As part of our Real Time series we spoke with Jen about getting summer ready

What are the things you do to make sure you look and feel your best on the run up to the summer?

So I start by trying to be kind to myself! I only have so many hours in the day with 3 kids and some of the hours aren’t even mine. Often times in the past I have tried to set goals for myself and then failed. So by putting kindness in the front of everything – goals are a little easier!

I juice every morning for the the family so leading up to summer I try to add as many colourful veggies as possible. I throw in wheatgrass when I can – this is really great for the summer glow on your skin!

Jen HickeyI try to get out into the air as much as possible, walk the dog, walk my son to school, walk to work if possible, every little counts.

Pilates is a huge part of my life not only for looking great but also to keep my back pain away!!

Sleeping well is a must…often this doesn’t happen but I try to have a couple to early nights every week…and then of course socialising – this really is being kind to myself, having a coffee, glass of wine with family or friends…there’s no point in doing the above if we don’t have balance!

Do you follow any particular diet plan?

I really hate the word diet. I struggled with body image growing up and this lead to many ridiculous diets of one extreme to another, which of course always failed!!!

Now its easier, I’m older and a little wise…80/20…this is a rule I try to stick to, I cook a lot from scratch – I love cooking so thats not an issue for me.

I really try to include a lot of veggies and coloured fruits in our diet and since we have started juicing every day this has become a ritual for all of us in the house, the kids look for it now too, we all feel great when we juice – mostly veggies of course.

I love chocolate, (choc choice at the moment is green and blacks thin) red wine and chocolate – (oh and chips, have them at least twice a week!) hence my 80/20 rule – it works for me.

How do you stay motivated?

Honestly – my motivation is based on how I’m feeling. If I don’t plan well, seek exercise and eat well, I feel dreadful, and then have no motivation at all – so I’m constantly looking for new moves in Pilates, new ways to do things – I take every opportunity to move, walk everywhere – this really helps with stress and anxiety.

I try to set short term goals – instead of a big long term audacious goal, when we add these up – they will build to something bigger, for example how do I feel on a weekly basis, do I feel better this week than I did last week and so on.

Advice for someone struggling

My advice is to just start somewhere, everyday – do something – however small – my recovery back from surgery myself a few years ago was this, everyday I got up and I did something to be kind to myself, maybe a small walk, a chat with friends, cook great food, join a group…we all have to start somewhere.

If we have a bad day, so what – get up the next day and start again. We all fail – its an ideal time to be kind to yourself again. Just start again and don’t stress about it.

Typical day…

Get up early, normally 6.30am …juicing every morning, breakfast with the kids if possible, walk my son to school, walk the dog, teaching classes.

I’m very lucky to have a great mix of teaching private clients and then classes – then of course – I move myself, on one of the pieces of Pilates equipment – home – collect kids, homework, cook dinner – of course go to bed early, IN MY DREAMS!!!

In reality, jump up at 6.55am, run around like a lunatic showering at speed, all of us like mad people! We do juice every morning tho, I chop everything the night before (this is a big commitment I will admit and I’m always grateful that we have done it the next morning!).

We all race out the door in different directions, the dog is with me any time I’m walking where possible, teach classes… try and exercise, get to the shops, cook a really nice dinner from scratch that normally the kids give out about and then some ends up in the bin!

Normally collapse on the couch at some point after driving the kids to some sort of sport, tea or wine in hand with a bar of green and blacks stuffed in my pocket! That’s me done!!

Pre and Post Natal Pilates this Autumn

Our experienced team of instructors understand the body's needs and changes during these diverse phases of motherhood.