Starting block to Health and Happiness
When she arrives on set for her Your Fitness photo shoot, Lisa is armed with both bags of outfits and confidence. Posing away to the soundtrack of Justin Timberlake’s new song (“my niece and nephew love it and now I’m hooked”). The natural glow and positive energy that make her the perfect fit as YF’s new lifestyle and beauty columnist are evident, and in an exclusive interview, she tells us where her love of all things happiness and health began…
My first passport photo shows me aged 11 years old with immaculately plucked eyebrows…
It was taken after I had raided my mum’s makeup bag and became obsessed with tweezers! That was my first foray into beauty and I soon fell in love with the world of cleansers and hand creams. The health and fitness interest came a little later on. Although, I always danced as a hobby.
When I hit 35 years old I realised it was becoming more difficult to stay in shape…
I’ve always been lucky when it comes to my figure. I’m tall, my metabolism is naturally fast and I have quite an active lifestyle. But as I got older I found I had to really push myself in order to maintain that, and that’s when I got into exercise properly. I wish I’d started working out earlier and would always encourage others to. But there’s no point in beating yourself up about it, just congratulate yourself for doing it whatever age you decide to start!
Without a trainer, I’d wander around the gym aimlessly… I find that my mind gives up on a workout way before my body and I need someone to keep pushing me, or make me turn up in the first place! I’d always suggest working with a trainer to begin with. The expense is worth it to see results more quickly and avoid injuries. Be brave, take that first step, and you’ll never look back.
Pilates has given me a flatter tummy and trimmer waist…
Since February I’ve been really into reformer Pilates and I love it. It’s an intense, whole-body workout that hits your bum, core, arms and legs all at the same time. It has made my muscles tighter and leaner and my walk straighter and taller. I go as much as I can and the ladies and I have a great time giggling and motivating each other through the class.
I have a healthy attitude to food…
Personally, I believe in everything in moderation and a little of what you fancy. For example, I had an amazing pizza for lunch with the girls the other day and just had a salt beef sandwich breakfast after Pilates this morning. Both were delicious treats and because I don’t eat them every day I can enjoy them then forget about them guilt-free. It’s all about balance, and I try to listen to my body. The last five years have been really educational for me in terms of nutrition. I’ve learnt more about food and where it comes from and I like being more aware of the different, healthier options out there that are still enjoyable.
I don’t want to wobble when I run for the bus…
I want my clothes to feel comfortable. My skin to look great and to be able to eat without being on a diet. All of these things motivate me to exercise regularly. As well as wanting to give my mind that amazing release of endorphins. I really believe exercise keeps you younger mentally and physically, so for me, there are no downsides to a healthy lifestyle. It’s good for my health, my head, my body, my energy levels and my happiness.
I hate phrases like ‘muffin top’ and ‘bingo wings’…
I think they’re degrading, mean words. It’s just facts that unfortunately for us girls there are those tricky stubborn areas. The tummy, inner thighs and backs of the arms need to be continually worked on, especially as we get older.
I notice the best results when I work out four times a week…
But if I’m really not feeling it one day, I take a rest day and go tomorrow. If I can’t get to a class, I’ll do moves at home, such as planks, sun salutations, bicycle crunches, squats and burpees. Skipping is great too. A minute of that will get your heart rate up and it’s really good fun. I walk everywhere too, trying to hit 10,000 steps a day and always take the stairs over the escalator.
In my twenties, I should have been wearing a bikini just to go down the high street…
As you get older you notice things you never worried about before. I’m trying to be more accepting of myself and not pick holes. We’re so hard on ourselves, but there comes a point where you have to make the decision to love yourself before it’s too late. Rather than wasting energy being miserable. It’s taken me a long time to get here and I’ve really had to work at it. Focus on something you like about yourself rather than all the things you don’t and that mental shift will slowly start happening.
I’ve had lots of comments on how well I look since leaving the radio show…
The crazy hours (I used to wake up at 4.30am) were almost like shift work and a constant lack of sleep isn’t the healthiest of ways to live. My cortisol levels spiked and I definitely noticed weight gain around my tummy. I tried to counteract any negative effects by preparing food to take with me, going to the gym after work and getting to bed early, and I used to stand up to do the show sometimes. Whatever job you’re in, it’s about being prepared.
Knowledge is power and I’ve always been a girl’s girl…
Which is why I’m so excited to be the new beauty and lifestyle columnist for Your Fitness. The column will be a combination of treatments, recipes, pre and post-workout tips and handy shortcuts if you’re not able to get to the salon. I’ve been lucky enough to work with amazing make-up artists and hairdressers so I’ll be sharing some little tricks of the trade. I believe that everyone should look and feel the best they possibly can, so I can’t wait to get started!
Lisa’s meals in a day
Either gluten-free porridge with chia seeds, coconut chip, strawberries and goji berries or a banana smoothie with almond, coconut or rice milk, oats and chia seeds. On weekends I might make gluten-free pancakes and have them with blueberries and bacon.
I grow coriander and mint in the garden, as well as rosemary and wild garlic. So I try to make lots of veggie rice salads packed full of goodness with pomegranate, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, spring onions, olive oil and lemon. I also love eggs for breakfast or lunch, and make hash or frittatas with chorizo, tomatoes, onions.
I have similar things for dinner and always include lots of vegetables. One of my favourite meals is pan-fried or roasted seabass with lots of fresh produce or sweet potato curry with beans.
Lisa’s life lessons
On the benefits of exercise:
I feel so much better after working out. If I’ve had a bad day it will get me out of a funk. I feel like I can process things more clearly. It’s all about a healthy body, healthy mind.
On looking after yourself:
People assume it’s normal to feel tired and bloated all the time. But having no energy could mean something within your lifestyle needs to change. An allergy test showed me how much stress certain foods were placing on my body. Avoiding them has made such a difference to my wellbeing.
While it’s great to incorporate healthy habits when you can, don’t beat yourself up when you can’t. It’s so hard out there already with enough to worry about. We could all do with being a little kinder to ourselves.