How long were you a smoker?

I started smoking at 15 years old and carried on until I fell pregnant at aged 34. After the birth of my daughter Maia I gave up for one and a half years but unfortunately started again.

What were your reasons to quit in terms of health, well being, and avoiding serious diseases?

It was a total lifestyle choice. I decided I wanted to give up drinking and smoking and be really healthy. It really was the start of new beginnings for me. Plus I started to do a lot of running and quickly realised that you can’t run when you smoke!

Do any serious diseases run in the family associated with smoking?

My grandmother died from emphysema, she was a smoker. However my grandfather worked down the mines all his life and smoked 40 cigarettes a day but died of natural causes. We also had a close family friend die recently of a smoking related disease which was really tragic.

How long has it been since you quit?

18 months.

What makes you think you have quit smoking for good now?

I haven’t bought a packet of cigarette in two years and I just don’t have the urge to smoke anymore. In stressful situations – which would usually be my trigger to smoke – I just don’t reach for cigarette.

How are you going to stay a quitter?

I am a sensible person and I know that smoking isn’t good for you. I feel healthy now which I didn’t before, in fact I feel healthier today than I’ve ever felt.

List of foods you keep in your fridge [as many as possible, at least 20]:

Squeeze and stir tomato soup

Unopened bottle of gin

Unopened bottle of Bacardi

Unopened bottle of white wine

Brown sauce

Pancake mix

Four opened jars of pesto sauce

Smoked salmon

Halloumi cheese

Ham

Rice noodles

Salmon fillets

Pack of fresh carrot, green beans and peas

Two sticky toffee puddings

Stir fry medley vegetables

Hoisin sauce

Plum sauce

Hummus


Where do you shop and why?
Mostly Sainsbury’s as it’s easy for me. M&S too but not for everything. I have a Planet Organic store nearby so that’s a favourite for me. Sometimes Waitrose and also local stores, we have a great butcher and fishmonger nearby.

Is there anything you refuse to eat?

Veal

If you could take three foods to a desert island, what would they be and why?

Rice cakes because I don’t eat bread so these are my saviour and I eat them all the time. Hummus as I love it. Coffee, it’s my guilty pleasure.

What's your favourite comfort food:

Toast with butter, or a sausage or bacon butty. I don’t really eat these things any more so they are definitely a comfort food now.

What's your favourite drink?

I don’t drink very much alcohol at all now, but if I did it would be a gin and tonic.

What would you cook to impress a man?

I don’t really cook to impress men as I think they should do that to impress me. However if I was to cook to impress a man, it would probably be a salmon dish or a stir-fry.

What’s your takeaway blow out order?

Chinese or Thai.

What’s the strangest thing you eat?

I was once asked to try sheep’s eyes by a friend who comes from Iceland. They were awful and I would never try them again.

Fav food:

I like healthy food actually, and tend to eat little and often to keep my energy levels up. I love dipping food like hummus, smoked salmon and halloumi cheese.

Disaster dinner:

I was once cooking a Christmas dinner for a lot of people, and the turkey fell on the floor in front of everyone. One of the dinner guests slipped on the turkey fat and hurt themselves, I was really worried in case they had broken something.

Fav low cal snack:

Rice cakes.

Fav pudding:

Apple pie and custard.

Fav tipple:

Soya cappuccino with a straw, apparently it stops your teeth getting stained!

Fav breakfast:

I’m not a big breakfast eater. However if I was eating out at a restaurant it would be a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese or eggs Benedict.

How much sleep do you get?

I love my sleep and think I’m making up for the sleep I didn’t get when I was younger. So about 8 hours a night.

How much exercise do you do? What do you do?

The Coronation Street filming area has a gym which is great, so I try to exercise in there during the lunch break. So I would say roughly 4-5 times a week I’ll do around 45 minutes on the Stairmaster and treadmill. I also do free weights for my arms as I hate bingo wings.

What do you do, just because you know it’s good for you!

I drink lots of water.

Height, weight, dress size

H: 5 ft 5.5 inches

W: I never weigh myself so I have no idea!

Dress size: size 8-10 with size 7 feet

What’s your anti-ageing secret?

Water, vitamin C and zinc

How often do you train?

The Coronation Street filming area has a gym which is great, so I try to exercise in there during the lunch break. So I would say roughly 4-5 times a week I’ll do around 45 minutes on the Stairmaster and treadmill. I also do free weights for my arms as I hate bingo wings. I also walk my dog regularly.

What’s your favourite part of your body?

My arms and shoulders. I have toned arms as I would hate to have bingo wings. I work on them with free weights in the gym.

Would you ever have cosmetic surgery?

If you asked me this question when I was in my 20s, I would have said absolutely no way. Now I’m in my 50s I would never say never. I think it is up to the individual, if it makes them feel better then that’s up to them.

What’s your guiltiest food pleasure?

Coffee. I drink a couple of cups a day. Soya cappuccino with a straw, apparently it stops your teeth getting stained!

What I ate today

Breakfast

Porridge made with soya milk, though most of the time I don’t eat breakfast. Sometimes it’s a banana.

Lunch

Soup, with rice cakes and hummus.

Dinner

When I’m up in Manchester I eat a lot less as I’m on my own, than I do in London when my daughter is around. So it would be rice cakes and hummus again.

Snacks

Dried fruit and nuts.

Least favourite part of your body?

My ears. When I was younger I did think about getting them pinned back, and then I thought how ridiculous so I changed my mind, and now I accept them.

Has your diet changed over time?

I used to be vegetarian for a long time until I was pregnant with my daughter. I craved meat then so ate chicken and even liver at times. Now I follow the Hay Diet as I feel that potatoes and bread make me feel tired and sluggish which I don’t need when I’m filming.

What’s your diet like?

I used to be vegetarian for a long time until I was pregnant with my daughter. I craved meat then so ate chicken and even liver at times. Now I follow the Hay Diet as I feel that potatoes and bread make me feel tired and sluggish which I don’t need when I’m filming.

What do you think of your body?

Like ever women I have good days and bad days, being healthy is far more important to me.

Do you get insecurities about your body?

Yes, now and then like every 50 year old woman. If I don’t go to the gym I feel ratty so that’s important to me. I’m in the acting business and we’re constantly judged by the way we look which isn’t right, but that’s how it is.

What’s your top food tip?

To follow the Hay Diet where you don’t mix protein and starches. June Brown has been on it for years and looks fantastic so that’s my inspiration.

What do you do, just because you know it’s good for you!

Drink water

Any health vices you'd admit to?

I love Coffee Mate and take it everywhere I go. My friends laugh at me and I now have a jar of it at Coronation Street!

What’s your biggest fear?

Dying now and not seeing my daughter grow up.

What is your feel good philosophy?

Be around people who make you laugh and don’t take yourself too seriously

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Be humble and have humility

Describe yourself in three words?

Mad but fun, kind and generous

What's your idea of happiness?

I used to define myself by my work but I have become a lot more content as I’ve got older.

One thing I’d like to do before I die is…

Write a book or have something published.

Michelle Collins is supporting the Don’t Go Cold Turkey campaign, which is raising awareness among smokers, motivated to quit, that they are up to four times more likely to quit successfully with the help from a healthcare professional rather than by using willpower alone. Visit www.dgct.co.uk for more information.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
find me on and follow me on twitter