Heart FM DJ Lucy Horobin used to practice donning a special dress for a celebrity shindig — but that’s changed.
Lucy, 42, says she enjoys fitness and mindfulness at this stage in life to stay healthy, not skinny — and she doesn’t mind giving in to the temptation of a piece of cheese or cake.
The presenter chats with fitness and wellness tips to get through the dark winter months.
Are you crazy about fitness and health these days?
I used to love working out in the gym, but now I combine it with a lot of long walks so that I don’t get bored. I’m generally pretty healthy, but I also have a boundless appetite so tend to eat as healthy as possible during the week and eat more on the weekends.
That said, if cake was offered every day of the week, I would never turn it down. I can’t go a day without cheese either. It’s a lifelong addiction and I’m very happy with it. Maybe in a past life I was a mouse…
So walking is your new hobby?
Lots of walking. I often get off at London Bridge and then walk to work at Heart in Leicester Square. It’s about 40 minutes door to door and I love walking all the way along the wharf, especially on a Saturday morning when I’m alone, a few runners and some friendly dogs.
Do you also run on days off?
There are tons of forests and woods near where I live. I like nothing more than to take a long walk first. It calms my anxious mind. I enjoy listening to the birds chirping along the road and the sunlight shining through the trees. You can’t beat fresh air and nature.
There is a stream nearby with a small bridge over it. My partner and I call it “Fairy Bridge” and sometimes we like to just sit and watch the sunset.
Has your attitude towards fitness changed over the years?
Secure. When I was younger it was so important to me to fit in a size 8 so I started exercising more. Unfortunately for so many women, it’s a reality.
We are born under this pressure and it really shouldn’t be. Now that I’m in my 40s, working out is less about fitting into that dress and more about maintaining a healthy, well-functioning body and mind.
Is there a misconception that slim is better than fit?
It will be a long time before this misunderstanding is definitively refuted. First, we are born as women into a sexist, misogynistic world that has long told us that we are sex objects.
Apparently we also have to be thin to be considered desirable. It has been greatly immortalized through the digitally altered images we see on magazine covers, billboards, our television screens and online.
I imagine men feel the pressure too when they see a hunk staring at them from a giant billboard. Having rippling abs isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with a father’s body – but we never see that.
Do you think that could ever change?
We now have many more health and fitness professionals teaching us the importance of taking care of yourself and spreading the message that you don’t have to be skinny to be healthy. There are also more public ambassadors defending the cause.
But until we stop using terminology like “plus size” and just accept that healthy can be any shape or size, it will continue to be a problem. Yes, obesity can be incredibly unhealthy, but it can also be dangerously thin. It’s not a one-size-fits-all problem.
Are you always trying to stay in shape?
Occasionally I don’t go to the gym for a month because I just don’t feel like it. I never let go of it anymore, but every once in a while I give myself a break. It is usually in winter when it is cold, wet and windy.
Sometimes I’d rather just sit on the couch in my pajamas, eat macaroni and watch Come Dine With Me.
How important is mindfulness?
It’s incredibly important to me. I speak to an advisor every two weeks and have done so for ten years. I sought help during a traumatic time and decided to go through with it.
She is amazing and recommended the Calm app to help me with my anxiety. I use it whenever I need a break from my overworked mind. it’s brilliant
What gives you the most stress in everyday life?
She is currently trying to buy a house. It’s a rollercoaster. The market is not doing well and we were let down by someone who stopped buying my partner’s home at the last minute.
I live to eat! I will always eat my fruits and veggies, good carbs, and lean protein. But I also like cheese, pastries, burgers, roasts, pizza, pasta and just about anything to take away.
Baking cakes is a popular hobby that I like to share with colleagues, friends and family. Everything I bake has to pass the Made with Love taste test, so of course I have to taste it.
In my family I am also the head of the cheese table at Christmas. I balance between the hard, soft, blue and smelly variants. And I always bring home-made piccalilli and mulled wine jam.
Are there fitness goals?
A triathlon would be a great achievement. I like brisk walks – I’d love to take on the Three Peaks Challenge.
Best health and fitness advice?
Find out what works for you. Don’t waste time doing exercises you don’t feel comfortable doing. Don’t deny yourself anything either. Eat this steak casserole, enjoy a cream donut. Nothing is forbidden in moderation. Eat right, exercise, take time to breathe and think, and you’ll be fine.