Oprah & me? Well, we certainly have one thing in common!
With a new show, Elaine, in the offing, TV3’s selfdeprecating presenter shies away from any comparison with her US counterpart... apart from a particular part of their anatomy! Ms Crowley is looking forward to the task though, as she tells
Ryan Tubridy is a performing monkey, he is a lovely man. It is different and it is amazing that Midday lasted as long as it did in that time slot.
‘I had six years presenting and producing it and I was exhausted from it… To come up with six new topics every day, every week of the year bar Christmas is a big act. I was getting a bit tired of it and I wanted to get more behind the headlines and into peoples’ stories and I have found that the panel shows of late that worked were when people talked about their own life experiences.’
Elaine is not shy about bringing her own struggles to the fore. She made headlines last year when she shifted over a stone in a week on Celebrity Operation Transformation. Elaine went from 15st 11lbs to 14st 9lbs in seven days despite her exercise being severely limited due to a back injury. But now Elaine says she is comfortable with her curves.
‘I ate all the pies and all the turkey and all the ham and all the stuffing. I am not going to go near a weighing scales until January 9. Then I will give myself a week to get the turkey belly off but I don’t think I am as girthy as I was at the start of Christmas anyway. Anyone who manages to keep weight off over Christmas deserves a medal. The thing I took from the whole Op Transformation experience was that I worry less than I did before. That’s the only thing. If I put on a stone, it is not the end of the world and conversely if I drop a stone, it is not a massive milestone. It was an interesting life experience and I learned a lot about myself.
‘I have the tools to tackle any weight gain. I can cook now so that when I get into the routine of healthy eating again it should slowly right the ship. I got loads of cook books for Christmas so I have no excuse to try and not burn down the house.’ Elaine hopes to improve her health by becoming stronger and fitter rather than slimmer. With her newfound cookery skills she hopes to hit her 40th year with a more toned physique and a more relaxed attitude to life.
‘This year, I am 39 and I have a big birthday coming up. My back was banjaxed for a long time but I have been given the all clear to go back exercising. So I want to get fit and I don’t mean thin, I mean I want to feel fitter and stronger. And that is manageable. Because when I don’t exercise I don’t feel well and I haven’t been exercising for quite a while. So that is my focus for 2017.’
Fitness has also provided Elaine with
‘I want to get fit, and I don’t mean thin’
a major weapon in her struggle against depression. It is a condition that in the past has threatened to engulf her bubbly and warm personality. But now, with increased fitness, she believes she has the tools to stay ahead of the black dog.
Exercise has become important for my headspace. The last couple of months I’ve been, well not struggling but I haven’t been myself because of the CBT I did before, even when I was feeling down and that lasted maybe two weeks, I had the tools to get out of that funk.
‘The mental skills that I have learned to help me feel mentally fit have been a huge benefit. Even when I am having a crap day and I feel like a whale and I am in a bit of a low mood, I know I will get out of it. Whereas before, when I was in the depths of it I never thought I would get out of it again. You have bad days and great days and with my condition there will always be periods in my life where I don’t feel great about myself but at least I know now there are ways out of it. ‘Before, the thought of doing things like the new show would have freaked me out completely. I wouldn’t have been eating or sleeping. But you know what, it will be grand, what will be will be. I am getting a bit more Zen in my old age.’ She is also celebrating a year in a committed relationship. She is keeping her beau’s identity private as he is not a fan of the limelight. ‘He is grand,’ she says. ‘He still hasn’t met the mammy yet. He has stuck in for almost a year now so he is doing well. I won’t let him watch me on telly which seems to work well. He bought me driving lessons for Christmas. I think he is sick of being a chauffeur. I am scared, I am afraid of it. ‘I got a big massive hint from him and this is the last step to me becoming a grown up. I am so scared of driving and the worst part is I used to drive but then I came across a bad crash and I parked the car, got out and haven’t driven since. I fell off a horse when I was 12 and I never got back on so it is something in my subconscious. I just need to face the fear. It will be a good year.’ I press her to reveal a few more details of her mystery man. Then, as if on cue, a child arrives on the phone in floods of tears. ‘I have to go,’ she says with an audible grin. Elaine has learned that small children can be useful some of the time.
Elaine, 3pm, TV3 from Monday