Katie Piper talks to Absolutely Mama about her brand-new project, which aims to help mums everywhere lead happy, healthy lives…
Words Katy Gillett
Photography Dan Kennedy
Us mums stand to learn a lot from Katie Piper. Not only is she a busy philanthropist, TV presenter and author, but also a mum of two. And she famously rebuilt her life after surviving an acid attack at the tender age of 24. In the early stages of her recovery she founded The Katie Piper Foundation, the mission of which is to “have a world where scars do not limit a person’s function, social inclusion or sense of wellbeing”. She’s also since become an inspirational, motivational speaker and a best-selling international author. Most recently, she’s teamed up with entrepreneur and mama-of-four TerriAnn Nunns, of the TerriAnn 123 Diet Plan, to launch The Happy Healthy Mum, a brand-new, light-hearted “mum manual” that’s designed to help mums get back to looking and feeling their best through the pair’s useful hints, tips and anecdotes on all things post-pregnancy.
Katie and TeriAnn instantly hit it off after they met through mutual friends, and began sharing stories of the highs and lows of motherhood, and juggling their careers. That’s how The Happy Healthy Mum Plan came into being, and it’s full of tips, tricks and advice that helped the pair through their own weight-loss journeys. That includes a dietician-approved programme filled with family-friendly recipes, as well as easy-to-follow home workouts and advice on other topics, such as how to embrace the changes in your body, breastfeeding and coping with sleep deprivation, relaxation techniques.
So, whatever Katie knows, we’ll know now, too…
Why is it that you and TerriAnn got on so well from the beginning?
I think we get on so well because we have so much in common, being busy working mums. I have two kids, but TerriAnn has four so she’s a huge inspiration to me. A big part of her character is her drive and determination – both qualities of which I see in myself, which is why I think we have clicked.
You’ve found TerriAnn’s tips and advice on leading a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle extremely useful. But what is it that you’ve taught her?
We’ve both taught each other so much, but I think the most useful advice TerriAnn has taken from me are ways of practising mindfulness, and using affirmations in everyday life to ensure a happy, balanced lifestyle alongside the healthy eating.
What aspect of motherhood have you found the most challenging so far?
It’s been challenging in terms of trying to balance my time. My work schedule can be very busy and it’s very important to me that I get to spend quality time with my girls. There are just not enough hours in the day, so when I do spend time with them I make sure it’s never taken for granted. I just love spending time with them – they’re amazing.
How did you find your way at first in motherhood?
The first time around I was quite anxious, and, of course, like any new mum there was a lot of trial and error. I also bought everything [laughs]! My attitude to parenting has always been to follow my own instincts though. I try to avoid being influenced by what I read online, as it tends to trigger feelings of self-doubt. You know your own baby and will find out what works best for you both.
How do you encourage your own children to live active, healthy lives?
I try to make healthy swaps at home, but in a fun, relaxed way. I would never use words such as “dieting” around the girls or make negative associations with foods, nor would I go in to full sugar police mode. Just small things like making sure they are eating balanced, nutritious meals, and spending time being active and running around outside. Also tricking them so they think healthy snacks are treats!
What advice do you have for a mum who is suffering from low self-esteem or struggling with depression, and who finds it hard to have the motivation to follow the Healthy Happy Mum Plan?
The great thing with The Healthy Happy Mum Plan is that within the membership you have full access to the Mum Hub Online Community. This is a group on Facebook that offers members full-time support and advice. Members can share their thoughts and chat with other mums who are having similar experiences. We completely understand the struggles and loneliness of motherhood and want our members to know the support is there.
What’s your secret to balancing your work and family life?
I’m hot on my diary management! Everything is run as a military operation and I make sure I have a clear idea of my weeks ahead, so I can ensure I have a good balance and can spend time with my family.
What’s next on the agenda for you?
Well, The Happy Healthy Mum Plan is now in full swing so I’m so excited to get stuck into that, but I do have a few other projects coming up which are under wraps for now… watch this space!