Friday 20 July 2018

'That’s life. You get back on the wagon again' - TV3 presenter Lisa Cannon on struggling with 'up and down' weight

Lisa Cannon. Photo: David Conachy
Lisa Cannon. Photo: David Conachy
Lisa Cannon
Lisa Cannon at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2017 at The Marker Hotel Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Lisa Cannon at the VIP Style Awards 2015
Aisling O'Loughlin, Sybil Mulcahy, Lorraine Keane, Karen Koster, Lisa Cannon at the VIP Style Awards 2009
Lisa Cannon arriving on the red carpet for the IFTA Awards 2017 at the Mansion House, Dublin. Photo: Michael Chester
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

TV3 presenter Lisa Cannon has had a busy year.

Hosting and producing 3e's brand-new movie show, Box Office, she regularly finds herself jetting out of Dublin airport to chase interviews.

So it’s not surprising that healthy eating can be a challenge. And yet, by the close of this year the presenter had achieved one of her personal goals and had lost one stone and five pounds in one year.

 “I started Weight Watchers last Christmas so I’m a year with them now. It’s been an up and down journey. Some weeks I lost weight, other times I gained weight,” she told Independent.ie.

“I got a brand new job, and you’re flying around, in airports, and eating on the go. I went from cooking in the kitchen to being out on the road. And I had to think about what were the choices I was going to make.”

Now that the festive season is over, Cannon will be “puckering down” and getting back to healthy eating.

“With Christmas come and gone, and New Year’s come and gone, you’re thinking ‘oh the damage’. You can be as mindful as you can when it comes to eating, but it is the holidays after all. Like the rest of the nation, I’ll be puckering down in January.”

Cannon’s main advice to anyone who wants to lose weight, she says, is to be compassionate about yourself.

 “It’s one of those things… as a woman anywhere it’s important to have a positive frame of mind about yourself but we don’t always have that. If you think differently about yourself you will act differently as well.”

“It’s taught me to be self-compassionate, to stand up to the stigma of weight negativity and look in the mirror and like how you look.”

“You can mindlessly mow your way through a tin of roses and feel bad about yourself, or you can say ‘I’m not going to have six, I’m going to have two’.”

“Even things like eating mindfully, slowly savouring your food and enjoying your food can help.”

Lisa produced a documentary about powerlifting a few years ago, during which she lost a lot of weight. This was when she achieved peak fitness, she says. However, the lifestyle was eventually unsustainable for her.

“Over the year, I’ve lost a stone and five pounds. That’s pretty good. In January obviously it’s totally different again, but I think it’s always an ongoing journey.”

“That’s life. You get back on the wagon again.”

“I’ve known that I’ve been up and down [with regards to weight], it could be the time of the month, or life events, whether people have weddings or engagements, happy events like that, or then there could be deaths or tragedies or illness and lots of the sadder things in life. It can manifest in how you choose your foods.”

Cannon says she now cooks with 200 foods that Weight Watchers classifies as zero point foods.

“Even cooking now, I enjoy that way more. I was the accidental cook, now I’m trying new dishes and enjoying rummaging in the cupboard and finding what works well together.”

She added: “You should speak to yourself like you would approach your friend. I know friends who like myself have struggled with their weight.”

“I would say try and speak to yourself in a compassionate way. Life is life, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, that’s the great John Lennon quote. There are children, commitments, things can happen so try and speak to yourself compassionately.”

"Believe also that you’re in solidarity, that you’re all in this together."

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