May 02, 2017 08:55 AM

After having her son Lyric in 2014, Soleil Moon Frye got into the best shape of her life — and then almost immediately got pregnant again.

Since Frye, 40, had had previous success losing pregnancy weight with Nutrisystem, she turned back to the meal plan after giving birth to her fourth child Story last May. By January she was down 26 lbs., and the actress is now down 40 lbs. and feels comfortable rocking a swimsuit once again.

“I’m very excited I am finally at my goal,” she tells PEOPLE. “With the third baby it was really hard to get it off, and with the fourth it was even harder. It’s been an amazing journey and I am so thrilled to be at a weight where I feel really good right now.”

And not only does she feel confident in swimwear, she’s also been able to fit back into a dress she hadn’t worn in nearly two decades.

“I literally put on a dress the other day that I had since my husband and I started dating,” says Frye. “It would be vintage now! It’s 18 years old, and I felt like it fit me better now than it did then, and that was a really good feeling.”

While the weight loss process wasn’t easy, the Nutrisystem spokesperson says she’s happy the plan allowed her to drop the pounds without feeling deprived.

“I’m not somebody that can live on ice water and fruit and veggies — I need to eat!” she says. “I wake up in the morning, I have their waffle, I eat my dinner and I have my pizza. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. It’s helped me lose weight in a very healthy way where I’m still eating and I’m still enjoying and still living my life.”

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For Frye, getting back into a swimsuit was less about hitting a weight goal and more about feeling confident about her body.

“The whole bathing suit thing has been a way to get over my own securities,” she says. “It’s more about setting my own challenge, but not in a sense of I just want to lose weight but of I want to feel great, I want to feel like my best self, I want to feel wonderful getting into a bathing suit, and I want to feel good this summer running after my kids.”

It’s this healthy sense of self she hopes to pass onto all her children, but especially her daughters Poet, 11, and Jagger, 9.

“I feel like it’s incredibly important to encourage them to feel like their best selves and to have a healthy mindset and to really love their entire being,” says Frye. “But also they see me eating an ice cream sandwich when they’re eating an ice cream sandwich. There’s none of that, ‘Oh mom’s not eating.’ Nutrisystem has been a way to really feel great and stay healthy and focused, while still working my best to be the most positive role model for my girls that I could be.”

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