The 27-year-old mum, now a fitness instructor who runs her own training business, The Natural Health Company, shared how she got back in shape just eight weeks after giving birth to her baby boy with husband, Tom, Rio, to inspire other new mums.
“It was amazing and it shocked me that everyone was saying to me, ‘You’re never going to get your figure back.’ Even a midwife – not my own – said to me, ‘There’s nothing you can do, your boobs will be saggy, you’ll never get your stomach back.’ And I just thought it was very demoralising for me and for that to be the message going out to other women.
In the end it was the best thing they could have said to me. I made it my mission to get back into shape and I even posted about it on my social media, I said to people, you can follow me as I do this.
Some people commented saying, ‘I can’t believe you’re so self obsessed,’ but it’s not about that, it’s about being happy and healthy and for me that means being in good shape. It’s important to feel good about yourself. I was still teaching my classes up until about five or six weeks before he was born. I obviously wasn’t lifting any heavy weights any more but I was keeping active and I have a chocolate labrador so he always needs walking.
They say you put on about two and a half stone during the pregnancy but I had put that on by six months and you could really see it in my face. I would be lying if I said it never bothered me, there was one time I wanted to buy a dress and it was the kind of thing I would have always loved to wear but I just couldn’t. But I made the choice to become a mother and I think pregnant women look beautiful. I had to accept, you know, I’m not going to have two hours to go to the gym. But you just have to fit it in where you can.
I do my exercise in short sharp bursts so if that baby is sleeping for an hour I might do half an hour of exercise. I’m lucky enough to have a garden so I’ll pop outside where I will do some high knees, jumping jacks, burpees, press ups then some tricep drips and sit ups. One of my favourite things to do is to put some music on my headphones and just dance around my bedroom. I must look completely crazy to anyone if they looked in but I love dancing – I used to do musical theatre and also one of the things I missed the most when I was pregnant and having a baby was being able to go out to a club and dance.
I started on day two, I started walking and I went for my first jog after two weeks – it was just 15 minutes but you can build up from there. When my husband is home at the weekend, I’ll have breakfast and sometimes go to the gym for an hour. I’m breastfeeding which also burns a lot of calories and I’m lucky that I can express my milk and leave it with Tom while I pop out. For me it is a priority to be healthy and I want to be an inspiration for other women.
People always say you should avoid carbs but for me if I want to keep my muscle and burn fat. I have to eat carbs so I will have rice and pasta. One of my tricks is to carry dry cereal around in my bag, people always laugh but I hate the feeling of being hungry and that’s far better than eating a packet of crisps.
As a new mother you know you sometimes don’t have time to prepare extravagant meals so I eat a lot of fruit and veg and toast.”