She's proving that hard work and consistency go a long way. ​

By Faith Brar
Photo: Instagram/@fitgurlmel/@anniemcelwain

Melissa Alcantara is more than just a celebrity trainer. Despite her 'go hard or go home' mentality, the former bodybuilder is actually quite relatable.

The young mom struggled with depression and weight gain for years before deciding to take control of her life. She taught herself how to work out using the internet and now works with the likes of Kim Kardashian. She also uses her Instagram to inspire others who are looking to kickstart their fitness journey. (Find out what she had to say about reverse dieting and how she used it to reset her metabolism.)

Recently, Alcantara took to Instagram to share a very important message about losing weight after pregnancy. Using an empowering transformation photo, she reminded moms and moms-to-be that it is possible to get into the best shape of your life after pregnancy, but it takes time, patience, and more importantly, self-love.

"If you work for it, you'll get it back, sometimes even better," Alcantara wrote.

She continued by reminding women that changes to your body during pregnancy and after giving birth are completely normal-and that there's no quick fix. "Stretch marks are okay," she wrote. "Most of them go away and you will accept them. Saggy skin tightens up, maybe not 100 percent but it does. There is no magic cream. There are no tricks or drinks or waist trainers or specific belly pooch exercises." (P.S. Yes, It's Normal to Still Look Pregnant After Giving Birth)

In the end, Alcantara emphasizes that getting back into shape after pregnancy takes work, but it's totally doable. "It takes years of consistency," she wrote. "Imma say it louder for the people in the back…years of consistency. So before you quit, ask yourself if you ever really started." (Tough, but true.)

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Losing baby weight takes time. As you adjust to life as a new mom, remember that you deserve time to rest, recover, and focus on your new child without shame around your body. Important reminder: It's also totally cool if, like trainer Katrina Scott of Tone It Up, you *prefer* your post-pregnancy body or if working out isn't your top priority. (Related: Emily Skye Says She's Chill with Having Loose, Wrinkled Skin On Her Abs)

If you are trying to get back to your 'pre-baby body' after hosting an outsider for nine months, that's cool too. (Check out our New Mom's Guide to Losing Weight After Pregnancy to help you get started.) As Alcantrana says, the key is to be consistent with your healthy choices as you find your new normal. Above all? Remember to be kind and patient with yourself.


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