Splashed across the cover are the fitting words. “Hey, Girl!” — a nod to the viral Internet meme involving her famous boyfriend. The Hitch actress, 41, stares at the camera with confidence with her hands in her pants pockets.
For her latest cover shoot, Mendes shies away from her trademark oversized coats and sweaters to bare her curvaceous, lean body in flattering pieces. The star’s arms appear sculpted while her teeny waist is accentuated in body-hugging garments both on the cover and inside the issue.
As for how she achieved that fit figure just five months after baby? A source told Us Weekly last fall that the actress took a healthy approach to maintaining her coveted body during her pregnancy. “It wasn’t about vanity, it was about being healthy,” the insider explained. “She was pretty conscious during the pregnancy, and it made the exercising after easier.”
Mendes told Women’s Health that this routine was implemented into her healthy lifestyle long ago. “I don’t love it, but I’ve made peace with that,” she said of running, sprinting, lifting light weights (“nothing too heavy, because my muscle bulks up pretty easily. I mix it up with yoga, or sometimes I’ll hike with my trainer.”)
Along with her devoted fitness regimen, Mendes also watches her diet. “I haven’t eaten meat in about six years, because I don’t agree with factory farming here,” she revealed. “This is just what worked for me, it’s important to say, but when I cut that out I immediately felt better. And also, after a year of eliminating it, my skin looked brighter and healthier overall.”
While Mendes’ health and fitness are the focus of her latest magazine cover, she also shared some sweet updates about her life as a first-time mom.
“I’m actually enjoying the sleepless nights,” Mendes told Women’s Health, “because it’s bonding with my little girl.” (The Lost River star echoed similar sentiments last November in a cover story with Violet Grey, claiming that she was “completely exhausted.”)
Despite the lack of beauty rest, Mendes said she’s still earning her badge of honor when it comes to motherhood. “I don’t feel like I’ve really earned the right [to give motherly advice],” she confessed. “I want to respect all the moms out there. They’re going to be like, ‘You know what? You’re a few months in. Just shut up.'”
Meanwhile, she has been able to vent privately to her therapist. “Having [someone] who’s totally objective and who points out my patterns— I find that really helpful,” Mendes shared with the mag. “And I’m lucky to work with someone who doesn’t just sit there and nod her head, you know? I need to hear what you think! Tell me what’s wrong with me so I can fix it!”
The April Beauty Flip issue of Women’s Health hits stands on Mar. 17.