BeyonceIf there was ever any doubt that Beyonce is a superhuman force of nature who's fiercely dedicated to both motherhood and her white-hot career as a performing artist, her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey reminds us that she doesn't get her fame from luck -- she works her ass off for it. Literally, in the case of dealing with her postpartum body.

I remember reading once that she'd gained a nontrivial amount of weight during her pregnancy with Blue Ivy, but I had no idea she'd gained quite as much as she did. And the crazy part is, she had to get back in fighting form right away after giving birth, because she had to hit the stage just three months later.

Beyonce told Oprah that she didn't quite know what she was getting into by committing to a show so soon after giving birth:

I did a show three months after giving birth, which was crazy. I had clearly never given birth, and I didn't know that I would gain 60 pounds—57 pounds.

I know there's a ton of pressure on women in the entertainment industry to magically snap back to their pre-baby bodies right away, and I sometimes find it refreshing when a star just flat-out says she's not going to worry about it for a while. But in Beyonce's case, she doesn't really come across like she caved to external expectations. She sounds pretty normal and relatable, really -- like a woman who enjoyed her pregnancy and didn't stress over curbing the natural weight gain that happened during that time.

Also, like a woman who found herself faced with the universal challenge of peeling off the extra weight once the baby was on the outside of her body. Most of us have been there, right? Although maybe not quite in her exact situation, because she had just a few months before she had to perform in front of a crowd.

Some celebrities downplay the effort it takes to reclaim their shape, but Beyonce was pretty up front about it. During that show, she reportedly yelled to the audience,

Y'all have no idea how hard I worked. I had to lose 60 pounds! They had me on that treadmill -- I ate lettuce!

Dude, you know she worked hard. Beyonce works hard at everything she does, it seems, and I'm sure she moved heaven and earth to get that Sasha Fierce body back.

What I like about Beyonce's story is not that she provides some sort of example every new mother needs to follow, but that she's completely real about how much effort it takes to look like a superstar. I mean, sure, she has all the money and resources in the world at her disposal, but that doesn't mean it was easy. She's a reminder that it isn't even remotely 'normal' to be in amazing shape three months after giving birth … but it's not impossible, either. I find this both soothing and inspiring, somehow.

Plus, I love what she has to say about her self-image since becoming a mom:

Right now, after giving birth, I really understand the power of my body. I just feel my body means something completely different. I feel a lot more confident about it. Even being heavier, thinner, whatever. I feel a lot more like a woman. More feminine, more sensual. And no shame.

What do you think about Beyonce's approach to losing weight after pregnancy? Do you think she set an unhealthy example?

Image via Beyonce.com