Playboy playmate and reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson isn’t exactly on my list of most inspirational people. But in a recent interview with Celebuzz, she caught me by surprise with some really sage, awesome advice for women who, like her, struggle to lose weight after giving birth. Really, it’s actually quite wise.
It turns out, Wilkinson is actually pretty cool and has some good stuff to say. Before having son Hank Jr. in 2009, her career was intimately tied up in how her body looked (hi, she was a model for Playboy). But, right there on reality TV, she publicly struggled with something that plenty of new moms can identify with: her frustration at not being able to shed the weight. Despite working out for hours a day, she said, it just wasn’t working.
Wilkinson also recently went to bat for Jessica Simpson when everyone and their mother had something to say about her pregnancy weight. Because, she says, it’s important for women to speak up on behalf of others. From the interview:
“I needed to be at least one voice out there for someone’s who going through that,” she told Celebuzz in an exclusive interview. “As if the criticism is going to be the power to get her to lose weight or something.”
But it’s what Wilkinson says at the very end of the interview (which also includes the standard questions about what she eats and how she likes to work out, etc.) that really struck me. Here’s what she had to say:
There’s a whole new recipe, a whole new way of life, for your new body. You just have to give it time. You can read about it, and you can look at diets online, but you’re on your own diet now and it’s all up to you to figure it out. You have to figure out what works for you and your new life and your new body…It’s going to take the person to really figure out that you have a whole new recipe to your new body and that you can’t be stubborn at all — not one moment. You cannot look at your body the same as it was before having the baby. You’ve got to look at it in a completely, completely different way.
What I like about this sentiment is that it’s an honest take on expectations. Women are constantly being prodded to “get their post-baby bodies back.” But the reality is, the human body goes through amazing, strange, and unbelievable changes during the course of a pregnancy (remember this crazy-pants video?). And expecting it to immediately bounce back and look exactly the same just isn’t realistic or body-positive.