Positive Profile: Lorraine Kelly on friends, not dieting, Zumba…and her favourite Scottish places

Not everyone is at their cheery best first thing, so just how does Lorraine Kelly, arguably the nation’s most bubbly morning person, do it?

The 56-year-old journalist from Dundee, who has been a staple of breakfast TV for more than 30 years, discusses how she stays positive, the simple things that make her happy, and her top tip for maintaining a healthy frame of mind.

How important do you rate positivity and mindfulness in your daily/family/work life?

I am a cheerful person, and I think that’s because I have a good strong relationship with my husband and I have a very full life inside and outside of work. I love my job and every day is different and stimulating. You are only as good as your team, and my team are fantastic. We all support one another. I realise how very lucky I am in both my personal and work life and I never take it all for granted.

It must be quite hard work being cheerful every single morning for TV for the past 30 years… if you wake up in a bad mood, how do you shake yourself out of it before you go on air?

I honestly don’t wake up in a bad mood although obviously some days doing the show can be distressing if it is a morning when there is a very serious news story; for example, a terrorist  attack or a natural disaster. Then you need to be very professional and cover the breaking news in a thoughtful and respectful way while making sure viewers receive all the facts they need.

Many TV viewers say you brighten up their day. What’s your top three joys in life that make your day?

Simple things make my day and make me happy – singing in the car with my daughter, giving the house a good old clear out while listening to a play on Radio 4, and going to a Zumba class makes me feel physically and mentally very happy.

Can you think of any times in your personal life when things have been really hard and you have needed to draw on some methods to stay positive?

I don’t really have “methods”. When I had a miscarriage back in 2000, that  was hard, but I talked about it with my husband and my best friends and that’s my way of dealing with any tough times I experience. You should never try to cope on your own when things get you down, and it’s OK to ask for help.

Do you find other people’s positivity (or negativity) infectious?

Absolutely! My lovely editor and friend Sue Walton always says that the world is divided up into people who are either  “fountains or drains”. She is the “Trevi fountain” as she is always so positive and full of the joys of life. My Zumba instructor and friend Maxine Jones is another “fountain”. Her energy and positivity are inspirational and I don’t know what I would do without her.

You look amazing in a bikini [for the Bikini Promise+One Campaign]… what are your three top tips for feeling healthy inside and out?

Well, I look OK for a 56-year-old, and I was determined none of the pics would be digitally tampered with or photoshopped. I have found exercise I love – my Zumba classes with Maxine in London in the church hall with all those fabulous women of all ages, shapes and sizes are a joy. It’s such a great way to keep fit and happy. I walk everywhere and I eat sensibly during the week. I will never go on a diet ever again as they don’t work and make you fat. At weekends, I eat and drink what I like.

Would you say your daughter’s generation is more familiar with positivity and mindfulness than you were at her age?

Obviously this generation are much more aware. It  wasn’t something we knew about at all. I know of such things through work, and I suppose I am “mindful” without sticking a label on it! It’s just the way I am.

Do you think people need positivity and mindfulness more these days, and if so, why?

We live in troubled times and are bombarded with constant new information and this can be overwhelming for some people, that’s why it is so important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. You need good friends to talk to, and to try and be as positive as possible.

Are there any special parts of Scotland that make you feel serene and calm?

I LOVE the Foveran Hotel in Orkney. The food is amazing, the view over Scapa Flow is glorious and the welcome  could not be warmer. I love the Outer Hebrides and, of course, home is Dundee.

Are you inspired by other people’s way of life?

People who seize the day, who laugh a lot and who enjoy themselves without fretting, or worrying. Also people who “do as they would be done by” and are kind, considerate and non-judgmental of others.

Do you think as you get older your outlook on life is more or less positive?

For me it is more positive as I have grown older. I think it has to be. You need to make sure you are enjoying your life. We are here for such a short time and it is important that we make the most of the years we have left.

What is your top tip for maintaining a healthy frame of mind?

For me it is about not bottling things up and also making sure you have good friends who listen, understand and “get” you. It’s about trying not to take on too much so that you get overwhelmed and can’t function. Sometimes you have to say “no” and realise that it is ok to do that. It’s a lesson I have learned and it has made me a whole lot happier!

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