Over the past few months we’ve had the absolute pleasure of getting to know TV presenter, model, super fit mom and all-round superwoman Melanie Sykes. Now in her 40’s, Melanie is massive gymbunny who can kick even the fittest twenty-somethings’ behinds. She is fast becoming a role model for women to get fit at any age, and is living proof that if you work for it, you get it. To celebrate the launch of her new lifestyle website MelanieSykes.com – a hub for fashion, health, beauty and fitness – we spoke to Melanie about her fitness regime, what motivates her, style tips for the gym and much more…
Who are you?
I am Melanie Sykes, a strong Northern woman and the mother of 2 fantastic sons.
You’ve just launched your new lifestyle website MelanieSykes.com – tell us a little bit about it. What do you hope to achieve with it?
It’s my most exciting project to date. It’s my new women’s magazine talking about all the subjects we love. It’s all about lifestyle, fashion, health, beauty, and it includes some fantastic interviews with inspirational people. I have lovely contributors who bring their own personal expertise in all these areas.
You’re a role model and inspiration for women to get fit in their 40’s and beyond: do you have any advice for women just starting out on their fitness journey?
Thank you for saying that! Starting seems to be the key problem for people but once you do, your progress becomes a real source of motivation and the results – both mentally and physically – are so rewarding. You just have to push yourself to get over the initial mental hurdles.
Everyone has off days, how do you motivate yourself when you don’t feel like working out?
I go regardless of how I feel some days because I know I will feel amazing after but if I am too busy and am having to squeeze it in and I realise it’s stressing me out to factor exercise into my day I just don’t go. Sometimes I give myself permission to not go and sometimes I home train because that also cuts down the time commitment of getting to and from the gym.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Never feel obliged to do something!
What or who inspires you?
All the women in my life, women that have their careers, their families and have ambition for themselves and act on it. Like you guys! But I’m also inspired by the arts in general, theatre, movies, books and art. I feel totally fuelled by going to art galleries, watching great theatre performances, listening to delicious dialogue in movies and reading great prose in books gets me buzzing.
Do you have any fitness goals left that you want to achieve?
I’m all about maintenance at the moment, but that isn’t to say that I don’t fantasise about about seeing myself just once with a totally ripped body like a bikini bodybuilder. Somebody told me once proportionally I would do well at it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I’ll be fifty and I am going to make sure I am as happy and contented as I am now.
What’s the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
I love a white shirt and white t shirts. When all else fails, either with jeans just works. When I find the right shape, I do a Simon Cowell and buy a few of each.
What are your style tips for dressing to the gym?
I wear my gym gear outside of the gym often because I have no time to change so it has to look good. Good fit and cut are so important to me in the gym, I always coordinate trainers to my outfit and fabric flexibility is key. It’s all very well looking great, but if you can’t move in it there is no point. See-through leggings are a no no! I always do the bend over test in the mirror to check 🙂 Another big no are tops that get in the way of the exercise too, and end up round your ears.
What’s your favourite healthy snack?
I have just recently got into beef jerky – delicious and nutritious!
What do you indulge in on a cheat day?
Every day I eat something that’s not totally ‘clean’ but if I wanted to throw caution to the wind, I do love a dirty Domino’s Pepperoni Passion!
What’s your workout of choice?
I’m loving barre work at the moment and reformer pilates.
What do you do to relax?
I relax by reading, knitting, going to the theatre, seeing movies and visiting art galeries.
If there was a soundtrack to your life, what song would be playing right now?
I absolutely love Tinie Tempahs “Girls Like”! It never fails to make me want to dance and it does not matter where and when I hear it. Lyrically it has no relevance to me really, but it’s just a smiley, fun and bouncy tune and it makes me happy!