Sep. 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM ET
Bristol Palin's back on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" -- with a hot new bod! Returning to the ballroom alongside her season 11 pro partner Mark Ballas, Palin wowed "DWTS" judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli with her cha cha, but also impressed with her slimmer waistline.
"I'm definitely in better shape than I was last time, definitely. I'm just more active and I cut all the crap out of my diet! It's that simple," Palin, 21, told Us Weekly backstage Monday after earning a score of 19 points out of 30 from the judges, including Inaba, who declared Palin the "most improved" returning contestant. "And my kid's a lot more rowdy, a lot more active. I'm running after him a lot! He's huge! He thinks he's a teenager already."
Palin's mom, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and father, Todd, joined her son Tripp, 3, in the audience to watch the DWTS premiere, and the returning celeb dancer told Us her family remains a huge motivating factor in her ballroom success. "If I ever hear anything bad that's being said about me or my family, it just gives me motivation to do better, and that's what I do!" reasoned the reality TV veteran, who starred in Lifetime's "Life's a Tripp" after her first "DWTS" stint in 2010.
As they face off against "DWTS: All-Stars" competition Kirstie Alley, Pamela Anderson and others this season, Palin and Ballas look forward to using her newfound confidence to their advantage in the rehearsal studio.
"We picked up where we left off. We stayed in touch since last time and we just went back into it. We balance each other," Ballas, 26, explained. "I'm loud and obnoxious and she's quiet and chill."
Added his partner: "Mark says he's like a chimpanzee and I'm like a turtle, poking out of my shell!"
More in The Clicker: