Susannah Constantine was never the kind of person to have hang-ups about food or weight. As a stylist on TV phenomenon What Not to Wear, she spent years telling women how to dress for their shape, and even once famously described herself as a “frustrated page three girl” with no shame about her body.
But things changed when she reached her 40s: “That’s when it started to stick,” the Brit wrote in The Sunday Mail. “Like countless others, I thought I was immune from middle-aged spread, until I wasn’t.”
Quips from her daughter about causing the bath to overflow, an “unflattering” picture of herself in a magazine all stung. But it was being approached to participate in a charity fitness challenge called Famously Unfit… For Sports Relief, that Susannah decided to change her attitude toward health.
“I told friends and family, or anyone who’d listen, that I was happy in my skin, that I was determined to defy convention. It was easier to laugh and say ‘I don’t care’, except that I did care. Very much,” she wrote.
“In my heart, I knew I was letting myself go and, worse, that I was 90 per cent of the way to the point of no return.”
Medical assessment for the Famously Unfit challenge hammered it home: “My body fat percentage was 32.7, which tipped me into the obese range, and it turned out there was too much fat caking my internal organs, also.