"Listen, I enjoyed myself. I let the reins go," Huntington-Whiteley recalled of her pregnancy, during which she gained 55 pounds. "It’s a new experience, so you’re kind of like, 'Well, let’s see how this goes.' And six months in I was like, 'What? This is crazy!'"
The model first had a hard time accepting her changing body, but grew to be comfortable with it, explaining she "basically walked around naked for the last month at home." "By the end I just felt really empowered in my body, but it took a minute to get there," she conceded.
Then, she gave birth -- and the weight didn't fall off like she expected it to.
"I would look in the mirror and I was like, 'I have 35 to 40 pounds to lose,'" Huntington-Whiteley said. "And I go to the gym, go to the gym, go to the gym. It’s not falling off, it’s not coming off, and it was very humbling for me, because having had a certain body type for most of my life … I will say working out in the gym and looking back at myself and feeling like sh*t, I was like, 'Now I understand how hard it is for some people to get to the gym.'"
The model remembered feeling guilty for previously telling people they just had to work out three times a week to get her long, lean body. "I cannot tell people how to feel about their bodies, because everybody has a different experience," she shared.
Seven months after welcoming her baby boy, Jack, Huntington-Whiteley had a photo shoot for her swimwear line; paparazzi photos surfaced online, and with them came critical comments about her body.
The mom of one remembers being "taken aback" by the comments. "It was just shocking to see someone write, 'Another Body Ruined After a Baby.' I was like, 'What the f**k?' Sure, I haven't bounced back, it's seven months later, but like… I was quiet for a couple days but you get on. It makes you stronger."
"Everybody's body is different, everyone is on their own journey, and I really want every mother to really focus on herself but also the time with her child and it’ll come, it’ll happen, and everybody gets back to a place where they feel good again, if not better," Huntington-Whiteley said, adding it took her a year to get back to her pre-baby weight. "Because I feel better, and I feel a different respect for my body than I did before."