"All new moms just want to feel normal and sexy again," said Trista in the November 5 issue of Us Weekly. "I'm really focused on getting back to where I was before I got pregnant. I want to look even better!"
After Trista, a 34-year-old purse designer gave birth to Maxwell Alston Sutter she said 15 pounds "fell off immediately" but losing the rest of the excess weight has been a struggle.
Part of the reason behind her difficulty was that several months into her pregnancy, Trista was diagnosed with HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels and a low pallet count) syndrome, a complication of preeclampsia that attacks the mother's vital organs. Due to the diagnosis Trista delivered Max via a C-section, and had to wait an additional six weeks after the birth to begin working out, which she described as "hard" because other new moms are able to exercise sooner.
"So compared to them, I'm thinking it's going to take me forever -- especially since I hadn't worked out since Dancing with the Stars -- a year before I got pregnant," the first-season Dancing celebrity participant told Us. "I've been exercising now for about a month with a trainer friend."
Trista said her exercise regimen consists of yoga, pilates and power-lifting exercises, but due to "abdominal pain" she's unable to "do the more aggressive exercises." In addition, she's also "eating smart" and avoiding sweets.
"I know if I try a crazy crash diet I will rebound from it. Those diets are just not realistic with my lifestyle," she explained to Us. "I'm trying to keep it a little looser -- so I don't burn out -- but the main philosophy of my diet is that it's higher in protein with healthy whole-grain carbs."
Making matters even more difficult is the fact that Trista has a new focus in her life that's cutting into the time she's been able to exercise and prepare healthier eating options.
"Max is my top priority, so when he needs me I'm feeding him or playing with him," she told Us. "Food just doesn't pop into the picture a lot of the time [for me]; I really need to think about that, or I will ruin my metabolism by not eating."
Luckily, Trista said Ryan, a 33-year-old Colorado fireman, has been "awesome, 100% supportive" in helping her.
"He watches Max when I got to the gym and is constantly saying that I look great," she told Us. "But when you don't feel good about yourself, you don't feel like you want to be intimate. I want to feel -- and look -- sexy again for him. Even though he is being nice and saying he's still attracted to me, I want to feel like he's telling me the truth and not just saying it because he's a good husband."
Ten months later, ABC aired a three episode series that detailed the events leading up to their December 2003 wedding ceremony. Over 17 million viewers watched Trista and Ryan exchange vows on ABC's Trista & Ryan's Wedding finale broadcast.
"I just encourage her to keep working out," Ryan told Us about how he's been handling his wife. "It's not like I have to crack the whip!"
Trista added it's not she's lacking any inspiration when it comes to wanting to slim down.
"I found a picture of me with Howard Stern that I took after The Bachelor in 2001, and I thought, 'I'm putting that up on the fridge.' That way, when I got to the refrigerator, I can say, 'No,'" she told Us. "There are also my Maxim photos. They did a huge poster for a promotion [in 2003], and Ryan put it on the roof of the garage! They were really pretty pictures. I felt like I'd be proud to say in the future, 'Mommy looked like that once.'"