SHE was the lovable party girl on E4 reality show Made In Chelsea.
But eight years after first gracing our screens, Binky Felstead has done a whole lot of growing up.
From having her first child India to getting in the best shape of her life, she has become a fitness inspiration for mums balancing parenthood, work and a social life.
Now single — after splitting with India’s dad, reality series co-star Josh Patterson — Binky, 28, says that keeping fit has kept her sane as she navigates her way through motherhood.
She says: “At first, fitness and getting in shape is the last thing on your mind. All you care about is this wonderful baby and you’re so exhausted everything is a bit of a blur.
“But without realising it you’re picking up prams and cots and you’re constantly on the move.
“When India got past the only sleeping for two hours at a time stage, I had her in a strict routine which meant my life had a routine for the first time, too.
‘Calms my mind and sets me up for day’
“This makes it so much easier to get fit and healthy.”
Binky says that it was when India, who will turn two in June, was about three months old that she realised she needed to change.
She says: “I had to get fit again, both physically and mentally. I suffer from anxiety. My head goes 100mph and I can lose control of it.
“Going to the gym in the morning really calms my mind and sets me up for the rest of the day.
“So many mums say to me, ‘How did you get into shape so quickly?’.
“It’s so important for me to stress that I absolutely didn’t.
“Aside from the fact that it’s dangerous, it’s also not what being a new mum is all about.
“It’s a time to enjoy being a mum without any pressure of ‘getting back in shape’.”
Binky had started to catch the fitness bug just before she became pregnant.
She says: “About six years ago I decided to get a personal trainer. I wanted to feel better and had no idea where to start by myself.
“Everyone said ‘you’re going to get the fitness bug’, and I thought that’s NEVER going to be me, I just tolerate it.
“But after a few months of training once or twice a week, I found myself looking forward to the sessions. I noticed a new confidence.
“I used to live in baggy jumpers and tees, but I started wearing tighter clothes. Three months after the birth I went to see an expert who gave me an internal examination to make sure I was OK to work out again.
“I started slowly, building up the inner core, picking up the pelvic floor and doing breathing work.
“It’s so important to do this. If you start jumping around too quickly it’s dangerous.
“When India got older she started going to nursery for a few hours a couple of days a week, and I joined a circuit gym called F45.
“It’s high-intensity strength and cardio and I can turn up, do a 45-minute class and know I’m done for the day.
“I also do home workouts. I use the Fiit app, which has everything from yoga and breathing work to cardio classes you can do in your living room.”
‘Important for women to feel supported’
After growing up on reality TV, Binky has been used to sharing her life with her fans.
But she admits that social media can be a different ball game when you are a mum.
She says: “I haven’t suffered too much with the online mum police but when I do, I call them out because it’s ridiculous.
“I was on holiday and India sat on the sand in her nappy. Someone wrote that I shouldn’t have let her as it was dirty. I want to let other mums know that they shouldn’t listen to these judgmental comments.”
It is a drive that has inspired her working life too.
As well as recently launching a jewellery range with Philippa Herbert, Binky runs a popular business retreat called Mummy Tribe, bringing mums together from all over the country.
She says: “Mummy Tribe is a huge passion project. Mums come to our retreats and they have everything under one roof — personal trainers, weaning coaches, sleep coaches, spas, physio and physiologists but most importantly, other mums like them.
“We talk through everything — conversations such as, ‘Does your husband do that as well?’ or ‘Does your baby do this? Mine too’.
“It’s so important for women to feel supported. My main message is that it’s OK to want to take care of yourself.
“When you’re a mum you’re no longer a priority in your own life but in order to do that well, you have to take care of yourself too.”
How mothers can get toned
LULU ADAMS, a pre- and post-natal personal trainer at Mummy Tribe, gives her five top tips.
- Breathe properly again: It is the quickest way to reconnect with deep core muscles that have been displaced or stretched during pregnancy. See breathing tutorials online or on fitness apps like Fiit.
- Fuel body’s healing: Whatever delivery you had, your body needs to heal. Nutrient-dense meals, with good- quality protein, carbs and healthy fats. Ditch the refined sugar and alcohol.
- Have a check: Seeing a women’s health physio for a thorough ‘postnatal body check is the only way to get an accurate insight into how well your pelvic floor muscles and abdominal wall are healing. Leaking is only ONE sign of a problem. Binky saw Clare Bourne at Six Physio.
- Opt for a post-pregnancy specific workout: Your body has changed in so many ways. Follow personal trainers online whose workouts are for new mums.
- Listen to your body: Do not push through discomfort. If you are not able to get through the workouts you did pre-pregnancy, do not fret. It doesn’t mean you never will. Give it time.
- More info visit themummytribe.co.uk
AFTER warming up, Binky’s favourite exercises include 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. Try this four times round, starting with the plank . . .
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