PAPARAZZI and red carpet might be all in a day’s work for singer, songwriter and actor turned radio and TV presenter Sophie Monk, but the multi-talented Aussie star has not always been so comfortable in the spotlight.
The down-to-earth media personality understands only too well the pressure young people are under to look a certain way, and had her own struggles with it as a teenager
“I was very athletic growing up. I did ballet, acrobatics and swam as well. I was state champion of butterfly when I was about 13 but then I stopped and I blew out. You burn so many calories when you’re training and I kept eating the same and got chubby,” Sophie said.
“It was horrible. You just want to fit in and not be different at all, and I’m so weird and different anyway. I was so self-conscious. I’d wear jumpers in summer and things like that.”
“To turn it around I got active again and cut out lots of processed carbs and things I didn’t need.”
Sophie hasn’t looked back since, but like many Australians, her biggest challenge now is eating well especially when she’s on the road travelling for work.
“That’s the hardest thing because if you have to grab something on the run it’s probably not going to be good for you, and I can’t perform if I’m not eating well.
Sophie’s solution is simple: “You have to pack a lunch box. It’s really important to have the right food around you if you’re going to steer clear of the chocolates in the minibar.”
Chocolate isn’t completely off the menu though. Sophie still enjoys a Tim Tam or three now and then. The key to looking and, more importantly, feeling great, she says, is to find a happy balance.
“We all struggle sometimes. Some days I’m healthy, some days I’m not. No one’s perfect, so don’t put pressure on yourself.”
“You can still have the things you like if you work to make up for it and try to be healthy most of the time.”
HEALTHIER BY THE DOZEN
When she’s not grabbing a smoothie and some fruit on her way out the door, Sophie cooks up a breakfast that’s packed full of protein, fibre and good fats.
“I love fruit but I also love making eggwhite omelets,” she said.
“I’ll use a dozen egg whites and mix all different vegetables in — mushrooms, onion, avocado — with a tiny bit of oil. Then I add a bit of salsa because it’s low in sugar and better for you than sauce.”
“It’s my favourite breakfast. It’s hearty and you feel like you’ve had a big meal.”
Like her personality, Sophie likes to keep her exercise routine fun and real.
“I used to run every single day for an hour but that was going overboard, so now I only run three times a week and mix it up with yoga,” she said.
“I’m much more into lengthening muscle than building it and I love yoga for the flexibility it gives you.”
“But anything that keeps you interested and burns calories is good. I used to dance and I still love turning the radio on and dancing around the house. I have a drink and a dance sometimes and wake up with a six-pack and a hang over!”
Smart tip: walk and talk
“My friends and I go walking together and have a gossip. Otherwise you’re just sitting gossiping, so you might as well go for a big walk.”