Keke Palmers advice to new moms: do whatever it is that makes you feel good

Keke Palmer is back at it since welcoming Leo, her son with Darius Jackson, in February. She has a new album coming out (Big Boss), her new content hub (KeyTV), and was recently honored with the Vanguard Award at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s annual gala. Keke also took the time to give an exclusive to People for their Beautiful Issue. She talked about her own approach to heath and fitness as a new mom and gave some encouraging advice to others.

After welcoming her first baby, son Leodis “Leo” Andrellton, with boyfriend Darius Jackson in February, Keke Palmer is learning to listen to her body.

Speaking to PEOPLE for the Pretty in Pink portfolio in this week’s Beautiful Issue, the actress and singer shared some words of wisdom for new moms who are coping with the pressure to “bounce back” as it pertains to weight.

“There’s always this thing of, ‘How’d they do it?’ And I think for me, the main thing I would say to any new mom is do what you can when you can, whatever it is that makes you feel good,” Palmer, 29, tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“If it’s important to you, then hell yeah put in the work miss girl. Get you whatever diet you want to do or whatever workout regimen that works for you. And if that’s not what you’re worried about, then don’t worry about it,” she continues, adding that the most important thing is that each individual does what they deem necessary to “feel good.”

In her experience, Palmer says that in the first couple of weeks of motherhood, “I didn’t want to do nothing. I didn’t want to talk to nobody. Then I was like, ‘I need to talk to somebody. I need to do something.’ Then I was like, ‘Now I want to get active.’ It changes, so go at your own pace.”

The Nope actress is also urging new moms to “keep it real” and not “get caught in the hype of it all.”

“Anytime you see a celebrity doing a snap back or whatever like that, it’s part of the damn gig,” she says. “A part of our jobs is to look good and to look the part. So don’t think it’s this thing where it’s like, ‘We doing it because we got it like that.’ No, the job is on the line. If we want the checks to get signed, we got to be what we got to be.”

She also opened up about her own health journey and remains utterly relatable as she details how she satisfies her needs.

“I’ve gone on my own personal journey with how I feel about my physical appearance. And I think the main thing I’ve learned through my experience is to do what makes me feel happy,” Palmer says. “If I feel like I need to hold it back and I need to do a little bit more work, or [if] I want to feel better about myself, I just do it.”

She continues, “Other times I’m like, ‘Yo, pull up in the drive-through. I want the number five, large.’ You know what I mean? I do what I feel when I need to, because sometimes taking it easy, that is what you need.”

[From People]

I’m glad Keke is openly breaking down the bounce back narrative that a lot of celebrity news plays into after a someone has a baby. Like Keke points out, it’s part of their job and they have to do it in order to get opportunities, get paid, and provide for the families. Real, normal people put a lot of pressure on themselves to bounce back quickly after having a baby and it’s not necessary or realistic. Everything Keke says is practical advice that can be applied to anyone, with or without a baby. People should do what feels good to them instead of straining their body trying to stick to some specific workout regimen or strict diet. Some days we have a lot of energy and motivation to do a lot; and some days we just need rest. Anyway, I like that Keke is being honest that it can be really hard and everyone has different needs and capabilities when it comes to health and fitness.

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