A couple of months ago, Zoe Saldana made her first public appearance since giving birth to twin boys Cy and Bowie in November. Though she was at the VES Awards to honor director J. J. Abrams, all anyone wanted to talk about was her body. "The Avatar actress's toned arms and legs and slim waistline [are] certainly the envy of new mothers," the Daily Mail enthused. Meanwhile, People.com reported she "looked twice as nice."
By all appearances, it seemed like Saldana was yet another Hollywood mom who reclaimed her enviable figure mere days after giving birth. But as the A-lister revealed Friday on Facebook, looks can be deceiving. In a post so candid you almost forgot a famous person wrote it, the new mom discussed the "dramatic" changes pregnancy and childbirth wrought on her body: exhaustion, an out-of-whack thyroid, weak joints—you name it. "My body was really bent out of shape after the boys were born," she admitted, likening childbirth to "a kind of trauma" the body experiences. (Preach on, Zoe.)
So two months ago, the celeb mama started the "slow," "painful," and "frustrating" process of rebuilding herself. Her reasons were many, but none included "squeezing into a tight red-carpet dress." "Bouncing back feels impossible," she wrote, "but I know it is important as a woman, and now a mommy, to not give up. I am determined to get my energy back and find balance for my body before these little guys start walking, and before I go back to work."
To that end, she's improved her diet and is easing back into exercise with the help of a trainer-friend. It's a regimen many of us try when we reach our postnatal rock bottom. It's a good one. It works, provided you stick with it. And if you're taking care of a baby, it's easier said than done. But Saldana has figured out that there's strength in numbers, and that the collective sisterhood of mothers can be a pretty powerful resource to tap into. So she invited other new moms to join her in the quest to get healthy. "I know many of you have gone through this or are going through it as we speak," she continued. "Let's do it together. Let's talk about it, hear each other out, and seek advice when we need it. ...I will be sharing with you what I do, what I eat and how I feel about it in hopes that it will be of any help to you. Cool?"
I want to hear from you: How much are you able to focus on getting healthy and strong after baby? Plus: Sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
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Image of Zoe Saldana courtesy of Facebook