Although to us Anna is the picture of perfect health she has labelled herself as a “yo-yo dieter” and “emotional eater”. After meeting her weight goals back in 2010 she looked back on her old self as a “hefty 11.5st porker”. Moving in with previous partner former Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins also didn’t help the presenter keep off the pounds.
In the past Anna has gone from a size 10 to a size 14 and despite “struggling” with her weight she was able to say she was happy when she reached a size 12, saying that her being a size 8 is just “never going to happen”.
She added: “When you meet someone and fall in love, it’s a fact that 60 percent of people will put on up to a stone in weight.
“And it’s so true! Having lived with Sue, I felt my weight creep up by about half a stone, just because you fall into that relaxed way of sitting on the sofa, enjoying a few biscuits.”
Although Sue and Anna have now gone their separate ways, weight is still important to the presenter so much so that she realised a book called Mind Over Fatter which delves deeper into the reasons why people overeat.
Talking about the book to Your Healthy Living she said: “The reasons why we overeat are often due to negative feelings, low self-esteem or issues around loneliness or boredom. Once you’ve changed that it can have a profound effect on your eating habits.
In order to lose weight Anna tried hypnotherapy. A type of therapy that uses hypnosis to try and treat conditions or change habits.
Collaborating with hypnotherapist Marisa Peer, she was able to lose two stone within three to four months, all due to her acknowledging that she didn’t need food to self-medicate.
The presenter added: “In my mind I formed an association that food equals love and that it will soothe me if I feel abandoned or lost. Once Marisa had identified that she brought me back to being an adult. While I was still in a trance she told me that I am good enough, I am better than that.”
After hypnotherapy Anna said that she was more “driven” to make the correct food choices. “ I didn’t want to eat rubbish any more,” she said. “I wanted to treat myself with respect. My weight now fluctuates by about seven pounds or so if I go through periods of stress, but I now know how to get myself back on track.”
At 50 years of age, Anna has perfected healthy living and looking after her body. Her health kick was also encouraged by her father who suffered from three strokes and a heart attack. Witnessing her father’s ill health brought the presenter into a “sharp focus” on the idea that we need to take care of the one body we have.
In order to maintain a healthy body, Anna focuses on her diet but also takes supplements. So many in fact she says: “I’m literally starting to rattle!” Everything from omegas to magnesium and vitamins Anna says she has become “fanatical” about supplements in order to help her health.
After going “cold turkey” on sweet treats Anna said: “I’ve always struggled with my weight but I know and accept that I’ll never be a skinny person. I just want to be healthy.”
The NHS states that a healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier. Although it is extremely difficult, finding the time to stay active and prepare healthy meals will have benefits for yourself in the long run.
In order to do this the NHS has 10 healthy heart tips that will in time keep you going for longer.
The tips include the following:
- Quit smoking
- Get active
- Manage your weight
- Eat more fibre
- Cut down on saturated fat
- Eat five a day
- Cut down on salt
- Eat fish
- Drink less alcohol
- Read food labels.
Research has proven that being physically active for 30 minutes most days of the week can reduce your risk of life-threatening conditions such as heart disease. Healthy movement such as walking, dancing, yoga or running are all viable options.
A healthy diet should consist of high-fibre foods such as potatoes, bread and rice, five fruit or vegetables, some dairy or dairy alternative products, some beans, pulses, fish or eggs, a small amount of unsaturated oil or spread and at least six to eight glasses of fluids a day.
Other less obvious steps you can take to maintain a healthy lifestyle include the following:
- Help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS by using condoms every time you have sexual contact.
- Brush your teeth after meals with a soft or medium bristled toothbrush. Also brush after drinking and before going to bed. Use dental floss daily.
- Stay out of the sun, especially between 10am and 3pm when the sun’s harmful rays are strongest. You are not protected if it is cloudy or if you are in the water — harmful rays pass through both.
- Avoid injury by wearing seatbelts and bike helmets, using smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home, and using street smarts when walking alone.