'You feeling your best will benefit everyone around you too' Kathryn Thomas on keeping fit as a mum
"I did not bounce anywhere."
After TV presenter and fitness fantatic, Kathryn Thomas welcomed her baby daughter Ellie in March of last year, it didn't take too long before the brand new mum received comments on social media about how quickly she seemed to "bounce back" and lose the weight she had gained when pregnant.
But having been advised by her doctors to avoid exercising for the first 12 weeks after giving birth, and generally having her focus on her brand new daughter and not on fitting back into her jeans again as soon as possible, Thomas is quick to remind us that she "100 percent did not bounce anywhere."
"Ellie decided to come early and so I had an emergency C-section in the end," Thomas explains. "People commented that I bounced back because I lost my pregnancy weight fairly quickly. But it took me at least three months to build back up my strength and feel back to rights again. And at least five months for the C-section feeling to disappear. I thought it might never go."
Having been an avid runner for years, and someone who actually makes a living out of her love for fitness, Thomas is quick to admit the ban on exercise for the first few months after little Ellie's arrival was tough.
"I was advised not to exercise for the first 12 weeks. This was really tough mentally as exercise for me has always been an amazing form of stress relief. I was already extremely anxious due to my previous miscarriages and managing my fear through these three months was tough."
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12 wks and counting baby Ellie. People say we’re now out of the woods. ? But if that was the woods bring on the jungle baby! I’m ready for ya. Ain’t nothing you can throw at me.... (except I’d be grateful if you didn’t hysterically scream like you were being murdered when we are stuck in rush hour traffic… that’s just the worst????) Also now that you’re the only person on the planet who laughs at my jokes, it makes me love you even more. ❤️
Thomas had been keeping active throughout her pregnancy, and feels grateful that she was in a position to show other women that staying fit and keep exercising when you are expecting is perfectly fine as long as you have the go-ahead from your doctors.
"In fact, most doctors and midwives will encourage you to stay active and keep working out, even if a little modified, when you are pregnant," Thomas explains. "After all, when you think about it, giving birth is a huge undertaking for your body, often compared to that of running a marathon, something which it is widely understood you have to train and prepare for. So why wouldn't it be the same for giving birth?"
However, such is the world these days with social media, that Thomas admits she did actually receive a lot of online criticism when she posted her home workout videos.
"A few people seemed to think I was more concerned about gaining weight than looking after my baby. But it was quite the opposite. I wanted to be as physically and mentally as strong as possible in preparation for childbirth. And also to aid my recovery the other end. That called for lots of squats and lots of stretches!"
Thomas says she really got into yoga while pregnant, despite previously thinking she was a little bit too "restless" for it.
"Not only did it help with my flexibility and mobility the bigger I got, but it also really helped me connect with the pregnancy and really believe that it was going to happen this time."
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My weekly sanity session w. @mirkerins_integratedwellness Honestly I’m so thankful to call this girl my friend. Every wk she reminds me to connect & makes everything feel less daunting. ?#37weekspregnant Feeling so heavy & fully doing the waddle walk now!! so listening to my body. I’ve hung up my training boots. Short doggie walks and yoga at home is all Im able for. The countdown is on #fitmamas #fitpregnancy #pregnantnotpowerless #bumpwatch
Thomas is a passionate advocate for how exercise and keeping fit is not only great for your physical body – but also so much for your mental wellbeing and your happiness. And now, as a mum, she feels even stronger about getting this message across to fellow new (and not so new) mothers.
"I think, as mums, it is so important to understand what our bodies have been through with pregnancy and birth and to cut ourselves some slack," the mum-of-one explains. "There is no need to 'bounce back' – nobody is going to give you a medal for that. Nor is there a need to deprive yourself of all the things you love – by making some small, important changes, you can really make a huge difference to your health and fitness."
In fact, as well as her TV work, Thomas now runs Pure Results, Ireland's leading health and fitness retreat, and this Saturday, April 13th, she is once again hosting an amazing day of fitness, food and fun – The Fit Fix with Kathryn Thomas is kicking off in the Pavilion at Leopardstown Racecourse.
"For many, it can feel a little hard to try to get "back in the game" or to struggle with how to get started. It's one thing having made the decision that you want to feel and look better, but quite another getting around to starting some new habits and a new regime," explains Thomas. "But this day is designed to be the thing to do just that – whether you kick ass or you need a kick start."
At The Fit Fix with Kathryn Thomas, classes on the day will include cardio jam session POUND which is inspired by the intense energy of playing the drums, Boxercise, Bands & Bells and Metafit. You can opt to join in or hang out at some of the many exhibitor stands that will also be there.
Headline speaker at the event is online fitness guru Brian Keane who will be joining Thomas for a Q&A where he will be discussing how we rewire our mindsets to help hit your goals and achieve body confidence. Dr Daniel Jones from Revive Active will be taking visitors through bio hacking, a guide to effectively ‘hack’ human biology through diet and supplementation to achieve peak cognitive and physical performance. As well as this, there will also be fantastic food, nutritional demonstrations and advice, plus many more surprises. Tickets for The Fit Fix with Kathryn Thomas is €99, and include breakfast, all classes and activities, lunch, refreshments and amazing goodie bags!
As well as this, Focus Ireland will be running a clothing drive on the day in aid of Focus Ireland 'Beloved Stores'. Focus Ireland is working hard to end homelessness in Ireland so you can bring along any athletic gear and/or shoes and they will be going towards a great cause!