I am super excited!
Like a little girl who can’t wait for her birthday!
Because I found my first celebrity who is willing to share her secrets on postpartum depression, and on health and fitness.
I am privileged!
To have my first celebrity interview with the lovely…
Vanessa agreed to answer my 3 questions about postpartum depression, health and fitness, and time management.
Vanessa is a model and an actress, and one of South Africa’s most beautiful women; an endurance athlete who has competed in several ultra marathon bicycle races and a few trial running events; she is the wife to one of South Africa’s most successful endurance athletes, Ryan Sandess, and then she became a mother two and a half years ago to a gorgeous baby boy.
It sounds like the perfect person with the perfect life.
She shares her experience and her knowledge on how she overcome postpartum depression and how it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. She is the perfect example that if you really want something, not matter your circumstances, you have to make the decision to do something about it and then make it happen.
Somehow, we think celebrities have it all. We think their lives are easier than ours. We think they don’t struggle with everyday life issues, especially when it comes to motherhood, weight and fitness.
They also struggle with life issues but managed to work out a plan to cope with it…
Let's hear what Vanessa has to say...
Postpartum depression is real and it can happen to anyone, even the celebrities.
B&B: I’ve read that you have suffered from postpartum depression. Have you been diagnosed by a professional and how did you overcome it?
VH: I was diagnosed by my GP when my son was 5 months old. I was suffering from severe sleep deprivation and was simply not coping. She put me onto an antidepressant which I took for a year. I then slowly weaned myself off of it when I felt ready.
Practically, I also had to improve my support base, so I got our current nanny/domestic lady one extra day a week, got my mom-in-law to help more, went on a little “vacation” at the time with my son to visit my folks up north where I had plenty of support etc etc.
We also got a sleep trainer in because I HAD TO start getting more sleep. Erica Lotter was a game-changer! She changed our lives completely and getting her in was an INVESTMENT! Our lives changed drastically once Max started sleeping through.
There are lots of practical things one can do to make one’s life easier and to cope a bit better!
Weight, fitness and a healthy lifestyle is a mindset and a decision.
B&B: Most women use “being a mother and not having time” as an excuse to be overweight and unfit. How did you get rid of your extra weight (which I am sure you didn’t have) and how did you get back into training? How old was your boy when you started training again?
VH: I didn’t stop exercising throughout my pregnancy. That being said, due to the weight of my son and an old spinal injury, I was unable to do anything too physical like running so I stuck to long hikes and riding the stationery bike. Yoga is also amazing whilst you’re pregnant and after!
I breastfed for a year so the weight fell off really quickly (I put on 14kg during my pregnancy) and I was careful what I ate. I now weigh less than before I fell pregnant! Ha ha! But I run and hike regularly and I still watch what I eat with a little bit of cheating in between.
I had an emergency caesarian so I couldn’t do much for a few weeks post-birth but I started hiking when Max was about 2 months old. I also got a Thule running pram when Max was about 6 months old and that also changed things big time as I could go running WITH him!
Time management is the golden rule to a healthy lifestyle and being a mother.
B&B: We feel guilty to make time for ourselves. Who looks after your boy when you spend time on yourself (going for a facial, doing your hair, or train)?
VH: As I mentioned above, in order to start coping again, and getting back to some sort of “normal”, I had to get things in place.
I got my nanny in 3 times a week, roped my hubby in more (men sometimes need a bit of a nudge 😊 ) and when Max was a year and a half, he started going to play school 3 mornings a week which was also a huge help.
I started my business (Peak Digital Marketing) when Max was 10 months old, so I really needed the time for not only myself but for my business too.
Max was also only 2 months old when I went back to modelling/acting so I had to express milk and leave it with my hubby/nanny/mum-in-law when I went off for a photo shoot or to film a TV commercial.
Even the beautiful cover girls suffer from postpartum depression; they struggle with daily issues of life and sometimes struggle with the big responsibility of being a mother.
They don't use it as an obstacle or a reason to let go of themselves.
They use it as a driving force, they manage it and they overcome by acknowledging it and seeking help. It is okay to admit and say “I am not coping”. And you’d be surprised how much lighter you feel once you have done that.
Fine a management plan that works for you and get your support system in place.