‘I get all my meals de­liv­ered: eggs and toast, chicken and rice’

The Guardian - Weekend - - Body & Mind -

Ni­cola Adams, 35, Olympic and world cham­pion boxer

Sleep I try to get at least eight hours’ sleep. It’s im­por­tant for my re­cov­ery, so I’m nor­mally in bed by 10pm. Luck­ily, I fall asleep pretty quickly. I try to pry my­self away from the telly be­fore head­ing to bed, and not au­to­mat­i­cally hop on to so­cial me­dia on my phone. I usu­ally get up at 7am and go straight to the gym.

Eat I’m train­ing for a big fight right now, so I’m eat­ing a lot of carbs. I have my meals de­liv­ered: break­fast is scram­bled eggs and toast, and for lunch I’ll have grilled chicken with veg­eta­bles, along with pota­toes or rice. In the evening, I’ll just have soup – no carbs. Soup’s been my favourite healthy meal since I was lit­tle. If I’m not watch­ing what I eat, my weak­nesses are pizza, ice-cream, cup­cakes and Bel­gian waf­fles.

Work I’m con­stantly go­ing be­tween my home in Leeds, where I grew up, and San Francisco, where I’m based for train­ing. It’s pretty much 7am till 7pm, five days a week. I do run­ning, fol­lowed by strength and con­di­tion­ing – press-ups, pull-ups, weights – and in the evening I have a box­ing ses­sion with spar­ring, bags and skip­ping. I still get ner­vous be­fore a big fight. I think ner­vous en­ergy is good be­cause it means you’re not un­der­es­ti­mat­ing your op­po­nent.

Fam­ily My mum, Dee, taught me to be­lieve in my­self. I grew up ad­mir­ing how she dealt with ev­ery­thing, from study­ing for more qual­i­fi­ca­tions to work­ing mul­ti­ple jobs, and leav­ing an abu­sive mar­riage to my dad when I was 11. Even when things were tough, she picked her­self up and car­ried on. I head back to Leeds for her home cook­ing and to see my younger brother Kur­tis. We’re both very com­pet­i­tive and we take go-kart­ing se­ri­ously. Kur­tis is some­one I can turn to for ad­vice on any­thing and he’s go­ing to tell it like it is, with­out su­gar-coat­ing it.

Fun Some­times I wish there were two of me be­cause I find it hard to fit ev­ery­thing in to my day. To wind down, I like to play a game or head out with friends for din­ner or club­bing. When I get proper time off, I like noth­ing more than to fly some­where warm like the Mal­dives or the Philip­pines and sit on the beach, drink­ing a pina co­lada and get­ting a mas­sage

Ni­cola Adams is an am­bas­sador for E45, sup­port­ing the brand’s new Straight Up Women cam­paign. In­ter­view by Sarah Ewing

Ni­cola Adams

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