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Mindy Kaling Opens Up About New Motherhood, Body Confidence, and More

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Mindy Kaling sits in a bathtub wearing a green evening gown.
Image Source: SHAPE/Peggy Sirota

For most new moms, the demands of having a newborn are stressful. Those first few weeks, and even months, can be a blur. Lack of sleep, dealing with a post-baby body, time juggling and hello, BABY BRAIN? It’s no cake walk — unless, it turns out, you’re Mindy Kaling.

The hilariously funny star of The Mindy Project, who recently gave birth to a little girl, is on the cover of the June 2018 issue of SHAPE magazine, where she’s dishing about the new challenges of balancing motherhood, her successful career, and oh yeah, how she stays sane.

The 38-year-old first time mom, who currently stars in A Wrinkle in Time and the new NBC show Champions (which she also writes for), told SHAPE that she doesn’t feel overwhelmed by motherhood one bit.

“It hits me all the time that I have somebody at home who not just wants to see me but needs to see me,” Mindy says. “That’s incredibly rewarding. When someone needs you all the time, and they also kind of look like you, it’s a really nice feeling.”

The actress, who’s enjoying “breaking in” her new home with her daughter, admited to SHAPE that she didn’t realize how much of a homebody she’d become at first, but with an every-three-hours breastfeeding schedule, she’s learned to adapt and truly enjoy her time away.

“I’d go on these little jaunts out of the house, and they’d feel like secret, illicit excursions,” she shared. “It was exciting, and it made my life seem kind of dramatic.”

Mindy Kaling wears an emerald green dress on the cover of 'SHAPE' magazine.
Image Source: SHAPE/Peggy Sirota

The star also opened up about her love of fashion, noting that just like most of us, she doesn’t have the “typical” female Hollywood body, but she’s hopeful the fashion industry will begin better serving women of all shapes and sizes.

“I feel that they’re going to be the next industry to have a big light shined on them, and it will be in terms of what healthy women look like and what fashion designers are putting forth,” she shared. “Things are starting to change a little. But I’ve been surprised by how an unhealthy physique is still considered beautiful and how even a size 4 woman is considered too big. That’s insane.”

While Kaling certainly isn’t obsessed with the number on the scale, she does admit that working out has become like therapy to her.

“Working out is a way for me to have mental strength,” she told the mag, “and now, with a kid, it’s also time that I have just for myself and to focus on my body.”

In fact, Kaling credits her active workout lifestyle with what kept her pregnancy weight gain in check.

“I kept my weight gain to about 27 pounds,” she shared. “I also worked out whenever I could while I was pregnant. I did a lot of yoga and a lot of walking, and I jogged until I couldn’t jog anymore. I exercised until the morning I gave birth.”

Mindy Kaling poses in a navy dress for 'SHAPE' magazine's June '18 cover story.
Image Source: SHAPE/Peggy Sirota

Kaling, who also stars in Ocean’s 8 next month, says that her attitude toward body positivity isn’t the only thing she plans to use to pave the way towards a healthy self-esteem for her new daughter. The actress admits that she can be overly critical at times but plans to raise her daughter with the confidence she didn’t always have.

“I was not that way as a child, and I want my daughter to be really confident all the time,” Kaling told SHAPE. “I’m going to do that by always making her feel like she is good enough and not being stingy with encouraging comments.”

Taking things in stride with a plan to give her little girl the tools she needs to make it? Sounds like Kaling has this motherhood thing on lock already.

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