“Why don’t you use this platform to do something positive for a change?”
This question changed Evelyn Alexandra Lozada’s perspective. The reality TV star and entrepreneur would forever be grateful to the woman who posed the question, her mentor and friend Iyanla Vanzant, who has supported Lozada on her journey to being among other things a positive role model and sister-friend to her fans and followers.
With her now 2-year-old son Leo in tow, Lozada continues to be a TV personality, but this go-round it’s for OWN where she is about to kick off the second season of her eponymous show, “Livin’ Lozada.” Fans will have a chance to witness her reach out to victims of domestic violence, women who’ve endured miscarriage and teenage pregnancy. We’ll witness Lozada inspire and mentor a young mother-to-be. “I know what it’s like to be pregnant at 16 and be scared,” she shares.
Here she discusses the show, her new life and how she plans to continue to respond to Vanzant’s soul-searching question.
What is your day-to-day schedule like?
It’s very unpredictable. I am a new mom all over again after 22 years. It’s a whole new world for me. So, my day-to-day can be a little crazy. It really depends on how his [Leo] day is going. I always say if he’s having a great day, I am having a great day. If he’s not having such a great day, then that means I’m not going to have such a great day. It’s always busy. I am always taking him to mommy and me classes and finding things to keep him busy. I live at the zoo. I make time for Shaniece and Carl.
What does Evelyn’s free time look like?
I make it a point to get me time two hours a day. That can be anything from just going to breakfast or lunch by myself or with a girlfriend, living at Buy Buy Baby or just going to Target. I do normal things. It’s what I enjoy doing. I may even take those two hours to just read in those quiet moments during the day.
Where do you spend most of your time, Arizona or Los Angeles?
Right now, I am in L.A. My life is just about split down the middle with seven months in L.A. and the rest of the year in Arizona.
It’s two totally different worlds. Arizona is very low-key; wear your workout gear all day, no makeup and you just roll. It’s how I like to be. L.A. is different. We come to LA for work. It’s baseball season for Carl. I film a lot of my show, “Livin’ Lozada” here.
How are you enjoying being 40? How did you celebrate?
If it were left up to me, I would have stayed home and had a low-key dinner. You will see [on the show] that Shaniece and Teresa [Caldwell], Bow Wow’s mom who is one of my best friends, put together a 40th birthday shindig. It’s hard to surprise me, because I am very nosy and into everything. I know what is going on and I pay attention.
How do you classify and define a best friend?
First and foremost, I have to be able to fully trust you a thousand percent to allow you into my space with my family. The friends who I call my best friend, I can count on one hand. I only have a few and they are generally trustworthy. What I’ve experienced throughout the years are friendships that you grow out of, things happen. I trust my girlfriends with anything I talk to them about. They have been really supportive of everything I have gone through. The ups. The downs. The good. The bad. That’s important to me.
How long have you and Teresa been friends?
Going on 14 years.
What is your secret to staying sexy?
I am not going to front. I try my best to eat right. I work out three times a week. I feel like I should be doing more. I am 40 and things slow up and kinda fall … all that good stuff. I do need to be a bit more physical. Having a child after 22 years is fulfilling, and it’s a lot of work. I try balancing workouts, taking care of my son and my household, and filming. I do the simple things like eat right and try to get that cardio in.
How do you decompress?
I enjoy doing retreats. Shaniece and I will take a day to get massages, have a glass of wine, or even with Carl. Nothing too crazy. Shaniece says she had the fun mom because we grew up together, and Leo has the boring mom because I’ve changed a lot.
Is Leo talking now?
Girl! He’s talking now and everything I say he repeats. I have to watch the sh–s and those words that slip out. He has a lot to say and he’s very opinionated, a very strong personality. I am not surprised. Carl has a very strong personality and so do I.
Who are your role models in the industry?
I really look up to Iyanla. She has been a great presence in my life. She’s always been consistent. Obviously, she’s the person who brought a lot of things to my attention and has helped me change to become a better person. We have a great relationship. Of course, I look up to Oprah and have to ask myself, “Am I having a conversation with her right now?” I am inspired.
What’s your favorite single on your playlist?
Rihanna’s “Work.” We bump it all day. Even Leo sings the hook. I have been meaning to film him singing it. I have a snippet of the video that I posted on Instagram. He’s like “Mama.” I am like, “No that’s not mama; I wish. That is Rihanna, not me.”
Do you ever sing in the shower?
I am not an in-the-shower singer. I have never been that person. But Shaniece though, yes, she sings Nicki Minaj’s song “Anaconda.” She’s going to [get] me for this.
Do you have a favorite Beyoncé song?
I am a huge Beyoncé fan. When the tickets went on sale for her upcoming concert, I had three computers going and knew I was going to make it to this concert. I can’t just pick one song. She’s another one that inspires me, as well as JLo [Jennifer Lopez]. These chicks are doing it. They have kids, look amazing and are strong, positive. I went to the JLo concert for my 40th birthday. It was my gift to myself.
You’re a busy mom who’s filming a reality TV show. You have a man. And you have a good relationship with your daughter. When it comes to having girlfriends, do you ever really have time to talk on the telephone?
I don’t really talk on the phone a lot. I am a texter. I do have phone conversations with Teresa and my other best friend, Michelle, who’s been on the show as well. There are very few people who I have phone conversations with. It’s maybe a good five people, including Carl, whom I sit on the telephone with. I don’t really have the time to phone bone. I’m on the go. Anyone knows if you text me, you usually get a response pretty quickly unless it’s past 8 o’clock.
Do you ever have a chance to indulge in prime-time TV shows?
I watch investigative and crime shows. Maybe that’s why I am so good at investigating. I love the “First 48” and “Dateline.” I feel like I should have maybe been an FBI agent, or maybe I was in my other lifetime.
Whenever my girlfriends need to find something out, they call me. I like “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”; I am consistent with that when it comes to a little ratchet TV. I need that in my life. I watch CNN all day.
Where do you find that you are most active when it comes to social media?
I am active on everything and have everything linked. When we started “Basketball Wives,” years ago, I had my Twitter. I love Instagram because I love to post pictures. I manage my own Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
So you actively interact with your fans on those platforms?
I try to respond to everyone and especially women who are reaching out and want to share. Recently, a woman was tweeting me about her struggles conceiving. I make it a point to share my personal struggles publicly because there are so many women having these same experiences and they never talk about them, whether they are in an abusive relationship or dealt with a miscarriage. I don’t know what it is but I feel a lot of women are embarrassed to talk about it. I want to share my story and help them go through the process.
I was looking at my Instagram after an episode and one woman left a long message on my page. She shared her gratitude and that she was in an abusive relationship where she lost all her back teeth. Her boyfriend gouged them out with an instrument. I started following her and really connected with her. I wanted to help her. I talked with my dentist and we flew her in. She had no idea what our plans were. She thought she was coming to hang out with me. We surprised her and literally fixed her entire mouth. It made her day. She was happy and confident. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.
This has been such a wonderful interview. You were really open. Thank you.
I am an open book. I am always transparent. I think that’s why OWN wanted to do a show with me on my life [and] based on my interview with Iyanla [Vanzant]. I will say this, I had other offers to do other shows but I was like no, no, no. When this opportunity came, it felt like [the] right fit [considering] where my life is. I am very protective of my family and my kids. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something positive. I will never forget Iyanla saying, “Why don’t you use this platform to do something positive for a change?” I thought to myself, “How can I do something positive on the show that I am on?” I will never in life knock anything that I’ve done. All my actions and where I was at that time [in life] led me to where I am today. I have no regrets. I will say, I decided to do the show because I wanted to add positivity to the world. That’s been my main focus in doing this docu-series on my life.
“Livin’ Lozada” airs on Saturday nights at 10pm on OWN.