Shay Mitchell is feeling "strong" again after committing to an intense workout regime during lockdown.
The Pretty Little Liars actress and her friend Stephanie Shepherd partnered with the team at Openfit earlier this year and agreed to join in on a mix of cardio and strength training classes at least five times a week for a month.
While the exercise plan was gruelling, in a cover interview for the June 2021 issue of Women's Health magazine, Shay insisted the routine changed her life.
"I had way more energy; I don't have five cups of coffee anymore. I can sound preachy when I'm talking about it, but it totally altered my year," she said, before noting that she wanted to feel as physically fit as she did prior to welcoming daughter Atlas in October 2019. "I was strong before I had Atlas, and I wanted to feel that way after. We celebrate our bodies before we're pregnant; we celebrate our bodies with bumps. We should also celebrate our bodies at whatever point we feel our best again."
But while pushed herself hard during the Openfit challenge, she was surprised by the mixed reaction to a split screen photo showing her progress that she posted on Instagram in January.
"Right after I had Atlas, if I ever made a comment about how I didn't feel like myself, people were like, 'Well, you just had a baby.' Yeah, I know I just had a baby," the 34-year-old stated. "I'm very grateful for my body, and that it gave life, but I'm still allowed to express that I don't feel like myself."
Elsewhere in the chat, Shay explained that she is continuing to hit the gym whenever her schedule allows, and has even mastered pushups and deadlifts.
"For me, it was always about a deadlift," she smiled. "Getting up to 50 pounds was a boss move. I was really proud of myself."