Sunday 21 April 2019

A model Christmas: fun, festive and fit

While most of us have accepted we will expand our waistlines as much as our credit card bills this Christmas, Ireland's top models have vowed not to stray too far from their fitness routines.

Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison
28/11/2014. Pictured is model Roz Purcell at the Merrion Hotel. Roz is spending the Christmas holidays training in Club La Santa in Lanzarote with family and Bressie. Photo: El Keegan
Roz Purcell
Vogue Williams
Michelle McGrath
Roz Purcell in training

Joyce Fegan

Gyms, juice bars and jogging are more than likely the last thing on your mind at Christmas as you reach for that extra glass of mulled wine and second mince pie. But for some people the festive season is most definitely not a time of vegetation.

Whether it is a Pilates class or a Christmas morning run, Roz Purcell, Rosanna Davison, Vogue Williams and Michele McGrath all like to stay in their training routine over the holidays.

For Michele, Christmas is just another week in the year; Rosanna is at her healthiest at this time of year; DJ Vogue will keep up her training and for Roz, Christmas means a sports and training resort in the sun with her family.

Rosanna Davison

My health habits actually tend to improve during November and December, as I go to Mauritius on holiday with my family and husband for New Year's Eve and for half of January.

The thoughts of being in a bikini for a few weeks makes me stay away from the mince pies and mulled wine. I'm usually at my fittest and healthiest at this time of the year - I love going into the New Year feeling great.

In my normal non-Christmas routine I exercise six days a week. I go to personal trainer, Amanda Kelly in Bodybyrne Fitness, twice a week for weight-training, which I absolutely love. I go to a Pilates class two to three times a week - depending on my schedule.

We're also lucky to have a home gym, so I run or sprint on the treadmill or work up a sweat on the cross-trainer four to five times a week for the cardiovascular benefits.

And food-wise I eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet with plenty of raw foods and minimal processed ingredients. I also totally avoid sugar, dairy and wheat, don't smoke, drink alcohol in moderation and get plenty of sleep.

There's always so much to go to at Christmas, with plenty of parties, events and travel in the weeks leading up to December 25.

This festive season, I have to squeeze 11 flights into just over two weeks as I'm so busy with work abroad.

But it makes the chance to relax over Christmas even more worth it.

On December 25 itself, I usually just go for a light jog on Christmas morning as it makes me feel great for the day. Then after the meal if there's still a bit of decent daylight, we might go for a walk as I'll be at my parents' house in Wicklow this year.

Vogue Williams

Normally and aside from Christmas I train about four or five times a week and I walk my dog for an hour each day. I love training at home in Dublin because my gym in Howth does great classes, which always feel more like fun rather than a boring work-out session.

At Christmas though I always walk my dog no matter how I'm feeling and I'd say if I'm really super busy I'll only go to the gym three or four times a week, which is still good. At Christmas, even with parties and friends and family around, I like to keep my training up because I don't diet and it's the best way for me to stay in shape.

During the festive season I don't do anything that differently to be honest, in my family we don't have any fitness traditions or anything like that. I like to do absolutely nothing on Christmas Day though and this year will be no different.

Party-wise I can never drink two days in a row anyway so I'll only have a few nights out over Christmas and I'll have to control my hangover cravings a bit more, like no pizza for breakfast.

But having said that, everyone falls off the wagon at Christmas - you're supposed to, I just wouldn't stress about it and just get back into your routines after the New Year.

Training aside I like to do beauty things to feel good at Christmas too. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a good tan but because I don't spend too much time in the sun I always get a Cocoa Brown spray tan or use their one-hour tan. I can never be brown enough!

Rozanna Purcell

Well aside from training six days a week either in triathlon, weights or TRX (depending on the season) I try to keep to a whole-food approach when it comes to my diet.

But I'd be lying if I said I didn't change my habits at Christmas. Of course I'm only human, if there is anytime aside from your birthday when you can have guilt-free cake, chocolate, chips - it's Christmas.

I try not to over-indulge but it's hard not to.

The past few years I have been travelling to Club La Santa, a training resort in Lanzarote, so I've kept up my exercise regime and in fact probably do a little more than usual so it evens out my lack of will power.

And on the party side of things, I don't drink and rarely go out. I prefer cooking everyone a nice dinner and staying in; rock 'n' roll.

In terms of doing something different at this time of year, I suppose not many families go to a sports resort at Christmas, but to be honest I don't do anything extra. I look after myself pretty well and always keep extremely active no matter what the season.

My family Christmas tradition used to be walking up to the top of Slievenamon with the dogs but recently the only tradition is one my sister and I do where we cycle to a small town in Lanzarote called Nazareth on Christmas Eve. Believe it or not, it started by accident three Christmases ago.

In terms of food, my family and I aren't into tradition and the typical way things are supposed to be done, so Christmas dinner for me over the years has been a combination of everything from Japanese to Italian but a Cadbury selection box is always in there somewhere.

I would love to cook Christmas dinner some day and make all alternative desserts - next year maybe.

On a serious note though, I think to stay in your fitness routine and to keep feeling good over Christmas you should make a deal with yourself, fitness-wise even give yourself 30 minutes a day over the holiday period to workout whether it's a run, cycle or walk - whatever you like, do it. It will make your day much better and maybe influence some better food choices.

Also I think it's a good idea to suggest to go for winter walks or ice-skating when meeting friends over the holidays rather than a spiced latte and Christmas treat.

On Christmas Day have your favourite things but stop when you're full, you know that feeling and although you don't want it to end, the feeling of being over-full really isn't that pleasant.

Michele McGrath

All year-round I do reformer Pilates in Pilates Plus in Deansgrange so I take classes in that and I also do yoga classes in the Yoga Dublin Studios so I'll just try and keep up both all over Christmas.

Christmas is just another week, I might not get as many classes in but up until then I'll just be in my same old routine.

I probably do the Pilates twice a week and then the yoga once a week - it depends how busy I am with work so I'll see what I can do at Christmas.

I never do any of it to lose weight though I do it to feel good.

I think working out isn't only good for keeping in shape, it's also really good for your mind and that's more important than keeping in shape. I don't think any woman should conform to this image of 'you know you have be stick-thin or size zero,' I can't stand any of that. I think women should be healthy - eat a healthy diet and don't deprive yourself of anything, everything in moderation.

Because my boyfriend is a UFC fighter I do the paleo diet, which is actually really good for you - basically because everything comes from the ground.

But my paleo diet goes out the window at Christmas to be honest with you. I have a big Christmas dinner with my family and eat way too much sugar and drink alcohol and let the hair down so I'll be full steam ahead eating all those roast potatoes - they're my favourite thing in the whole world.

All year-long though I eat a healthy and balanced diet and I don't deprive myself of anything. I don't think women should get so hung up on weight and weight loss - I think that's definitely unhealthy. I go up and down as well and if I have gone up a dress size, to be honest it doesn't really bother me.

In terms of falling off the wagon at Christmas or doing something different - I just don't do anything different because I never feel like I've fallen off because I don't exercise to lose weight.

Even if I had Indian take-away three nights in the week and that wouldn't be my norm, but I wouldn't give myself a hard time over it.

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