Gaining weight is an expected part of any pregnancy, but actress Katherine Heigl didn't expect the number she saw on the scale before giving birth to son Joshua last year — and she certainly never anticipated the way it would make her feel about her body.
"I gained almost 50 pounds during my pregnancy and I’m not gonna lie, I had moments of sheer panic that I’d never be able to lose it all," Heigl confessed in a candid post on her blog. "I had hoped to only gain 25-30 pounds like my mother during her pregnancies but found that just wasn’t possible for me."
The former "Grey's Anatomy" star initially tried to counter her weight gain with a "pregnancy friendly meal plan" and daily hikes, but she soon discovered that her body had its own plans.
"At a certain point, probably around 4 months I gave up the struggle and tried instead to respect my body’s needs and trust my instincts," the 38-year-old said.
That made all the difference. Along the way the panic faded — as did most of the weight. Within days of Joshua's birth, she "miraculously" shed 30 pounds.
"I kept asking how that could be possible and my doctor just shrugged and said after the 10-15 pounds of baby, placenta, blood and amniotic fluid weight you typically drop post birth, the rest must have been excessive water retention," she explained. "Which made some sense since by the end of my pregnancy my feet had swollen to the size of cantaloupes! The rest of the weight however has not disappeared quite so magically."
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And now the mother of three — Heigl and husband Josh Kelley adopted two daughters before their son came along — has come to realize that she's OK with the changes her body has been through.
In fact, she's more than OK with it, because a she gained a new perspective, too.
"The years of deprivation, counting every single calorie, completely eliminating major food groups and setting unreasonable weight goals are over," she proclaimed. "There was something about my pregnancy and post pregnancy body that instilled a sense of body pride in me and a freedom from body shaming that has been such a persistent part of my life for so long."
And nothing looks better than feeling better about that!