Michelle Heaton: “My life strug­gles have only made me stronger”

At 38, for­mer Lib­erty X singer Michelle Heaton has been through more than most, un­der­go­ing a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy, a hys­terec­tomy and de­pres­sion. Here, she shares her sur­vival se­crets…

Closer (UK) - - Contents -

MY HEALTH BAT­TLES HAVE GIVEN ME STRENGTH

I’ve put my body through a lot af­ter hav­ing a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy and a hys­terec­tomy to re­duce my risk of breast and ovar­ian cancer – but I don’t re­gret any of it. Dis­cov­er­ing I was a BRAC2 gene car­rier turned my world up­side down, but surgery was a no-brainer be­cause my risk of cancer was so high. I’m grate­ful that I was able to make the choice, and go­ing through some­thing life-chang­ing has made me stronger.

I’VE AC­CEPTED I’LL AL­WAYS HAVE MY DOWN DAYS

Since go­ing into early menopause, oc­ca­sion­ally I suf­fer with bouts of de­pres­sion. Some­times I go into a dark place, I get tired and lethar­gic and I don’t know how to get out. Luck­ily, the episodes don’t last long and I snap out of it quickly, but it’s hard for my fam­ily be­cause they’ve only known me as a happy and en­er­getic per­son. The best thing I’ve learned to do is just to ride it out.

I’M PROUD OF MY SCARS

When I ap­peared on Loose Women in my bikini, I was scared stiff, but I wanted to show women that you can be happy with your body no mat­ter your im­per­fec­tions. I’m not hugely body con­fi­dent be­cause of my surgery and eczema scars, but be­ing hon­est about my in­se­cu­ri­ties felt in­vig­o­rat­ing. Too many peo­ple edit their pic­tures and, while there’s noth­ing wrong with a fil­ter, I’d never make my­self slim­mer – it’s bet­ter to be the real you.

I WON’T HIDE MY PAST FROM MY KIDS

I do worry about my kids [Faith, five, and Aaron, three] search­ing my name on­line. I haven’t done any­thing un­ruly, but I had a sep­a­rate life be­fore them. They don’t know I was mar­ried be­fore [to Andy Scott-lee], or about my op­er­a­tions. I won’t hide any­thing from them, as I’d hate for them to hear some­thing from some­one else. When they’re older, I’ll talk to them about my past.

TRUST IS THE KEY FOR A HEALTHY MAR­RIAGE

Hugh [Han­ley] and I are com­ing up to ten years of mar­riage, and the rea­son it works is be­cause he isn’t in the spot­light. When you’re both in the in­dus­try, jeal­ousy and in­se­cu­rity al­ways play a part. Trust is ev­ery­thing. Even though I so­cialise a lot with my friends, Hugh [who’s a per­sonal trainer], al­ways knows I’m com­ing home, and I never make him feel uneasy.

Show­ing her scars on Loose Women

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