If you thought getting your body back after baby was tough, spare a thought for Stephanie Rothstein Bruce. The 32-year-old professional runner from Arizona is training for the next Olympics. And the struggle is real.
Bruce has been openly discussing her rocky road back to shape on social media, complete with talk of abdominal separation in a blog post entitled, "My abs are separated, contemplating divorce."
Growing babies can be a brutal process on the body, particularly for pro female athletes. It's a fact that is rarely discussed since people assume elite athletes are "superhuman." But Bruce is refreshingly honest when she admits, "I still pee my pants once a month!"
"As a professional runner, not a lot of women take time off in their careers to have a baby, because there's a lot of fear about getting back to your pre-baby self," said Bruce. "A lot of us have sponsors. We don't have maternity leave. We won't necessarily be getting paid while we're pregnant."
Bruce stopped competing in 2014 to start a family. Now she is gearing up for the 2016 games. But the process has not been easy.
"They just did a number on my body," Bruce said of her two children. "As someone who runs for a living, not a lot of women like me had shared this stuff. I got back to training and still had a lot of incontinence and problems, and I was like, does this happen to other women? So I just put it out there - and it does!"
It's no surprise that Bruce has a loyal 23K Instagram following cheering her on. Whether you're a bootcamp babe or just a channel surfer, it's impossible not to get behind a woman so determined and authentic.
"Whether you're 105 pounds or 200 pounds, I encourage women to not be afraid of flaunting whatever body you have," Bruce said.