“I thought, ‘This is really hard.’ After the third child, and then with the fourth, it was even harder,” Frye, 40, tells PEOPLE. “Our bodies change as we grow up and get a little bit older. It’s not quite as easy. You see these models that walk out in a crop top within a few weeks of having a baby — I wish I had a body like that, but that’s not realistic for me!”
And she didn’t want to rush back into trying to lose weight right away.
“I wanted to be with my baby and have those incredible moments with my little one — just enjoying, indulging and loving on him,” she says.
“I was like, ‘It worked the last time, I’m ready to do it again.’ I started back on the program and it’s been wonderful,” she says. “I absolutely love being able to eat waffles in the morning and ice cream sandwiches and pizza and things that I love.”
“I’m not someone that’s going to be able to live on lemon water. That’s just not my thing,” she continues. “Nutrisystem has always allowed me to eat what I love, and to also be with my family and not feel like I have to think about food all the time. I’m able to put it out at our mealtime, and it feels like part of what we’re all enjoying together.”
In addition to sticking to the Nutrisystem program, Frye — who is also mom to daughters Poet, 11, and Jagger, 8 — has been shaping up by staying active with her whole family.
“We’ve been doing a ton of bike riding together,” she says. “It gives us that time to get outdoors together. But the majority of the exercise is running around with the little ones, playing soccer, and especially now, having boys, I get to be rough with them.”
Since starting back on Nutrisystem, Frye has dropped 26 lbs.
“I still want to get even a little more off, but I’m feeling good, and I feel like a real woman,” she says. “I’ve never been somebody that feels like I have to be super skinny — I’m voluptuous, I’ve always been voluptuous.”
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The actress maintains a positive body image despite any external pressures to lose baby weight quickly because she knows it’s important to be a role model for her children.
“I think by knowing that my kids look to me, it really forces me to just feel as if I need to be an example to them,” she says.
She also leans on support from other moms.
“I’m so grateful that through my social community, I can connect with other people out there that are like-minded,” she says. “And I have friends that are strong and are incredible women.”