Jessica Simpson has struggled with fluctuating weight for over a decade. In 2009, photos of the singer performing at a Chili Cookoff in less-than-flattering high-waisted jeans went viral and made headlines just about everywhere. She later told Glamour of the controversy, “Celebrities aren’t perfect. It’s amazing to me how much thought is put into a woman’s figure on tabloid covers.” She also explained that she struggled with her body image since she was a kid, admitting, “When I was young, I would look at magazines and feel a lot of pressure. As a child of 12, I would write things in my journal like, ‘I’m lying here and all I can think about is that my stomach is hanging over my underwear.’ That disturbs me even today! I was always disconnected from myself; there was this idea of perfection I couldn’t ever get to,” she continued. “But all women struggle with insecurity, and we all have something we don’t like about ourselves.”
In 2012 (shown above left in January, and then above right in November), Simpson gave birth to her first child, daughter Maxwell, with husband Eric Johnson. She lost 50 pounds following the delivery using Weight Watchers, for which she was a brand ambassador, however, she almost immediately put the weight back on when she got pregnant with son Ace just five months later.
She said she “couldn’t believe” the numbers she saw on the scale and that she learned to embrace balance pre- and post-baby, which likely made her post-Birdie birth weight loss a bit easier for her.
“You are creating a life, and honestly it’s not easy,” she told ABC News in February 2014. “It is a really hard thing to go through. And you deserve to eat your ice cream, you deserve to have your pancakes. Do whatever you want to do and then afterwards just know that you have to work really hard. I had to learn that with my first and second pregnancy,” she said. “My first pregnancy I ate a lot more, but my second pregnancy I ate enough, like I ate what I wanted to eat but I stayed active and I think because I had gained so much weight with my first that I had to stay active throughout my second because I didn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t.”