Gena Lee Nolin Bikini After Baby
updated 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
As a Playboy cover girl and also a Baywatch babe, "It was all about, how thin can I be?" says Gena Lee Nolin, who for much of her career weighed 125 lbs. on a 5'9" frame. "I was barely eating—maybe 600 calories a day. I don't know how I didn't pass out!" So when Nolin, 37, and her husband, retired hockey pro Cale Hulse, decided to start a family together in 2005, the actress found herself feeling rebellious. "Not that I let myself go, but I was normal—I ate what I wanted!" she says. "I didn't have to stay skinny." With the December birth of daughter Stella, however, this mother of three went "on a mission to get healthy," she says. Doing cardio, weights and core work three times a week with a trainer helped her get "in the best shape of my life," while a diet of egg white omelettes for breakfast, salads with grilled chicken for lunch and grilled fish with veggies for dinner helped her hit her goal weight of 135 lbs. "I was always skinny, but never fit," she says. "Now I'm strong!"