Lisa Faulkner is one of the 'Special K Strength Squad', along with Katie Piper and Nicola Roberts, to promote their new campaign, which champions strong women. We caught up with her to ask her how she stays strong and who she relies on to help her when she's lacking that inner strength we all crave.
Please tell us about your involvement in Special K's new campaign.
Special K's new campaign 'Strength Is…' looks at the individual strengths of women whom they come into contact with in their normal day-to-day lives and how we should learn to celebrate them and what makes them feel strong. For me one the biggest strengths in my life has come from a renewed love of food and finding a career working with it.
You're working with Katie Piper and Nicola Roberts on this project so why do you think they are great role models for the inner strength message?
Yes, they are incredible role models and ideal for this message. They radiate strength through everything they do and stand for - they are also great fun as well. To be honest I think many women are role models - as mothers, businesswomen, friends, we are often learning and finding out new things about ourselves as we go through life.
Why was this so close to your heart, what made you want to get involved?
The campaign is a celebration of inner strength and positivity both of which have resonated with me throughout my life. My best friend is my little sister and when she had her first child (who has just gone off to University!!) I was overcome with happiness for her but it also struck me what a big thing motherhood is - especially as we had lost our mother when we were young, but the circle keeps going on and women are at the centre of that. God knows we need to be strong and sisterly.
Of the list of words women want banned - which would be at the top of your list and why?
I am not so sure we should ban words to be honest with you and I have never advocated that. I have been called all sorts in my time as a model, actress and presenter and what also struck me was not so much the words used but more how they are used and who is saying them. Some words can sound beautiful coming from the right people, but from others can seem demeaning.
Why do you think women are still labelled with these words and is it acceptable?
Hormonal and hysterical are the ones most thrown around in an inaccurate and patronising manner, but this normally says a lot more about the people using them than it does about the people they are aimed at. Attitudes are changing however and if I look at my nephew or my daughter's male friends you can see a difference in how they talk to girls and I think that gives me a lot of optimism for the future generations
What word or words would you like to hear more when referring to women?
I don't think we need a list of words to best use when referring to women anymore than we need a list of words banned that are derogatory towards women. I do think we need to encourage people to be respectful and non-judgmental when speaking about women.
What can happen if a woman lacks inner strength?
Well, we can all lack inner strength sometimes. The challenges and huge array of decisions we have to make every day can be overwhelming. I think there's nothing wrong in struggling and feeling like you lack inner strength - the challenge is getting back on track - luckily friends and family normally help me with this.
What's your personal definition of a strong woman?
I think it's down to each individual how they answer, how to define a 'strong woman?' but in essence, I think it's about believing in yourself and your own strengths - not focussing on what others can do. Strong in body AND strong in mind.
Please tell us about your own inner strength- how do you stay strong as a female and someone who's recognised by the media?
I draw my inner strength from my family and loved ones - they are the most important people in my world and I owe a lot to them. In terms of staying strong in the media - I think that you have to take the rough with the smooth. As long as you have a solid idea of who you are and what you are trying to do in the world, whether that be personal or professional just try not to worry about what other people are doing and just do you.
To what extent do you think that inner strength is affected by those at home? By partners, parents, siblings for instance?
You realise that children are like sponges - this is good and bad as anyone who spends time with children can testify, so you have to try to set an example - but it's hard because sometimes you feel like you have no inner strength. Being a mother, father, partner, daughter etc. - they all require different hats and demands - sometimes you get strength from those around and sometimes it's you who needs to be strong for others.
What is next for you?
I have got lots of exciting things in the pipeline for the end of 2016 and even more for 2017. John and I recently did a feature for This Morning and we got to go back to John's roots in Australia - it's really lovely and was great fun for us because it was something we could do together. We spend a lot of time apart when we are busy working so always so lovely to spend time together - even if it is work, we enjoy cooking together so it was a win-win for us. This started today on ITV (wed 5th Oct). Most exciting news for 2017 so far, is the release of my 4th cookbook, Mother To Mother which is out in March. This is to coincide with Mother's Day which is obviously a huge part of my life. I really hope everyone loves reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.