PARENTS

Kimberly Wyatt On The Challenges Of Being A New Mum: From Making Time For Exercise To Managing Healthy Diet

12/05/2015 14:59 BST | Updated 12/05/2015 16:59 BST

At the tender age of 10, Kimberly Wyatt knew she wanted to be a dancer.

"I won my first dance competition, and the buzz of that - alongside hearing the crowd cheer for me - was such a high. I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else."

Wyatt has come a long way since her early dancing days. She's most famously known for being a member of American all-girl pop group, the Pussycat Dolls; and went on to join the judging panel on TV series, Got To Dance.

Five years ago she moved to London, despite it never being on the cards and things have since fallen into place for her personal life.

"In the past five years I’ve found myself in a position where I’ve been surrounded by awesome people, I’ve felt more like me than I’ve felt before, I love my job and I think the icing on the cake was meeting my husband Max and falling completely head-over-heels.

"That’s when I knew that London was my heaven."

Shortly after marrying model, Max Rogers, (they met while performing at Clothes Show Live, Rogers was modelling in the show) Wyatt fell pregnant with their first child, Willow, who is now five months old.

kimberly wyatt

At the moment, the 33-year-old is enjoying some downtime from work and is fully embracing motherhood. But her work/life balance hasn't always been this way.

When she first joined the Pussycat Dolls, the dancer was far more strict with her diet and routines. Her reason? "I knew that it was imperative that I looked after myself and stayed fit, because there were 12 girls in the group when I first joined and we knew there were going to be cuts made in order to form the recording group.

"I didn’t want to be one of those cuts."

So, faced with the challenge of looking so incredible that they couldn't live without her, Wyatt was forced to adopt a gruelling fitness routine: "It was pretty intense.

"I had to make sure I was eating right and working out. I did a lot of circuit training, jogging and hiking, I did some yoga, and of course, tonnes and tonnes of dance classes."

Meanwhile, her eating regime reflected her energetic lifestyle: "I made sure that I had a sensible breakfast like porridge, or eggs on toast, or I think one of my favourites was wholegrain waffles with peanut butter.

"I swore by eating tuna and grapefruit each day for lunch, because it’s just so lean and protein-focused. I had a lot of sushi, too."

There was no work/life balance during this very hectic period. If she wasn't attending rehearsals and shows for the Pussycat Dolls, she was teaching dance elsewhere.

"It really was my job to be the best dancer I could be, to look good, to perfect the moves that made me unique in the group. I knew I needed to be an asset, so I always made that my focus," she reveals.

"My work was my life. Becoming a Pussycat Doll and being a dancer was everything that I lived for."

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After leaving the Pussycat Dolls, Wyatt's focus turned to nurturing new talent. She joined the Got To Dance television panel in 2009, and says that this part of her career was incredibly important to her.

When I ask her why, she replies: "It’s nice to have a purpose and I’ve always thought that whatever shows I’ve done or whatever teaching I’ve done, being able to inspire the next generation has always been the most fulfilling.

"I think it’s incredibly important to share the lesson, share the knowledge, share the talent so that future generations have an even better chance of making it themselves."

This maternal side to Wyatt has since reared its head more permanently following the birth of Willow. And despite her daughter being a bundle of joy, she admits that motherhood does come with its challenges, lack of sleep being one of them: "It just plays on your nerves.

"I live to make my little Willow smile and I always want to see her happy," Wyatt adds. "So the times of the day when she won’t stop crying and you can’t figure out why are definitely the toughest. It wears on you."

The dancer has also found the lack of routine a struggle: "You know, I don’t think I’ve ever craved routine quite like I do now. I know a lot of people have their different views about baby-led parenting or parent-led parenting, I try and do a mixture of the two.

"I’ve read a lot of parenting books like Gina Ford’s The Contented Baby and a few others, and I’ve just had to take it all with a grain of salt and see what works for Willow.

"We do try and go by a set schedule of feeding times, nappy changes and naps but of course it all depends on how she feels and what she feels like doing."

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When she does get time away from Willow, Wyatt's perfect night involves House of Cards, snuggles on the sofa and coconut Lindt chocolate: "But at the moment I’m off the chocolate, trying to get my body back in shape."

Her fitness regime since having Willow has been gradual: "I had a caesarean - unfortunately - and so you almost have to kind of rehab your muscles and get your abs to touch again, because they separate as your belly gets so big."

Her routine consisted of pelvic floor exercises initially, followed by high intensity circuit training with bands and weights.

She also adds that nutrition has played an important part in getting back in shape: "I like to make sure I’ve got the right protein on me and I have MaxiNutrition protein shakes after a workout to make sure my muscles heal properly."

Wyatt is currently preparing for the Vitality World Triathlon at the end of May, and has been gradually upping her workouts from four to six times a week.

"Diet-wise, I’ve been doing a lot of juicing. So, at breakfast, I’ve swapped porridge for juices. Usually I’ll have some nuts around or protein bars for snacks.

"For lunch, I’ve swapped rice for quinoa. I do a lot of quinoa with chicken and broccoli. I also like wraps as well.

"I’m just trying to get as many greens and proteins in my diet as possible at the moment."

For dinner, Wyatt adds that she's been trying out quinoa spaghetti instead of regular noodles, "or a salad with quinoa and chicken or turkey breast, or lean meats".

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Of course, many mums would agree that getting back into a fixed exercise routine is incredibly difficult after having a baby. So what's Wyatt's formula for this?

"You have to create a lifestyle you can stick to. It’s just about making time for exercise, finding the energy to do it, being your own motivator and being determined to stay consistent with it.

"For me it’s making sure that my kitchen is a reflection of my family and our fitness. So keeping the right food at a finger’s touch is good, and also making sure you’ve got healthy snacks on hand throughout the day."

She adds: "It’s so easy between feeds, fitness and work to turn to sugar to try and get your energy levels up. But I find that if I’ve got the right foods with me then I feel better and my energy is sustained throughout the day."

The UK’s leading sports nutrition brand, MaxiNutrition, is supporting Kimberly Wyatt to be at her best in 2015 #MyGoal. Set your goal at www.maxinutrition.com or on Twitter via @MaxiNutrition.