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Former Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley on losing 12 stone

The former Emmerdale actress on losing 12 stone

By Claire Muffett-Reece

What was the catalyst that made you realise it was time to lose the weight?

‘I lost my beloved mum, Cath, to breast cancer, and then not long after my dad got very, very ill, and he was in hospital, and because I was doing a play, I would go and visit him late at night. All the people in the ward had type 2 diabetes – and it frightened me. I realised it was time to change and make a difference. I didn’t know how I would do it, but I just focused and threw myself in it, and that’s why my plan works. You have to get to that stage where basically you fight every demon with food and realise the good foods from the bad – and be honest with yourself.’

Your weight loss books are doing so well…

‘Not only does it work, it’s my voice speaking, everything that I went through and all the demons that came with it, and the psychology that’s linked with foods. And that’s why people can relate to, because they know that they’ve made excuses in the past, they know that they’ve probably said, “I’m doing really well”, but they pick on the side.’

Did you have any hiccups along the way?

‘I think hiccups is the wrong word, basically you’ve always got what I call your ‘itchy’ foods – mine will forever be crisps. I just made the decision that I will never, ever, ever have crisps ever again, and it works better that way, because I know that they’re my demon.  And it is what Pringles say: once you pop, you never stop!’

We see you on your Instagram you’re also a bit of a gym bunny…

‘I love it! I do a lot at home as well if I can’t get to the gym. I always try and wake up and do my yoga as well as maybe go to a class, because it’s all about the strength of your core. I love Zumba, I swim, so I guess I am a true gym bunny. Having said that there’s nothing I do at the gym that you can’t really do at home, and that’s what I always encourage. There’s no excuse not to move – moving is a big part of weight loss, so I always try to move rather than sit.’

What’s it like being teetotal these days?

‘That’s been the easiest part of everything! I’m not a wallflower, I don’t need a drink for ‘Dutch courage’, to give me a personality – I don’t need it at all. I don’t miss it, I don’t like it, I’m a better person for not drinking and I’m certainly a better me for not drinking, too.’

As you’re in the public eye, what do you think about the pressure there is for you now to maintain your loss?

‘There’s no pressure, because I don’t succumb to pressure, and I am who I am, like I said. People can judge me and say what they like, but it literally bounces right off me. I don’t do negative – I don’t like it, it’s not who I am, and the person I will be until the day I die is the healthiest possible me. And if I can sleep well at night knowing that I have pushed my body to the best of its ability, then I’ve done the right thing.’

As well as your books you’re also busy in the fashion world. What’s your favourite piece from your latest collection at Ideal World?

‘My jumpsuit. I’ve become, the jumpsuit girl! Again people are like, “I can’t wear a jumpsuit, it won’t suit me!” But I’ve proven how brilliant you look, no matter what size you are, even from an 8 to a 28, it really shows off your figure to the very best. They’re so comfy – you can dress them up or dress them down – a jumpsuit can be for every occasion.’

Finally, what would you say to readers who feel they need to lose some weight?

‘Only do it if you want to do it – that is the fundamental way to move forward. Don’t do it because you might have seen something, do it because you’re ready to do it, because if you’re not ready, then you’ll have failings.  And also try at first to keep it to yourself – don’t shout through a megaphone that you’re on a diet! You may find everyone puts pressure on you, which is something you don’t need. The next thing you’ll walk in to see a friend and they’ll go, “Have you lost weight?” – and you’ll feel phenomenal.’

Any other tips?

‘Always keep a really good record of photographs. On my iPhone I have so many obese pictures, and whenever I feel like I’m having a down day, I just flick back to when I was a size 28. But only if you want to do it, otherwise it will not work.’

Lisa’s third summer clothing collection offers new stylish summer prints and flattering tie detail over at idealworld.tv

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