As of 12 a.m. on Wednesday morning, to much fanfare and Beyhive anticipation, Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary, showcasing her epic 2018 Coachella performance, was released for streaming on Netflix. Aside from the incredible two-hour performance and footage of the work required to make the show happen, we were personally shook by the efforts the singer took to get her body ready after welcoming twins.
She shared that she withstood four months, alone, of rehearsals with her band to get the music just right first, and then four months of dance rehearsals to get every step in order. All of this was done while trying to recover physically from birthing two children and balancing caring for them, and a then 6-year-old Blue Ivy.
“I got pregnant unexpectedly, and it ended up being twins, which was even more of a surprise,” she said in the doc. “My body went through more than I knew it could. I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy. I had high blood pressure. I developed toxemia, preeclampsia, and in the womb, one of my babies’ heartbeat paused a few times, so I had to get an emergency C-section.”
In the doc, we see her training, going to her first rehearsal post-pregnancy, trying to keep up with the steps while carrying a little extra weight. Beyoncé is motivated to make the performance not only like a HBCU homecoming, but also a celebration of her return to the stage.
“It’s my first time back home, on the stage after giving birth. I’m creating my own homecoming. And it’s hard,” she said. “There were days that I thought, you know, I’d never be the same. I’d never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same.”
“I had to rebuild my body from cut muscles,” she added.
The star talked about her hopes on her first day rehearsing post-baby of eventually being able to push her body through SoulCycle, as well as stairs and dance rehearsals all in one day. To get there, she also pushed herself in the gym, doing strength training, battle ropes and more. She had no qualms with admitting that it was rough.
“In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms,” she said. “Just internally, my body was not connected. My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don’t see is the sacrifice. I would dance and go off to the trailer and breastfeed the babies, and the days I could, I would bring the children.”
She also made sacrifices in terms of her diet as well.
“In order for me to meet my goal, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol. And I’m hungry,” she said. “I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could. And I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. I will never [laughs], never push myself that far again.”
But it all paid off greatly. In small victories, the star was able to fit into an old Mrs. Carter World Tour costume (which she gleefully FaceTimed Jay-Z about), and in big ones, well, you’ve seen the performance. The success of it all helped Bey embrace a new stage of her life, as a mother of three, and the undisputed greatest performer of our generation.
“I feel like I’m just a new woman, in a new chapter of my life, and I’m not even trying to be who I was,” she said. “It’s just so beautiful that children do that to you.”
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