Davina McCall: “When I was younger, I used to look in the mirror and I hated myself….now I think I look fierce!”

·3-min read
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

TV presenter and fitness fan Davina McCall is the embodiment of positivity and strength - and now she's opened up about how she remains upbeat.

As Good Housekeeping's July cover star, Davina chats to the magazine about her recent menopause documentary, her relationship with her appearance and how her 50th birthday in 2017 was a real turning point.

Discussing why turning 50 was so transformative for her, she says, "The summer after my [50th] birthday, Matthew and I had split up, and I was in a real transitional phase of my life. We’d still been living in our house together, which was awkward. I hadn’t moved on and I was in this weird no-man’s land.

Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

"But then I moved out and started renting a place and that felt like the first step in a new phase. I thought, ‘Okay, we can look forward now.’ It was transformative. And since then, I’ve really tried to simplify my life and scale it down, which has been a very positive thing.”

On being inspired to speak out about the menopause, she explains, "I was frustrated that no one was talking about this thing that 51% of the nation goes through. I started experiencing symptoms when I was 44.

Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

"I had real brain fog; I couldn’t read an autocue and it got so bad that a producer asked if I was okay. My keys were in the fridge, my phone was in the bin, and I had no energy. And I had no idea it was the menopause because there’s so little information. Thankfully, when I found out what was going on, I started on HRT and it changed my life. It brought me back."

Davina also talks about the effects of going through a divorce, and shares her experience of it: "My advice to friends of anyone going through it is: even if someone looks fine, support them. No one gets divorced without really thinking about it – this idea that people rush into it, that just doesn’t happen. It’s an enormous deal and it really is hard, so be there."

Photo credit: DAVID VENNI
Photo credit: DAVID VENNI

On her relationship with her appearance, she says, "When I was younger, I used to look in the mirror and I hated myself. It’s weird because I was so slim and toned, and yet I was so critical. Now I have wrinkly skin on my tummy, I have a little varicose vein down one leg, I have flabby bits on my arms, and there’s nothing I can do about it – but I think I look fierce!

"I see the same thing happening with my girls, and I think, 'Don’t worry, you’ll love yourself in the end, you just have to get through this bit.'"

Photo credit: Good Housekeeping/David Venni
Photo credit: Good Housekeeping/David Venni

Read the full interview with Davina McCall in the July issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale the 2nd of June. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect.

Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause is on All 4.

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