'I was happy for my pregnant friends, but it was tinged with a little bit of envy'

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Lisa Snowdon talks fitness + fertility Getty Images

It feels like I'm having a natter with a good friend when I finally get on a call with TV presenter Lisa Snowdon. She's apologising profusely to me after having to rearrange our interview. She was struck down with bronchitis, and had to cancel work and social engagements for a couple of weeks.

Back on track, it wasn't long before I realised why the model and media personality, 52, always looks glam and glowing. ‘I wake up at 5 am and we head off to the gym,' she tells me. By we, she means herself and her fiancé George Smart, her partner of around 8 years and a regular on her Instagram feed.

'We've got a little bit of a routine going - it's quite nice to have that, especially in the spring and the summer - although it's a bit harder in the winter,' she admits.

You'll most probably know Snowdon from her radio and TV work (or for dating George Clooney). She hosted the Capital Radio Breakfast show with Johnny Vaughan and presented Britain's Next Top Model. Today, she's as busy as ever, cooking on various TV shows, presenting a podcast and is an ambassador for various fashion and wellness brands - and perhaps because of her busy schedule, she's learnt the power of saying 'no' to protect her mental and physical wellbeing.

'As women, we pile too much on our plate - saying yes to working too much, being there for too many people and not putting ourselves at the top of the list,' she says.

'I know a lot of busy mums who are giving from an empty cup - there's nothing there and it's just so depleting on the nervous system and your energy resources. As I've got older I've found it easier to say "no", to turn things down and not to feel that FOMO when you haven't gone out. I'd rather be at home in my PJs, bingeing a box set or having a nice little bath.'

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Fertility struggles

Talking about children or pregnancy used to be a sore spot for Lisa. Last year she revealed in her book, Just Getting Started, that she had a miscarriage at 41, just minutes before going live on her radio show. Her fertility journey was fraught with more upsetting moments too, such as when she was told she didn't have enough viable eggs to freeze. She admits she's now 'come to terms' with not being a mother, but admits it was tough when her friends announced pregnancies, even though she was deeply happy for them.

'I used to get this little little pinch inside - and felt slightly sad for myself. There was obviously pure happiness for friends, but it was tinged with a little bit of envy sometimes - especially around that time that I miscarried, and then when I was told I was perimenopausal. But I'm definitely in a place of peace now and I've come to terms with it.'

Lisa adds that her entrepreneur fiancé was supportive of her situation, and when she explained to him that starting a family might be tricky, he responded, 'Honestly, if it’s just you and me forever I don’t care - this is what I want.'

Previously having opened up to WH about the menopause Lisa adds that 10 years ago 'perimenopause' didn't even exist in her vocabulary. 'I didn't know what was happening to me for about six years, but it did affect me mentally - I had depression, anxiety and panic attacks, then sleepless nights, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain.

'I navigated it until 2020 pretty much on my own, but that's when I started listening to my body asking myself, "what can I do to make some changes?".'

Menopause and children

Despite wanting to become a mum Lisa adds, with hindsight, that while she suffered with her perimenopause symptoms, it wouldn't have been the 'ideal' time for raising a child: 'I just don't think I would have been very good at it, because I wasn't very nice; I was pretty nasty to George. Some days I wanted to give up work too - I think the struggles were a bit too intense for me.'

However, although she's come to terms with not having children, she wishes people would be kinder. 'I think it's important to acknowledge that there are so many different scenarios - people just assume they can ask you about your family. They don't realise that it's not easy for everybody to get pregnant - there are so many different issues, struggles or reasons.

'Some people should be a bit kinder when they ask questions because they don't know what's going on behind closed doors.'

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Despite not having any children herself, she says she's lucky to be surrounded by so many children in her family: 'I've got all these crazy kids in my life, from my sisters - and I'm so close to them. I've got five of them all under 12, who are just gorgeous and fun - and I couldn't love them anymore.'

She loves a strength workout

To help get through her menopause symptoms, Lisa also switched to strength training: 'Lifting weights has been a game changer, metabolically for me - it helped me drop some dress sizes, which did go up in perimenopause. As women, we need to build muscle but it's hard to do. I think that the misconception is that we're going to walk out of the gym with like these huge guns, and we won't be able to wear our nice blazers and tailoring and stuff but in fact, it's quite hard to build muscle as a woman.'

She's jumped on the cold water trend too, finishing her shower with a 'nice cold 90-second icy finish,' which she explains is 'more of a mental thing as well as a physical for me - you just feel more ready for challenges and things that might crop up throughout the day.'

The TV personality also credits breathwork as being a 'big game changer' for her, adding: 'You can get really high on your breath - and it puts a little shield up around me and helps me process stress - putting me into a positive happy place.'

Lisa takes her diet seriously too, keeping her collagen levels high with a Correxiko collagen supplement, and making sure her gut is happy: 'When I get up in the morning, I have a shot of Symprove while the coffee is brewing, then put the collagen in the coffee and drink it while we're training.’

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The Celebrity Masterchef winner, who won the crown in 2022, of course, loves her food too. She sticks to a diet which consists of 'lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and good protein - lots of high-protein meals. I also have the occasional steak, and lots of seafood, pulses and lentils.'

She admits to not cooking up Masterchef-worthy three-course meals every night, she does loves to cook from scratch every day: 'Food does feature massively in my world, it's very important, but of course, it's not on the same level as Masterchef - it's usually family style, which is my kind of go to, or sharing plates.'

Despite her very healthy diet she also loves to let her hair down occasionally: 'I do love a glass of wine, either red or white - and when I'm with friends maybe a little tequila with soda and lime.'

Lisa is an ambassador for Correxiko Marine Collagen

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