Alyssa Milano talks about the pressure to lose her baby weight
Celebrities. They’re just like us. Well, a few of them are — including Alyssa Milano, who recently admitted that some of the pressure she felt to lose her baby weight came from seeing other celebrity moms returning to their pre-pregnant weight lightning fast.
It’s easy to understand why she feels that way. We are inundated daily on social media with photos of celebrity moms only weeks, or even days, after giving birth looking like nothing ever happened. And it puts an unrealistic expectation on us all.
Milano told E! News that any pressure she felt to lose the weight was “self-inflicted,” but that seeing the fast weight loss of other celebrity moms definitely contributed to that pressure. “Any pressure I felt is from seeing other celebrities get down to their [pre]baby weight in two weeks.” And sadly, she is only barely exaggerating.
The much-buzzed-about photo of Chrissy Teigen in her crop top after giving birth was posted mere weeks after the model gave birth to her baby girl. Of course, she’s a model and not a Normal, but it’s still tough to understand how any woman can look that incredible so quickly after having a baby. And it’s easy to feel envious and fixate on her amazing progress.
For her part, Milano also can’t wrap her head around the rapid transformations by some famous moms. “I just know, for me, that’s just not in my make-up, biologically. There is no way I could have dropped all the baby weight in two weeks, I don’t know how they do it!”
That makes two of us, Alyssa. I remember being THRILLED to have dropped about 10 pounds beyond the weight of my son by the 2-week mark — and I still had a good 30 pounds to go. Milano says, “It’s exhausting, and the only thing you have really is food to get you through those first two months! Especially if you’re breastfeeding, so hats off to [those other moms].” And I can only nod remembering those weeks of being parked on the couch, a human milk machine for my infant, with most of my day’s excitement involving whatever my husband was throwing on the grill. Losing the baby weight was the furthest thing from my mind at the time.
That’s where Milano was at too saying, “I gave myself 18 months. I reached my happy weight when my daughter was 18 months, and I did it through Atkins.” She elaborates a bit on what “happy weight” means to her. “There are so many variables, you don’t know what a goal weight is especially when you’re 43 and you just had a baby, I don’t know if I’m going to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.”
The actress lost 55 pounds over the last 18 months through a combination of her diet, spin class, Zumba and Pilates. She sounds comfortable with herself and she obviously looks fantastic, but it’s a reflection of how our society picks at women after they’ve had babies that she felt the need to diet and exercise several days a week to begin with. Or to outline the reasons she took a little extra time to lose her weight, as though she owed anyone an explanation.
Of course, it’s every woman’s personal decision to lose her baby weight (or not) in whatever time frame she wants. Some new moms make it a top priority to get back on track with their fitness routine while others don’t give it a second thought until their child is a bit older — or never. And every single one of those approaches is fine. I know that once my son was a toddler, I got fed up with the extra pounds I was still carrying, so I dieted and exercised to feel better about myself. The problem is when any woman, famous or otherwise, feels pressure to “snap back” after having a baby. That’s a matter that each woman should feel free to handle in any way she likes, without regard for the opinions of others.
While it’s certainly refreshing to hear a celebrity mom talk about how it actually took time to lose her baby weight, it might be even more refreshing to hear from one who didn’t care at all. Either way is fine, but we all know which train of thought is most pervasive in our culture. It’s important for moms to know they’re far more than the number on the scale, and if we keep worshiping women for losing their baby weight before the first month is up, it only adds to the unfair pressure women feel to look amazing right after giving birth.