Jessica Simpson has been pregnant for the better part of two years, and now, the singer is finally ready to show off her post-baby body. The 33-year-old mom of two opens up about her weight loss journey—and the scrutiny that she's endured in the process—in a Dec. 16 interview with USA Today.
Simpson says she was "constantly hungry" and had a "big appetite" during her first pregnancy, which was announced in late 2011. "With Maxwell, I vegged out and laid around. I knew I didn't have to watch what I was eating for the first time in my life. I kind of let loose, and I gained a lot," she recalls.
After giving birth on May 1, 2012, the 5-foot-3 blond signed an endorsement deal with Weight Watchers and lost 50 pounds. Before long, however, Simpson unexpectedly got pregnant again.
Simpson gained "a good amount" of baby weight with Ace but declines to a provide a specific number. This time, however, she worked out with a personal trainer three times a week and went for walks with her "almost-husband," Eric Johnson, a former NFL tight end. "I tried to get 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. I wasn't trying to lose weight," she says. "I didn't mind gaining weight."
Exercise helps Simpson manage the "hormones" she deals with daily. "Working out and being active overall makes me a happier person to be around. I let out so much more anxiety if I go out and walk and talk to Eric, who is basically my therapist on our walks," the former Fashion Star mentor says.
Though her weight has been talked about in the tabloids for years, Simpson has no qualms about sharing her diet and fitness struggles and successes with fans.
"People are going to talk about this no matter what. I might as well choose to live a healthy lifestyle," the musician reasons. "It does get old having people harping on how much you weigh or your body after pregnancy. I need to feel comfortable in my own skin. People are going to pick me apart no matter what I do. I'm always going to have critics out there who will make a story out of something."
Shortly after giving birth to Ace on June 30, 2013, Simpson was allowed to resume her Weight Watchers diet. She first followed the company's Simple Start plan, a two-week program that doesn't require members to count points. "I saw the results really quickly," says Simpson, now uses the PointsPlus program.
Simpson stays active in other ways, too. "With both kids, I'm running up and down my stairs a million times. Kids can keep your metabolism going. Eric and I go on walks together," she says. "I try and walk about four miles a day consistently. It makes me feel better."
The hot mama now works out with trainer Harley Pasternak four days a week for 45 minutes. "It's a lot of resistance training, lots of lunges and squats. There are bursts of cardio throughout the workout as well," she says. Simpson adds that she is on a mission "to be the best version of myself and to feel great. I want to be a great mom and a great example to my kids."
Simpson and Johnson have their "hands full" with Maxwell and Ace. "It's so much fun. Every day we don't know what's going to happen," the pop princess tells the newspaper. "It's fun to watch them interact. They definitely keep our lives busy but full of smiles. We laugh a lot."
"I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have Eric with me and by my side, and he's an unbelievable dad."
Simpson adds that she "can't even think about being pregnant again right now." Accidents do happen, of course, and the "I Wanna Love You Forever" singer may change her mind about adding to her brood at another point in time. "I would never say never."
For now, though, Simpson is focused on finally making a trip down the aisle. "I've been pulling all kinds of sketches for dresses and colors," she tells USA Today of long-delayed wedding plans. "It's a good goal for me. It's good for me to feel the best I've ever felt when I walk down the aisle."