The country singer and South Beach Diet spokesperson, 30, opened up about managing her self-esteem and expectations during the weight loss process, and shared a “real” photo of her body before and after.
“I know you’ll see a lot of people in the public eye and they drop weight in what seems like five minutes after having a baby and I think we all feel like we should live up to those expectations,” she said on Instagram. “I’ve even been guilty of that myself and thinking I need to rush and lose weight two months after having a baby when I see all these skinny girls post-baby but that is just not realistic for the majority of us.”
“I’m a little nervous about showing y’all that before [picture] because I was pretty uncomfortable but I want to keep it real with you guys!” she added.
With those three pregnancies coming in just four and a half years, Decker said she’s now “been every shape and size” — including hitting 165 lbs. with her first child — which was a change for her body after years of relying on her strong metabolism to stay slim.
“Having children definitely changed everything and I’m so blessed and grateful to have my babies as y’all know, but it definitely can test your self-esteem when you are used to looking and feeling a certain way,” she said. “It was really hard on my frame and I definitely struggled self-esteem wise.”
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James said that by the time she gave birth to her third child, son Forrest, in March, she knew how to take care of her body post-pregnancy. She now follows the South Beach Diet — which focuses on lean proteins and vegetables while eliminating most carbohydrates — and lifts weights.
“This is the fastest I have ever lost weight from all of my pregnancies and I truly think it’s just from educating myself and knowing what to do and having this program right in front of me,” she said. “My goal now as far as my body goes is to be healthy and happy and fit, not ‘skinny.’ ”
Decker also told PEOPLE in October that she had lost 17 lbs. at that point, but she wasn’t focusing on the number.
“I’m not a big scale person. I’m big on how I look and how I feel, and I’m all about building muscle and toning up,” she said. “I used to obsess over that stuff back in the day and I just don’t anymore. I think how do I look, how do I feel, how do my clothes fit me, and I’m all about getting in the gym. I love lifting weights and I love being active and I look and feel better from that.”