Fame, fashion and keeping life on track. Golden girl Jess talks to Zest's Victoria Tremlin about life after London 2012
It’s been four months since Great Britain’s heptathlete hopeful threw her hands to the sky, gliding celestially across the line, as she transformed into a world-famous Olympian.
Jess has since been swept up in a storm of award ceremonies, TV appearances and, most recently, the launch of her new book Unbelievable (she admits she struggled to say no to things). However, it’s still training that’s firmly taking first place. We caught up with her on the new Spring/Summer 2013 adidas shoot to find out how she’s managing to stay as tone-tastic as ever!
‘When you look at yourself and feel a little bit soft around there…’ says Jess as she grabs at her waist to illustrate an extra inch which clearly isn’t there, ‘…that’s what makes you get back into training.
‘There’s always a championship or big goal to focus on,’ she says. ‘Your body is your tool at the end of the day. It needs to be in a certain shape and condition to be at its best. I still literally die every week.'
Try the Jess Ennis circuit routine
'Once you get good at an abs session, change it, so you’re always pushing your body to the end. You have to feel that soreness to get better.’
So what’s Jess’ current tummy-tightening routine? ‘I do an abs workout four or five times a week: during circuits and after weights sessions. I do variations: crunches, side twists, twists with dumbbells. The variation is important. It works everything in a different way.
6 fast exercises for a flat stomach
Jess says there’s a fine line between pushing yourself to a great performance or to injury. 'The most important thing is making sure you get enough vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D is really important for your immune system and for body strength. Making sure you wear the right trainers is also important. Once you get that right, you’re good to go.'
The best sources of vitamin D
In the new autobiography, which documents her journey from childhood dreams to Olympic gold, Jess surprisingly admits to having body hang-ups during her school years; worrying that a muscular physique made her look butch. Little did she know her strong-not-skinny killer body would transform the nation’s perception of female beauty and go down in history as 2012 incarnate.
‘Sport has been pushed into the forefront of everyone’s mind this year. It’s nice to have the opportunity to do some great photoshoots and be on the cover of fashion magazines. It’s put a different kind of image and look out there for women to aspire to – which is a really healthy figure.’
Jess loves how women across the country are starting to switch slimming for strengthening. It seems to have given her a real confidence boost. ‘I love all the crop tops. And the bright colours. They’re really ‘out there,’’ she says assuredly, as she describes her favourite pieces from the new adidas collection. ‘I love going shopping. I like little structured Victoria Beckham dresses. I always wear heels because I’m so small. It’s nice to dress up away from the track.’
Jess adds, ‘This is just how I look because I train. I don’t feel any pressure. I’m not on a strict diet. I just train hard and eat healthily. It’s a really positive thing to send out to young girls.
But it's not easy being an Olympic gold medallist. ‘I do find it hard when it’s raining and I don’t want to go out and do hill runs. I try to focus on the benefits it can have. Once you’re in a routine it’s so much easier to keep going and going. When you stop and have a break, that’s when your body stops. If you push on that little bit you’ll see big changes.’
Challenge yourself: try uphill Fartlek training
So what does she think of her newfound fame? ‘It’s hard to put into words. There was such a build up to the Olympics and there was a lot of pressure piled on me. When you actually achieve it – your goal, your dream – it’s such a strange feeling. I feel like I’m always pushing, always working towards it. You can nearly touch it – but you’re not quite there. It’s such a strange feeling to have actually done it,' Jess admits
Jess Ennis: before the Olympics
That golden podium moment was her Olympic highlight. But what have been her post-Olympic highlights? ‘Just the relief! Having time to relax and not worry that if I don’t train I won’t let the whole country down.
‘It’s really intense when you’re in a sporting environment. You’re always at the track. Then you take it home and it preoccupies your mind. It can be quite dangerous. I’ve always thought it’s important to have balance – to train as hard as you can but also to have other parts of your life to escape to.’
Jess says hanging out with her friends helps her to find a balance. She’s also planning her wedding with fiancé Andy Hill. And this year they’re hosting the family Christmas.
So, although she’ll be training on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, Jess has Christmas Day off to stuff the turkey.’ ‘We’re cooking the dinner for the first time. I’m a bit scared,’ she admits. ‘I love mince pies and my grandma always brings lots of nice baking. There are always tins of chocolate about but I’m training so I can justify it. I love chocolate. I’ve got a sweet tooth and I’m not embarrassed to say it. I like to have something sweet after my meals. I don’t have cake everyday but it’s your life and you’ve got to enjoy it.’
Healthy mince pie recipes and more...
Jess is also hoping to decorate the mantelpiece with more than just tinsel this year. She’s one of the 12 athletes – five of them women – nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. ‘Everyone nominated will all have had their own journey, so it’s hard to put one person ahead of anyone else,’ Jess admits.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be announced after a public vote on Sunday December 16, 2012. If Jess' magical moment left you on an Olympic high don't forget to vote.
Who's your female SPOTY?
Jess Ennis is wearing the new adidas women’s spring summer collection available at adidas.com from January 2013. Jess wears: Supernova Racer Bra, M10 Short and Techfit Perfect tight.
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites