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Since losing 12st in 2017, Lisa Riley’s weight battle has been well documented over the years.
But it seems she’s now relaxed her diet, as Health and Fitness Consultant Laurel Alper estimates Lisa, 43, has put on two stone since 2018. And, the Emmerdale actress says she’s ‘insanely happy’ at the moment – and it showed when she confidently walked the red carpet at the National Television Awards last month.
Lisa previously went from a size 24 to a size 12 but, by her own admission, felt she was ‘too gaunt’ at her smallest. ‘My face felt a bit gaunt. I’m not built to be stick thin,’ she said at the time, adding; ‘Now I feel that my body is the right size and shape for me.’
So it’s no surprise that she seems at her happiest at a size 14 – as estimated by Laurel – and she’s got the glow to prove it…
Back where she belongs
She once confessed to feeling like a ‘dartboard’ on Emmerdale – with ‘friends and strangers’ telling her she had ‘no right being on TV’ because she was ‘an ugly, fat mess’ – but Lisa was full of confidence on the NTAs red carpet.
Gushing about her outfit on Instagram, Lisa said, ‘Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all your gorgeous comments about my outfit and hair and makeup tonight for the NTAs (I love that you loved it as much as I did) it means the world to me... It’s the best feeling when you feel good. @menahamoodi is the best designer to work with. After years of hard work, she’s now where she wants to be. ‘I feel fantastic, comfortable with my body and happy in my own skin,’ she said.
Lisa’s inspiring body confidence comes from her beloved mum, who she sadly lost back in 2012.
‘She taught me that as long as you’re genuinely happy within your skin, just be yourself. Whatever my dress size, I will still be me.’ Because of this, losing weight for Lisa was always about health over vanity.
Following her mum’s shock death to cancer aged just 57, Lisa’s father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2015. And the news sparked something inside her. ‘I sat listening to the other patients on the ward, all with type 2, which is weight related, talking about amputations, and it scared me,’ she said at the time. ‘I realised that what I was doing to my body meant that I could end up here. I didn’t want to be that person.’
Keen to make a change Lisa went on to shed 12st – by focusing on portion control and working out for 30 minutes a day – and underwent surgical procedures to remove the excess skin that ‘was flapping about and dragging’ following her drastic weight loss.
‘Once I accepted responsibility for my health, weight and lifestyle it made it easier to take control. You don’t have to have a starter, main and pudding,’ she added.
A bump in the road
Despite being close to her nieces and nephews, starting a family was initially not on the cards for Lisa, and she even said in the past,‘I can’t see myself ever becoming a mum.’
But the actress had a change of heart after meeting ‘very talented and very lovely’ musician, Al, over five years ago. Sadly their baby dreams were dashed in 2018 when they were told IVF was unlikely to work. But, Lisa refuses to let the news define her. And, just like her attitude to her body and losing weight, Lisa tried to stay positive.
She previously explained, ‘My body was being pumped full of hormones to get my egg readings, and in the end they weren’t good, it messes with your head and I just couldn’t do that any more. The past few months have been really hard, emotionally draining, and we just decided that enough was enough.’
Lisa said, ‘I feel that I have taken ownership of the situation now. We have decided that we aren’t going to go down that route, and now that we have made that decision I could not be happier.’
After years of chasing happiness – be it love, having a family or the ‘perfect’ body – something seems to have clicked for Lisa, who is happy celebrating her own health.
‘Every single day I am motivated to be the person I want to be,’ she said in a social media post in 2019. ‘So incredibly, honestly, happy in my own skin, my new body. But mainly being the healthiest I have ever been in my life.’
And, rather than striving for perfection, Lisa seems more motivated by health than the number on the scales.
‘As long as you know that you are the healthiest you can be and you don’t consume crap, then you are on the right road to a healthy lifestyle, and then let everyone see your glow,’ she added.
Well said, Lisa!
Jack White is Celebrity Content Director at Future, working across Women's Lifestyle brands such as Woman&Home, Woman, Woman's Own, Women's Weekly and GoodtoKnow. When he's not interviewing your favourite stars or writing about the latest make-up/break up, you'll find Jack searching for new Gemma Collins memes, singing (badly) in the office or binge-watching crime dramas.
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