She first became famous as feisty Mercedes McQueen on Hollyoaks and now she’s enjoying life with her first child. Actress Jennifer Metcalfe, who is back filming for the popular soap this month, says being a mother to baby son Daye is ‘amazing’.
“I consider myself very lucky every day. Yes, there are good days and bad days, as every parent can understand, but knowing that you’ve created this beautiful little human makes it all worth it,” the 35-year-old tells Woman.
Life has been very different for Jennifer, whose partner is Geordie Shore star Greg Lake, since her baby boy arrived into the world a year ago but she says she is settling into motherhood.
“It’s sleepless if I’m being honest! But in all seriousness, yes, of course it’s changed my life. It was just Greg and I before, and now we have our little family.
“Life is completely different to what it was, I don’t have a choice of being able to do what I want when I want, and there are days when I miss that feeling, but I wouldn’t ever change what I have now.
“The best thing about it is waking up every day and seeing your little human’s smile. I miss sleep, both Greg and I do, but when we look at what we’ve made and how beautiful he is; we’re very happy. If I’m being honest, it’s not what I expected. I expected it to be a little bit easier and it’s not, but it’s so worth it,” she tells us.
Despite juggling the demands of motherhood, Jennifer has continued to stay on top of her fitness and ensuring she’s always eating healthily.
She is now a brand ambassador for LighterLife Fast. “I’ve been following LighterLife Fast for the past three years, and used it to maintain my weight before, and after, having Daye.
“I follow the Fast Philosophy of eating healthily five days a week, which includes two, 300 calorie meals and a meal of my choice, and fasting on the remaining two days.
“On Fast days, I eat four LighterLife Fast products, usually a shake for breakfast, Fastpots for lunches and dinners and my favourite Salted Caramel Bar if I need a snack. On the other days, I tend to start my day with toast and butter, have a salad for lunch and if I’m feeling indulgent I love a good curry in the evening, otherwise it’s a nice fish or pasta dish.
“For me, LighterLife Fast is a safe, healthy and hassle-free way to lose and maintain weight. Being a busy mum, I need a diet that fits in with my lifestyle and fasting just two days a week is so easy, especially as I can literally pick up a product and go! I’ve been doing it for over two years now, so it’s clearly working!”
There are many ways she stays fit and healthy. “I love doing yoga, and I take Daye to MummyFit classes which is great for him and me. If I can, I love doing Barre classes as well, they’re my favourite. If I go to the gym, I’ll do about 40-45 minutes of cardio and weight training with Greg, as he’s definitely a motivator for me!”
Many new mothers can feel under pressure to get their pre-baby body back but Jennifer says it shouldn’t be rushed.
“We spend so much time on social media and on Instagram you see these mums who have bounced back after a week and it’s not fair to put so much pressure on yourself. Listen to your body and when you feel ready, make that change. I used LighterLife Fast before I was pregnant, so I knew it worked well for me and whenever I’ve spoken to other mums they agree that it works well for post-baby weight goals.
“The products are massively convenient when you have a baby on your hip and the fact you only do it two times a week means you can add variation on your Smart days – there are no restrictions.
“My advice would be to not take anyone else’s advice. Set your own goals and do it in your own time,” she tells us.
This month she will be filming her comeback as Mercedes McQueen and says she’s looking forward to getting back in front of the cameras.
“There are two main reasons for this. I really feel like Daye is ready for nursery, he’s ready for more and to chat to other little people his age and learn new things.
“I try to teach him as much as I can and keep him engaged but I can tell he wants more. I was worried that he wouldn’t be ready and I wouldn’t feel great about leaving him, so I’m glad that’s not the case,” says Jennifer.
“I’m also very excited to go back to a sense of a routine, seeing my friends, spending time with them and being able to transform into my character who I know and love. I’m very, very excited to go back.”