Sep. 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM ET
When it comes to losing the baby weight, Jessica Simpson is an everywoman — a new mom whose extra pounds aren’t melting away in the blink of an eye.
The 32-year-old singer, actress and designer welcomed her 9-pound, 13-ounce-daughter, Maxwell Drew, on May 1, after her own weight hit 170 pounds in March.
Now, the woman who has admitted to indulging in pregnancy cravings like buttered Pop-Tarts, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Cap'n Crunch cereal, is facing that all-too-familiar post-pregnancy reality weight check.
"I didn't realize it didn't all come off with the baby," Simpson told USA Today.
"I let myself indulge in everything I wanted because it was the first time I was ever pregnant, and I wanted to enjoy it," Simpson told the paper. "I wanted to be happy and eat what I wanted."
Simpson is the new celebrity face of Weight Watchers and will appear in ads next week, the paper said. She’s been eating less on the plan for the past few months and is exercising daily, but still, she allows, getting back into shape has been a challenge.
"I'm not a supermodel,” she told USA Today. “My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel. I'm just your everyday woman who is trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter, her fiancé and herself."
The 5-foot-4 Simpson, who is engaged to former NFL tight end Eric Johnson, wouldn't give the paper her starting weight, but said she's "lost weight every single week," and told US Weekly she's "10 pounds away" from her pre-baby number.
Watch video: Celeb trainer takes heat for baby weight comments
Simpson is hardly alone: Many women find that returning to their pre-pregnancy weight takes longer than they expected, says Helen Coons, a psychologist who specializes in women’s health.
“That can be a difficult time,” she told TODAY.com. “As much as they’re excited about the baby, they might be frustrated with their body image.”
To counter the frustration of ill-fitting clothing or worry over a fuller post-partum belly or brand-new stretch marks, Coons says new mothers need to be patient, focusing on good nutrition, setting small, realistic goals, exercising when they’re allowed to and asking for help.
“As joyful as a time as it can be to welcome a newborn, it’s easy for Mom to get lost and in all the sleep deprivation and care for the child,” Coons says. “They’ve had nine months of pregnancy” and getting back to pre-pregnancy weight in six weeks is just not realistic.
Women need to “be self-respectful and not critical ... be kind to themselves,” she said.
Women interviewed by TODAY at a Los Angeles playground appreciated Simpson’s refreshing honesty about a common struggle.
"Nobody nobody can put that pressure on me because it’s about me and my kids,” said expectant mother Afi Ekulona.
What about you? Did you struggle with weight loss after the baby arrived?
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