal trainer, group classes are great. I find I work harder when I go to a class and they help me stay on track with my health goals.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m always updating my website, perezhilton.com throughout the day to keep readers up to date on the most important happenings in pop culture. I’m thoughtful about what I cover as we’re all suffering from information overload so I want to make sure readers don’t have to sift through a bunch a stuff to get the stories they want. You can also get updates in your inbox by signing up for my newsletter.
My other priority is my podcast with Chris Booker where we cover all things pop culture as well as political and social issues. I’ve be podcasting since 2015 but it was this year that we saw listenership increase by 30 percent after the Khloe Kardashian — Tristan Thompson drama. People really connect with the Kardashians. They care about what’s going on with them and I’m glad we were able to cover it in a meaningful way.
Finally I’m always creating new content for my two YouTube channels. The first, Perez Hilton offers a daily pop culture recap. The second, Perez Hilton & Family is where I post about personal stuff, my family, parenting, health and wellness. Well maybe today what I posted wasn’t the healthiest but it’s fun. It’s like an eating show, I ate an entire box of peanut brittle! Sometimes you gotta splurge.
Thank you for joining us!
Stay connected with Perez Hilton at perezhilton.com