I only started putting pressure on myself – about the way I looked – when I joined The Saturdays during the summer of 2007. Being in a girl band can do that to you. It’s what made me restrict my eating and gave me a false sense of control. But because I was still quite young, always working and moving around, I didn’t have the time to go to the gym. So I relied heavily on the fact that I was dancing all day and always on my feet. That’s how I managed to stay fit and healthy.
I still haven’t found a way to completely drown out the opinions of others, though. I wish I could say that I have. But it’s very difficult, especially since I became a mum of two boys. When I had my first child, I was still in The Saturdays. I had always looked a certain way in the public eye, and then my body changed very quickly and publicly. I got a lot of water retention and obviously people commented about it, which made me self-conscious while still going on stage with four other girls. I did get stretch marks too. I think once you’ve had children, there’s this pressure to snap back and that doesn’t happen for everyone.
Some people do go back to how they looked before, whilst others have to work for it. Our bodies change and that is all completely normal and OK. Before the pandemic, I used to attend a lot of exercise classes. But it has always been quite sporadic because of my work schedule and children, so I found it hard to stick to a routine. I had a local personal trainer and also did a mixture of weights and cardio in the gym. Or I would do Pilates and boxing. I’ve never loved working out, so I had to put those things in place for accountability. If I got the day off, it would be after I’ve dropped the kids at school. I always prefer to work out in the mornings from 9am to 9.30am, that’s my dream time. But if I have a photoshoot with an early call, I’m not someone who will wake up at 5am to fit in a workout. I aim to do five days, but it could be less.
I went from someone who was made to work out to no longer having that luxury during lockdown. At the beginning, it was all nice and everyone felt like they were on holiday. But I was bored by sitting around and needed to sort myself out. So I posted on Instagram and asked for dance workout recommendations – I thought it would be a good way to get back to exercising – and nearly everyone mentioned RWL (Results Wellness Lifestyle). I started doing step workouts with the fitness app, which is old school. My mum used to do it with Mr Motivator. I like dancing, especially when you don’t really need to focus on the routine.
When I got back from Gwrych Castle after I’m A Celebrity, we started recording my own RWL programme. It launched in January and is called Results With Frankie: Health & Happiness, with a mix of home workouts, including boxing, LIIT (low intensity interval training), dance and weights, healthy recipes and mindset chats. I was exhausted and hadn’t worked out for a month, so I was quite nervous about it. I went into the castle thinking that everything would just be mentally challenging, but there was a lot that physically affected my body too. The toughest challenge was the Cyclone. We had been there for a couple of weeks, hadn’t eaten much, sitting down a lot and it was freezing cold. I didn’t realise how resilient my body was and I have learnt to trust it more.
I was never really sporty as a child. I joined the orchestra and choir. I used to do trampolining and was quite good at cross-country as it’s not super fast. But it wasn’t my thing. It was all about dance for me. When I was three, I used to go to a community hall dance school once a week. I would do exams and a big show with the whole team, until I moved to a more professional stage school at the age of nine, where I spent seven hours doing jazz, tap, ballet and modern. I joined S Club Juniors. I used to think I had to do a gruelling workout for hours, but it’s more about consistency and finding something you enjoy. So that’s the path I’ve been on. It’s good for my children to know exercise is important for us as a family.
Frankie Bridge was talking to Yolanthe Fawehinmi.
Results Wellness Lifestyle (RWL) is available for £19.99 a month online or on the App Store –resultswellnesslifestyle.com