New WW ambassador Jackie O reveals her weight gain mistake

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Like many people, radio and television star Jackie O Henderson found herself struggling to find a balance between work and life when Covid-19 hit.

The popular KIIS FM radio host said that together with her 4.30am starts, lockdown sparked an unhealthy relationship with food and in turn her motivation to stay active.

And for the first time ever, she found herself at a cross roads with her weight, describing herself as the “biggest she’s ever been”.

“I put on a lot of weight very quickly. I was even surprised. It was the most I have ever been,” Jackie told news.com.au, announcing her new role as a WW ambassador.

“I was eating really unhealthy, not exercising and becoming a recluse and it was this vicious cycle of not wanting to go out at all.”

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The mother-of-one would stay cooped up in her Bondi home and order, on average, $300 worth of Uber Eats on “anything and everything” from burgers to Mexican food.

“I was never cooking for myself, Uber Eats was my best friend. It was expensive and a really unhealthy habit, which made me feel so bad about myself.”

Jackie said it reached a point where she refused to leave her home out of fear people would judge her.

“I was really hiding away for a long time because I put on so much weight and felt really self-conscious, worrying about ducking to the supermarket and people saying, ‘Oh look at Jackie, she’s stacked on the weight’.”

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“The more it went on the worse it got. My friends were like ‘you have got to get out, you can’t stay at home all the time’.”

Jackie then turned to WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers). At first, she had no intention of joining the wellness program, but her mother hounded her to give them a chance.

“The reason I approached them was because mum would tell me about how her best friend managed to keep her weight off for years with them,” Jackie explained.

“I have tried every other diet (from cabbage soup to the lemon detox diet) and had never looked into WW before and I just love the flexibility.”

Jackie said she doesn’t like to be told that she can’t eat or drink certain things and because of that, she found the program and app easy to follow.

“I was thrilled to learn I could still eat carbs.”

There is a barcode on the app which tells members what the exact nutritional value of a product is, which Jackie described as “genius”.

“If I pick low point stuff, I can have a wine for dinner and instead of cutting out the things that always break my diet.”

Jackie said now that she is in a better routine when it comes to her nutrition, it helps prevent her from overindulging, particularly at breakfast where both her and co-host Kyle Sandilands have their food made for them.

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“We have a guy that makes our coffee and breakfasts and he would bring out toasted sandwiches, omelettes, pretty much anything, but now I am eating very differently,” she said.

“And I know what I am eating is good for me and feel better for it.”

Jackie, who joined WW in April, said while it may sound cliche, she really does feel like a changed person and hopes to lose a total of 15kg.

She has also found the motivation to get out and be active again, walking her dog most days of the week — but as for exercise, she’s not that interested.

“I am not going to lie, I don’t like doing exercise and the last thing I want to do is jump on a treadmill after I have just done breakfast radio,” she said.

“I just want to have a bit of me time. I just make sure I move during the day.”

Jackie said since joining the wellness program her friends have noticed a change in her.

“My friends who don’t know I have been on this program have even said to me I look so much happier and it’s true, I am getting out more and feeling better about myself.”

Jackie said she also wanted to set a good example for her daughter Kitty, 10, whom she shares with her ex-husband Lee Henderson.

During her separation from Lee in 2018, Jackie said it affected her weight — but in the opposite way.

“It is one of the most stressful things you will do in your life and the stress itself made me lose a lot of weight,” she told news.com.au

“I was underweight when I was going through that and when Lee and I sorted most things out eight months later, Covid hit and it went the other way.”

But after two months on WW, Jackie said she feels amazing.

“I even went to Kyle’s (50th) birthday party the other week and got dressed up. I probably would have backed out of doing that before this.”

“I am also socialising with my friends again and that makes me so happy because I am balancing my life with work and my daughter, together with a bit of social time.”

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