Davina McCall spoke to our sister publication Woman’s Own about being fit in her 50s and why she refuses to deny herself when it comes to food.
Hi Davina! Do you work out every day?
No, but in an ideal world I will work out three to four times a week. If I’ve planned to exercise, I’ll make sure I stick to it because, otherwise, it’s too easy to fall off the wagon. It’s really important to try and schedule workouts into your week. I’m not obsessive, but I get such huge benefits from working out – my life wouldn’t be the same without it. It winds me up when people say I do too much exercise. I really don’t think that you can do too much exercise. I don’t get it! I’d absolutely love to be in the position where I have enough time to do too much exercise!
You’ve started your own website, Own Your Goals. What was the thinking behind doing that?
We’ve basically collated all of the previous DVD workouts I’ve done into one place, and then added a load more from all the incredible fitness instructors I’ve worked with, so there’s everything from yoga to dance on there. There’s a certain kind of freedom in being able to get all of your workouts in one place.
Working out online can be a bit all over the place, but with Own Your Goals you can see which workouts you’ve done and everything you’ve completed. We give you a calorie tracker, and there are lots of menus and ideas on there. I used to cook the same meals all the time so I needed inspiration too, and I thought it was a really important element. They’re all healthy, family friendly meals.
Do you still cook a lot?
I do, and I love cooking, which is why I’m trying to branch out more. I’m not always amazing at the organisation it takes to cook, but at the moment our house is absolutely full every weekend, so I’m usually cooking huge vats of stuff that everybody can have. That normally consists of some kind of chilli or a chicken stew. Basically, big multi-people pots of food anyone can dig into. My daughter Holly is an amazing cook and she’s got me into chickpeas. I’ve always had a love for houmous, but actual chickpeas used to confuse me. I mean, what do you do with them? Now I dry fry them with a tiny bit of oil with some fajita seasoning. They stink out the kitchen, but they taste absolutely delicious with a dollop of houmous in a piece of iceberg lettuce.
Do you have any other good healthy eating/diet tips?
Yes, don’t diet! Dieting is bad for your health, and any kind of yo-yo thing where you’re going up and down and up and down is disastrous. Try to keep yourself on an even keel and get everybody in the family on board. If you’re cooking a meal for everybody, don’t immediately cook them chicken Kiev and chips or fish fingers and chips. Don’t start suddenly serving them up chickpeas in lettuce because they’ll go nuts, but try small changes they might not even notice, like making sweet-potato fries instead of normal ones, which are delicious. Let them come on the journey with you, and then, at the weekend, have a healthy-style fish and chip night, or a homemade thin-crust pizza using brown flour. They’ll adore that!
You said you had an amazing year in 2019. How come? I think you know what we’re getting at… (Davina is rumoured to be dating celebrity hairdresser Michael Douglas)
Ah-ha, yes. I did have had an amazing year, but I had an incredible 12 months for lots of different reasons. I won’t talk about my personal life because it’s not fair on those around us and the people we love.
It’s lovely to see you so happy after going through such a difficult time…
Thank you. It’s been a couple of years since Matthew and I split up and it is really hard getting divorced. It’s been really hard for both of us. I think in the past year, both of us were sort of finding our feet, but we both feel like we’re moving on and it’s a much happier, healthier place.
You’ve admitted you’ve suffered from imposter syndrome at times. Has that happened often?
I think everyone gets it at some time or another when something amazing happens to them. It’s a nice thing I guess, because you kind of think, ‘God, I’m so grateful. Don’t tell anyone how good this is or they might come and take it away!’
I even got it when I was filming The Masked Singer last year. I was wearing fancy outfits, and I’d been doing Long Lost Family for so long in my normal home clothes, and then, all of a sudden, I was in these amazing sequinned numbers.
I kept expecting someone to come and tap me on the shoulder and say, “Sorry love, we’ve just suddenly realised that we’ve got the wrong person [for the part]. We should have got Sharon Osbourne!”’