MOST women dread piling on the pounds over the festive season.
But mother-of-three Yvonne Keating, who admits to having put on a stone in recent months, is delighted with her weight gain.
"I hadn't even noticed it, but it crept back up over the past year," she told the Herald.
"I must say I'm really delighted to have put it on.
"I feel a bit more curvaceous – and it's helping me to keep a lot warmer in this cold weather!"
Yvonne eventually noticed the extra pounds when she got 'stuck' in a slightly too tight evening gown at the ITV Christmas party.
"I was at the This Morning bash last week with Lisa Fitzpatrick and Darren Kennedy," she said.
"Lisa had to cut me out of my dress at the end of the night, it was that tight.
"When I wore it a year ago, it was practically loose on me."
Yvonne (39), who officially separated from her husband Ronan Keating last year, said her body weight dipped around that time due to stress.
"It doesn't tend to fluctuate all that much, but I had lost a lot of weight," she said.
"I think it was because I was stressed last year and now I'm not stressed.
"I never wanted to be that skinny. Not that's there anything wrong with skinny, of course, but I prefer having a bit more weight on me."
Yvonne, who was speaking at the launch of the ISPCC's Winter Warmer collaboration with Elverys, has been in a relationship with cinematographer John Conroy for over 18 months.
The pair met in Gothenburg, Sweden, when Yvonne's daughter Missy was filming A Dark Touch.
Asked if falling in love had anything to do with her weight gain, Yvonne remained coy.
"I'm not going to comment on that," she said, smiling.
Yvonne said the ISPCC cause is close to her heart, adding: "I think they do such great work, and as a mum I really appreciate that and want to help however I can."
The former model has spoken in the past about her and Ronan's co-parenting relationship, saying she believes it is important for children to know there is no such thing as a "normal family".
"Families come in all shapes and sizes," she said. "It can be children with one parent or kids raised by their grandparents.
"I think we need to get away from the idea of 'normal', because there is no normal.
"There isn't as much stigma attached to not having a 'normal stereotypical' family."
Since her stint on Celebrity Masterchef, Yvonne can't get enough of the bright lights of TV.
"I love working on the show – it's such a great team. I was talking to the producers of This Morning about ITV coming to Ireland – it's a very exciting time," she said.