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Melanie Sykes on booze free living and what it takes to have a killer bod

Melanie Sykes on booze free living and what it takes to have a killer bod

Sunday, November 13, 2016 - 17:04

We love mum of two Melanie for her honest no holds barred attitude. Here she shares her personal thoughts on giving up booze, her enviable body and her son’s autism.

You are always so busy - What are you working on at the moment?

My website melaniesykes.com has taken over my life and I love it. I set it up as I wanted somewhere I could share more with the women who follow me on social media who are interested in fitness, health and fashion. I also love interviewing people so it was a chance to do more of that. So it’s everything I enjoy in my work life rolled into one. It’s feeding my creative spirit and I have many plans for it and my readers.

How do you make sure you don’t over do it?

I take ten minutes a day to do my Headspace app which is helping me be mindful throughout the day. I have a tendency to be anxious so it’s helping me with that and generally keeping me in the moment. I also know when to step away from the laptop, have a break from exercise and when I need a sleep.

You are mega fit - how do you inspire yourself to get up and go to the gym?

8 years ago I didn’t have any ‘me’ time in my life so I thought the gym would be a good place to get a couple of hours to myself away from my babies, my husband and work. I also wanted to invest in my health for the future and it’s paid off. 

The endorphins made me feel good and I started asking other women who looked great what they were doing and some of the personal trainers about nutrition. It became a big interest for me. My body started changing and i was really loving that. It’s become my lifestyle. I’m not 'obsessed' with it despite what the Daily Mail says. I train 3 or 4 times a week.

You are an inspiration to many women who are looking to get fit and strong, who inspires you?

My children inspire me to keep in shape. They need me so I need to keep my body and mind healthy. 

What’s been the hardest point in your parenting journey so far?

Having a career and having two young babies. I remember it being a crazy struggle and the guilt left me exhausted but I had to feed and water them so being a stay a home mum was not an option for me. Then when Tino was diagnosed with autism that was a big transition.

Tell us more about how you found out your son Tino was autistic…

I started to notice things that weren’t quite right. He wasn’t reacting to things like he should have been. He wasn’t responding when I called his name and he wasn’t playing with toys in the usual way.

I took him to a GP, he was given a hearing test to rule that out and then I was told he was on the spectrum. Early intervention is important and luckily we did that with Tino.

What challenges have you faced?

His schooling has been the biggest fight. Finding the right school was tough, one that understands autism and knows how to unlock his learning ability. Fingers crossed I think we’ve found the right one.

What would be your advice for anyone who may suspect their child is autistic?

Apparently getting a diagnosis is very difficult these days. You have to push and push, don’t take one person’s word for it. Don’t take no for an answer and trust your own instincts, if you think there’s something wrong then you are probably right. 

I hear from a lot of women who tell me that their partners went to pieces when their child is diagnosed because they’re in denial and can’t handle it. The women have to deal with it on their own. 

There’s no point in wallowing in it, it’s a case of accepting the situation and getting on top of it. There are children in Tino’s school who don’t know they are autistic because their parents can’t tell them. How is that good? Denial is the worst enemy of autism.

Congrats on reaching 6 months alcohol free. Why did you give up alcohol?

Thanks. I cut down to once month in 2015 when I turned 45 after reading Amelia Freer’s book Eat. Nourish. Glow and then 6 months ago I knocked it on the head all together.  

Do you feel any different?

I am a different person, so much happier and settled.

How do you get around going out and meeting friends?

At the beginning people would worry about having a drink in front of me. I was like ‘Jesus I’ve made a decision, I’m not anti-drink’. People can do as they please, I made the decision for myself. This Summer I went to Alan Carr’s 40th birthday do and I danced till 2am, no booze, great tunes though!

Do you feel any pressure to drink?

How can a 46 year-old woman be under pressure to drink? Life isn’t a college disco! LOL


Melanie's tips for giving up alcohol for a healthier you?

1. Cut down the amount of alcohol you drink and stick to it for a while before cutting it out completely.

2. Put your mind to it. Make the decision and stick to it.

3. Get the 'I am Sober’ app, it’s great as it counts the number of days you’ve been alcohol free for you. 

4. Cut the crap. People tell themselves all sorts of bullshit about why they cannot give something up. If you really want to do it, you’ll do it. 

* Melanie's advice is for moderate drinkers only

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