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Body After Baby

Sports Illustrated Swim Model Bianca Balti on Losing 50 Lbs. After Baby: 'Realistically It Takes About a Year'

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Even Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models have a tough time losing the baby weight!

Bianca Balti — who was named the magazine‘s 2017 Rookie of the Year on Wednesday — talked about balancing motherhood and dealing with her post-baby body while working as a swimsuit model.

“It is a challenge, but it’s also a pleasure, because we are lucky to have these problems!” Balti says during a Facebook Live with PEOPLE Now.

The Italian native says she had to kick her workouts into high gear after the birth of her second daughter.

“As soon as I gave birth I had like 20 kilos, which I think is about 50 lbs., and I realized, oh my gosh, in one month I have my photoshoot,” Balti says. “So I had to lose a lot, and you know, it doesn’t happen in one month. So it took me almost a year because I think realistically it takes about a year.”

“But it empowered me a lot, because I was training twice a day, and then going back to my baby, sleeping with the baby, and I did it and I felt empowered like I never felt before.”

Though she’s a “Rookie” this year, the 32-year-old Balti says modeling for the magazine fulfills a longtime dream.

“32 in modeling years is like 60,” Balti says, laughing. “I’m kidding, like Christie Brinkley is breaking these boundaries. It’s amazing because I’ve done so many of these things I’ve always wanted to do — almost everything — in my career. And now, at 32, I didn’t expect this. I wanted to be in the magazine for so long, and finally I’m here. And plus, I’m Rookie of the Year! It’s amazing.”

Bianca Balti
James Macari/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

And she wants this achievement to show to her daughters that anything is possible.

“They can do whatever they want, if you really want something, you visualize it and you go for it, and with me it happens all the time,” Balti says. “I just want them to feel like they can be whatever they want. They can be mothers, or they can choose not to have kids, for example. But they have to work for sure!”