Carnie Wilson on Body After Baby: 'What is Normal?'

04/08/2009 at 04:00 PM ET
Courtesy Life & Style for use on CBB

When it comes to gaining — and losing — baby weight, Carnie Wilson is a realist. The 40-year-old songstress tells MomLogic that “when someone has a weight problem when they’re pregnant, they will struggle before, during and after to lose weight”… and she’s been no exception. Currently expecting her second daughter — Luciana, due in June — Carnie admits that her first trimester was not optimal. “I did put on [a] chunk of weight in the beginning because I was feeling so sick,” she explains. “And like the only thing that helped me at 2:00 a.m. was an English muffin.” There isn’t remorse, though — only acceptance. “All I can do is listen to what my body needs and feels,” she says, adding:

“With someone who doesn’t struggle with weight before or after pregnancy, it’s different. Look at someone like Milla Jovovich — she was a toothpick. She was a model before, gained a lot while pregnant — but lost a ton of weight right after her pregnancy. Or someone like Kate Hudson — they blow up and then shrink right down right after. But I’m not like that. I’m not that athletic type.”

Pointing out that the average woman in the United States is a size 14, Carnie says that women do themselves a disservice by comparing themselves to a select few celebrity moms. “What is normal?” she asks. “Being anorexic is not normal. It’s normal to gain weight during pregnancy. It’s something that has to happen to your body,” she observes. What’s not normal, she adds, is the “added pressure” women put on themselves to be something they’re not.

“I think the focus is twisted. Look, it’s not healthy to be too skinny or too overweight. You have to be happy with yourself though, and if your ass is too big (for you), then work out. But it has to be a personal thing, not about what the rest of society says you should be.”

Click below to read Carnie’s thoughts on working motherhood.

Achieving that mindset didn’t happen overnight; Instead, Carnie — who underwent gastric bypass surgery in 1999 — says that when she reached a certain age, she began to view her body differently. “When I turned 40, I’m like ‘F this,'” she admits. “Forget this…I don’t have to be a certain size. It’s just about how you take care of yourself.'”

“I look at how healthy I am now rather than how I look on the outside as a sign.”

Carnie says that her pregnancy with Luciana has been different than her pregnancy with daughter Lola Sofia, turning 4 this month, noting that her body “is used to being pregnant” and that her “uterus knows what to do.” At seven months along, she’s still exercising. “I’m walking a lot. I’m not a hiking kind of pregnant chick — that’s so not me,” she says. “But I’m eating healthy.” Emotionally, Carnie reveals that she is “excited and feel more proud.”

“I’m 40 and pregnant, you know! And I’m carrying a few extra pounds, but that’s okay.”

If there any concerns about how Lola will accept a new little sister, Carnie isn’t showing them. She and husband Rob Bonfiglio have made it a point to make Lola a part of the pregnancy “from the very beginning,” Carnie says.

“When I took the pregnancy test, she was right there with me and we all jumped up together. We are including her and making her feel like she’s Big Sister. I think she’s got a great foundation because her nature is already very motherly.”

Like many working moms, Carnie says that she struggles with “constant guilt” that she “can’t get past.” Admitting that even if she wasn’t working she’d still wonder whether she “wasn’t doing enough,” however, Carnie has learned to cut herself some slack. “You know, I’m sober and I’m a clear-headed woman,” she notes. “I’ve been sober four-and-a-half years. I now am able to make smart decisions, and I think I just have to go with the flow and be present.” Part of being present is being honest with Lola — and someday Luciana — about why mommy needs to work. “Do I wish I could retire?” Carnie asks. “Sure, but that’s not life.”

“I have to work and I make sure Lola understands that. I thank her for understanding that, and I teach her that I can be a strong woman with a career and be a mommy. It’s all about balance — balancing work, being a mother and taking care of myself.”

Carnie can currently be seen hosting The Newlywed Game on The Game Show Network.

Source: MomLogic

— Missy

FILED UNDER: Bodywatch , News , Parenting

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Courtney on

LOVE HER!!!! Love that she has a man who loves her no matter her size. I am one of those lucky ones too..:)

Can’t wait to see the new baby!

aubrey madeline on

Well duh because carnie was overweight for most of her life milla and Kate was slim gained baby weight and lost it

jbglam on

She is awesome!! I would much rather watch a reality show of Carnie and her baby than Tori Spelling and her family.

gianna on

I feel anytime she talks it’s all about weight, how much she gains, how she loses it, etc, etc. It’s like enough already you struggle with weight, but at a certain point, time to take control of the situation and not make it control you.

Robyn on

I definitely think the weight is controlling her. I’ve been overweight since a teen (in the past few years, up to 250 lbs) and am right at the end of my first pregnancy. I’ve only put on 12 lbs this entire pregnancy, not because I watched what I ate, but because I was just normal. I didn’t need an English muffin to make me feel better at 2am…who does, really?

But kudos to her for finally understanding that weight isn’t everything, as long as you’re healthy!

Melissa on

If I woke up at 2 am I would need to eat something to make me feel better. But that has to do with my morning sickness (which is really all day) and the fact that I can’t let my stomach get too empty. I’m not saying that’s her problem but since it was asked who would need to eat at 2 am I wanted to answer. 🙂

MZ on

Melissa, I’m with you. I needed to munch on carbs those first 15 weeks of my pregnancy to not throw up. I gained “too much” for the 1st trimester as result, but then my weight evened out because I didn’t eat as much the rest of the pregnancy. So, I understand where Carnie is coming from there. However, it seems like all the interviews as of late as her trying to justify her weight gain/diet. She weighs what she weighs and doesn’t need to compare herself to the skinnier stars because then it comes off a little silly (IMO). I mean, like someone pointed out, they started off at a much smaller weight and have probably always had to be very disciplined about what they ate, whereas it seems she is learning discipline, so it’s not really a good comparison.

Sarah K. on

I agree Gianna. I tried to remember a single interview where she didn’t talk about how “o.k” she was with her weight…and I couldn’t. At certain point I have to wonder who she’s trying to convince.

Bieta on

I get so tired of this woman. I mean she was a singer, what is she doing now? Not a thing unless it’s related to her weight. I feel like thats her whole schtick. The majority of females that get pregnant are women, not girls and I’d hope as mothers to be they’d be beyond comparing themselves to celebrities. For a celebrity a body is their business, so yeah they’re gonna throw thousands of dollars to it. Like others said, she doesn’t have to justify herself to anyone and when she tries its just annoying.

daniela on

I agree with Sarah K – I think Carnie is trying to convince HERSELF that her body and weight gain/loss is okay. Maybe the more she says it the more she’ll believe cause every time I read something about her she makes at least one statement about weight. Don’t get me wrong I have my own body image issues, so I understand where she is coming from, but it’s starting to get old already.

CelebBabyLover on

Melissa- I agree! I’m not pregnant, but even so, I can’t let my stomach get too empty. If I get too hungry, I literally start getting shaky (not to worry, it’s more like the way you shake when you’re shivering rather than how you shake when you’re having a seizure or something!) and I also get very cranky.

TDGoodMom on

Have any of you ever thought that perhaps the reason it seems that all she ever does is “talk about her weight” is that that is the only question that reporters/interviewers always asks/prints/televises the answer to?

Makes you go hmmm….

Mary on

I think Carnie looks beautiful the way she is. I’ve struggled with my weight as well, and I’m currently 5 months pregnant with baby #3. It’s a big challenge to lose the baby weight, but I’ve done it before so I am confident I can do it again.

The point Carnie is trying to make is that we shouldn’t feel bad about ourselves if we don’t go back to wash-board abs 6 weeks after delivery like some celebrity moms who are genetically predisposed to be thin. I personally feel that it takes you 9 months to gain the weight, and it may take you twice that time to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and that’s perfectly okay. It’s not a race.

D on

gianna I couldn’t agree more.

There comes a point in time where people need to stop with excuses and start taking control of their choices. I struggle with weightloss as many women do, but there comes a point in time where I need to accept: lack of eating healthy food + lack of working out = weight gain. It just takes a lot of willpower and effort to do something about it.

I understand Carnie had extreme weight gain and needed a procedure to help her out, but IMO from that point on she should take control of her eating and try to do a healthy lifestyle change.

Good luck Carnie, but I really hope you take control of it and stop letting it control you.


I agree. I’m tired of hearing about her weight. I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life (from being overweight to overcoming anorexia and bulimia) and at some point you wake up and do something about it to better yourself. There is no medical mystery why she, or anyone else is overweight. I also read she wants to write a diet book– Come on, she had gastric bypass and she STILL couldn’t keep it off. If she honestly wants to lose weight she needs to eat less and move more and just stop talking about it already. She has a man that loves her for how she is and she has got her babies so I’m sure she’s perfectly content with herself and that’s fine. She should stop trying to justify herself to the media because it isn’t about being a ‘normal’ size or looking good, it’s about being healthy enough to be there for your kids and having enough energy to run around and play with them.

Amanda on

As a young woman who has battled with body image most of my life as well as the struggles associated with losing post-pregnancy weight, I find this article interesting and a little contradictory.
While I commend Carnie for encouraging women not to compare ourselves to the hollywood average, I have to wonder how she can justify comparing ourselves against the ‘average’ american size 14. I’ve been a size 14, and was considered obese by my doctor (I’m 5’4″) I realize taller and/or larger framed women would have a different BMI than I, but in every case of a size 14 I’ve known, and there have been many, the woman was considered overweight by her healthcare professional. It’s no secret that obesity is a major problem in America, so how can we justify our health/size by comparing ourselves against an all ready too-large majority?
Losing post-pregnancy weight can be extremely difficult. It took me more than three years after my second pregnancy to finally commit to losing the ‘baby’ weight and get healthy and I still have a ways to go. Through it all I have learned two very important lessons: 1) weight loss is just as much, if not more, of a mental task as a physical one and 2)making excuses to justify your size doesn’t make you feel better, it just allows you to keep self-destructing.
Carnie’s right about one thing: body image is personal. And the only person responsible for changing it, is you.

CelebBabyLover on

gianna and D- It’s not always that simple. I have a friend who has been obese since at least her teens (in her case, while diet obviously was a contributer, the main cause was her genes, as obesity runs in her family). Believe me, she knows being obese is unhealthy, and she definitely has wanted to be healthy. However, it wasn’t as easy as just knowing she wanted to be healthy and starting to lose weight. Finally, after a health scare last year, she began a weight loss program.

She still has a long way to do, but is doing great with the program! Until you have walked a mile the shoes of someone like Carnie, don’t assume that obese people want to be unhealthy or don’t have a desire to work on their weight problem!

Sara on

The purpose of bariatric surgery is not to make you thin. It is to lose a bit of the excess weight and get cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. CLOSER to a normal range. The people who have had gastric bypass and lap-band surgeries and are shown in the magazines looking very thing are the rarity.

Judith on

I like Carnie so much. She’s not like these other celebs that seem obsessed with their weight.. You go, Carnie!! You are the best!!