Emily Skye is one of the few Instagram fitness stars who actually keeps it real and makes you feel good about your body, no matter where you are in your fitness journey. She's shared photos of her stretch marks, food babies, cellulite, and unflattering angles, all the while reminding us that bodies are amazing for what they can do, not how they look. And Emily has only gotten more inspiring (and endearing) since she announced her pregnancy, by sharing photos of how her body has changed throughout the whole growing-a-human thing.
Now that she's given birth to baby Mia, Emily is addressing the common misconception that if you're super-fit before and during pregnancy, your body will just "bounce back" to how it was pre-baby. That's why Emily is all about sharing the reality of her post-baby body.
In her most recent post, she shared three side-by-side images, revealing how she looked before becoming pregnant, then at nine months, then one month postpartum. Though she's not as lean or toned as she is in the first pic, she says in the caption that she loves her body even more now than she did before. Emily keeps things positive; instead of calling out perceived flaws in the postpartum pic, she excitedly shares how amazing the human body is, and how crazy it is to see how much hers has changed within one year.
"Being a mother isn't easy in many ways which I'm now starting to experience," Emily says in the caption, "and the last thing I'm going to do is pressure myself to 'bounce back' quickly or beat myself up because my body hasn't returned to my pre-baby condition."
Emily continues to explain that instead of being hard on herself, she's choosing to celebrate her body, no matter its size or shape. While she's still eager to work out, it's not about getting back to a past version of her body.
"I choose to focus on being my best mentally and physically for my daughter Mia," she says. "And my priority definitely isn't looking a certain way."
Emily says she'll be starting her FIT workout program as soon as she gets her doctor's clearance next week.
"I just want to get fit and healthy again and I know that will take time, consistency and patience and it's important for me to be realistic about my goals."
Physically recovering after going through the trauma of birth takes time, and sometimes, women's bodies don't ever return to their exact pre-baby state. But if a fitness star can let go of the unrealistic idea of bouncing back, and set sustainable, body-positive goals, that's an empowering message for all moms.
We can't wait to follow along with Emily as she starts working out again; there's no doubt her posts will share all the nitty-gritty details of going back to the gym after baby. That realness is inspiring!
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.