After 15 years of training celebrity moms including Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian, fitness guru Tracy Anderson knows more than a thing or two about the post-baby body.
And she's seen enough transformations to know that the weight doesn't come off in a matter of days or even weeks, despite the fact that drastic celebrity weight loss after pregnancy is glorified in the media.
"It's insane," Anderson told Newsday.com on Tuesday night at US Weekly's Most Stylish New Yorkers event at Harlow in Manhattan. "I don't think the public is even fascinated with it. I think they know it's not real.
"Those photographs aren't even real. I see these people all the time and I'm like, 'That photo was not from then,' or 'That was severely airbrushed,' or 'That head was put on somebody else's body.' It's the most evil trick that women play on women."
Anderson is a mom herself, to son Sam, 14, and daughter Penelope, 15 months. Though she showed off her now impeccably toned figure in a sparkly, body-skimming nude dress Tuesday in the midst of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the trainer admits "even with everything I know it took time to get back."
"There's something really wrong with us trying to manipulate people into thinking that celebrities have some secret that other women don't have," Anderson said. "Or there's some superhuman unnatrual force that they were given that they just bounce back."
Her tips for new moms? Keep your priorities in check, much like her client Kim Kardashian, for whom Anderson's goal is to "only make her healthy and as in proportion as she should naturally be.
"Kim is taking as much time as she wants to just be with the baby," Anderson said. "She's not even concerned with working out. Kim is amazing as a mom, she's so connected. I knew when I was training her she would be a great mom. She was concerned with all the right things."
And what not to do?
"You cannot put a timeline on it. ... The worst you can do as a new mom is to say, 'I'm not losing it fast enough, I'm ugly now, my body's gone to hell, I'm going to start juice cleansing, I'm going to stop breastfeeding because I don't think the weight's coming off fast enough' -- No."
More of Tracy Anderson's top tips for new moms:
1. Stay connected to the baby. "Stay connected to what you feel is the best path for you and the baby and do the workouts as best you can."
2. Eat healthy. "The most important thing is, hopefully you're nursing and you have to make sure your breast milk is healthy."
3. Remember: Everybody is different. "What matters is that you're smart enough to grab the tools it takes, give yourself the time and when your doctor releases you to work out, that you actually do work out. And if you're doing that, you can't put a timeline on it -- you're doing the best you can do."
4. Consistency is key. Whether you're a mom or not!
5. Don't berate yourself for what you did or didn't eat during pregnancy. "A pregnancy is not the time to diet, it's not the time to not listen to your body. You're creating a whole other life. I ate Arby's during my pregnancy!"