Love Island’s Caroline Flack on her transformation: ‘I’m strong, not skinny’
The small changes that led the Love Island presenter to drop a dress size and finally come to love her body
She quit social media three years ago, after being ruthlessly trolled over her weight when she co-hosted ITV’s The X Factor.
Fast-forward to the present day, and hardly a moment goes by where Caroline Flack isn’t on Instagram flashing her pins – a body part she used to cover up after being bullied at school.
So just how did Caroline learn to own her figure?
Eight weeks ago, the 39-year-old – who split from her fiancé Andrew Brady before Christmas – embarked on a strict fitness regime.
With the help of her personal trainer and former Olympic speed skater, Sarah Lindsay, she transformed herself into a gym bunny, sticking to three weight-based sessions a week and three hot yoga classes.
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And that’s not the only change she made, as she ditched sugar and fat as well, explaining: ‘Before I started this, I didn’t realise how much sugar and fat I was eating. And I couldn’t really cook before, but I’ve had to learn. See? I’m all grown-up now.’
One of the harder challenges Caroline faced, however, was going teetotal, as she admits she’d go to the pub as stress relief.
‘I didn’t realise how much it would change my mindset. Before, if I’d had a stressful day, I’d go to meet my friends in the pub and have a moan,’ she said.
‘Now I go to yoga. It really suits my head – I’m someone who talks fast, thinks fast, makes decisions fast. I’m trying to go slower and give myself time before I say yes.’
As a result, the TV star – who has fluctuated from a size 8 to a 12 throughout her career – has managed to drop a dress size, and now wears a size 8 to 10.
Caroline’s image overhaul has come after years of her struggling with her weight.
As a child, she was bullied for being small, so she would religiously wear trousers to cover up her legs.
Opening up about her body insecurities in a previous interview, the presenter explained, ‘When I was at primary school, around seven years old, I was quite underweight, so I’d be back and forth to the doctors to get weighed.
‘I also suffered from bad skin, allergies… I was a bit of a sickly child! Then I went off food and I just didn’t want to eat… I didn’t like being small; I was picked on and I was the only girl who wore trousers at school.’
It’s this same battle that caused the presenter to break down in tears after the second live X Factor shows in 2016, and subsequently quit all her social media accounts.
‘It’s the personal things that hurt,’ Caroline revealed at the time. ‘As a female they pick on everything. Your hair, your dress, your weight.’
Luckily, she had her friends to lean on, including co-host Olly Murs – who also experienced his fair share of criticism for his presenting skills on the show.
‘I did have a cry and Olly gave me a big hug, bless him,’ she added. ‘I’ve had to learn to have thick skin but it doesn’t mean you can handle every bullet that is fired at you.’
Nowadays, the Love Island host embraces her trim figure, particularly her toned legs, which she frequently flashes in a variety of thigh-skimming outfits. She insists her goal is to be ‘strong not skinny’.
‘It was never my intention to get down to a size 6 or anything. I didn’t want to get skinny, just strong,’ she insisted.
You go, girl!