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Q&A with Actress Jenna Fischer

The star of The Office, Fiber One spokesperson, and mom to son Weston, almost one, gets real about breastfeeding, working motherhood, and how long it really takes to lose the baby weight.

You’ve been refreshingly candid about not dropping the baby weight immediately. How did it happen for you?
It happened the way it happens for most women. I just waited to start exercising and making any real changes to my diet until I was getting good rest and was healed from child birth, which wasn’t until my son was about 6 months old. By then he was napping and sleeping about 6 or 7 hours a night. I personally wasn’t interested in doing much between focusing on him.

I’m not a person who goes to extremes. I believe in moderation. I don’t go on cleanses, and I believe in having real dessert! Before I had Weston I used to make homemade diet desserts. Obviously now I don’t have time to make homemade anything any more. But then I saw the 90-calorie Fiber One brownies in the grocery store, and they were amazing! If I know at the end of the day, I’m going to get dessert, it helps me eat healthy the rest of the day.

Did you feel pressure to drop pounds immediately?
I think I had this unrealistic expectation that it would be faster or easier. That’s because that message is out there that you can lose weight so quickly after having a baby. But after investigating I found on average it takes about a year. I don’t want to send the message that’s it’s not important to lose the weight. Before I got pregnant, I was a fit person, and I had dreams when I was nine months pregnant about being able to be active and move my body again. But I had to be patient about the process and not rush it.

Did breastfeeding help?
There’s this message out there that you can breastfeed yourself skinny. For half of us, it’s true, but for about half of us breastfeeding makes us hold on to a weight. Every time Weston dropped a feeding, I dropped a pound. My body wanted to hold on to the weight to feed him.

What’s Weston up to these days?
He’s close to walking and knows lots of words. He’s such a sweet little boy--it’s every cliché that everyone says!

What do you love about having a boy?
Little boys love their mommies. I secretly wanted a boy, but you’re not supposed to say that. Then he was! I just love my little guy. 

How do you make being a working mom work?
Well, I have really great support so I am very lucky. My husband and I have coordinated our schedules so that one of us is there when he gets up. We’re able to eat together as a family every night too, which is something I did as a kid. I also have an amazing nanny who brings Weston to see me at work. We really work hard to make family our priority. If we’re not working, we send the nanny home to give Weston the most normal life we can.

What’s the biggest surprise about being a mom?
How much I love every single part of it, and how I have an endless supply of patience and energy I didn’t know I had in me. Even the grunt work…I enjoy it! 

Image © Ben Gabbe/Getty Images