America Ferrera isn’t worrying about the numbers on the scale.
The Superstore star, 34, “swore off scales” well before her pregnancy, but now, five months after giving birth to her first child, son Sebastian (nicknamed Baz), she’s making an extra effort to be kind to her body.
“I’m just now starting to feel like I want to feel strong in my body again,” Ferrera told Health for their December cover. “I didn’t work out as much as I imagined I would during my pregnancy. I was in triathlon shape when I got pregnant. I had so much on my plate and something had to give.”
But though she didn’t exercise as much as she would’ve liked, pregnancy made Ferrera feel “really powerful and healthy.”
“You create life. I found so much power in that,” she said.
Ferrera said she’s still breastfeeding, so her body is “still very much in service of my son.”
As for her own eating habits, Ferrera said that she “changed her relationship to food.”
“More than anything, I just try to be aware of how does what I eat make me feel. Do I feel better? Do I feel energized? Does this make me tired and not feel great?” she said, adding that she doesn’t overanalyze her diet.
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“I try to go easy on myself,” she said. “I think that’s been one of the mantras for me in all of motherhood — to try and not be so hard on myself. Which is a challenge because, like so many women, I demand so much more of myself than I would ever demand of someone else.”
One of those demands is to use the platform she has as an actress and producer to fight the systematic inequality that women and people of color, particularly immigrants, feel in the United States. But Ferrera admits that working as an activist along with two full-time jobs and taking care of her son is a lot to handle.
“I feel like I’ve been burning myself out for years. A mental shift that I’ve had recently is to not take it all on … It’s a generations-long battle of continuing to show up,” she said, adding that it helps to realize that she can’t fix everything at once. “So being kind to yourself and acknowledging I’m going to show up, because that’s what’s in my heart — to show up, without expectation that once and for all it’s going to be done.”
To read the full interview, go to Health.com.