'I've gone from Jabba the Hutt to HOT!'
Tuesday 03 March 2009
Actress Sheree Murphy was thrilled when she discovered that she had finally got back into her size 10 wardrobe just a week before speaking to Closer.
Since having her third baby in March 2008, the former Emmerdale star, 33, had been trying to lose a stone, and confesses that a shopping trip last summer was the perfect motivation.
“I bought clothes that were too small on purpose. My ambition was for them to fit like a glove one day, so I was ecstatic when I got into them last week,” she beams.
Sheree, who is married to ex-Liverpool footballer Harry Kewell, is refreshingly honest and self-deprecating about her battle with her weight. And after having three children – Taylor, seven, Ruby, five, and Matilda, almost one – she knows how hard it is to regain your figure after pregnancy.
Sheree, who’s 5ft 6, says: “When I was in my 20s I was very slim and weighed around 7½st, but I put on nearly 4st when I was pregnant with Taylor because I ate everything in sight. I was more sensible about what I ate during my next pregnancies, but even so, I put on 2st with Matilda and I was still 10st after I’d given birth.
“I’ve found it harder to shift the weight every time – in fact, I think I must have been on a diet ever since I became a mother at 26.”
After having each of her children, Sheree turned to Weight Watchers to help her shift the bulge. “Because I breastfeed, I don’t diet for two months after the birth because I need energy,” she says. “Since starting my latest diet, I’ve been very disciplined, which is amazing as I love food so much.
“At the moment I’m 9st, which is a healthy weight for my height. But my target weight is about 8½st,” she says.
Although Sheree’s now back to a size 10, she has a few tricks up her sleeve to help her lose that extra half stone.
“I stop myself from eating the children’s leftovers by pouring ketchup all over them or putting them straight in the bin,” she says.
Sheree’s husband now plays for Turkish team Galatasaray, which means he can be away from their Cheshire home for up to two months at a time.
She says: “I miss him so much it hurts, but it’s easier to cook lighter meals when he isn’t here. He always wants roast dinners or lasagne – big, carb-heavy meals – as he burns so many calories playing football.
“When he’s away I have cereal for breakfast and ham and avocado salad or soup for lunch. For dinner I cook healthy meals – fish with home-made chips and fresh peas, lamb chops and veg, chicken fajitas with rice or spaghetti Bolognese.”
But the diet goes out of the window when Sheree flies to Istanbul to see Harry. There, the couple enjoy romantic weekends in swanky five-star hotels, where she indulges in delicious but greasy Mediterranean meals and sugar-laden treats like Turkish Delight.
“It’s like dating again when we see each other. We both have butterflies for the first few hours until we get used to one another again,” she giggles.
As a contestant on I’m A Celebrity! in 2005, Sheree famously embarrassed her husband with her confession that he has a “peachy bum,” and she says the sight of his derriere is a great diet incentive.
“When Harry takes his clothes off and he looks amazing, I realise I have to make an effort!” she says. “He never puts any pressure on me and loves me as I am, but I want to be fit and healthy and able to strip off without worrying about my body.”
However, last July, Sheree was distraught when paparazzi shots of her in a bikini by a Las Vegas swimming pool appeared in the press.
“I think they were expecting Coleen [Rooney] on her honeymoon, but they got me instead – Jabba the Hutt! I looked hideous in the photos. Like most women, my stomach was hanging over my bottoms even though I’d been dieting like mad,” she laughs.
“I’ll definitely have a tummy tuck and a boob lift in the future, but Harry and I would like a fourth child, so I’ll wait until after that. I don’t want bigger boobs – they’re a 30E – but they look like deflated balloons. I just want them higher up.”
She adds: “It’s not because I’m lazy, but there are parts of your body that exercise just can’t improve. I’d feel terrible if the surgery went wrong, but I’m so unhappy with the way I look I’ll do anything!”
Sheree runs in her local park several times a week for 40 minutes as well as doing ashtanga yoga. She is also fronting a podcast campaign for Pampers Active Fit Baby Yoga to encourage women to get active at home with their babies and toddlers.
“I used to dance at drama school and always found yoga too slow, but now I have kids I find it so relaxing – doing baby yoga sequences with Matilda is a simple and gentle form of exercise,” she explains.
“Just swinging her in the tiger in the tree pose (a gentle lifting move) gets my arm muscles working. The slow movements can really soothe babies – it can even help with trapped wind!”
Click here for some easy-to-try baby yoga moves
Since leaving Emmerdale in 2004, where she played Trish Dingle, Sheree has dabbled in TV presenting, something she says she’s “not very good at,” and now hopes to return to full-time acting.
“I’m like a single mum when Harry’s away, but I’m desperate to get back to work when he moves back to England, as I never wanted to be a housewife,” she says. “I’m happy to do the school run in a tracksuit or jeans, but I do love dressing up and feeling glamorous again!”
By Vicki Grimshaw
Sheree Murphy has teamed up with Pampers Active Fit nappies with Comfort Stretch to create three podcasts demonstrating easy-to-follow yoga moves for mums to do with their babies. Visit Pampers Village at www.pampers.co.uk to download and view them for free.