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Reality star Holly Hagan has always been open about her battle with online trolls and the negative impact it had on her fitness journey.
Now, she looks and, more importantly, feels better than ever as she gets ready to marry fiancé Jacob Blyth.
The 28-year-old talks to new magazine about fitness and losing weight the healthy way, opens up about how Jacob, also 28, helped her recover from bulimia and reveals that the pair are looking to start a family in the not-so-distant future…
Hi Holly! Firstly, let’s talk about your fitness journey because it’s not been the easiest…
I think that’s because I always saw the gym as a place you go to lose weight. It was never about improving my fitness because that wasn’t important to me when I was young.
All I cared about was looking good. As a woman in the limelight with all these pressures, worrying about my looks became an obsession and I didn’t care what the consequences were.
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That must have been really difficult for you?
It was. When you’re being trolled about being fat, you think that if you get thin it’ll make it stop, but it doesn’t. They will find something to hate. It took me 25 years to work that out!
If you could go back and tell yourself anything in those darker moments, what would you say?
Exercise and eat in a calorie deficit. I was starving myself and eating less than 1,000 calories, but when I met my PT Tyler, he put me on 1,800 calories a day.
I thought I’d gain weight, but I lost it slowly and steadily week by week.
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What else helped you change your outlook?
My fiancé Jacob is an athlete, so his lifestyle is very fitness orientated, and he’s very healthy. He was a good influence on me. I was still struggling with bulimia when I met him and he was the one who made me see that what I was doing wasn’t normal.
I’d never questioned it or looked at it in a bad way, so him teaching me that made me stop doing it pretty much straight away.
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You’ve got two amazing fitness plans available. Can you tell us a bit about those?
I created them with Tyler and it was all about making something affordable that squashed out all the fads we’ve seen over the years.
For £30, you get access to all the information I could possibly give and people are seeing amazing results. The feedback has honestly brought me to tears. I’m so proud of what we’ve built.
What about your new live subscriptions?
For £20 per month we offer a schedule of live workouts every week which are saved to your account and you can do them whenever you like.
It’s basically an at-home gym membership, but you also get access to all the online resources. That includes the weight tracker, 400 recipes (vegan and veggie options included!) and the closed Facebook group.
We would absolutely love for our live subscriptions to be government funded for people who can’t attend a gym or who suffer with weight-related health issues.
What does your workout schedule look like?
I get on my exercise bike for an hour or so every day while I watch TV. When you do something really intense every day, it can wear you down a bit so I tend to only do HIIT three times a week.
How about your diet? Are you super strict with what you eat?
I actually eat whatever I want. I just make sure I stay within my numbers to maintain that calorie deficit. Obviously I’m all for healthy eating, but it’s not always achievable.
Sometimes you just need a pizza, so I never restrict myself. I eat in moderation.
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
I love having a Chinese takeaway. I wouldn’t think of it as a cheat meal though, because if I want something I just have it.
How important is exercising for your mental health?
As soon as I start exercising again it makes me feel better and that’s why I do it. My mental health is far more important to me than what I look like.
It’s my number one priority. I notice that when I don’t go to the gym my mood dips and I start to feel sluggish. You never regret a workout – that’s what I always say.
Do you still suffer with anxiety and panic attacks from time to time?
I still get social anxiety. With the job I’m in, people will always stare when you’re out and about. The masks have actually been really helpful! I can hide while I do my Asda shop.
But no, I haven’t had a panic attack now for about four-and-a-half years. I put that down to being in a good relationship and knowing myself. Self-care is very important.
Speaking of your relationship, how are you and Jacob getting on?
We’re fabulous. Lockdown was a breeze for us because we get on really well and love spending time together. Plus, we’ve got our wedding this year which is really exciting.
What are you most looking forward to?
Having everyone being together again. Last year was so hard not being able to see all our friends and family.
As long as I can get those 80 people together in Ibiza that’ll be enough for me.
Brides obviously want to look their best on the big day – do you have any goals or is it more about sustaining what you’ve got?
I just want to be in the best place I can fitness-wise. I’m very happy with where my body is looks-wise. I’ve tried my dress on and it looks stunning so I’m not pressuring myself to lose any weight. I don’t want to look like I’ll blow away down the aisle.
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Is there anything about married life that worries you?
Not really. The only thing I’m really nervous about is whether I’ll be able to do the school run. I love my sleep so much.
The other day I was in bed at 10am thinking, “My kids would have had to be at school at least an hour and a half ago…” It scares me!
So kids are on the cards for you both then?
Yeah! We’re both turning 30 in 2022, so I think we’ll go to Bali to celebrate that, have one last blow out and then stop being so careful.
We’ll never actively try to have a baby because I think that puts a lot of pressure on a relationship, but we’ll stop
being careful and if it happens it happens.
Can we expect any other surprises in 2021?
It’s Geordie Shore ’s 10-year anniversary this year, if you can you believe it. Something very, very big is happening for that. I can’t give too much away, but there’s talk about something incredible coming.
Sign up to one of Holly’s plans at hollyhagan.uk
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