Celebrity Health - Natalie Cassidy

A photo of Natalie Cassidy

The older I get, the more confident I am

Former EastEnders actress and Loose Women panellist Natalie Cassidy talks to Your Healthy Living about her new-found body confidence and the joys of motherhood.

Q: How do you feel about your body at the moment?

Natalie: "I’m a size 12, which is pretty standard and I’ve been that size for nearly a year. For me that’s quite a long while actually. The weight I’m at is right because I don’t think about it. I'll treat myself by cooking a lovely roast dinner or having a meal out. I’ll have a treat every now and again. I just eat normally I suppose. "

Q: Are you happy being a little bit curvier now?

Natalie: "I was never happy at a size eight - I can honestly say that - I wasn’t happy or confident because I wasn’t being me. I wasn’t eating enough really. I love my social life, I love cooking, I love eating, inviting people round - for me, that’s a big part of my life. I don’t go out every night and gorge myself on chocolate because that’s not healthy either, but I just don’t really think about it any more. "

Q: How have you overcome the yo-yo dieting?

Natalie: "I just think it’s been a natural progression in my life. I’ve grown up really and since having Eliza [Natalie’s 19-month-old daughter] I’ve realised that she’s the most important thing as well as my family. Being a size eight is not the be-all and end-all. "

Q: Do you like cooking?

Natalie: "I do, yes. I like lots of things. I like fish, soups, stews, pasta dishes. I do a good chilli. I’m not very good at desserts. I do bake with Eliza, though. On a typical day I’ll have my breakfast with Eliza and I’ll have a bowl of Special K with some sliced banana. Lunch is normally a sandwich and for dinner I like grilled fish and veg."

Q: How do you stay fit now?

Natalie: "Running around after Eliza! We go swimming a lot together. Every now and again I’ll decide to branch out and go for a run if the sun’s shining. I’ll go to the gym or do a class, but I do bits and pieces really whenever I feel like it. "

Q: Do you worry about ageing?

Natalie: "To be honest the older I get, the more confident I am. I don’t feel scared or upset about getting older. You learn more and I think you’re more wise. I think you know who your friends are and I think you know how to dress and how you want to be seen. "

Q: Do you follow a beauty regime?

Natalie: "Not particularly. I like to try different bits and pieces all the time. I like the pampering aspect. I love nothing more than a lovely big bubble bath - I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but I really enjoy it. With a magazine, that’s my me-time. I’ve just stopped biting my nails for the first time in my life. I’ve been taking good care of my nails, which is actually quite time consuming. I’m trying to look after my hands. "

Q: Do you have treatments?

Natalie: "I don’t have regular facials, but I will go away once every three months to a spa like Champneys - sometimes with Adam [Natalie’s partner] or with a group of friends. I'll go there and just chill. "

Q: What about your hair - do you follow a regime?

Natalie: "I’ve dyed my hair quite a lot over the years - I dyed it red last year and it became a bit dry, then I started using Naturtint, a less chemical hair colourant and now it’s really shiny. It doesn’t dry your hair out or have a chemical smell which is good for mums. I don’t like the idea of lots of chemicals. I’ve also found some other hair dyes can sting a bit but this is more gentle."

Q: Are you vigilant about your own health?

Natalie: "I’m very good. I always go to the doctor if I feel there’s something wrong to get checked out. It’s very important. "

Q: What effect has having Eliza had on your outlook on life?

Natalie: "You can’t worry about everything and have to live every day. My mum passed away 10 years ago and you do think life’s too short and sometimes unfair. It’s important to look after yourself and have a good time. "

Q: So how do you juggle being a mum with work pressures?

Natalie: "It’s just life, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m just a working mum like lots of others - all my friends, mums from the NCT group. Life is just busy and as long as you make time for a little bit of everybody and for family time at home, it’ll all work out."

Q: What projects are you currently working on?

Natalie: "I’ve been writing quite a lot recently. I really enjoy writing. I’m just about to start an arts course at the Open University while I’m at home. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for ages for me. I hope to get a degree one day."

Q: Do you ever want to go back to EastEnders?

Natalie: "I’ve kept in touch with a lot of people from there. I don’t think it ever changes. The hours are still as long and it’s still as hard. It is a fantastic regular job and a lovely place to work. If the opportunity ever arose and the timing was right, never say never..."

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