Alison Sweeney Shares Parenting Advice and Secrets to Losing the Baby Weight
Give us the scoop on your new book The Star Attraction.
It’s an inside look at Hollywood through the life of Sophie, the main character who is an entertainment publicist. It’s her story, dealing with the ins and outs of Hollywood, trying to balance a relationship and work, and trying to figure out what she wants out of life!
This is your first fiction book. Why did you want to write it?
I’ve spent years at _Days of our Lives _as an actress, telling other peoples stories. I love my job, but sometimes it’s frustrating to act out the stories, when it’s not how I want it to go! So I started writing this character to just fulfill my own creative instincts. Now it’s crazy and thrilling to know other people will be reading it!
So tell us the truth. Did any real life experiences you’ve had in Hollywood make it into the book?
My best friend definitely gave me insight into the life and work of a publicist. In fact, I have several close friends who work in publicity, so many of the stories came from them. But the romantic part was pure imagination.
Between Days, The Biggest Loser, writing books and being a mom, you’ve got your hands full! How do you juggle all that and keep your sanity?
Well, sometimes it’s touch-and-go. Just kidding! I love my life. I love the challenges that come along. Whether it’s professional or personal, it’s so rewarding to make the most of each experience.
You also wrote a nonfiction book, The Mommy Diet. Most moms would probably say their number one challenge for dropping the pregnancy pounds is not having time to work out. Do you have advice for them about that?
The most important tip in the book is not to put too much pressure on yourself to lose weight quickly after the baby is born. I have a whole timeline in the book that I felt was realistic for myself and I hope is a good guideline for other moms. But as much as it’s good not to expect too much too soon, you also don’t want to let too long go by before you get outside and get moving again. I put tips in the book about how to work out with the baby. Go for walks with the stroller, and start expecting a faster pace of yourself. Get workout DVDs you can do while the baby is napping.
What advice do you wish someone gave you before you had your first child?
My best advice is to not buy all the crazy baby gadgets they sell for kids. Half of the things we had wasn’t used more than twice! There are zillions of products, and just like most of technology, you might think something will help but really, it’s just one more thing that needs batteries or charging, or hours of assembly.
Any tips for staying fit while pregnant?
Well, obviously, when you’re pregnant is not the time to be trying to lose weight. But you’re also not really ‘eating for two.’ An extra 300 calories a day is really all my OB told me that I needed — of course, consult your doctor for personalized advice. Those extra calories should be good-for-you calories, like veggies and whole grains. Not sweets — even though you may totally crave them! Also, unless your doctor advises you to avoid exercise for some special circumstances, there are still lots of activities you can and should do. I took spin class while pregnant through almost my whole second pregnancy. I just went at my own pace, and drank more water. Also, walking and yoga are great ways to maintain your heart health and muscle tone during pregnancy.
Was it easier or more difficult to lose the baby weight with your second pregnancy?
I gained 10 fewer pounds with my second pregnancy since I was much more health conscience then. I stayed more active and ate better. It made a big difference in getting back into shape afterwards.
Also, the second time, I knew what to expect with a baby. When you’re a first time mom, so many things can overwhelm you. They did me! With my second, I was more prepared for how to handle everything, and Dave and I both felt better prepared to get adjusted after the baby came.