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Melissa Joan Hart on Her Bikini Body: I Wanted to Prove I Could Do It

05/29/2009 at 05:00 PM ET
Stephen Danelian for PEOPLE for use on CBB

Melissa Joan Hart can still picture the “horrifying” moment in 2005 when, while pregnant with her first child, she was shaving her legs “and I looked down and I had tons of cellulite around my knees!” she says.

Having gained 55 lbs. and getting up to 170 lbs. on her 5’2″ frame, “I knew I was huge,” the actress admits. “But that was crazy.”

Still even that discovery wasn’t as devastating as what she went through last June, when unflattering bathing-suit shots — taken only three months after Melissa, then about 155 lbs., gave birth to her second son — led to cruel Internet attacks about her body. (One blog went as far as to blast her for “giving pregnancy a bad name.”)

“I still read blogs about me discussing how fat I’ve become,” she says. “Everyone thinks I’m still huge. But I’m not anymore!”

While it’s true that one look at the actress’ new, 113-lb. bikini body leaves no doubt she is in “the best shape of my life,” as she puts it, Melissa understands the confusion.

After all, the public has grown accustomed to seeing celebs (like Melissa’s close friend, My Name is Earl actress Jaime Pressly) back in their skinny jeans a scant six weeks post-pregnancy.

“There are enormous pressures put on you in Hollywood,” she says.

In fact when Melissa returned to the audition circuit after her first son was born, “everyone kept asking, ‘How does she look? Is she fat?’ Everyone wanted me to dance for them and show my behind — they literally wanted to see how big my behind was! It was horrifying.”

Click below to see how Melissa lost the weight and to check out her PEOPLE cover!

Melissa said that experience “motivated me” to hit the gym, and she was back in shape in about 10 months. (The hard work paid off, as she booked two TV movies, including Holiday in Handcuffs.) The second time around, however, reclaiming her slim figure (she had some 35 lbs. to lose) took her 14 months and “a lot of effort,” she admits. “It didn’t happen by magic — it was as hard for me as it would be for anyone else.”

Especially because she refused to commit to the 4:30 a.m. workouts that had kept her trim during her teen years on the hit shows Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. “I didn’t want to take any time away from spending it with my sons,” she explains.

Instead she tried to lose weight beginning last April by first getting rid of all the candy she’d stashed in the 5,000-sq.-ft. Los Angeles home that she shares with husband Mark Wilkerson, 32, lead singer for the band Course of Nature, and their sons Mason, 3, and Braydon, 14 months.

When that hadn’t done the trick, she continued to slash various foods from her diet: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. Not suprisingly, “I kept losing my willpower,” she says. “It’s really hard for me to say ‘no’ to something, whether it’s a cupcake at a party or popcorn at the movies.”

By January, despite her best efforts, she still couldn’t fit into her pre-baby jeans. “It was hard for her to accept that she’d had two kids and her body doesn’t respond the way it used to,” Mark says. But Melissa wasn’t ready to give up, especially with her 33rd birthday looming. “I thought, ‘Losing weight will only get harder as I get older, so I better do it now,” she says. “I wanted to prove to myself I could do it.”

Melissa admits she was “lucky” to be able to consult both a nutritionist and a trainer, but says that her biggest inspiration came from the women around her — including Jaime, who has a son Dezi, 2, as well as her own mom, Paula, 53, who gave birth to seven children “and is tiny!” Melissa says. “I realized I don’t have to be heavy just because I have kids.” Adds Jaime, “She finally took time to take care of herself. I’m blown away by how amazing she looks.”

Stephen Danelian for PEOPLE for use on CBB

Melissa admits to being impressed with herself as well.

“After having a baby, your body definitely changes — your hips are bigger, your boobs are different. But you have to take pride in that. In no way do I think my body is perfect, but I’m happy with the way it is now. I feel strong. I never thought I’d pose in a bikini again!” she says, noting that her last scantily clad photo shoot was a decade ago, when she posed for Maxim to promote her film Drive Me Crazy. “To do it two kids and 10 years later? I’m so proud!”

What would make her even prouder, however, is if — after all her hard work — she maintains her svelte figure. “My biggest fear is that I’m going to blow it again,” admits Melissa. “It’s always going to be a struggle for me, and I’m not fooling myself.”

To stay on track, Melissa allows herself the occasional treat — like chips and guacamole, or frozen yogurt — so she doesn’t feel too deprived. She also has set up a series of short-term goals, like “fitting into a pretty dress and looking great” for the May 30 opening of her Sherman Oaks, Calif., candy store SweetHarts.

Yep: a candy store! Won’t that be a problem for Melissa? “No, actually,” she says. “I love having a candy store because it reminds me of childhood. The only thing I plan to eat there is the nonfat frozen yogurt.”

And even if a few pounds do creep back on, Melissa — who says she and Mark plan on more children, but “I really want to crave having another child, like I need a baby now, I want to wait for that to kick in” — finally feels at peace with her body. “I have a wonderful career, an amazing husband and two beautiful sons,” she says. “I can’t really complain about my thighs!”

Source: PEOPLE, June 8th issue

– Ulrica Wihlborg

For more with Melissa, check out this video on PEOPLE.com!

How Melissa Did It

Her diet: Melissa worked with nutritionist Derek Johnson at New Metabolism to change her diet. She keeps a food journal, writing down everything she eats to ensure she makes healthy choices. Breakfast is often a protein shake with ricemilk and flax seeds, lunch might be a whole wheat turkey wrap with avocado, hummus and tomatoes, and dinner is usually salmon or halibut. When hunger pangs strike, she reaches for unsalted almonds or a slice of prosciutto with feta cheese, or pops a piece of gum to stave off cravings.

Her workout: Three times a week, Melissa hits the gym with her trainer Mark Harari at Pulse Fitness Studio to do a 60-minute routine of interval training, mixing weights and resistance bands. She also takes two group classes a week, such as spinning.

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Showing 102 comments

RibbonInTheSky on

That is one cute family!

alexia kaelyn on

Melissa has the money and time to hire a trainer and a nutritionist. She has all the free time to work out (she haven’t been on TV since her latest movie). So what is the big deal I bet if the non-famous mother has the money time and a babysitter? They would be slim too.

JC on

If they aren’t calling an actress fat they are saying she is too thin.

Kate on

I for one think this is, finally, an inspiring body after baby story. Yes, Melissa has the time and money of a celebrity, but it was a reasonable amount of weight in a reasonable amount of time, and frankly something fairly doable. She looks great and should be proud!

XOXO on

Wow she looks great!!! I wish I had the money and will power :(

She has a beatiful family they are all gorgeous!

Y on

She looks very photoshopped.

J on

It is really annoying when people say things like ”I wish I had the money to do that”. It does not take much money, eating healthy and doing little exercise is the key to making the weight drop off. I think pregnancy is just an excuse for women to let themselves go and then when a celebrity gets into healthy shape people start getting jealous and critisizing it. I think it’s great she is back into shape :)

ab on

yeah, she consulted a trainer and a nutritionist, but she still had to do the work herself. she looks fab!

MZ on

Melissa is one celeb whose weight loss plan I can get behind. I’m tired of hearing about all these celebs who are back to their pre-pregnancy weight in 2 months and half-starving themselves to get there. I feel bad Melissa got such flack for taking her time and losing weight healthily.

morgan on

I am so inspired. I’ve gained about 45lbs so far in this pregnancy and still have a bit to go! She gives me hope.

cathy b on

Her husband is HOT!!!

Julie on

I just felt compelled to comment on losing baby weight. I lost a lot of weight (I was close to 200 lbs after the birth oy my first child) and I don’t have a trainer or a chef. What I did do was change my diet which meant cutting out carbs and I also joined a gym and I go! I’ve been a size 4-6 for the last three years and have no intention on being heavy again (even through a difficult loss of a parent to cancer I didn’t resort to unhealthy eating). Here is why I’m compelled to comment on this. If I was offered to be on a cover of a magazine with the title “How This Mommy Got Her Body Back” once I got into that bikini they would either throw me out or put their airbrush artist to work around the clock. The truth is you can’t believe that any person can lose a lot of weight and not have flaws. That’s what I hate articles that show moms before and after and the after is flawless. It IS realistic to be a stay at home mom, busy working mom, be on a limited income and still get fit but it is unrealistic to think that you can be flaunting a bikini body with the absence of extra loose skin, stretch marks, breasts that aren’t perky etc. Good for her for losing weight and getting healthy but Moms out there don’t get down if you are working toward that goal and aren’t flawless…..the photo is deceiving in my opinion.

Cindy on

I cant imagine how hard it must be for her to have to feel like she is over weight because of photos published on the internet or a magazine. It is so inspiring to hear of a celebrity who had to work at it just like the rest of us! I agree there is no big secret to losing weight. Make smart food choices and increase your activity level. Yes, it must be nice to have a nutritionist and trainer but it still takes hard work and determination. There is nothing more empowering than reclaiming your pre-baby body! Good for her and all the women that have achieved this!

gianna on

J I totally agree with your post. Does money help you stay in shape of course you can hire a cook to make healthy meals, get a trainer, etc, but even than you yourself have to do the work and make an effort. There are plenty of rich people who are heavy, rosie O donnell, oprah, carnie wilson, etc so money doesn’t automatically equal being thin. Also as someone who like myself is not a celebrity and stays in shape, it is not a difficult thing to do. Eat whatever you want but in moderation and most importantly workout 4-5 times a week. If you can’t join a gym, you can do cardio on the treadmill in your own house for 30-45 minutes. And having kids has nothing to do with it, i’m sure plenty of us watch dwts or american idol or other tv shows for an hour, during that time get on the bike or treadmill and do some cardio. It takes effort but it can be done, if being healthy and in decent shape is something someone wants. Melissa looks great, and the pics she is talking about, was not very flattering, so good for her for getting into shape, especially before she has another child. And the older you get, the harder it can be. My cousin had 3 kids, a set of girl twins 3yrs ago and a boy 7 months ago, and she is already back in shape, so it’s not just celebrities who lose the baby weight.

brook on

“J” I totally agree with you.

On another note, what the heck is up with her hair on the cover pic? It looks like they took a picture of Miss America 1992 and transferred it to the top of Melissa’s head!

Teenie on

It’s not a flattering picture and I’m not talking about the Before. You’d think People would use a photo that didn’t make her look awkward and photoshopped. The second photo looks better, more natural.

I also think it’s sad that her weight gets in the way of her career. Some actresses are talented enough not to be hung up on appearance and still can work, but it seems the majority must be stick thin or they get called fat and are mocked. Hollywood sucks.

BTW, to the posters who act like buying a treadmill is the cheap way to lose weight, I can’t piss away hundreds of dollars on myself when I have children to care for. I understand you are trying to sound sensitive to the working poor, but yeah that’s a lot of money for one item. It’s like my whole xmas shopping for the year, but I’m sure it’s nice to have that kind of money to splurge on yourself.

Kasey on

What a cute family picture!!! I don’t think her cover looks photoshopped at all.

Mimi on

I think some of you are forgetting about a little thing called metabolism. My oldest son eats around 3000 calories on an average day and is stick thin. He doesn’t exercise and is a typical lazy teenager. My other teenage son eats less and packs on the pounds unless he exercises a lot. The point is some people lose weight easier than others. I do agree that losing weight is harder the older you get. Still my oldest son will never have to worry, but my younger son will always need to watch his calories and exercise.

To act like it’s simple for others to lose weight just because it’s simple for you isn’t fair. For most people, losing weight and keeping it off takes a lot of effort and maybe people just don’t want to spend so much of their energy worrying about it. So for Melissa losing the weight was hard. For some celebrity women, it was easy. They’re all different, just like normal women.

Sammy-xx on

WOW I really didnt think anyone would have a problem with this article but obviously I was wrong.
I think it’s great. She is saying after 2 kids its a hell of a lots harder to lose weight and to tone up. And she said she is lucky that she has the money to hire a personal trainer and a chef, whats the big deal about that. My Granmda cooks healthy meals for my mum whenever she wants to lose a bit of weight, almost the same thing(not really but same idea expect she doesnt pay her).
I think she has a great attitude towards her body, she wants to be in shape and happy with the way she looks but she doesnt want to miss out on spending time with her sons so she took her time and lost the weight slowly but surely.

Hot husband very hot husband, and of course hot wife.

Ashandra on

I think it is easier for celebrities to lose weight, if they have trainers, nutritionists, and so on. However, I think that anyone can lose most of the baby weight, regardless if they are rich or not. If you are on maternity leave, you can walk the baby for 1-2 hours a day and spend $10 on free weights or a skipping rope. Or rent workout videos from the library. I think it’s silly for people to name call others and say they are not good mothers if they spend time exercising, or claim they cannot work out because it is too expensive. Everyone is different, but I think that some mothers are only hurting themselves and their self-esteem if they feel that trying to lose the baby weight is pointless.

Ivey on

They are making a big deal out of her having “weight issues” after having her second son, which bothers me, yes I think it is wonderful that she is feeling good about herself and lost the baby weight, but I don’t like the shame aspect attached to being over weight after giving birth.

stephanie on

I think she looks great but not like 113 lbs! She looks at least 120. I think celebs lie about their weight and are fixated on a number. She still has curves and with beautiful curves like that at 5’2″ she doesn’t look like 113. I wish celebs were more honest about the numbers for everyday women and so we don’t feel like we want to weigh what they weigh.

danigirl on

Wow. She looks great! I don’t know why people want to give her a hard time just because she has more money. I suppose its just jealousy or a way to make an excuse for their own weight situation. She took the time and decided to become healthier. How do you explain regular moms (SAH or working)who make the time? They are fit without without trainers and nutritionists. My mother used to run 6 miles a day with 3 kids and job outside the home. And we were definitely not middle class. It just took an hour of her time and $48 dollars Reeboks! Melissa is a great example of commitment to health and family. And her husband is hot!

Anna on

I really like these “look at my new bikini body” articles. It’s a complete interview about being thin and dieting, so superficial.
On top of that we all know that photos in magazines go through hours of photoshopping so does photo doesn’t even show how she really looks.

By the way I do agree that anyone losing weight has to do the work themselves. Blaming being fat on not having enough money makes no sense. Running or working out in your own home costs nothing.

pia on

well done, melissa! really, truly amazing. you look beautiful and natural and i realy admire you. inspiring. you know, i will never know how everyone in the media spotlight – to whatever degree – doesn’t go COMPLETELY INSANE with all the horrific and vile scrutiny over women (mostly) and their body shape. it’s so disgraceful.. no celebrity woman can have a baby without being forced to fast to skeletal thin-ness 3 weeks post pardum or suffer the wrath of the media.. like being 45 lbs over weight when you’ve just CREATED ANOTHER HUMAN BEING is a crime and something to be deeply ashamed of.
well done for the weight loss and for doing it for yourself. that’sthe way to do it, after all.

Dana on

I think she looks great. But, for the record, I thought she looked amazing in those aforementioned bathing suit pictures from last summer. I think it is a shame that she was made to feel that way by the press.

hillary on

how can anyone say that it is just as easy for a non-celeb to get back in shape like mellissa???? she has nannies, personal trainers, and probally a chef or some expensive food service that delivers her meals. as a mom to 2 under 2, it is VERY had if not impossible to find time to work out. so sick of these celeb body-after-baby stories, they are very impractical to the average mom. let’s obsess about something else for a change!

danda_lion on

It’s a personal achievement, but I think these big cover stories with stars contribute to the perception that there’s something *wrong* with women who aren’t back to their pre-baby weight ASAP.

April on

Her son was born 14 months ago and the article says she didn’t get serious about losing the weight until January of this year. I don’t really consider that asap…

Congratulations to Melissa, she looks great and I know it’s a lot of hard work. I had a difficult time losing the weight after my daughter but after 10 months I finally lost the last of the 48 lbs I put on. Willpower can be very tough to keep up and I’m glad she could do it.

Brooklyn on

Aww! Braydon is so cute!!! Such a beautiful family and Melissa looks great!

jessicad on

How terrible for Melissa! She looked completely normal for a woman who gave birth 3 months before, I don’t understand people for being so cruel. They are such a cute family, you get the feeling this is a couple that will definitely stay together forever! In terms of losing baby weight, it’s certainly a challenge. I easily gain 5 lbs if I get caught up with my daughter or work and don’t pay attention to what I eat. I think it’s just watching what you eat and how much and doing light exercise such as walking or swimming with your baby. If you aren’t eating thousands of calories in fast food and sweets you don’t have to work out to burn it off, I look at it as a science and a balance because I don’t have time to be at the gym!

jessica on

Without accusing any of the celebrity mums who get back into shape in weeks, I always find it ridiculous when their exercise plans say that they met their personal trainer every day for 2 hours.. What person with a newborn baby (you’d assume a little sleep deprived and wanting to be with their new baby) has time/energy to care that much about their body that quickly.. I don’t understand why they don’t just enjoy that time even if it means being a little bigger or frumpier than usual!

Kudos to Melissa, I think she is a great mom and she has the right attitude to getting her body back. Lets face it if I had the time, personal trainer, nutritionist etc. i would use it too!

Chloe on

I don’t really have a comment on this article as a whole but one part specifically. I think maybe it was in poor taste for Melissa and/or People Magazine to say “Having gained 55 lbs. and getting up to 170 lbs. on her 5′2″ frame, “I knew I was huge,” As a woman of equally small stature who is currently 8.5 months pregnant and up to about 170 (having only gained 22 lbs not 55lbs!) it made me feel really shitty about myself (am I’m positive I’m not alone) and I don’t think one should really have to feel like that when they are so very pregnant. If she had said after my pregnancy I felt huge and wanted to do something about it I would feel more compassion or respect for her and this article. Just my .02.

Chloe on

Oops I forgot to mention…I think maybe the adjective “horrifying” and “tons” (of cellulite) that surrounded that quote were most off putting… god forbid you get a little out of shape creating another person! I’m happy for her that she lost the weight, but I think this article is kind of lame.

mary on

Exactly, danda_lion. I agree that it’s a huge accomplishment and that she still looked great in the ‘before’ photos. But having this big PEOPLE cover story in a bikini is just reinforcing the pressure on Hollywood mothers that she was herself decrying.

Essi on

Well done!!!! I don’t care if you have had 2 kids or 10 kids…or if you hired 10 people to help you on your path to losing weight. You did do the hard work. I’ve been fortunate at times to hire a personal trainer, but once you get home and know that you should have those steamed veggies for dinner….it’s up to you what you put in your mouth! 42lbs is a lot of weight to lose. It’s nice to see Melissa admit that it took 10 months to lose it….it was also refreshing to hear that after all of that hard work, the prebaby jeans didn’t fit as soon (after the hard work started) as she thought they would! Airbrushed or not, you’ve motivated me to try harder!

Kris on

I gained around 65 pounds while pregnant. It took me nearly a year and a half to do it, but with diet and exercise, I did! I’m even smaller then I was before. Definitely don’t have a nanny, a personal trainer, or a nutritionist. When you quit making excuses, you can accomplish nearly anything you put your mind to.

Good for her, she looks great! An inspiring and realistic story!

plS on

“I think she looks great but not like 113 lbs! She looks at least 120. I think celebs lie about their weight and are fixated on a number. . . I wish celebs were more honest about the numbers for everyday women and so we don’t feel like we want to weigh what they weigh.”

I’m an inch taller than Melissa and that’s what I look like at 113 lbs. Frame size has a lot to do with it. My frame is small, so I weigh less than what most people would think I weigh. I doubt she is lying, since it is how she looks that counts, not the numbers on the scale.

plS on

I agree that it is easier for these people who have nannies, cleaning ladies, trainers, money to go to the gymn, etc. It’s a lot easier to be on a diet when you have someone else to do your diet thinking for you, to tell you what to eat and how much to exercise! But this is also a celebrity site. For all you people tired of hearing celebrity after-baby weight loss stories, what else do you expect from a celebrity baby site?

Silvermouse on

I think she looks great :-).
I also believe that those who are saying that Melissa had it easy don’t have the determination to get into shape that she does.
Anybody can get into that kind of shape with time, determination, and intelligence.

Janet on

Wow mad props to her! I’m struggling every day to lose weight and I’ve never had a baby. But why the heck is she going to open up a candy store????? Gee thanks–make others fat. Enabling. Open up a health treat store. I’m so kiddin’. I’m jealous. Ugh.

Maddie on

I love the look Braydon’s giving the camera!

michelle on

Free/Cheap ways to exercise:
– Rent workout DVDs from the library
– Buy workout DVDs and exercise equipment at garage sales or off Craig’s list. I bought my brand new treadmill at a garage sale for $25.
– WALK, walk around the neighborhood, walk laps around your backyard, walk up and down the stairs at home/work. Put the baby in the stroller and go mall-walking or to the park.
– Walk or jog in place while watching TV
– Do squats when blowdrying your hair or loading the dishwasher or clothes dryer.
– How about some old-school calisthenics(sp?)…jumping jacks anyone?
– Even a hula-hoop burns tons of calories.

There are so many cheap or free ways to exercise without spending a lot of time. Even ways you can multi-talk by exercising during your household chores.

It has nothing to do with money.

CelebBabyLover on

Melissa, I know you read these comments, so this comment is for you:

Good for you for losing weight, and don’t let the negative comments (lying about your weight, setting unrealistic examples, etc.) get to you. You are awesome, and an inspiration to women everywhere! You go, girl! :)

J on

Hillary, it is not impossible to find the time. In fact if you eat healthy, the exercise from taking care of two children should be enough. It might take longer than a celeb, but it is not an excuse to not do something about it. I am a mother of 22 month old twins and they keep me on my feet all day long. After I gave birth to my twins I was close on 200lbs, a few months after their birth I did something about it. I ate healthy normal meals and the exercise from taking care of them alone helped take the weight off. I have only just last month reached my goal of 125lbs. Yes it took 1.5 years but it is was well worth it. There are plenty of mothers who lose the ”baby weight” so it’s just not celebs, then there are the ones who don’t put in the effort because it’s ”too hard”. Well yes it is very hard but it is well worth it, so in the end it is YOUR choice. It’s not fair to critisize celebs when they done something about it.

kai on

JULIE, I totally agree! the headlines always read “how so and so got her OLD body back”…yeah, sure. that said, I thought that Melissa looks relatively realistic on the cover. They didn’t photoshop her into looking like a teenager.

whatever. these stories are just so utterly boring.

I do, however, agree with the hot husband comments lol

April on

Chloe #33/34, I’m sorry what she said offended you, but it sounds like you’re projecting your own insecurities onto Melissa. She shouldn’t need to temper her thoughts about how she felt about herself and what it was that led her to say “I need to lose the weight” for fear of offending. She’s simply talking about her own personal experience.

betsala on

Melissa looks great. That being said, I don’t think that stories like this do anything to further women’s acceptance of their bodies or the changes that come with having kids. I will never have perky breasts again, and that’s okay. I am heavier than I was before, but I eat healthy foods and get exercise running after my kids and taking them on nature walks. I don;t mean to single out Melissa, but she is basically saying that her feelings were hurt by the cruel judgements of her post baby body and that she reacted by conforming to the narrow, superficial Hollywood standards. How is that a victory? It seems sad to me. Caving to bullies? I am all for health, by the way, but being healthy and having a “bikini body” are not necessarily the same thing.

kris on

Good for Melissa. The truth of the matter is that if she wants to work she does need to look a certain way. And, it sounds like she went about loosing the weight the right way. She eats well and exercises for an hour 5 days a week. I know plenty of “regular” Moms who work out every day. I also know “regular” Moms who use trainers at the gyms they belong to. She’s not saying “oh I lost weight running around after my kids”, she’s saying I worked hard for 14 months to get here. So, again, good for her.

They seem like a beautiful family inside and out. Their boys are adorable and hubby is not to hard on the eyes either. :)

pelin on

they look so cute!!! and I dont think losing weight is directly linked with money and power.It is about determination, and its good and healthy for her to loose weights in a long period!She looks wonderful in bikini!

Natasha on

Good for Melissa, she looks great! The one thing that bothers me a little is that it seems like she wanted to prove something to everyone else as opposed to herself. People are going to find anything to pick apart and just because she lost weight now doesn’t mean it’ll stop. She should be confident in herself to do things for HER, not for the media or blogs. Many, if not most of celebrities are “skinny” and we all know that doesn’t really affect how much they’re made fun of.

Amanda on

I have loved Melissa since I Clarissa-Explains-It-All and was secretly (sadly?) thrilled when she and I had our kids at the same time. I’m happy that she feels good about herself and has a lovely family.

That being said, while these bikini body stories normally annoy the hell out of me, since Melissa did it in a reasonable amount of time after the birth of her 2nd, this one doesn’t tick me off like they do when it happens 2 MONTHS after the baby is born.

And, everything she says she did is reasonable for most people. I have to work very hard to lose and maintain a healthier weight but it can be done.

go Melissa! and all other moms who work hard to be healthy for themselves and their families! All the women in my family are very overweight-and I see the strain it puts on them, their families, and their health. It is worth it to put the work in.

Jeanette on

April & Chloe –
I think the problem is not that Melissa spoke about herself *feeling* huge – she said it objectively – at that weight, “I knew I was huge.” Not “I felt huge.” In an article where the before picture is 155 pounds – that is a statement that can make a lot of us feel bad. Sure, we may be thinking of the work we have to do and the pounds we have to lose. But really, I have never had children and weigh more than 155 pounds. I know that is overweight. That doesn’t mean I think I am huge and don’t want anyone, in a magazine or otherwise, to infer so unless they are my doctor. I’ve lost 30 pounds and am continuing to become healthy.
I know how tough it is and I’m really inspired by what Melissa has done and in a healthy manner. That’s great. But that doesn’t make it less discouraging to hear/read someone say that 155 pounds or 170 pounds just after giving birth is “huge.” In interviews, I’m sure the subject is speaking candidly and sometimes things come across differently than you think. Maybe she means she is huge for someone in her industry. Maybe she means she knew she was huge for her normal goals for herself. Maybe she does think 155 is huge no matter who you are. I realize that 155 is overweight I think telling women that 155 pounds, especially pre-baby, is huge, is an insensitive way to put it and only contributes to the high standards of quick weight loss that so plagued Melissa herself – and yes, I realize she took the time to do this right. I just mean the quick criticisms lobbed her way by crappy people.
Melissa, congratulations on your weight loss – I really am inspired by your hard work and applaud you for doing it the right way.

Jeanette on

As an addendum, I do also realize she was referring to 170 as huge – not necessarily the 155, and my thoughts still remain the same. Particularly when the magazine is published and people see the “horrifying” before picture at 155 along with the comment that the weight was not only “huge” but crazy – as if she had surpassed huge and gone to a crazy outer limit. :)

Deb on

You cant get rid of cellulite JUST by exercising, and I think she has a nanny and more vigorous workout then most of us mothers of 2 staying at home have.

kaia on

I’m with whoever said they think she doesn’t weigh 113; she looks like a healthy 120ish to me. Honestly, I think most people love to blame lack of money for their laziness and lack of focus on keeping themselves healthy. It’s good for our children to see us carve out time to keep ourselves in shape. I’m sorry, but we all have at least 30 minutes to exercise. Working, stay at home, or whatever. It’s just so much easier to say “if I had more money…or if I had more time…ect.” If you want to do something, you’ll do it. Rich or poor.

danda_lion on

Very well said, Betsala!

Stella Bella on

If she is 5’2″, I don’t think she is lying about her weight… I do agree that it sometimes seems like celebs lowball their weight numbers though. I have to admit I often wonder about 6′ models who aren’t skeletal saying they are 125 lbs. I am 5’8″ and look positively anorexic at 125 lbs and I tend to think a healthy looking 6′ woman would need just a wee bit more.

fuzibuni on

How brave of her to do this cover. If I knew that casting agents were whispering about my backside, and tabloids were following my family to the beach to get pictures of my post partum body, I would want to take a box of twinkies and hide in a cave.
So kudos to her for facing the fear and doing this.

That said, I do not find the inset photo of Melissa “horrifying” in the least… except for the obvious invasion of her privacy. In fact, if anything is horrifying, it’s that articles like this make good sales. We love to hear how someone else lost weight because most of us don’t like our bodies either.

Instead of showing us “bikini bodies’ and listing how many pounds someone has lost, it would be refreshing to see a cover article about a celebrity who learned to love themselves even though their body many not be ‘perfect.’

It’s tragic that so many women hate their bodies. Instead of focusing on diets and pounds, most of us could benefit from being more loving towards ourselves and listening to what our bodies need and want…. which is usually health, care, and respect.

Blackrose on

i love the first pic! her dress looks nice!

brook on

Ok, so I know Melissa is featured on this site a lot and I believe that a number of moms/women reading this could relate to her weight before this. I believe that now there are women on here who feel as though Melissa is no longer in the same position as they, as in her body, and how she managed to lose the weight, and they are no longer able to relate to her…JMO…also, if there is a will-there is a way!! Kudos to Michelle for giving all those women saying that it is too expensive to exercise some suggestions for doing it free!

Ashandra on

Chloe (33/34)- I don’t think you should take it personally. Melissa didn’t say “All women who weigh 170 pounds are huge and need to lose weight”. 5’2 and 170 pounds is classified as obese, using the BMI scale, for non-pregnant people. This is totally different from you, who is 8.5 months pregnant! You still have a baby and all the fluids in there, no there is almost no weigh you could weigh that after birth. Good luck with your baby.
Congratulations, some of you have wonderful weight loss stories. Instead of people bashing celebrities from having trainers and nutritionists, I love when people share their own success story. Especially the mother that has the 22 month old twins and went from 200 pounds to 125. That’s amazing.
We should support each other, not shout at each other that losing baby weight is unrealistic. Go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful day!

Shelley on

I love her! She looks great!

babyboopie on

I adore Melissa, and I feel bad she had all that criticism from people who clearly don’t get the concept that she has brought a life into this world and has put on weight doing so, which is natural and perfectly normal. She should lose the weight in her own time, not on Hollywood time of 2 weeks!!
But she looks absolutely fantastic and I’m so happy for her that she’s happy with herself, and her BEAUTIFUL family! Love Mason, Brady and even Mark (who is gorgeous!)

Rachel on

Why is it always “bikini after baby” ? It just makes those moms (including me!) out there feel like we will never look good enough if we can’t necessarily look good in a bikini. I’m thin, watch what I eat, exercise and I will never look good enough to wear a bikini. So how should I feel about that?!

mamabear on

PLEASE, STOP IT. All the people who say it’s easier for her to lose weight because she has money for a trainer and nutritionist!

Having money or a trainer doesn’t help anyone with their WILLPOWER! It all comes back to the individual and the CHOICES they make.

I am overweight, I am a single mother of two and have NO money to go to a gym or get a trainer either.

But I COULD make better choices. I was overweight, with borderline high-cholesterol and borderline high blood sugar.

I decided I could take the stairs up and down instead of taking the elevator. My office is on the 10th floor, but this trek took me less than FIVE minutes and in my hectic day, I COULD fit that in! I eat flavored oatmeal every morning, it fills me up and was good for lowering cholesterol. I eat hearty salads for lunch and a healthy dinner of chicken or fish with steamed veggies and a baked potato.

I lost 8 POUNDS in 3 weeks!

My pants that were once fitting, are now really BAGGY! Yay!

Rich or poor, losing weight IS HARD!
Making better choices is FREE, we just need to stop looking for that “MIRACLE” diet or pill and take charge of our lives. Period.

Start brown bagging it instead of that fast-food sandwich or salad. You’ll SAVE money and CALORIES!

Doreen on

It’s great that she lost ALL that weight! Wow good for her! :) Yes, she does have more the means than what most of us probably do! With a personal Trainer and everything it worked well for her! Also, I’d definitely like to say that she almost doesn’t look like herself on the cover! Definitely a lot of Photoshop work going on there for sure!!

frannieface77 on

I am tired of so many people being angry because they think they can’t be in shape without time or money. You can be a middle class, busy mother of two and still eat healthy! I know I’m not at my ideal weight because I snack too much on things with carbs. I also know that if I really the initiative, stocked up on veggies, and cut the desserts and unhealthy snacks, I could easily get my weight back down. For some people it IS harder, but that means they simply have to find ways to make it work. It is NOT expensive to change your diet. Instead of spending money on fries and a burger, go buy a head of lettuce and a bag of baby carrots. You might be surprised at how cheap fresh groceries are. You don’t need to spend money on a personal chef or trainer. A basic plan at 24-hour fitness is pretty cheap. Plenty of super healthy recipes and weight loss plans are available for free on the internet, as well as calorie information. Exercise also helps, but studies show that the biggest part of weight loss is eating habits. Pay attention to serving sizes: many people eat 2-3+ servings in a meal without realizing it. Make your own foods: you’ll be able to control what goes in them. My mom can make a delicious vegetable soup in no time with veggie broth from trader joe’s, fresh produce, spices, and a blender. Simple. I love grabbing a banana for breakfast. Snack on baby carrots and snap peas. Chew on sugarfree gum while watching TV to avoid snacking. Drink lots of liquids, which help you feel temporarily full, such as tea. Cut small things that add lots of calories: cream and sugar from your coffee and tea, hot fudge and chocolate sauce from your ice cream, get nonfat frozen yogurt, yoplait light instead of greek yogurt, steam vegetables instead of stirfrying, eat whole wheat instead of white bread, eat broth based rather than cream based soups and sauces. Make sure to account for what suits your metabolism, and don’t push yourself too hard, it’s easy to relapse and over-indulge. It’s difficult at first, but eventually you can get into the habit of being naturally healthy.

Ashandra on

Frannieface says: I am tired of so many people being angry because they think they can’t be in shape without time or money.

I think it is because many want to have excuses why they can’t lose the weight afterward – it’s easier just to complain about how hard your life is rather than jogging three times a week.

Rich, middle class, or poor, I have all the tools that I need to stay in shape. You don’t have to be 100 pounds to feel good about yourself.

Melissa M on

I loved reading this article and read it with a healthy attitude myself. Her body and image are her CAREER, and this career has afforded her the luxury of a nutritionist and a trainer. This woman has been working since she was a young child to afford these luxuries and I hope to goodness that she doesn’t let some of the posts get to her.
Good for her for doing all she could to get and stay healthy for herself and her children.
As for photoshopping, get real. I am a professional photographer and I photoshop almost every picture of a client no matter how old or young they are. All people want to look their best and sometimes bad lighting, a shadow and yes even a little extra weight get in the way.

Stella Bella on

“Rich, middle class, or poor, I have all the tools that I need to stay in shape. You don’t have to be 100 pounds to feel good about yourself.”
Ashandra, that is a fabulous, empowering sentiment. Love it!

Jenifer on

She looks great … but a.) 155 pounds is really not that big outside of stick thin Hollywood and b.) I am heavy doubting she is 113 pounds. I have about an inch on her and I think 113 pounds would make her look like Skeletor with boobs.

BTW, I work out 6 days a week and watch what I eat … but I still think its a heck of a lot easier for a celebrity (not matter how “B” list you might be) to do. She is someone with a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a personal chef, a nanny, a personal assistant … heck, she probably has someone to buy her exercise clothes and wipe her sweat.

Charisse on

I agree with what Kaia said… people stop blaming money on your laziness. We all have 30 minutes a day and feel will. Get up an extra 30 minutes or go for a walk on your lunch break. Nobody is cramming the cupcakes down your throats.

I think She looks awesome. I even put the people cover page of her on my fridges as motivation.

Cynthia on

Depending on Melissa’s bone structure, 113 lb is NOT as “skelator” as an earlier poster thinks. In fact, 113 lb is a perfectly acceptable, normal weight for someone who is 5’2″. I’m about her height, with an absolutely teeny frame and at around 95 to 97 lb, am considered healthy according to my doctor.

Ann on

She is beautiful. I wish sucess for her.

CelebBabyLover on

Jenifer- Do you know her personally? If not, then all you really know for sure that she has is the trainer, nutristionist, and nanny, as she mentioned the trainer and nutristionist in the interview and has, I believe, been seen with a nanny.

CelebBabyLover on

Cynthia- I agree! Melissa is on the short side, and 113 on us shorter people is going to look a lot different than 113 on a taller person! Also, different people have different bone and muscle structures. Some people, for example, are “big-boned” and others are “small-boned”. Also, some people are very muscular, and others are not.

We all come in different shapes and sizes…which is one of the many things that make us unique. :)

TracyG on

Kudos to Melissa! You look gorgeous and you have a beautiful family. Ignore the naysayers who say just because you are celebrity that you have perks they don’t. It’s simply NOT true. Poor, middle class, or rich, ANYONE can lose weight if they try hard enough.

Here’s an idea…get off the computer and go for a walk. Stop eating fast food or watching TV. MOVE AROUND! Take your baby to the park and walk or jog. Rent exercise videos! Stop BLAMING everyone else for your own shortcomings or laziness!

It angers me that people are picking Melissa apart for accomplishing a goal she had. Jealousy at it’s best is rearing it’s ugly head once again!

Brettynlee on

Kudos for losing all the weight and getting back in shape! To put yourself on the cover of a magazine in a bikini is catering to the media and basically just proves that you have to cave to media standards on how you should look. Isn’t it enough for just you and your family to be proud?

stephanie on

The whole idea of celebrities being better than us is made up by US. We make them celebrities and spend our time obsessing about thier lives, their weight and their money. Our world would be a much different place if we cared more about things that really matter.

nosoupforyou on

I work full time in a demanding job. I have two sons and along with all of their activities (music, baseball, track, hockey, football) I work out 5 days per week. Because I work outside of the home, I can afford a gym membership. When I couldn’t, I went to the local track, did workout videos and bought a few weights.

nosoupforyou on

I work full time in a demanding job. I have two sons and along with all of their activities (music, baseball, track, hockey, football) I work out 5 days per week. Because I work outside of the home, I can afford a gym membership. When I couldn’t, I went to the local track, did workout videos and bought a few weights.

Also, it does not take money, nannies, trainers, or chefs to stop shoveling food into your mouth.

Des on

Melissa looks fab! Way to go!

I am a boudoir photog and I see A LOT of moms w/o clothing and not everyone has loose skin and stretchmarks. I do, BAD, but seriously….just because she doesnt have flopping skin on the cover means nothing. She could have good skin, plus working out helps. Her boobs arent unrealistic looking either.

She worked hard, give her credit.

It also drives me nuts when people say “if I had money.” She already said she was “lucky” but even so……

ANYONE can do it. Take the kids on a bike ride, run around the block, climb some stairs, play ball with the kids at a park. I go to a local chain gym (not sure if I am allowed to say the name) and it $14 dollars a month unlimited ($9 if you only want to go 3 days a week.) That’s like renting a couple movies or a couple of coffee drinks.

Rebecca on

Freecycle is a great place to get free work out equipment. The one in my area is always getting rid of treadmills, ellipticals, weight sets, etc. All you have to do is go pick them up!

kiddywink on

I think it is great that she is getting in shape, if she is doing it for herself or family. I think that it is a different inspirational type of story. I think that it is inspiring to know that she struggles like a normal person and that while she may have money to buy the trainers and nutritionist, they are not in her life 24/7. Anyone with her drive and will can do what she did. There are many free trainers at gyms that come with the gym memberships. There are also many great tips on the web that are free and they teach you how to workout at home as if you were at the gym. There are also those things called Doctors. This is someone you see on a regular basis and will listen to you and should be able to suggest healthy eating styles. This will save you money and kill two birds with one stone, get your monthly check up while getting tips on a healthier lifestyle. Ms. Hart is not the one that should be receiving the stones that have been casted from the mouths of haters. We have all been there, are still there, or are getting there slowly. We should be using her story as an inspiration to look at ourselves in the mirror and say if a busy talented woman like Melissa Joan Hart can make time in her life to become healthier so can I. Thank you for this wonderful and inspirational story. I hope that some day in my life I can have the courage that you have. Ms. Hart you are a wonderful actress and I have not seen anything that you have done that I have NOT loved. The public is always fast to throw stones it is the brave people that catch them and throw them back that are truly worthy of the title “Celebrity.” May God bless you and may your life be filled with happiness for yourself as well as others. Again thank you for entertaining us couch potatoes.

melania on

I do think that money has very little to do with whether or not a person can get/stay in shape. It’s more an issue of priorities. I do hate going to the gym because it’s time I could be spending with my children. I think that is an issue with many moms. But a long walk or jog with a jogging stroller accomplishes both things at once. I am currently struggling to get back to prebaby weight from baby #4 (#last). I spent so much time worrying about it, but not doing anything. I bought a pedometer and committed to 10,000 steps a day back in April. What a difference in my weight, mood, self esteem. I’m very happy for Melissa. She must feel fabulous.

LB on

I agree with “J”. Eating right and exercise are key to losing weight and you don’t need to be rich! Go Melissa, you should be proud and you look great! I have been a fan since Clarissa and always will be!

Di on

I feel really weird about these People covers that have some female celebrity talking about how she lost weight. I applaud MJH’s accomplishments but I do not see how anyone can deny how her wealth enabled her too lose all the weight. Yes, will power has nothing to do with being rich but a personal trainer can teach you what exercises work best on which part of the body; a nutrionist can teach you what meals you should eat; a chef can cook all of your nutrious meals and a nanny can watch your children when you want to work out. I am not saying that Melissa had access to all of these resources but the average celebrity does.

I remember watching Oprah and Valerie Bertinelli was talking about how she lost 45 lbs. If you watched tv, you would think that all VB did was eat her Jenny Craig meals and the weight melted off but in reality Valerie was working out several days a week with a personal trainer that enabled her to get the kind of abs that she has now.

I feel sorry for female celebrities because they are under such incredible pressures to look like their pre-pregnancy selves just weeks after giving birth and it is not right.

Mary on

who’s business is it how much weight she gained during pregnancy and how much she did or didn’t lose afterward. she gave birth, for goodness’ sake. i’m sure she’d do it again in a heartbeat if the end result was a beautiful, healthy, little baby. i just think her kids are extremely cute. good for her losing the weight, but she should definitely do it because it makes her happy, not because someone thinks she should. i understand she’s in the public eye moreso than any of us, but still. it’s just annoying how they try to control these people’s lives.

Kelli on

Wow people will complain about ANYTHING!!! I agree with the other people, yes celebrities do have it easier as they have tons of time to work out, trainers, people to cook their meals, etc. However, it is NOT impossible to do it on your own. I have 2 kids; ages 4 and 2 and I can manage to work 30 minutes into my day (and I work 40 hours a week). I actually use a DVD I found online (30-Day Shred, it is 30 minutes long and you do get a workout). And my kids do it with me to a point…or they just play around or I do it when they go to bed.
I also just watch what I eat. I keep track of what I eat, how many calories are in food, things like that. I don’t munch on crap all day. There are free calorie counting programs out there if you look around. There is an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch, there is SparkPeople.com you can find free programs…you just have to look.
You can walk around your neighborhood or the mall (as others said) you can run around with your kids, you can do stuff just in your house (without exercise equipment), you can use cans instead of weights, do crunches, in general just get off the couch and work at it.
I hate when people use the excuse that they cannot take time to lose weight because they are “soooooo busy”. Don’t you want to set a good example for your children? Have them see a HEALTHY mom?
Just my opinion there….but people need to drop the excuses and get to work if they want to accomplish something. It takes hard work and dedication to lose weight but the benefits are amazing.

Riyannsh on

people people people..

Jenifer on

CelebBabyLover, I was being facetious. I would assume no one has someone to wipe their sweat.

Also, there is no real thing as little boned or big boned. There was a celebrity weight coach (Biggest Loser or Celebrity Fit Club, I can’t remember) who dispelled that myth years ago. I will admit fault in saying that no one who is 5’2 could weigh 113 pounds and look good. You are getting pretty darn close to the low end of your BMI, though.

Also, there are about 50 messages saying stop being lazy to this mythical poster. I think pretty much everyone has said they exercise — but it doesn’t erase the fact that it is easier to do if you have the money and the time. So if you are a working Mom or SAHM of modest means, pat YOURSELF on the back for working out. Not a celebrity.

CelebBabyLover on

Jenifer- Actually, there IS such a thing as big boned or little boned to an extent. There is even a simple test you can do. Put your thumb and one of your fingers (I forget which one) around your the wrist of your other hand. If the finger and thumb touch, you have average bones. If they overlap, you have smaller than average bones, and if they don’t meet at all, you have larger than normal bones (obviously this test isn’t going to be accurate if you’re really over or under weight). :)

eternalcanadian on

didn’t a national medical association recently come out and say women should only gain about 15-25 pounds during pregnancy? i mean a baby is at most 7 to 8 poounds so why do so women gain more than 50 pounds during pregnancy? i am not surprised about the razzing melissa took. she did not look good fat. no one does. obesity is an epidemic in north america and women shouldn’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat twice what they usually do. sure, there are medical issues where one is not able to workout, but even swimming several gentle laps in a pool is better than sitting around eating a whole pizza, ya know? just my opinion.

Lauren on

“didn’t a national medical association recently come out and say women should only gain about 15-25 pounds during pregnancy?”

They officially created new guidelines for overweight pregnant women since the number of them is at a record high. Overweight women are told not to gain more than 25 pounds during pregnancy, as gaining 25 pounds or less has still been yielding perfectly healthy babies. Avergae sized women are told to gain between 25 and 35, so Melissa gained 20 pounds over what she was “supposed to” (and I can’t remember whether one needs to be 20 pounds overweight or 30 to be considered obsese, but in any case, she definitely did not need to gain that much to have a healthy baby). But that’s in the past, she worked through it over time, and should be proud of her work. And without sounding like a broken record, ITA with everyone who says people love to pin their own personal issues and insecurities on celebrities purely for convenience. If the people complaining about how bad Melissa is making them feel really cared about getting in shape, they’d go for a walk around the block with their own kids instead of posting on Celebrity Baby Blog while their kids are God knows where (because after all, someone has to watch them while the parents are on here, right?…)

CelebBabyLover on

eternalcanadian- Actually, a poster on another recent “baby weight” thread mentioned that, when you do the research, very little of the weight gained during pregnancy is fat. Like you said, approxamitely 7-8 pounds is the baby. The amniotic fluid, placenta, and enlarged uterus make up another percent of the baby weight. In fact, most women lose about 20 pounds just by giving birth!

Another percentage of the baby weight is breast tissue (we all know that breasts increase in size during pregnancy!). Yet another percentage comes from the fact that some tissues and organs need to temporarily enlarge to cope with the added demand of a baby (the liver, for example, more than likely becomes enlarged during pregnancy due to the fact that it is filtering both the mother’s and the baby’s blood).

The percentage that’s left over is fat.

CelebBabyLover on

Oh, and eternalcanadian, I think it’s horrible that you called Melissa fat. When that picture was taken, she was not fat! It’s called having a baby three months before the picture was taken!

What really makes me feel bad is that Melissa has said she reads these comments. Therefore, it’s very possible that she read your comment about her being fat.

Melissa, you were definently not fat! You had just recently given birth, and people really should have given you a break!

Mel on

It doesn’t matter if you have the money for a trainer and nutritionist or not. You still have to work at it! Especially after having two kiddos. Good job, Melissa!

Brittany on

Honestly I think other moms need to chill. Yes it is nice to have trainers and nutrionists but it is still easy to get back in a pregnancy body with some time. My son is 6 months old and I’m 15 pounds lighter than my preprego bod.I hit the gym whenever I can but mostly I put my son in a stroller and go running everyday. I do squats and lunges with the stroller and pushups and situps on breaks. Everyone is different and will lose weight differently but don’t criticize a celeb who took months to get into shape. I think she looks great and am glad she didn’t do it in 3 weeks postpartum.

Sarah on

Don’t hate Alexia kaelyn!

Jenny on

A close friend of mine had a child two years ago and is now fitter and thinner than she was pre baby, she even completed a marathon on Sunday. She works full time and also does not have a nanny.
I also have French family and it simply doesn’t occur to them that they shouldn’t get back to their pre pregnancy weight, it simply is fact.

Joey on

Wow, I can’t believe the one comment above when the girl stated that women let themselves go after pregnancy and it’s just an excuse when we say we don’t have the money. This is true because not everyone has the knowledge about what is healthy to eat in order to lose weight. There are so many fad diets and new information coming out daily…how do we know what is good for us or not anymore. I just thought that statement was very ignorant. A lot of celebs are able to lose the weight because they hire the best of the best to tailor the program towards their specific bodies needs. I think it’s awesome that Melissa was able to lose the weight but all in all it’s a struggle for anyone. Especially for those who can’t afford the professional knowledge to go about it the most efficient way.

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