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Celebrity Health - Clare Nasir

A photo of Clare Nasir

The outlook is sunny for Clare

Weather forecaster and TV presenter Clare Nasir talks to Liz Parry about healthy living, meditation and mindfulness, plus how she overcame fibroids and fertility problems to have her ‘miracle’ daughter.

Q: You have faced a number of health challenges in the past, including fibroids and fertility problems. How did you cope with these issues?

Clare: "I had fibroids for six years and had to have so many operations that my surgeon said my womb was like a battlefield. I was told the chances of me getting pregnant were very slim. I underwent IVF and I also turned to acupuncture to complement the process – it was a bit like giving my body an MOT. I also took steps to reduce the stress my body had been under. My acupuncturist, Bernard Nolan, has had great success in treating fertility problems and I used to see him two or three times a week. Amazingly, against all the odds, I got pregnant and had my ‘miracle baby’ Sienna. Having her is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Everything else fades into insignificance when I think of my daughter."

Q: Have you tried any other therapies?

Clare: "I meditate a lot and have learnt some really good visualisation techniques to enable me to have a good mental, emotional and spiritual attitude towards my body. I really do believe that the mind and body are linked and that you can’t heal or help one without the other. I meditate every day now and it’s a part of my daily life. I followed a course in mindfulness meditation which I find really helpful. It teaches you to meditate while you’re going about your daily routine and gives you a sense that you’re standing on this earth rather than being away with the fairies, or living in the future rather than in the present. The more I do it the more grounded I feel. When you are sick and things aren’t going well for you it’s important to remember that you are more than just your body. The mind has a powerful influence and you can do a lot to help yourself. "

Q: It’s been well documented in the media that you lost three stone in weight after being photographed in an unflattering bikini. Can you give us an idea of how you went about losing the weight and keeping it off?

Clare: "It was a couple of years ago now and I was always being criticised for my weight in the press. By the time my daughter was eight months old I’d lost a stone but when that awful picture came out it was a real turning point for me and I decided to go for it. In order to produce my workout DVD (Clare Nasir’s Boot Camp) I was helped by a trainer and nutritionist but, to be honest, no matter how much help you have, it’s up to you and it’s a really hard process. You have to work at it every day, exercising and dieting, but the results are amazing and you feel so good afterwards. It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park though!"

Q: What sort of exercise did you do as part of your weight loss regime?

Clare: "I did a lot of boxing. What I loved about it was that you don’t have to train for hours to get good results. Boxers, when they’re training for a fight, use up to 8,000 calories in a day purely through exercise. It’s called high intensity interval training where you do short, sharp bursts of intense exercise followed by less intense moves to enable your heart rate to come down a bit before repeating the process. For someone like me who has a very busy lifestyle it’s a great way of zapping the fat without having to put in a huge amount of time."

Q: How did you manage to fit your workouts around work and looking after your daughter?

Clare: "I would exercise around three or four times a week for an hour and a half. I’d do that in my lunch hour or before work and at the weekends. I’d spread it out. The hardest thing was changing my bad eating habits. I used to love curries. I think when you have a young child you end up just grabbing something quick and picking at things rather than taking time over what to eat. "

Q: How have you changed your eating habits?

Clare: "I eat a lot more consciously now than I ever did. I used to eat in a mindless way. I read up on nutrition and I had some great advice from a nutritionist called Martin MacDonald. We came up with a tailored eating plan for me that incorporated all the nutrients I needed and which enabled me to eat in a balanced and healthy way. I’ve also found that the Bach Emotional Eating Kit has given me a little bit of a crutch to help me stick to my resolve. It’s a set of flower essences which specifically help with the emotions linked to comfort eating. I still have days where I just want some fish and chips or a curry, but it’s your mind working rather than your body needing these foods. It’s hard to break free from old habits and these remedies are fantastic for helping with that as they work on a subconscious level to give you extra support."

Q: Are you working on any other projects?

Clare: "Both myself and my husband (BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Chris Hawkins) now work for the BBC. I’m working on a science documentary series called Fierce Earth which is about bringing excitement and passion to the natural world so I’ve been filming around the world with that. I’m also in the process of writing a novel which is currently with a literary agent. It’s the story of a girl’s journey through America and finding peace, contentment and happiness. I’m also working as an ambassador for the Healthy Air campaign, which involves lobbying the government to address the high levels of air pollution in the UK. Every year 29,000 people die prematurely in this country because of the air they breathe and we also have some of the highest frequency of child asthma symptoms worldwide. It’s just staggering. We will keep campaigning until the government takes notice and takes action."

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