Team Bikini - Suzanne Shaw goes from flab to flat!
Fed up of feeling flabby and unfit, actress Suzanne Shaw followed a Closer plan to drop a dress size.
Despite having a figure most of us would be thrilled with, a few months ago, Emmerdale star Suzanne Shaw couldn’t bear looking in the mirror at what she calls her ‘jelly belly.’ But after six weeks on a Closer Diet and exercise plan, she has lost two inches from her waist, dropping from – in her words – a ‘flabby’ size 12 to a firmer size 10.
‘I’ve really toned up – my legs and arms are quite muscly and I feel less flabby. I love my flat tummy. It’s not bad after having a child.’ Says the 29 year old.
After joining the ITV1 soap in March this year, long hours on set and stodgy canteen food quickly took its toll on Suzanne, who went from a size 8 to a 12 in just four months. The star was shocked with how out of condition her body looked.
‘I’ve never really needed to go to the gym before’ says the actress, who married radio DJ Jason King, 35, in June last year.
‘But I went from dancing on stage in Chicago seven times a week to eating stodgy food all day to get me through 12-hour days on set at Emmerdale. It went straight to my hips, thighs and tummy. My legs rubbed together when I walked and I hated it. And my tummy hung over my jeans and felt squidgy,’ she says.
Suzanne blames huge portions of carbs for her sudden weight gain.
‘I was filming from 7am to 7pm five days a week and found myself starving and craving comfort food in breaks because I’d been up so early. I’d eat massive portions just because it was there! Breakfast was sausages and bacon with white bread and butter, lunch was a big pasta carbonara or lasagna with chips and I’d have a stir-fry or shepherd’s pie for dinner,’ she adds.
At the end of the day, Suzanne was happy collapsing on the sofa with a glass of wine and playing with five-year-old Corey, her son with ex-fiancé Darren Day.
‘I was so tired, the last thing I felt like doing was going to the gym. I was doing nothing to burn off all the stodge.’
After four months in her new job, playing Emmerdale’s man-magnet Eve, Suzanne watched her weight creep up from 8st 6lbs to 9st 7lbs.
‘I wasn’t hugely overweight, but it was the biggest Id ever been! I’m only 5ft 2 so you could see every pound creep on – every lump and bump showed. Plus, all of Eve’s clothes are tight and short, so there I was trying to be a sex siren, but I looked more like an Oompa Loompa! Before long my clothes were too tight around the waist and thighs and all I could see was my jelly belly bulging out,’ she says.
‘When I started on the show I was bursting with energy, but soon I started to feel really sluggish and around 4pm I’d need a huge coffee to keep me going.’
After moaning to her husband for an entire weekend about her size, Suzanne decided it was time to ask Closer for help.
‘I don’t think Jay would even notice if I put on weight, but he heard my moaning, poor guy!’ she says. ‘I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything extreme so it stayed off this time. I needed something that would fit in with life as a working mum.’
So Closer nutrition team put together a healthy eating plan designed to help keep Suzanne’s energy levels high and stop that afternoon slump.
‘After just a few days I noticed a change in my mood and energy levels,’ she says. ‘And my skin seemed clearer. That was a real incentive to keep going. I could still have a small glass of wine, but I didn’t even fancy one when I started to see the results.’
Suzanne’s typical daily diet consisted of wheat-free muesli, berries and skimmed milk plus a black coffee for breakfast, a mid-morning apple and then a jacket potato with ham and salad for lunch. Mid-afternoon, Suzanne snacked on a small bag of dried fruit and nuts and then dinner would be two wholemeal pittas filled with grilled chicken and salad, but no dressing.
‘Eating regularly stopped me needing huge portions to feel full,’ she says.
Suzanne also worked with trainer Colin Marshall at her local Virgin Active gym, who put together a workout plan she could do with him or at home, four times a week.
‘After the first four sessions I threw up, I was so out of shape,’ she says. ‘We did push-ups and dozens of sets of sit-ups, 10 minutes of skipping, jumping…I nearly died. But he taught me to do 10 minutes here and there, even just a few minutes of skipping in between scenes at work, and that made it easier to stick to.’
Colin created a series of circuits using kettle bells – dome shaped weights you can swing or lift. ‘You swing the bell carefully and you can feel your muscles working. It’s the reason I feel confident in a bikini now,’ says Suzanne, who whittled down her waist from 29 inches to 27 inches.
After six weeks on the diet, Suzanne was back in her size 10 jeans, having reached a healthy weight for her frame, 8st 10lbs.
‘They definitely felt more comfortable and there was certainly no belly bulging over the waistband. Eve’s clothes fitted better and didn’t make me look four months pregnant, which was a great feeling!’
Suzanne aims to keep working out – ‘I never want to be flabby again!’ – and says it’ll be easier to stick to her new lifestyle, thanks to the support of husband Jay.
She says: ‘Jay never notices if I’ve had my hair done, but when he cuddles me now, he loves how toned I feel. Now he’s following my diet in a bid to tone up, too! We’re getting in shape together.’
Size before: 12
Size now: 10
Weight before: 9st 7lbs
Weight after: 8st 10lbs
Stomach inches before: 29
Stomach inches after: 27