TV presenter says transforming her body cured her 'imposter syndrome'

TV presenter says transforming her body cured her 'imposter syndrome'

QVC presenter, 58, who was unhappy with her post-menopausal midriff reveals her transformation after losing 4st by hiring a personal trainer and sticking to 1,000 calories a day

  •  Entrepreneur Alison Cork went from 12st 13lb size 14/16 to 8st 12lb size 8/10
  • She first decided to shape up while post menopausal and nearing her sixties
  • Says her transformation is achievable using diet, exercise and determination

A TV presenter says transforming her body and her outlook in her fifties has cured her of ‘imposter syndrome’ and made her feel confident again after the menopause. 

Alison Cork, 58, who lives in Belgravia, west London, took a long look at her reflection a year ago in lockdown and seeing the flabby midriff of a post-menopausal woman, she vowed to overhaul her lifestyle and to look sensational as she approached her sixties.

Now, with a body the envy of women half her age, Alison, a married mother-of-two sons, has gone from a 12st 13lb and size 14/16 to 8st 12lb and size 8/10.

She said: ‘Somehow, there’s this message that if you are in your fifties it’s all over, which leaves women with a hopeless sense of despair.

Alison Cork is a TV presenter on QVC and chose to lose weight after not liking her appearance in the mirror


In April 2021 Alison hired a personal trainer to trim down her size 16 frame (left) and she got down to a size 8 (right) by working out three times a week 

‘But that’s just not true. You’ve got so many great years ahead of you and I hope I’m proof that it’s never too late to make a change.

‘Like so many women my age, I had put on weight around my middle. Other women would tell me it never looked as if I had much to lose, but I didn’t like what I saw when I stood in front of the mirror in my undies.

‘When you’re not happy about the way you look, it slowly but surely nibbles away at your confidence. I didn’t like how I looked. But I wasn’t ready to just give up and go quietly into the night.

‘I tapped into those same qualities of perseverance and consistency that I’d used my whole life. 

Alison works out three times a week as well as trying to walk 20,000 steps every day to keep up her new physique

Alison, now a size eight, overhauled her lifestyle to look sensational as she approached her sixties

Alison pictured with her dressmaker, Barbara Pellumbi who now caters for her much smaller size eight dress dress size 

Alison, who at 5ft 7in had a body mass index – used to gauge a healthy weight – of 28.4 at her heaviest, making her overweight, is now well within the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9 with a BMI of 19.4, and feels her transformation is achievable using simple diet, exercise and determination.

A well-known face on the QVC channel where, an interiors specialist for 25 years, she presents the Alison At Home collection which she designed, she is also a newspaper columnist, founder of a not-for-profit organisation supporting women in business and even made it to the longlist as the Conservative party prospective candidate for London Mayor in 2020.

Yet, her success was still no antidote to self-doubt, after the menopause left her feeling flat and unattractive – emotions that hit their peak in the April 2021 lockdown, when she became acutely aware of how her body had changed over the years and how little she had done to take care of her long-term health.

She said: ‘Women have so much thrown at them and just as you emerge from the child rearing years, in your fifties, the menopause hits you like a truck.

Alison, pictured enjoying a holiday in Turks and Caicos, lost four stone transforming her body and life

Alison at the Guildhall with the Beadle and the Clerk of Court at London Guildhall, where she became a Freeman of the City of London

Alison pictured with Boris Johnson after losing a significant amount of weight and toning her body 

‘I’ve had horrible symptoms for eight years, but have never taken anything for them. So in a way I just went cold turkey. I still suffer from the night sweats, but they are better since I lost the weight.

‘Like everyone, I realised that a lot of the people dying from Covid had underlying health problems. I thought, “I’m going to be 58 next year and I love life. I want to live to 100 so maybe it’s time I focused on my health so that I won’t be burden on the NHS as I get older”.’

Determined not to spend her sixties living what she calls a life of ‘quiet despair’ she hired a personal trainer through a company called Ultimate Performance.

And she is now confident to be photographed on holiday in swimwear and to wear a backless dress for the first-time. 

She said: ‘I know not everyone has the resources to get a personal trainer, but there is so much you can do at home if you want to lose weight.

Alison in Crete with her walking group in October 2021. She enjoys the energy she now has from her workouts

Alison has pretty much stopped driving, so she can walk everywhere and often do her business phone meetings while walking

Alison pictured in her parents garden in September 2021. While she loves sweet treats, she cut down her sugar intake significantly

‘I’ve learned that while the weight training is important to build strength and definition and to protect against osteoporosis, if you want to lose weight then 80 per cent of it comes down to what you eat.’

Alison, who has also worked as a restaurant critic, says she loves cake and biscuits, but by cutting sugar from her diet and sticking to 1,000 calories a day, she lost the flab she so hated and was able to work on toning her muscles.

Now working out three times a week with a trainer as well as trying to walk 20,000 steps – the equivalent of 10 miles – every day, she said: ‘I’ve pretty much stopped driving, so I can walk everywhere and often do my business phone meetings while I’m walking.’

‘I’d say as a goal to other women, aim for 10,000 steps and then try and do more.

Despite her proven skill in many fields, Alison has, like many women, often been dogged by imposter syndrome, which makes people find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Alison pictured on holiday in Turks and Caicos in December 2021

Engaging a personal trainer through a company called Ultimate Performance, determined not to spend her sixties living what she calls a life of ‘quiet despair,’ she upped her exercise

Alison hired a personal trainer in April 2021 after she realised her 12st 13lb body was making her feel flat and unattractive

‘I get up at 6am every morning and walk for an hour before everyone wakes up for breakfast and try to get half my steps done that way.’

As well as being delighted with her toned appearance, Alison says other women have been hugely positive about her changed body shape.

She said: ‘Somehow, I always had the idea that if you worked really hard, never gave up and were consistent you could achieve your goals, whatever they were.’

But, despite her proven skill in many fields, Alison has, like many women, often been dogged by imposter syndrome, which makes people find it difficult to accept their accomplishments.

Alison, pictured right, with her fellow women from Make It Your Buisness, including Virginia Crosbie, far right, who is now MP for Ynys Môn

Alison presented the Alison At Home collection, which she designed herself, on the programme QVC

Alison upped her exercise and tweaked her diet to achieve her amazing new, slim figure to achieve self confidence

She said: ‘I absolutely love seeing the young women of today being so full of confidence and forging ahead in fields like tech and the sciences, but for women my age, it wasn’t really like that growing up.

‘I come from a time when girls were not always celebrated or pushed to do great things. I think most other women my age will recognise what I am talking about and agree that, from an early age, we were just not given this confidence.

‘I think because of this, at times I’ve suffered from imposter syndrome and some self-doubt, but since I’ve changed the way I look, it has really improved my confidence and helped me to beat this.

‘If you feel good about yourself, it improves everything.’

Alison outside Downing Street with woman from Make It Your Business. As well as being delighted with her toned appearance, Alison says other women have been hugely positive about her changed body shape

As well as looking better and feeling healthier and more confident because of her toned physique, Alison says the psychological benefits of her new lifestyle have been considerable.

Alison feels more positive since her transformation and dropping the weight around her midriff

Alison, pictured here in Turks and Caicos. Her fitness journey has also helped support her career goals. She is eager to focus even more of her time on politics.

ALISON’S TOP DIET TIPS FOR TRIMMING FAT 

1) Walk every day. Aim for 10,000 steps (which is the equivalent of 5 miles) but 15,000 or even 20,000 is even better.

2) Drink two litres of water every day. Tap water is fine. Sometimes we mistake being thirsty for feeling hungry and eat when all we need to do is drink water.

3) Stop eating ALL beige-coloured foods – these include potatoes, pasta, white rice, cakes, pastries, biscuits and crisps.

 

Alison’s fitness journey has also helped support her career goals.

She is eager to focus even more of her time on politics.

She said: ‘The energy and stamina my fitness journey has given me is going to prove invaluable in what I hope to be the next stage of my career journey, to work more extensively in politics – with an emphasis on supporting women in business and small businesses as a whole.’

As well as looking better and feeling healthier and more confident because of her toned physique, Alison says the psychological benefits of her new lifestyle have been considerable.

She said: ‘People who know me say I am different. I am more positive. I give off a stronger demeanour, I feel and look stronger and they even say I walk differently.

‘And I really want other women to believe me when I say, ‘If I can do this, so can you.’ 

View Alison’s interiors collection at alisonathome.com and follow her on Instagram @alisoncork_home

Alison found her personal trainer at ultimateperformance.com which offers elite personal trainers to people around the world.

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