The TV presenter and documentary-maker Cherry Healey talks embracing failure and moving her body for fun, not punishment.
What is your attitude to fitness?
“When I was younger I loved sports. I was in as many teams as I could possibly fit in and I never considered it ‘exercise’. As I got older, sadly it started to become about burning calories and all the joy was lost, but when I turned 30, I realised that I needed to bring back joy into moving and started dance, yoga, and following what my body needed rather than dictating a very strict routine. It’s been a revelation.”
What do you eat in a day?
“I used to force myself to eat breakfast because I’d been told it was the most important meal of the day, but now I realise the most vital thing is to listen to your body. If I’m hungry in the morning, I’ll have a piece of toast with honey and a coffee or scrambled eggs. Lunch is usually something light, such as hummus and flatbreads or salad with veg, cheese and pomegranate seeds. Then, I’ll eat a big meal for dinner with the kids – something like ravioli with olive oil and garlic or salmon with peas and sweet potato.”
Your campaign with Plenty is about how parents juggle everything. What is your advice for other parents?
“First of all, don’t be hard on yourself. It’s full on having to juggle work, parenting and running the house, so delegate wherever possible and take time to do something you love. Research conducted by Plenty found that busy parents don’t get the chance to sit down and relax in the evenings until 8.30pm, so my advice would be to try and structure the day as much as you can. Get the rest of the family involved in food prep and divvy out cleaning duties, so you can dedicate more time to the more important things in life, like some much-needed sofa time!”
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
“I’ve found it hard to accept that failure is an integral part of the process; it’s so much easier not to try than to risk failing. But, as I’ve become older, I’ve realised how important it is to try to embrace – and make peace with – failing. It takes the fear out of trying and often leads towards something wonderful.”
What advice would you give to other women who are scared of getting older?
“I think the fear is valid in terms of what we’ve been told. When I was growing up, most fairy stories painted older women as an evil witch whereas older men are kindly old kings or wise wizards. The message that women become less valuable as they get older is loud and clear, but that is absolutely not the reality. So while the narrative of society catches up with [the real world], we need to continue to ask ourselves what we want next, what wisdom can we pass on, what do we want to know more about? Finally, to wholeheartedly celebrate who we have become and who we will become.”