celebrity mum Tamzin Outhwaite for a natter about striking the right work/life balance, watching musicals with her daughter, and how a gruelling bootcamp gave her fitness regime a kick-start.
Tamzin has since announced she’s expecting a brother or sister for her 3-year-old daughter Florence, so her life’s about to get even busier!
On your Twitter page you describe yourself as a busy mum, wife, friend, sister and daughter. Have you got any tips for women trying to juggle it all?
‘The main thing is that we have a good support network around us. My 2-year-old is at nursery but we also have a nanny, which we have done since she was young. My parents are also very prevalent in her life and so is my brother. It can be a bit of a struggle, but it’s do-able.
‘Sometimes it’s more tiring being at home with your child than it is being at work! But I thrive on variety, so if you can get a good balance in your life, then I think that’s the key. I used to do too much work and not spend enough time at home with my family, but now I balance things a bit better because, although work is important, it’s not everything to me anymore.’
How did your pregnancy go?
‘It was fine really. I did suffer from sciatica, which was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. Lots of women love being pregnant and say they feel really womanly, but I felt really ungraceful and struggled a bit with that!’
Did you have any cravings?
My pregnancy craving was ginger – and anything containing it!
How was the actual birth?
‘I had a C-section because my daughter was in an extended breech. These days they won’t even let you start pushing when the baby is in that position. Her bum was facing down and her legs were up in front of her face, so there was no way I was going to be able to push her out like that! The C- section was fine. I didn’t have any birthing horror stories like some of my friends!’
We know your mum is Italian. Do you have a signature dish and does it have an Italian influence?
‘My default-setting Italian recipes that I always fall back on are the ones that we had as kids, like spaghetti vongole, which is tomato and clams with spaghetti. That recipe, along with spaghetti Bolognese, were probably the first 2 dishes I made when I started to cook. These days, I try and stay away from pasta and cook lots of protein and veg-based meals. I experiment with things I never had as a kid, like lentils and quinoa.’
Is it true you’re on a juice diet at the moment?
‘I’m not on a diet, but I’m always juicing! I juice beetroots, carrots, celery, pineapples or anything in my fridge that’s left over. I just chuck it all in – it’s very good for cleansing your system. I’ve always wanted to go on a yoga retreat that involves fasting. Last week, I went to a place called the No.1 Boot Camp with my brother. We were there for 5 days, did an awful lot of exercise and ate really healthy food.’
Did you feel much better afterwards?
‘Yeah, I really did. It only takes a few days of not being there, though, to start putting weight back on. We were doing such a lot of exercise at the Boot Camp, and it’s very hard to keep that up at home. I did go for a run this morning, though!’
Have you got any tips for other mums trying to lose their baby weight?
‘I did something called Hypoxi Therapy at the Urban Retreatat Harrods, which basically involves putting on a special fat-burning suit and walking on a running machine. It targets your problem areas, gets your metabolism working really fast and definitely seemed to do something for me.
‘I also did workouts on a Power-Plate machine, which was brilliant, and started doing yoga and pilates regularly at my local gym. Now I’m trying to get into running, but I don’t really like it! You have to get through a mental barrier and I’m just starting to do that now. The Boot Camp staff got us up early every day and made us go running straight away. Starting the day like that really gets you into a positive state of mind.’
You started work 6 months after having Florence. How did you cope with going back to filming after spending so much time with your daughter?
‘The best thing about my job is that you work intensely for a few months and then you get time off. So I’m away from Flo for a chunk of time but then I’m off work for another big chunk, which I get to spend with her. It’s much harder when your child’s talking and they ask you why you’re going to work. They know how to give you a guilt trip because they know exactly how to push your buttons!’
How did you come up with the name Florence?
‘There was quite a bit of meaning behind choosing her name. We were going to call her Elsie, but someone in the family already had a little girl called Ellie, which was too similar, so we went for Florence Elsie. Florence is one of my favourite cities and my mum’s Italian. I also used to love the character Florence in the The Magic Roundabout. If I ever have a little boy I’ll have to call him Dougal or Zebedee, won’t I?!’
What do you love doing with Florence and your husband Tom when you have spare time?
‘We’ve got some brilliant little parks around our area, which Florence loves. She’s very good on a scooter and she enjoys whizzing around on it. She also goes to gymnastics and ballet, and likes watching people dance and sing. One of my favourite things to do is sit down and watch a musical with her. She’s seen Sweet Charity, but I don’t think she realises it’s the one mummy has been in. Plus it’s a little bit too saucy for her! Mary Poppins, Singing in the Rain and Annie are her favourites – she likes all the old classics.’
What projects are you working on now?
‘I’m still filming Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, which is really exciting, and have just done an episode of Silent Witness and Law and Order. I also did a play at Hammersmith Theatre a few months ago. I like to be busy and keep things chopping and changing!’
Tamzin Outhwaite is supporting the launch of Covonia’s new Double Impact Lozenges. ‘I always keep a pack of Covonia Extra Strong Lozenges handy, especially before a performance.’
Check out how glowing Tamzin looked on the red carpet following the announcement of her second pregnancy.