fitness

The relationship question Fiona Falkiner used to ask on every date.

Image: Instagram (@fionafalkiner).

Last year was a big one for Fiona Falkiner, she became the host of TBL: Families and inspired many with her down-to-earth body image advice and approach to looking and feeling healthy. This year, she’s decided she’s open to finding a partner. We spoke to the eHarmony Dating ambassador about love, weight loss and happiness.

What was it about this year that made you want to focus on relationships?

“The last few years I’ve spent all my time and energy into focusing on my health, fitness and career and over Christmas I went home to my family and it was all ‘Ooh, Auntie Fi is still single’ and my nieces and nephews asking why I wasn’t married. I’m back in Australia now and I’m really happy in every other area of my life and it’s like right, I’m ready to give it a go.”

What’s the best thing about online dating that you’ve been surprised by?

“There used to be such a stigma about online dating, and people would say ‘We’ll tell everyone we met in a bar’ but I think everyone that I know who is single has either tried or is on a dating app. It’s not that different to going to meet someone in a bar but this way you’re actually in the safety of your home and with eHarmony especially you’re matched with someone you’ve got similar values to, so you’ve got a chance to have a better connection with them and you’re actually going to have things in common.

“On first dates I always used to assess what the values of my dates were and try and pose the question, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ trying to establish what they want, as for me I want to have kids and get married at some point in my life.  Everyone was so shocked, saying it was too soon to ask someone that!

“But in my mind I don’t want to waste my time because for me that’s sort of a deal-breaker. If they’re not on the same page and they’re living that’s on their agenda for the next few years then there’s no point. I don’t want to just date someone for a year and they don’t want anything else from it.”

What was the biggest thing you learnt about weight loss after your own time on The Biggest Loser?

“That there are no quick fixes. If you want to make healthy changes, it takes time and it takes dedication. It’s a process to try and get used to making the changes and embracing the healthier lifestyle and you’ve got to try and implement it into your life so it becomes part of your daily routine and the way you live life.” (Post continues after gallery.)

After being on TBL were you happier?

“I used to be one of those people who equated losing weight with being happy and it’s not true. Growing up as a teenager I wholeheartedly thought that all my problems and insecurities and negative feeling I had about my life were because of my weight. I had this idea that if I got skinny my life would be perfect, all that would fall away and I would live this incredible life which is not true. When I came out of the TBL house the skinniest I had ever been in my entire life, all those feelings were still there.

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“For me I was incredibly lucky because having that moment made me realise that I had to deal with what was going on in my head and build myself up and start loving myself and become the positive person I am today. I had a pretty crazy body journey after the show and it was not until I started to focus on my mindset that everything came together and gave me a completely different outlook on life.”

What are the beauty items you couldn’t live without?

“The moisturiser I use daily is Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Lotion ($7.99) and actually when I travel overseas I take stockpiles of it. Moisture – it’s the key to keeping skin looking supple and youthful.

For training, Napoleon Perdis Mesmer Eyes Waterproof mascara ($39) is really good… I can wear it to the gym or go swimming and I don’t get panda eyes. I find MAC Strobe Cream ($55) really useful for when you don’t want to wear makeup, it gives skin a really dewy look. For my hair, because I dye it blonde it gets absolutely ruined when I’m shooting because it gets tonged and sprayed, so Olaplex treatments is slowly rebuilding that for me which is great.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to manage their weight?

“You need to get in a frame of mind where you want to do it for you. If you’ve got external pressures from friends, family or a partner to lose weight, I don’t believe you’ll be successful.

You need to want to do it for you and be in a head space where you need to come from the perspective of ‘This is the only body I have and I want to look after it and respect it’. I used to look at food as the enemy but now I look at it to nourish me and don’t beat myself up when I do eat something that isn’t classified as the best food. I get back on track the next day. It shouldn’t be this huge deal.”

Image: Instagram (@Fionafalkiner)

“I also believe in starting small and setting small, achievable goals. If you start by doing something crazy like cutting everything out of your diet and training six hours a day, it may not be maintainable in the long run. If you do it long enough, it just becomes part of your life. If you want cake, have a little bit of cake but if you deprive yourself, you might end up eating the whole cake."

What's the one thing that makes you stick to your exercise routine?

“It’s finding the thing that makes you feel really good. I’ve got different things that I do depending on the day. I’ve got a new trainer at the moment so I’ve been doing a lot of weight-based training. I still get bouts of feeling anxious and the struggle to sleep and things like that, and I turn to exercise to help manage that. My way of dealing with it is to go to the gym, play loud music and bang out some cardio and have a huge sweat and that helps me deal with any external pressures and helps me sleep and stay in that really good frame of mind.

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I also love interval training in a group which is really fun because everyone has a laugh and that’s really nice as it’s quite social. It’s about finding something you love doing and you walk away and you’re like, 'I love that feeling and I want to do it again'. I’m not a runner, I don’t like running so you’ve got to go out there and try a load of things, but don’t just try it once, try it a couple of times to really give it a go."

What’s your confidence trick for those days when you’re feeling anxious or doubting yourself?

"On those days, if I wake up not feeling great, it’s training. There are days when I look in the mirror and I have struggle days and they’re the days for me where it’s really important that I do go to the gym and I stay in my routine.

I’ve got my own meditation - I go and walk somewhere, usually by the water and I’ll go and sit for five minutes and just have a reflective moment where I give myself a pat on the back for everything I’ve achieved that week or set myself some new goals and look at life and be thankful for everything I’ve got. Just that positive meditative moment keeps you really grounded and takes me back to a positive mindset. (Post continues after gallery.)

People assume when you’re gorgeous and famous, finding someone in a relationship with must be easy - has that been the case for you?

“I guess it hasn't been a priority and in this day and age it’s quite tricky, I mean these days where do you meet someone? In your head you think you’re going to have one of those movie moments where you’re in a coffee line and a guy turns around and spills coffee on you and you have this amazing moment, but for a lot of people that moment doesn’t happen.

I look back at my parents’ generation and they used to throw dinner parties and there was a lot more time to invest in finding the right partner. Whereas now I know I’m quite time-poor and everyone is really busy and in the industry I work in, it’s not really conducive to finding an eligible partner. It’s one of those things where in this day and age it’s the way dating is evolving."

You've got a great collection of activewear - where do you shop for it?

“I have a really mish-mash collection of activewear. A lot of activewear I have at the moment is from Target, they have some really great stuff! Other brands I like are Lorna Jane, Nike and Female For Life do some great pants, Canterbury and New Balance for tops. A lot of the stuff I wear are from shoots that I wear til they run out, and then I stock up with Target!

What are your dating resolutions for 2016?