"I dieted for almost three decades!"
Most of you who know Amanda Byram, do so because of her early modelling days or envious career as an international television presenter. Nowadays – a trained nutritionist and personal trainer – Byram is all about a 360° approach to health and wellness.
"I think, first and foremost it's all about mental health," she says in response to my question: 'what is wellness to you?'.
"In my late teens, I started modelling. And, at that stage, my attitude was that if I was thin, I'd be happy. I thought that if I was slim, I was well and healthy – really because I wasn't overweight.
"I spent two, nearly three, decades dieting and, as a result, totally neglected my mental health. It's only now that I realise that I could have been so much happier!"
Now 45 years of age, the new No7 Laboratories ambassador is passionate about listening to her body and heralds Alicia Keys – famed for her decision to eschew make-up for red carpet events to promote confidence from within – as one of her skin heroes.
"I love her! It just so happens that she is absolutely beautiful, but I love everything she stands for.
"I used to layer on makeup when I was in my twenties and wonder why I'd have pimples or angry skin – but skincare is all about dedication. Now, I look at my skin like it's a muscle in the gym and tackle it that way. That's why I love the No7 Laboratories Firming Booster Serum's roller-ball applicator – it's foolproof.
"I also carry around a 3-litre bottle of water with me – people laugh, but I really don't care!"
Having been lucky enough to break America early on in her career, Byram learned the hard way about the importance of navigating tricky beauty routines in the harsh climate of Tinseltown.
"It was only when I moved to LA that I understood the importance of SPF. It was there where I first discovered fine lines and spent a fortune on treatments in the hopes of turning back the clock – but it's only now that I'm realising that that's not what it's all about.
"It's about looking great for your age, not looking 25 when you're 45. That's what I love about the new No7 range – it's about embracing what you have and learning to love it from the inside out."
No stranger to skin disasters – despite the star's omnipresent glow – she lauds the clinically-proven stamp of approval her new partnership boasts as the safeguard all of us need when it comes to our biggest organ.
"I went to a really expensive dermatologist a few years ago and she was rubbish! I suffered from acne around my jawline and she prescribed a topical retinol ointment and never warned me of the side effects. I then jetted off to Ibiza and noticed my skin get thinner and thinner. Now, I only use products I can trust from brands who've put work into them."
They say that with age comes sense, but for Byram, it's more about letting go of previous worries.
"I think now, with more and more people going against the perfection and filters that social media bring, we're witnessing a really brilliant shift in attitude.
"99% of us are in a place where we're anxious or beating ourselves up for our imperfections, and I get that that is a process – but I think we're getting over having to feel and look a certain way and it's great!
"I'm a firm believer in suncream and use a number of different skin products, but as I'm getting older I'm realising that it's all about listening to your body. I usually train every day, but have taken two weeks off because I've been feeling unwell. And even though it's driven me demented, I think it's what my body needs right now – and bodies know best!"
So, what does one of Ireland's most well-respected fitness experts recommend to those who are looking to start anew?
"Be active and exercise regularly. Talk to yourself the way that you would talk to others. Take everything in moderation. And find some products that work for you. No one particular product works for everyone, so get trialling and see what fits. They don't have to cost an arm and a leg!"
No7 Laboratories' new targeted serums are available from Boots nationwide now.
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