By peoplestaff225
Updated December 03, 2020 02:38 PM

Kerry Washington doesn’t understand society’s obsession with new mothers “getting back” to their pre-pregnancy weight.

“I’ve been really focused on not being ‘back’ to anything, but being the best version of myself right now,” the mom tells SELF in the new September issue. “My body is the site of a miracle now. I don’t want to be pre-miracle.”

In fact when her manager told her she was “back,” Washington took issue with the phrase.

“She meant it as a total compliment, but we had this great conversation where I was like, ‘You know what? I try really hard not to use that language, because it’s not about going backward in life.'”

RELATED: Kerry Washington’s Favorite Pregnancy Treat: Smoothies

The Scandal actress, who gave birth to her first child, Isabelle Amarachi, in April 2014, cares about feeling good, not checking off a pre-baby-body box.

That said, she’s no stranger to working out. “I try to get it in so I can be back with my kid early,” Washington says about her exercise routine. “I have to take care of myself in order to live life the way I want to. It’s important to have rest days. But in the long run, if I don’t work out for, like, three days, I feel worse, not better.”


As for managing her hectic life — raising a 1-year-old, starring on Scandal, cuddling with the most adorable dog in the universe — Washington likes to think she shares Olivia Pope’s world-class multitasking skills.

“It makes my heart smile to think that maybe part of the reason I’m taking all this on is because of Olivia. She truly believes that she can handle every situation, and I do feel that has bled into my life. I have more of a sense of my capacity to do anything.”

RELATED: Kerry Washington Cooked a Game of Thrones Feast for Her Mom — Now Make Her Menu at Home

But that’s where the similarities end. Washington, for example, is no match for Olivia Pope when it comes to guzzling red wine.

“I’m such a lightweight that if I drink, it takes me a couple of days to recover,” she says. “So I prefer to do it on a beach, not when I have a three-page monologue the next day.”

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda