Katherine Heigl's side-by-side photos prove it's not easy to get your pre-baby body back

Katherine Heigl showed how long it took for her to get back her pre-baby body. (Photo: Instagram) 

Every new mom knows that getting back to your pre-baby body can be a struggle. It’s been almost 14 months since Katherine Heigl’s son, Joshua Jr., was born — and the gorgeous 39-year-old actress posted candid side-by-side photos on Instagram to show how long it took for her to get back in shape.

“The first pic was taken one month after he was born. The second pic was taken almost a full year later and the last pic was taken this weekend,” she wrote in an Instagram post that received more than 200,000 likes in just one day. “I wish I had a few from in between the first and second so you could really see how slow my progress was but alas…I was busy covering it all up those months, not posing in my unders!”

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The actress says she has a beach vacation coming up, and she starts filming a new project in April. The desire to feel fit, strong and sexy propelled her forward the last two months to finally lose the last of her baby weight, as well as do a “deep dive search for the ab muscles” she knew were “buried under that belly somewhere.”

“I was wholly and totally inspired by Miss @rachparcell and the before and after pics she shared after taking the #bbgchallenge (Bikini Body Guide challenge). I had never heard of it, but she looked so damn great (she had her baby just a few months before me) that I had to check it out.”

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Heigl also said she found an app called “Sweat” that features several different bikini body guide programs you can choose from.

“I won’t lie, the workouts are real a– kickers but the progress I’ve made in only five short weeks has kept me motivated and inspired to keep going!”

“I am so grateful I’ve had a full year to find those ab muscles and get my butt back up where it belongs and wasn’t forced by work to snap back into shape  but it is time to make the strength, fitness and overall health of my body a priority,” she said before before thanking blogger and designer Rachel Parcell for motivating her.

Parcell tells Yahoo Style that she was excited when she saw Heigl’s post:

First, her transformation is so inspiring. It is not easy to put on a swimsuit after you have a baby, for mental and physical reasons. The program that Katherine and I both followed offers real results and Katherine achieved just that! I was so happy to hear that she discovered the program through me, sharing my story and transformation photos on my Instagram.”

“Second, I had absolutely NO idea Katherine (someone who I have been a fan of since my teenage years) even knew who I was. I spent countless Thursday and Sunday nights on my sofa shedding tears over the roles Katherine played. If my 17-year-old self knew that the woman I planned my night around just to watch the story line she played SO well, would one day know who I am…I would have NEVER believed it! I’ve seen all her movies and television series and I still can’t believe she has followed my blog and Instagram. She actually lives in Utah as well and we are both working moms so it has been a fun connection to make since we are in a similar stage of life and have a lot in common (fitness included).”

Some celebrities tend to almost magically bounce back to their pre-baby bodies after giving birth, making Heigl’s post all the more relatable as it let’s us know there’s a process involved.

To help new moms with their journey, Rachel Parcell provides some helpful workout and nutrition tips:

Workout tips for new moms:

Establish a set time you workout each morning, find a group of moms to workout with each morning and hold you accountable, start a program. Programs are designed for results. If I’m going to wake up early to workout, I want it to be worth my while and the BBG program was definitely worth it. I didn’t know the first thing of fitness when I started and I didn’t need to because there was a program telling me exactly what to do.

Nutrition tips for new moms:

Yes! I tried a low carb, high fat diet at first and I couldn’t sustain it. Then I started a high carb, low fat diet. I had no idea I could choose a turkey sandwich over a salad and still be able to loose the baby weight! I wouldn’t even call it a diet, it was a life style change that is complete sustainable because I nourish body with all the nutrients it needs. I used Fitness Carli’s meal plan initially to learn how to nourish my body. I’m in the best shape of my life after having two babies back to back!

Favorite on-the-go healthy snacks:

  • ONE Protein Bar (Birthday Cake Flavor
  • Danon Light and Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt (I like to add a 1/4 cup granola and strawberries if I’m not in a rush. Sooo good!)
  • Boom Chicka Pop (popcorn with a little sea salt)

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