A year ago, LJ Reyes left acting and went to the U.S. to give birth to her son, Ethan Akio.
Ethan is her son with boyfriend Paulo Avelino, a former StarStruck 4 Avenger, now with the Kapamilya network.
Now the GMA-7 talent and StarStruck 2 alumna is back in town and back in shape.
She recently portrayed a kontrabida in the defunct drama series, Time Of My Life. Viewers were amazed to see she's got her slim figure back.
The 23-year-old actress revealed she didn't gain weight during her pregnancy.
She said breastfeeding helped shed the extra pounds.
At the Primadonna launch party held on November 24 at the Shangri-La Hotel Makati, LJ told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) how motherhood has changed her.
"Alam mo, kapag naging isang ina ka na, ang priority mo parati...ang anak mo.
"Pangalawa na lang yung iba pang bagay. Minsan nga nahuhuli na yung sarili mo."
Asked to describe herself now, she said:
"Si LJ ngayon, isa siyang matibay na babae, malakas.
"Feeling ko nag-mature ako.
"Yung sense ng isang mother kasi sobrang tibay, e.
"Feeling ko kahit papaano natututunan ko na siya," she said.
She said she plans to be a hands-on mom.
"Kasi ako, ayoko ng may yaya sana. Pero with our kind of work—hindi pwedeng wala. Kasi minsan maiiwan mo siya [baby] talaga.
"Minsan kailangan mong tibayan yung sarili mo. At mag-find ka talaga ng time [to be with your baby]."
PROUD MOM. When asked to talk about her son Ethan, LJ glowed:
"He's growing up fast!
"I can't keep up. Ang bilis na tumakbo.
"At nakakatuwa kasi natututo na siya magsalita."
Any regrets about taking a break from acting to take care of her son?
"Ayokong sabihin na 'regret' kasi ang saya-saya ko naman ngayon with my baby," LJ said.
"Simple lang naman akong tao. I'm not asking for luxurious things.
"Hindi naman ako naghahangad ng sobrang garang buhay."
LJ is happy with what she has and where she is right now.
This Christmas, she's also looking forward to spending quality time with her new family—Paulo and Ethan.