The Brazilian beauty walked in her first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2005, when she modelled underwear made out of candy, and she admits getting in shape for the big gig was the first time she had ever hit the gym.

"(The gym) had always been an enemy for me," she laughed to Net-A-Porter's The Edit magazine. "It wasn't until I did my first Victoria's Secret show that I started exercising.

"Even when I got pregnant with my daughter and moved to California, I couldn't understand this lifestyle my fiance (businessman Jamie Mazur) had. For him, exercise was physical and mental at the same time; going to the gym was his friend."

Now a mother of two, 34-year-old Alessandra has forced herself to make exercise a regular part of her day in a bid to teach her seven-year-old daughter Anja and three-year-old son Noah how important it is to stay active.

"Now that it's a healthy, normal part of my daily routine, my kids will grow up seeing it in the same way, and I love that," she smiled.

Alessandra has also changed her approach to her diet as she matures after previously indulging in sweet treats whenever she could.

"I've been through that stage," the stunner admitted. "It started when I first began making my own money at 15. I would go to the supermarket and fill my bag with cookies, ice cream and yogurt: everything sweet you can imagine. And there were times in my life when I would eat a whole packet of cookies. But then I taught myself not to do that - basically by reminding myself how horrible it felt the last time."

"Oh, and of course I would lose my job, so that was another incentive," she quipped.

Alessandra admits regaining her figure after giving birth to each of her kids was tough, but she is happy with her figure as it is.

"Your body will never go back to exactly what it was before pregnancy, whatever people tell you," she told the publication. "It can't. But I think I have a better body now than before I had kids. It's partly because I work out, whereas before I didn't, but also to do with the shape - it just looks more formed now and I feel better about it than I did."

She added, "Not that it was easy getting back into shape post-pregnancy: after having Anja I only had three months to lose all the weight (for the 2008 Victoria's Secret show) and I was on this 1200-calorie-a-day meal-delivery service that I hated. I couldn't do that again."

Alessandra is now happy to just enjoy living in the moment, although she would love to emulate the career path of veteran model Cindy Crawford, who still stuns in photoshoots at 50.

"Although there might eventually come a time when I want to focus on other areas in my life, if I manage to keep going until I'm 50, like Cindy, then great," she said. "You might die tomorrow, after all, so why make decisions about what you will and won't do now?"