The Gold Edition Meets… Gabby Logan
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Gabby, you’re turning 50 later this month. How are you feeling?
One of the best parts about getting older is how much better you know yourself. You also realise what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. You no longer succumb to fads and you’re able to look at what the world has to offer in terms of happiness and nourishment and pick what works for you – not just what’s trending. I no longer deny myself things either – I mean I’ve never really been a diet person – but I want to feel energetic and healthy more than anything else. I can’t believe how confident I feel now that I’m turning 50 – I’ve really learnt to trust my gut.
Today, you’re one of the UK’s most recognisable sports presenters. How has your career changed over the years?
When I started out, it was a very male dominated world, but I’m pleased to say it has changed over the years. What’s great now is that a lot of the younger pundits and players have grown up watching me on television, so it’s second nature to them to see me presenting rugby or football. Their generation doesn’t think it’s strange to hear a woman talking about these sports. So, it’s nice to be able to say the landscape has changed. At the beginning, there weren’t even that many women working in the building, let alone in front of the camera. Today there are lots of female directors and producers in the sporting world, which is great. I’m glad I no longer have to feel apologetic for asking for a make-up artist on set – let’s be frank, the blokes want as much make-up and grooming as I do. The ex-footballers always want a hot flannel at the end of the show!
Have you been able to strike a good work/life balance?
My husband Kenny and I have been very lucky. He’s been able to work for himself since he stopped playing rugby, which has given us greater flexibility if, for instance, I have to work over a weekend. We always knew we’d treat our careers with equal importance and respect the other’s working life, and much as our family. Neither of us have ever really been involved in the corporate rat race either, which has also given us a greater degree of freedom. I’ve always been safe in the knowledge that if I did have to work, the twins were off having fun with their dad.
Anything else you’ve learned from your time in TV?
I think I’ve got better at saying no to certain things. In the early days, it was all about saying yes to as much as possible, but now I’m quite strict with agents or producers about time that’s already been allotted elsewhere. If there’s something I really want to do with Kenny and the kids, I’ll make that clear. I don’t want to burn myself out any more – which is one of the beautiful things about getting older, knowing to strike the right balance between work and what makes you happy. I’m fortunate to still love my job as much as I do and, if you do something you love, you won’t feel as torn. Being able to tell the human side of sport is a feeling like none other – and playing witness to live moments that will live on in history is incredible.
Has anyone ever given you advice that’s stuck with you over the years?
Preparation is key. That’s definitely something that applies to my job (winging it just isn’t an option), but I also find it’s the kind of advice you can apply to many areas of your life – whether it’s managing a family, travelling or just living a healthier lifestyle. Research is the reward – whatever you put in, you tend to get back.
Talking of health, tell us why you’ve joined forces with Vitabiotics…
I’ve got a fair bit of experience in this space now thanks to The Mid Point and I suppose Vitabiotics were also aware of my history with health and wellbeing – specifically how passionate I am about those two things as I get older. I didn’t know much about the company but meeting the team was illuminating. I didn’t realise how long they’d been working the women’s health space, but the formulas are so impressive. I loved the brand’s ethos and the way they were prioritising women’s wellbeing, especially in the midlife period.
What’s your own experience with menopause been like?
I didn’t actually realise I was experiencing perimenopause until it was practically over – I only associated menopause with hot flushes and no more periods when, in reality, the perimenopause covers an array of other symptoms. Luckily, the podcast was hugely educational for me. Women including Mariella Frostrup came on the show and started talking about the same things I was experiencing – like mood swings and low energy – and it dawned on me what was actually happening. Ageing is complex and hormones are a tricky subject to get your head around. So far my symptoms have been subtle but, when you add them all up, they can have quite an impact on your life. That’s why it’s important to find support where you can – be it a tweak in your diet or exercise regime, taking a supplement like Menopace or getting something prescribed by a doctor.
What kind of exercise do you enjoy doing now?
It’s interesting because you need to find the right workout for you. I know lots of women for whom HIIT workouts or anything with lots of cardio does them no good – in fact, many of them will train for marathons and put weight on because their bodies are so stressed. For some people it just doesn’t work. Personally, I love Pilates for a bit of burn and then I try to do something good for my lungs – whether that’s playing tennis or going for a brisk walk (not as leisurely as it sounds!). I sometimes go on the odd run, but I also think weights are important for women as they age. Don’t worry though, I’m not looking to become Britain’s strongest woman!
Do you have any easy health hacks you can share?
I think it’s about building and maintaining small positive habits. For example, if you want to get back into exercise, there’s no point promising yourself that you’ll go to four exercise classes this week. It’s too far removed your current lifestyle and, while you might be able to keep it up for a couple of weeks, it’s probably too much to build into a consistent habit. But if you said you’re going to do ten squats, ten lunges and ten push-ups every morning for the next five days, that’s really achievable. Or maybe it’s going for a half an hour walk in the morning or in the evening. It’s easy to build all that in and stay consistent with it – over time, it will make a big difference to how you feel. I also find that when I’m able to make small changes, the bigger ones feel less overwhelming.
Let’s talk a little bit about beauty. What are your top three desert island products?
I’ve learnt a lot from sitting in the make-up chair for so long and, while my make-up artists tend to use a lot more than three products on me for television, I keep things pretty simple in my everyday life. I love Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser Natural Skin Perfector in the shade ‘Nude’ – it contains SPF, which is great. I also think mascara is transformative and the high street has some really good, affordable ones. If I’m after a splurge, then it would be the By Terry Mascara Terrybly – there’s a Space NK near where I live and, safe to say, I’m obsessed. I also couldn’t live without Vaseline. As you get older, things tend to dry out more easily, so I use this on my cheeks, my lips, my eyebrows – all over, really.
How has your relationship with beauty changed over the years?
By this point, I do tend to stick with my tried and tested favourites – although it’s always fun to update one or two things depending on the seasons. This could be a new eyeshadow palette in spring, for example, and lipstick is quite seasonal, too. You don’t want to get stuck in your ways – especially as your skin and face change and some things can suddenly look quite ageing. On holiday, there’s nothing better than bare skin, a slick of mascara and a coral lip. I’m not sure I’d have had the confidence to wear that look when I was younger. Just remember that not every trend is going to look good on you, and that’s okay.
Let’s pick your brain for a couple of good recommendations. Do you have any favourite restaurants?
We love going to The River Café when we’re in London, but more local to where we live is Tom Kerridge’s The Coach in Marlow. There’s also an amazing Spanish restaurant called Pluma, which I can really recommend.
Do you have any travel plans this year?
We have out twins’ 18th birthday coming up soon, so we’re hoping to go on a special holiday to celebrate. When they were younger, we tended to do one big trip a year – somewhere exciting like Japan – but Finca Cortesin near Marbella has a really special place in our hearts. No matter how busy the kids get, I think they’d always drop everything to go back there. I’m also hoping we can make it back to The Fife Arms in Scotland at some point – it’s such a special hotel and the scenery is unbelievable. Next on the agenda is Ireland for Easter, as my son is playing rugby there, so we’re heading to Dublin and then moving up into Northern Ireland.
So finally, what are you most excited about in this next chapter of your life?
My memoir The First Half came out last year, so I do actually look at this upcoming birthday as a marker of some sort. It’s a landmark age – I always think of it like caps in sport. You don’t get a cap every time you play, they only mark them at 50, 100 and so on. So, 50 is significant. As a woman, I know a lot is changing and that looking after myself will have to be a priority moving forward. All I want is to be able to maintain my health and energy levels. Everything else is in place and it’s exciting – so I want to make the most of it.
Gabby Logan is a Menopace Ambassador. For more information visit Vitabiotics.com.
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