How a Philly Model Got Into Crazy-Good Shape 4 Months After Giving Birth

New mom Amber-Joi Watkins shares her postpartum exercise plan.

postpartum exercise

Philly model Amber-Joi Watkins says working out during pregnancy was a big help to her postpartum exercise plan. Photographs courtesy Amber-Joi Watkins.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email

Who: Amber-Joi Watkins (@iamamberjoi), a mom and model from Rittenhouse

Why I wanted to make a change: “Motherhood comes with countless amazing changes, but I did not like what pregnancy did to my body, so my goal was to get back to old ME. I don’t get a lot of ‘me time’ as new mom, so this is one of the few things that I really wanted accomplish. Other than that it’s all about my baby girl.”

What changed: “I haven’t quite reached my pre-pregnancy strength and speed, but I’m energized and happy and thrilled with the progress I’ve made.”

How I changed my diet: “Under the guidance of Josie at RippedPHL, I added a ton more protein to my diet. I also cut back on sugar and bad carbs. I’ve always been really good about eating fruits and veggies. I still incorporate complex carbs into my diet, but I’m just making better choices because I’m being held accountable and have a distinct goal in mind.”

How I changed my workout plan: “I had to ease back into workouts after going through labor. After four and a half months, I’m finally starting to feel like my old self in my classes, which include RippedPHL, Solidcore, SoulCycle, and yoga.”

“Maintaining discipline with fitness during pregnancy helped me in so many ways.”

The hardest part: “The hardest part of the postpartum journey is TIME. It’s hard to make time to work out. And making healthy choices in my diet takes more effort because I can’t grab and go when I want. On top of this, I’m still nursing and need to take in enough calories to maintain my milk supply. It’s a complicated balance, but with Josie’s (my nutritionist) help, we’re making it work.”

What I’m most proud of: “To be a breastfeeding mom with a healthy and happy baby.”

What I want everyone to know: “I exercised my entire pregnancy under the supervision and encouragement of my doctor. I think maintaining discipline with fitness during pregnancy helped me in so many ways by limiting my pregnancy weight gain, boosting my mood, aiding with labor, and making the post-pregnancy healing process easier.”

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