Gemma Atkinson just shared a down-to-earth post about body image with an important message

Bravo. 👏

Gemma Atkinson
(Image credit: GC Images)

Bravo. 👏

Gemma Atkinson, a former Hollyoaks actress and radio host, has taken to Instagram to share a candid post about self love and body image.

The star - who's been a Women's Health cover star twice and posts regularly about her morning routine, exercise motivation, and fitness routine - is a fan of weight training and often trains with her partner, Strictly Come Dancing professional Gorka Marquez.

Speaking to her 1.7 million followers, she posted a candid update about how health looks different on everyone - and detailed how her own body has changed in recent months.

After celebrating her birthday in November and Christmas in December, the actress explains that she got back to a more healthy routine - that is, she prioritised sleep, fit in workouts despite a busy schedule, and ate lots of nutrient-dense food that made her feel good.

Despite that, she shared that she's put on weight, but stressed that her biggest fitness tip is refusing to let the number on the scales define how she feels or dictate how she thinks about herself, encouraging her fans to do the same.

She shared "Health is not just a number... health is a lifestyle, and with consistency and good habits and choices, we all have a better chance of being at our best." 

She explained to fans how she's feeling - that is, the scales may say she's heavier, but she's getting better sleep, she's full of energy, and she shares that she's no longer "soft" in the areas she was pre-Christmas thanks to a regular exercise routine and adequate workout recovery.

In short, she feels better and is in better shape - so what she weights really doesn't matter.

A photo posted by on

She shared: "Scales! Not fish scales… the scales that every day thousands of ppl step on to determine how they feel about themselves. How worthy they are of that biscuit with their coffee or how they are going to feel that day. Happy? Disappointed? Angry? Worthless? Sound familiar?"

"We never had scales growing up in our house. The rules were simple, veg with our tea in the week, chippy tea & sweets on a weekend (usually movie night) play outside when you can & no fizzy drinks. Ever. (Thank you mum! Genuinely!)"

"Nowadays a lots changed and the amount of ppl who msg me saying they have been “killing themselves in the gym but are heavier on the scale and feel awful about it” is untrue. Quick story, my b’day is nov 16th.

"Every year from that day until Christmas I usually ease off my training regime and my food choices. I don’t binge & do nothing, heck no! But like most, from Dec it’s work do’s, tubs of chocolates, Xmas markets and we start the day everyday with a chocolate from a calendar. I weighed myself a few days before Xmas and I was 70.6kg."

A photo posted by on

She continued: "I felt sluggish due to my relaxed regime and daily sugar snacks and I was definitely “softer” than usual. From the 29th Dec I got back on it with food & training. Eating more, but eating correct, training daily, loads of water, all the good stuff! Despite being flat out with work this month, I’ve had more energy and better sleep than I did over Christmas.

"I’m no longer “soft” in the areas I was over Christmas. Yesterday I went on the scale and I was 73.3kg. HEAVIER then when I was feeling a bit Urgh… Do I feel great? Yes! Am I training & moving? Yes! Setting new PB’s? Yes! Is my skin ok? Yes! Sleep ok? Yes. All because I’m fuelling right & moving regularly, NOT because of a number on the scale."

She added: "Please, please don’t let that number define you. Of course, tracking progress is important, and if you are on a mission to drop body fat and regain your health then absolutely go for it. But health is about all of the above and not just a number. Remember that. Health is a lifestyle."

This comes the same month as it's reported Victoria Beckham has stripped back her training to make sure she's not overtraining.

*Claps loudly*

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.