From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
For most new moms, those first few days home from the hospital are a time to nap next to their infants or rationalize eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's ("It comes from cows; ergo, it must be good for breast-m ilk production"). And then there's Heidi Klum, who, after giving birth to son Henry on Sept. 12, decided that there had never been a better time to...model in the Victoria's Secret lingerie show before an audience of millions? "I had a great birth, the baby was fine," she says. "I thought, 'Maybe I can get back into shape by then.' "

From the reaction to her appearance—besides the wings, she wore little more than a bra and thong studded with tiny lights and Swarovski crystals—at the show's Nov. 9 taping, Klum succeeded. "When did she have the baby? Two months ago?" marveled Ricky Martin, who performed at the event, which airs on CBS Dec. 6. "Good for her. She looks gorgeous!"

Certainly, Klum, 32, started with a few advantages. Okay, a lot of advantages. Genetics, for one. Another: some time off. A third: the ability to get top New York City trainer David Kirsch, 45, to fly out to her Los Angeles home (he arrived Oct. 13). So, yes, her situation is far, far from that of a typical new mom. Still...eight weeks? Until Kirsch arrived, Klum's calorie-burning plan had involved chasing after daughter Leni, age 1, and breast-feeding. "If you haven't worked out in a while, then everything has to get tight," she said of starting off. "That little bit of chicken under the arms, you know what I mean?"

In addition to leading two-a-day workouts, Kirsch also cleaned out Klum's refrigerator (no more bread and liverwurst for breakfast), although he stresses that, because the Project Runway host was still nursing, "This wasn't a starvation diet." (For details see box.) Sticking to Kirsch's program was tough, says Klum, adding that the only gym rat in the family is husband Seal, 42. "He's like, 'Don't you feel great when you come from the gym?'" Klum says. "No—I feel great when I sit on the couch!"

Still, she kept up the routine even during a weeklong trip to visit her parents in Germany, packing Kirsch's "Gym in a Bag" (two 2.5-lb. ankle weights, a 4-lb. medicine ball and his Boot Camp DVD), and denying herself favorites like rote griltze, a berry blend eaten over ice cream. "You just have to say no," she says.

The regime worked. As Klum got dressed (or rather, undressed) backstage before hitting the runway, she realized she had reached one goal and could finally dream about the next. "At the end of the night," she said, "I'm stopping to get a Big Mac and fries."

Allison Adato. K.C. Baker and Mark Dagostino in New York City

  • Contributors:
  • K.C. Baker,
  • Baker and Mark Dagostino.