For someone who’s been up since 5am to prepare for her ITV morning chat show, there’s a sprightly air to Lorraine Kelly when we catch up with her.
With her hair piled high, the 62-year-old broadcaster is speaking over Zoom from the back of a car on the way home from ITV’s London studio.
She’s just as engaging as she is when interviewing her own guests and there’s a radiance to her – and we have a feeling her recent lifestyle overhaul has something to do with her extra sparkle.
Since embarking on a healthy living program with WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, in January, she’s not only dropped two dress sizes – a weight loss of a stone-and-a-half – but she also says she’s got her mojo back.
“I was 11 stone 10 when I started and now I’m 10 stone three,” she tells us.
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As hard as this is to believe for someone who oozes such confidence on TV, the Scottish TV star had been declining red-carpet invites because her self-confidence was so low.
The lockdown doldrums had taken their toll with nights spent plowing through ever-increasing amounts of chocolate and a few glasses of wine.
Breakfasts were grab-and-go croissants or buns. But since Lorraine has been more focused on eating well and living well, she says her zest for life has returned.
Aside from the health benefits, her weight loss has also enriched her relationship – with husband Steve Smith noticing a boost in her energy levels – and even their dogs are reaping the benefits, since she now takes them for a long walk to cap off her working day.
Here, Lorraine, who is mum to 28-year-old journalist daughter Rosie Smith, discusses how a few lifestyle changes mean she’s ready to take on anything — including getting back into her wedding dress from 30 years ago…
Lorraine, we have to say, you look amazing!
Ah, thank you. It’s just so lovely to be wearing clothes I really want to and not just wearing baggy shirt dresses and trying to cover up.
It’s made life a lot easier. I know I wasn’t alone in putting on weight over the pandemic. I think a lot of us were comfort eating.
You’ve lost a stone-and-a-half in weight. How has that made a difference to you?
I’ve certainly got my zest for life back. It’s improved my confidence massively. I feel like I can take on anything right now. I just got invited to this wonderful opera with my daughter and I probably wouldn’t have done that before, but now I’m going to everything and it feels fantastic.
I am relishing these experiences. I went to the Baftas a few weeks ago and it’s the first time in a while I felt I could enjoy the evening and present an award without thinking, “Oh, I don’t feel nice,” or, “I can’t find anything to fit any more.”
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Has your husband noticed a difference in your attitude?
Steve says, “I’ve got you back,” because my energy levels have improved. I’m up for doing stuff now whereas before, at the weekend, I would do some housework and then collapse in front of the telly.
Before I’d be off walking the dogs for half an hour – now I can disappear with them for two hours.
It’s been good, too, because Steve loves cooking and he’s enjoying cooking with more flavors and doing lots more things with vegetables in. On Sunday, he makes me a massive pot of vegetable chilli soup and that will last me every lunch until midweek.
So, although he’s not on the programme, he’s certainly benefitted. Neither of us are eating massive plates of chocolate every night now.
Has it made you consider renewing your vows when you celebrate your 30th wedding anniversary in September?
[Laughs] Well, I could get into my wedding dress now… Maybe I should do this for our anniversary. Oh God, no! I think we’ll have a party but we wouldn’t have another ceremony. We’d giggle too much.
What was the trigger that made you sign up to WW?
It was a combination of things. I definitely overindulged over Christmas, as we all do. I was finding a size 14 was getting too tight.
To be honest, I should have gone into a size 16 but I thought, “No, I don’t really want to do that.”
And there’s nothing wrong with being a size 16 – our models [on Lorraine] are a size 16 – if that’s what you’re supposed to be and if you’re happy or healthy.
But I’m convinced every one of us has a fighting weight, in other words, a size and dress size where we feel our best. For me, my fighting weight is a size 10. Being a size 16 is not healthy for me. It’s not good as my self-esteem goes way down and I’m not confident.
What had you been eating?
It was complete comfort eating. I’d start with a few quite small pieces of chocolate midweek and before I knew it, it was a humongous amount – whole packets of chocolate.
Then I would drink a couple of glasses of wine on a school night, which you can’t do when you’re getting up at 5am. It wasn’t a worry. They were only wee ones but it all adds up.
How did the weight gain affect you?
There were events I turned down because I thought, “I’m not going to put myself through it.” I would have made an excuse and said no.
My husband always thinks I’m lovely and, you know, they don’t see your big bottom and tummy.
But you know in yourself how you feel. It’s about self-confidence. It’s daunting on these red carpets. I’m not good at it. It’s part of the job,
but it’s nerve-wracking.
I always look at Amanda Holden and she is so great at knowing how to hold herself up, but I never know where to stand.
What changes did you make to your diet?
It’s not about cutting things out completely, but with the Weight Watcher points you get each day, it just makes you far more aware of what you’re eating.
So instead of chocolate plates every night I’ll have things like tangerines, oranges and maybe a handful of wee nuts.
And I love to chop up a banana and have it with some of their own-brand WW hazelnut spread. It’s like a very healthy Nutella! I’ll still have some chocolate on a weekend, but maybe not as much.
How has it improved your mental health?
It takes a lot to upset me, but during the pandemic I found myself waking up in the night and worrying.
The plan also helps with exercises and sleep. I sleep far better and I make sure I remove my devices from my room, which I think helps. I feel like the old me is back.
Join Lorraine on her journey at #joinLorraine and visit ww.com/uk/ambassadors/lorraine-kelly to get 50% off today. For more information or details on how to join WW, visit ww.com/uk.
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