How Kerri Walsh Jennings Got Her Body Back After Baby

07/18/2013 at 10:45 AM EDT

How Kerri Walsh Jennings Got Her Body Back After Baby
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Allen Berezovsky/WireImage
A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings knows what her body can handle.

And so it was easy when it came to exercising both before and after giving birth to daughter Scout Margery this spring.

"I took four weeks off when my baby was born, and then I just got to work," the beach-volleyball star, 34, said at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The results were obvious in her "after" photo in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue, for which Walsh Jennings posed nude before and after baby.

"I worked out very aggressively during my pregnancy, very smartly, but I stayed fit during my pregnancy, and I feel like that helps me bounce back a little quicker," she said.

What else made her photos so beautiful? "I think lighting helped a lot!" she joked.

She added that the whole experience, though daunting, was incredibly rewarding.

"I survived and my parents didn't disown me," she said. "I'm really proud of it. My husband's proud. And it just showcases something so beautiful about the female form."

She added: "When you're pregnant, that's the greatest gift I've ever been given from God. I love my body so much. So many dreams have come true because of my body, so I wanted to celebrate that and honor that. Even though I didn't feel perfect, I'm really proud to be a part of that."

• With Reporting By GABRIELLE OLYA

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