For nearly nine seasons, Jenna Fischer has been charming us as receptionist-turned-office-manager Pam Beesly Halpert in The Office. Like Pam, Fischer is sweet, hard-working and a parent who does her best to juggle motherhood with the demands of her profession.
Since having her son, Weston Lee Kirk, last year (he turns one next month!), Fischer says the biggest surprise about being a mom is the laughs. “My husband and I are so entertained by his antics,” she tells us exclusively. “We have so many little inside jokes. Weston loves to make us laugh. If we laugh at something he’s done, he will repeat it again and again until we are all laughing together.”
Another huge surprise? Finding out how hard it can be to take off the baby weight. Like many of us, Fischer thought that the pounds would come right off, especially since she was nursing. “I feel like I got completely duped!” she says. “I thought breastfeeding would make me skinny and that I’d be back at the gym six weeks after giving birth. I look back on my expectations and laugh.”
For her, going back to her pre-baby weight was a gradual process that took many months. “I ate healthy and tried my best to stay active taking hikes and doing workout videos. I even made it to the gym a few times,” she explains. Contrary to popular belief, weaning helped too. “I just finished nursing and those final five pounds melted right off.”
To help herself and set a good example for her son, Fischer changed her eating style from take-out dinners to sensible meals of lean meats and veggies. “My husband and I cook every night now. We eat as a family.” And to satisfy her sweet tooth (“I am the type of person who has to have dessert every night”), she turns to Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies, for which she’s a spokesperson. “It’s hard to find good-tasting, low-calorie desserts. That’s why [the brownies] were such a find!”
Even though Fischer is back to her goal weight, her shape isn’t quite what it was – a common problem among mothers even months or years after giving birth. “I’ll have to put in some real hours at the gym for that, and, to be honest, I’m not sure I have it in me just yet,” she admits. “I’ll get there. Maybe on my next hiatus. For now, I’m just happy I was able to unpack that box of pre-pregnancy jeans again.”
Besides, she has more important things to occupy her time, like reading to Weston and watching him “help” fold laundry. “It’s basically me folding and him unfolding.” Fischer is looking forward to new milestones like first words: “I look forward to having conversations and hearing what he’s thinking about.” She and husband Lee Kirk coordinate their schedules so that one parent is always there in the morning, dinnertime and bedtime.
The ninth and final season of The Office is filming now; although it’s an “emotional” time for Fischer, she thinks it’s best to go out on a high note while most of the main cast is still with the show. “The Office changed everything for me both professionally and personally,” she reflects. “I’ve made some of my very best friends as a result of this show. I don’t think anything will ever be able to compare to what this show has meant to me and my life.”
Kudos to Jenna Fischer for showing us how real moms lose weight!
[Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images]
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