"I Hate Cardio": Alessandra Ambrosio Reveals How She Really Stays in Shape

Picture this: You’re 19 years old, an up-and-coming model, and bursting with all the hopeful uncertainty that comes with youth, when suddenly a miracle occurs—you’ve been cast in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Within a matter of weeks, you’re on a supersonic jet to France, sitting next to Adriana Lima, and catapulting toward the rest of your life.

Sixteen years ago, this was Alessandra Ambrosio. “I was really young, so naïve,” she tells me, as we sit across from one another at a Victoria’s Secret boutique in West Hollywood. “It was amazing.” At the time, Ambrosio had no idea that she would grow to become one of the most recognized supermodels in the world, known everywhere for her seductive gaze, her toned physique, and her enigmatic allure, the signature qualities of so many of the most famous Brazilian models.

This year, Ambrosio walks in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show for the sixteenth year in a row (it airs tonight, December 5 at 10 p.m. EST on CBS). She promises it never gets old. Her eyes sparkle as she recalls her adventures with the iconic yearly event. We wanted a deeper understanding of the magic Ambrosio and her fellow angels feel every year. So, we asked Ambrosio to take us back to her very first show 16 years ago. In her own words, she told us the tale of her start as a VS angel and the wild evolution she’s gone through since. Keep scrolling to read her story.