Motsi Mabuse will be 40 years old in April. This kind of concentrates the mind, it seems.
"This January I'm starting a new challenge – I'm preparing for my 40th birthday," she says and laughs at one of her trademarks, full-bodied, rousing, even swinging. "I'm going to be 40 and awesome."
Wherever the mind leads, the body will follow, she insists. She's spent the past few weeks preparing – "conditioning my mind," she says.
& # 39; I downloaded apps to my phone. I'm ready. I've got Christmas out of the way and then in the New Year I'm starting my challenge. & # 39;
Motsi Mabuse: "You have to accept that your body is changing and that you love every phase of your life."
Motsi won't be alone this January to tackle a lifestyle overhaul. On Saturday, the Daily Mail launches a 30-day health kick to get the nation in shape, starting with a weight loss plan devised by WW that Weight Watchers has reinterpreted.
And who better to highlight the virtues of the delicious WW recipes than Motsi, who is the glitzy new ambassador for the brand who previously lost two stones after having her daughter by adopting the WW approach.
Motsi doesn't like using the D word ("I don't like the word diet. It's so restrictive") but says she'll take a closer look at what's in her mouth, keep track of it, and optimize her lifestyle.
Because good: Christmas. Curfew. "You know," she says conspiratorially. “I was in quarantine. You just wander through the kitchen. . . & # 39;
And now? Apparently she wants to spend less time with the cookie jar. "It's about feeling good and being able to say that I'm healthy," she suddenly says, quite seriously. “I'm looking at my daughter.
She will be three at 40 and if I want to spend a lot of time in her life, I have to take care of myself.
“We have diabetes in the family. Both of my parents are related to diabetes so I want to take care of myself knowing that this will be a problem in my life. I respond with a healthy attitude.
I'm not saying, "I want to be this size" or "I want to lose that amount of weight". I just want to look at myself on April 11, 2021 and say, "Well done girl!"
Perfect 10: Motsi on Strict
To achieve her goals, Motsi, whose sister Oti won the Strictly Trophy with her celebrity partner Bill Bailey this year, plans to use the new MyWW + app, which gives access to new WW recipes, including those made in The Daily Mail will be serialized tomorrow and next week as well as motivational ways to track everything from pounds lost to water usage at your fingertips.
"The thing is, we all have smartphones now, so it's very simple," she says. “Before I just went shopping and grocery shopping, but when I started scanning things with the app and seeing what was actually in the food I was eating, I started making different decisions.
Yes you can have the ice cream but maybe think of a salad for dinner if you had a bowl. It's about choices. & # 39;
However, she is quick to point out that her own work on her body, and especially on her health, is definitely in the works.
Yes, she has lost a lot of weight in the past and yes, she needs to tweak things a bit more. So life is.
“What I've come to appreciate is that it's not about a quick fix or a crash diet. Life fluctuates. We have different stages – our bodies also have different stages – and a lot of my own deliberations are about allowing this to happen and accepting that it will happen.
In my case, my dance career was one stage. Going on vacation is another stage. Lockdown too. Many people have had difficult times, but my way of dealing with this in relation to what was happening to my body has been to accept that this is a phase.
I said to myself, "When the gyms open, when I can go out and socialize again, when I can take my dance classes, it will be a different stage."
Many people will start 2021 harder than a year ago, regardless of a decade ago. But it's all about the here and now, rather than resorting to the bodies of our youth.
Motsi talks about her professional dance days when she competed at the highest level and could show the Va-Va-Voom figure.
“Back then I had the body of a dancer. I worked out all day, danced all day, and went to the gym. I never had to go on a crash diet, but before a big competition – like the German championship, for example – there was a real restriction on what you would eat.
“Like athletes, you want to give your body the best nutrients, but you want to see the part too. But that was for competitions. I am not a dancer now. My goals are different. & # 39; She seems very accepting that she will never have THAT body back.
“Sometimes I look at these pictures and wish we had Instagram back then. I would abuse it and take pictures of myself training, ”she jokes. “But to be honest, I accepted that I would never look like I danced. Everything changes. My body changed when I became a mother.
& # 39; The point is, it should change. It is normal. I don't want my challenge now to be the woman I was then.
“I don't want this pressure. I am not that person anymore. & # 39;
Motsi has pretty strong views about women putting pressure on themselves. While joking about Instagram, she actually thinks it's pretty dangerous and believes we should avoid the constant stream of seemingly perfect bodies.
“People are obsessed with looking at themselves and comparing themselves to other people. I try to avoid that because if you compare yourself to others in every aspect of your life you will struggle. Stop it! Jump out! Go on!
“The key is to do it yourself. Yes, it will be difficult. The last time I did it (the WW program) I knew it was going to be difficult, but I knew it would be worth it too.
There really is nothing better than waking up in the morning and feeling, "Wow, I feel good and I look good." Does she have any advice on food choices? Her own preference seems to be salmon and more salmon. She can have it for breakfast "on rye bread" and then again for dinner.
“I think the nice thing now is that there are so many things to try that weren't there when I was growing up. We didn't have quinoa, for example, but now my daughter loves it. There is so much out there. & # 39;
She is an embroiderer for the whole family who eats together. “So if I had a carrot, my daughter would have it pureed. Now we're all going to have the same thing, but my husband might have some more potatoes with him. & # 39;
Diets were more of a thing when Motsi was growing up in Pretoria. Her mother – a curvier woman ("Oti and I had more of our father's shape, thin legs and arms, albeit with curves") – was obsessed with one type of slimming tea.
"It was awful stuff and it was supposed to cleanse the stomach," says Motsi. "There was always the feeling that there were things that needed to be 'fixed'."
While she and Oti were naturally slimmer than their mother, they did not have typical dancer bodies. (It was her older sister Phemelo who was "sportier").
The first time she used a "diet" was during these intense preparatory periods for dance competitions "but only for a short time".
However, it was motherhood that really changed her body. She married her dancer Evgenij Voznyuk in 2017 and seems to have accepted that her competitive dance days were over.
Others – best known her strictly strict colleague Shirley Ballas – returned to the professional ballroom after their motherhood. Motsi says it was never an option because a dancer's life is so single track. "I can't see anything going wrong."
When she became pregnant with her coveted daughter, she noticed "within a few days" that her body was changing.
& # 39; It was really that quick. It wasn't a bad thing – quite the opposite. It was amazing, really overwhelming to realize that your body is making another person grow. The first week my back really hurt, my breasts changed. & # 39;
Many women hate their bodies after the baby. But Motsi says it
never done. & # 39; I haven't judged it. I think I was nice to it because I was just so impressed with what it did. & # 39;
However, she still had to work – at the time she was judging the German version of Strictly and also running a dance school. She turned to WW and lost two stones over "a few months – there was no rush".
No wonder that the German WW caught her as an ambassador. Her no-hassle attitude fits perfectly with the organization's new feel-good ethos. "It's not just about what you eat," she says. "It's about sleep, exercise, so much more than just eating."
It is difficult to strike a balance as this is a curvier figure in an industry known for its extremely thin industry.
And today she talks about the pressure to take a certain path even as a retired dancer.
"But I also see myself as a representative of a different kind of woman," she emphasizes. Maybe a less than perfect type of woman.
She jokes that while her TV picture is all about the clothes and high glamor, her off-screen look is a million miles away. “I'm a mom and sometimes that means getting a little stressed and pulling your jacket over your PJs to take your baby to school. I am not Beyonce. & # 39;
She is clearly not above a physical fear. In an interview with this article last month, she admitted that her large breasts are a blessing but also a curse, and that she didn't rule out the possibility of a breast reduction after seeing the results on a friend.
But she refuses to have the idea of what it should look like when dictated by others.
“You can't win like that. It all depends on how you see yourself. If you say, "I want to be different" and you have the opportunity to change, then you are changing.
“If you are satisfied with the way you are, that's a good thing. At the end of the day, you have to value and love yourself. & # 39;
Motsi Mabuse has come to WW as the new ambassador and has started his #ResolutionsRewritten campaign. Motsi encourages everyone to make 2021 their healthiest year yet. To sign up for myWW + and begin your own weight loss and wellness journey, go to ww.com
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