We caught up with Denise Van Outen to talk motherhood, me-time and two minute workouts
Denise Van Outen is best known for her killerwatt smile, boundless energy, and - more recently - her skills on the dancefloor. We met with her just ahead of Mother's Day to discuss how life has changed since she had daughter Betsy, now 2, and how she stays fit and healthy.
On adjusting to motherhood:
'Nothing prepares you for being a mum. I was prepared in the sense that I’d bought everything, but in terms of knowing how tired I’d feel, the first three months were a massive shock. Even going to the local coffee shop suddenly became a massive mission; making sure I'd got everything, getting Betsy in the pram, getting the pram out the door, then just as I got out the door she’d need changing, I’d change her, by that point you start wondering if you even want a coffee! It's a huge adjustment.'
Three reasons to eat superfood oats
On going back to work:
'I went back to work when Betsy was five months old to do Legally Blonde. Looking back I don’t know how I did it. I was at home with her all day, then I’d leave to do the show at 5pm, perform for a couple of hours, and then I was up feeding with her through the night. I was probably averaging less than five hours sleep but I loved being at work. I had a lot of time off, which I found hard at first, but because I had her late [Denise had Betsy at 36] I’d done all the things I’d wanted to do, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out.'
5 reasons to make the effort to lose your baby weight
On factoring in some ‘me time’:
'Once a year I allow myself to just go off and have a break with my friends - and Lee does the same. I think it’s really important. I’m sociable and I like to go out and enjoy myself so I went to Ibiza with a bunch of mates for four days last year. I had the most energy of everyone there because I wanted make the most of it.'
On the media obsession with women’s post-baby bodies:
'There’s way too much emphasis on women’s bodies after they have a baby. Everyone’s in competition to lose the baby weight. Mine came off quite quickly, not through a special diet but because I was busy and active. I went out for long walks every day and I ate well during my pregnancy. Going back to work probably helped a lot too because it’s a physical job.'
10 best exercise tips for mums
'I love doing short bursts of intense exercise - that's why I jumped at the chance of working with Mr Motivator on the Two Minute Movers workout videos with Quaker Oats. In Legally Blonde we did this two minute Irish jig every night and I swear that’s what helped me drop the last of my baby weight. If I go running I’ll do interval training, so I’ll do a fast power walk interspersed bursts of sprinting. I couldn’t just run and run for miles. My favourite way to stay fit is speed classes, though, because I get bored easily. If I’m in a class the time flies because I’m distracted.'
On having the odd ‘down day’:
'If I'm lacking motivation I just get up and get out, but I also allow myself the odd down day. My best friend’s the voice of reason so if I say to her ‘I feel like I don’t want to do anything today, I’m fed up’ she says ‘don’t then’. And she’s right. I’ve learned that it’s OK to just go with it and drop the guilt. Then the next day I'm fine again.'
Denise has joined Mr Motivator to create a series of two-minute intense at-home workouts. 'I love them because you can do them at home, they only take a couple of minutes, you don't need any equipment and they’re really simple moves like star jumps and running on the spot. Plus they give you an unrivalled endorphin rush.' Fluoro lycra and bum bag optional.
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites