independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Fitness in Vogue

From model to reality star to TV presenter to adventure racer, is there anything Vogue Williams won't take on?

Vogue in training for the Gaelforce Women's Adventure Race at The Fitness Agency in Howth

As anyone who has seen her Instagram feed can attest, Vogue Williams has the kind of bikini-ready body many fitness enthusiasts can only dream of. Still, that's not to say that the prospect of a gruelling fitness challenge doesn't faze her.

Recently, the DJ/model/TV presenter has signed up to Gaelforce's Women's Adventure Race on July 27. Featuring a 7k run, a 15k cycle and a half-kilometre kayak, the event – which is run in association with Breast Cancer Ireland – is designed to appeal to women who'd like to give adventure racing a try but are intimidated by a bigger event.

"I was worried at first when I was asked because I'm terrible at running," she laughs. "This event seems more like a big girls' day out, and one of my friends will do it with me. The kayaking bit is probably going to be hilarious, and I don't see anyone taking it too seriously, which is a good thing.

"I think I'll be okay for the cycle, although I was destroyed by my spinning class earlier today. I let my fitness go there for a few weeks, but now that I've started running to prepare for this event, I feel motivated to do more."

Given her heaving schedule, Vogue would be forgiven for letting her halo slip. Fresh from a tour of Australia with her husband Brian McFadden, Vogue has also been filming a new documentary for RTé. According to recent reports, Vogue is also involved in shooting the pilot for a new magazine-style show called Bounce that's being pitched to the national broadcaster.

Between airport food and that niggling feeling that you're constantly on holidays (and therefore off the hook, diet-wise), most people will admit that travel can wreak havoc on a gym routine. And, even in the midst of her hectic globetrotting, Vogue has found a canny way to stick to a regime.

"Travel can be a nightmare alright, but at least most hotels have gyms," she says. "I take pictures of the gym circuit I use at home on my phone – I have six circuits I do with my trainer, so I do those in the hotels. But when I was on tour with Brian for ages . . . well, you don't tend to work as hard."

Australia, too, is one of the world's fittest countries, which should grease the fitness wheels somewhat: "Yeah, I wouldn't advise going to Bondi Beach if you're having a fat day," she laughs. "I was there 10 days ago, and I was waking up so jet-lagged and would go down to the beach in the morning thinking I was great. And the place would be already packed!"

As for juggling the unsociable hours of club DJing with her regime: "The thing is, I don't usually drink when I'm DJing. I might have one or two when I'm almost finishing set. Drink is definitely something that makes me put on weight."

That said, Vogue is "the thinnest I've ever been", and credits The Fitness Agency in Howth for helping her reach her fitness goals. These days, she is more likely to attend their classes, and to mix things up, she will regularly run or walk her dogs along the pier in Howth, too.

"I work on an anti-gravity running machine, which burns 600 calories in half an hour," she enthuses. "The thing with the gym is you have to go, don't you? But once you're in the gym you're sort of into it.

"After I did my pre-wedding programme at The Fitness Agency, I lost a stone and lost so many inches (she wed Brian in Italy last summer). I think I got down to 11pc body fat. I also didn't watch what I ate at all, which was really weird."

Regular gym workouts are not just handy for honing those rock-hard abs, they're good for the mind, too: "Brian always says to me, 'whenever you don't go to the gym you talk about how fat you feel, but when you go to the gym, you don't say it as much'," says Vogue.

"I don't have the skinniest legs, but if you put a few pounds on, you just up the workout to keep at the same weight."

While most models will claim incessantly that they can eat whatever they want and not gain weight, Vogue will at least admit that her sweet tooth often proves to be her downfall. There's a sense that Vogue needs to strike a balance between eating what she likes and paying off those dividends with exercise.

"While she might feel a pang of guilt at missing out on a workout, Vogue will simply take her dogs for a walk . . . and carry on indulging her love of chocolate.

"I never cared about what I ate, but a year ago, I started to notice that it does make a difference," she admits with refreshing candour. "I have to have chocolate every day, though. I just feel I need that treat. I love sweets – Stinger bars, sherbert Dip Dabs, all those kind of things.

"A friend recommended a tea that would combat sugar cravings, but life's too short. I'll just go to the gym instead. That said, I take lots of vitamin supplements and I drink this aloe vera liquid supplement that's amazing. It's so good for your stomach and your skin – Brian has dry skin and even he has found it really good for that."

In recent weeks, there has been much tabloid chatter about Vogue planning to start a family with her new husband. It turns out that the media has jumped the gun somewhat.

"A friend asked me last week, 'should you not be taking folic acid right now?'" she laughs. "I guess it wouldn't do any harm, but I'm not in any rush. Maybe a year before we decide to go for it, I'll think about the supplements then!"

For more information on the Gaelforce Women's Adventure Race in July, which starts in Leenane village and ends at the Killary Adventure Centre, log on to www.womensadventurerace.com.

Irish Independent

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