Jennifer Lopez acknowledges that part of being an actress is looking the part -- but she has relaxed her once-strict exercise regimen.

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"Part of my business is being in shape and looking good," Lopez, 40, reveals in the January issue of Allure magazine. "You can't lie to yourself about it. But I'm not the monster I used to be in the exercise department."

Lopez gave birth to twins Max and Emme in February 2008 -- and says that being a mother has allowed her to "take care of myself more."

See how the twins have helped Jennifer's acting career

"To a certain extent, having children did change me, but it made me want to look at the places that I wasn't great and learn to love myself."

Lopez, a one-time paparazzi magnet, is relieved that shutterbugs have stopped tracking her down.

"It's a business," she explains. "Once they stop making money off of you they stop coming around."

Lopez tied the knot with musician Marc Anthony in June 2004 -- and tells the magazine that unlike her husband, she had to work to achieve her singing talents.

Check out how Lopez has changed over the years

"It wasn't like it was with Marc, who opened his mouth at age three and was blessed with a voice from God. That wasn't me. I had to work at it, but I knew that once I had achieved it, people would respond to me in a certain way."

Check out Allure's website here for more outtakes from Lopez's photo shoot.

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