The former Entertainment Tonight host has tried everything in her career — actor, talk show host, Dancing With the Stars competitor. But Leeza Gibbons has taken on a new role: life coach. She’s involved in the Promise Heart Coach Campaign and as the resident life coach. Leeza wants to support people and help them keep their promises to themselves. But don’t think she’s just handing out idle advice to people. Leeza is willing to admit she’s committed some crimes and it’s those experiences that she’s using to teach lessons to people involved in the program.
Leeza stopped by the OK! headquarters to talk about everything — including monster-sized shoulder pads!
What is your role in the campaign?
I’m one of three coaches. Our nutritional expert is Melissa Oldman, the fitness expert is Michael George and myself — I’m giving life lessons and tips on how to take care of your emotional heart, because heart disease is the number-one killer in America. There’s a terrible price to pay for stress in your life — it really takes a hit on your heart. So a lot of my tips are about forgiving yourself, managing your stress, dealing with your expectations, offering yourself more love and acceptance.
Think about all the promises that you’ve ever made to yourself — “I’m going to lose weight; I’m going to be more fit and strong; I’m going to have more time for my kids; I’m going to finally manage my stress” — and then you break those promises. The whole idea behind the Heart Coach Campaign is to give you support, information and strategies, the tools so that you can keep that promise to yourself and live a more heart-healthy life. I’ve seen the power of Life Coaching firsthand and I know how beneficial it can be.
What is the best advice you’ve gotten in your life that you can apply to your role as a life coach?
One of my mantras that I like to remind myself of every day is “Know where you’re going, look good when you get there; know where you’re going, be fit when you get there." You have to know where you’re going. We tend to let the streams of life just flow along and we go with it. That’s cool except your ship’s not going to come in baby; you’ve got swim out there and get it. It’s true that you can’t control everything, but you can adjust your sail and you can change the direction of your life. You have sole custody of your life. And once you get close to that concept, you feel so powerful to begin to make the changes.
Have you had any great life coaches/mentors in your life?
I told Barbara Walters that she’s been my professional coach for many years. And back when I was in the sixth grade I announced to the class that I wanted to be like Barbara Walters. She had just landed the first million-dollar contract in the industry and they all laughed at me because I was this twangy-sounding girl from a small town in the South. She really inspired me and I wrote a fan letter to her and she answered me. And I thought that was the most important piece of communication I had ever gotten.
Besides Dancing With Stars, what are some of the other career or personal obstacles you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?
Anybody who’s serious about their passion in life gets doors slammed in their face, literally and figuratively. And it’s very easy to be defeated and to just give up on your dream. But I tell my kids all the time that if there’s someone in your life who’s given up on their dream or given up on love, walk away. You want to be with the people who invest in your dream and work the dream. If you work it, there’s almost always a way.
Looking back at the younger Leeza Gibbons, what’s the advice that you’d give her?
Honey chill on the lip gloss! Less is more with the highlights. Save the Goth eyeliner for a costume party. I have made every fashion mistake on camera. My shoulder pads were beyond Dynasty and into Falcon Crest. The biggest one, one that I think still happens for me and for a lot of women I know, and that is apologizing. It comes from a lifetime of people pleasing, and when we people-please too much, the person we fail to please is ourselves. Learning to say no, which is one of my tips at the Promise Health Web site, and setting boundaries means you say yes to yourself more often. If you learn that and realize when you say no, instead of thinking, “I’m disappointing someone” you should think, “I’m supporting me.” And who’s more important? Is has to be you. It’s not indulgent for you to say yes to yourself. You don’t have to explain when you say no. No is a definitive sentence.
By Jocelyn Vena