Single Ladies' LisaRaye McCoy on motherhood and staying fit

Dec 12, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. ET

LisaRaye McCoy has done so many things.

The actress, who stars in VH1's Single Ladies as Keisha, is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, mother and a former First Lady. Yep, you read that right. She was married to the Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands (they are now divorced).

Changing motherhood

McCoy is mom to 23-year-old Kai, who starred with her in a reality show for awhile. These days, McCoy says that Kai is heading off on her own to a new apartment. "I am ready for her to move on and out — and it’s happening as we speak," McCoy said. "It’s time for her to spread her wings."

McCoy says that it's important that her daughter stand on her own two feet to learn responsibility. "I am guilty of handicapping her so now I have to administer that tough love so that she can learn how to survive. It’s the hard lessons of life that she has to get out on the streets now and through her experiences," says McCoy.

That means jobs, rent and paying bills. "It’s fine. She’s learning and she will adjust. She is my child… She is strong," says McCoy.

Staying young

McCoy, who hardly looks old enough to have a 20-something daughter attributes her youthful looks to using sunblock, moisturizer and drinking water. "I actually stay in the sun because I love the outdoor beach weather," says McCoy.

As for white, her signature color, she says that she's among the lucky women who can pull off head-to-toe white. "White makes me feel good, it makes me feel light, it makes me feel clean... It’s just so vibrant — it’s just my color of choice," says McCoy.

McCoy has also been doing a 90-day fitness challenge with Visalis. "I am learning so much about me and my body," says McCoy. Through the program she has been adapting her eating habits — adding in protein shakes and enjoying balanced meals. She also works with a trainer who has been pushing her to work harder and build stamina. "I’m jogging now for hours. I am doing now the UCLA stairs. He’s showing me that I am able to be pushed and stay focused," says McCoy.

She's sharing her progress at "Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad," she admits.

Life as First Lady

McCoy called her life as a First Lady "fascinating," and says it was filled with privilege. While First Lady, she started a film festival in the country and worked to put Turks and Caicos on the proverbial map — for tourism. "It’s an hour and 20 minute flight from Miami. It was the best kept secret," says McCoy.

And her efforts paid off. "I raised tourism 41 percent while I was there. That in [and] of itself was a huge accomplishment," says McCoy.

Though she's no longer there, she says she still loves the beautiful country.

Single Ladies

McCoy will start filming on the third season of Single Ladies soon but she's not spilling about what's up for the girls this time around. "I never know what’s going to happen because we don’t get the scripts until four days before we film," says McCoy. The show films six months of the year, and this season will see a new writing staff and new show runner which will inevitably mean some changes.

"It has to be full of drama. It has to be full of love. It has to be a bond of these three characters," says McCoy. Those are a given.

McCoy says that she shares some traits with Keisha. "Keisha is very sassy, very opinionated and so is LisaRaye," says McCoy. "Keisha doesn’t allow anyone to change her mind when she is gung ho about something and [neither] does LisaRaye."

"There is a little bit of sass in every woman. We are unapologetically us and when you are learning who that is in you the exploring of that is so exciting," says McCoy.

Photo credit: Brian To/

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