Kerry Washington is all about moving forward.
The 38-year-old "Scandal" star covers the September issue of Self magazine rocking a sports bra and a leotard, but while she looks just as fit as ever, she actually would rather not hear that she has her pre-baby body back. Kerry gave birth to her daughter, 1-year-old Isabelle, last April.
"A few weeks ago, my manager asked: 'Do you feel like you're back? I feel like you're back.' She meant it as a total compliment, but we had this great conversation where I was like, 'You know what? I try really hard not to use that language, because it's not about going backward in life,'" Kerry explains.
"I've been really focused on not being 'back' to anything, but being the best version of myself right now," she adds. "My body is the site of a miracle now. I don't want to be pre-miracle."
Kerry says she fits in her workout time early in the morning, so that she can spend more time with her daughter with her husband, former pro football player Nnamdi Asomugha.
"I have to take care of myself in order to live life the way I want to," she says about not skipping out on exercise. "It's important to have rest days. But in the long run, if I don't work out for, like, three days, I feel worse, not better."
Kerry's workout of choice is pilates, which she's been doing two to six times a week for the past five years. She's also a certified yoga instructor, and shares that her and her fellow "Scandal" actresses take regular hikes around Los Angeles as a group ritual.
Speaking of "Scandal," Kerry says she owes a big part of her do-it-all mentality to her beloved character Olivia Pope.
"It makes my heart smile to think that maybe part of the reason I'm taking all this on is because of Olivia," she says. "She truly believes that she can handle every situation, and I do feel that has bled into my life. I have more of a sense of my capacity to do anything."
Earlier this month, ET caught up with Kerry, when she dished that fans should "expect the unexpected" when it comes to the new season of her hit ABC show, premiering on Sept. 24.