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Christie Brinkley complained about her 'jiggly' legs, but her mom wouldn't have it

TODAY logo TODAY 3/21/2018 Donna Freydkin

Christie BrinkleyChristie Brinkley is seen on February 26, 2018 in New York. © MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin Christie BrinkleyChristie Brinkley is seen on February 26, 2018 in New York. The supermodel and mom of three is honest about how she takes care of herself.

At 64, Christie Brinkley is thankful for every hour, every minute and every second of her life.

"I celebrate every birthday. I celebrate every day. I was in a terrible helicopter crash, and I really thought I was dying," she said, referring to a 1994 crash in Colorado. "When I made it through that, I really have looked at every single day of my life as a gift."

Christie Brinkley Alexa Ray Joel Sailor Brinkley Cook Brinkley sits between her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel (left) and Sailor Brinkley Cook. The three posed in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition together in 2017. © TODAY, image courtesy of merchant website Christie Brinkley Alexa Ray Joel Sailor Brinkley Cook Brinkley sits between her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel (left) and Sailor Brinkley Cook. The three posed in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition together in 2017.

The mother of three — daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook, and son Jack Brinkley Cook — lives by a simple credo, what she calls an "attitude of gratitude."

"I think that that enters the room first," she said, "and all the rest comes later."

That's not to say that Brinkley, who has her own Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare line, isn't into maintenance.

"My job expects me to look a certain way. And I'm an older mom, so I also want to look as good as I feel," she said.

She's not ashamed to admit that plastic surgery has helped her maintain a youthful look. Brinkley gets a high-intensity focused ultrasound, called Ultherapy, on her face about once a year. And she loves Xeomin, a frown-line treatment.

"A lot of women feel like they have to be secretive about it. 'Oh my gosh, excuse me, I've been caught taking care of myself?'" she told TODAY Style.

Brinkley's also committed to spreading a message of self-love and body positivity. She's especially aware of the issues for her daughter Sailor, an aspiring model, who recently appeared in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, alongside her mom and sister.

"Looking back, I realized that at a certain age when you're growing up, you're very, very aware of external demands," she said. "I look back at old pictures of me, and I can remember standing there feeling like, I'm squirming because I feel like, 'Oh, my hips are too big. Oh, I don't know what to do.' And I look at it now and I go, 'My gosh, I was fine. Why didn't I realize that?' But you see that all the time with young girls. There's more pressure today to look a certain way than there ever was."

When she was younger, Brinkley may have complained that her legs looked too "jiggly," but her own mom wasn't having it, saying, "'Don't you dare, don't you ever let me hear you talking badly about yourself.'"

Now, she said, her mom's lesson has really stuck.

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