One of my biggest responsibilities as Editor-in-chief of this brilliant magazine is deciding who to put on the cover. There are so many incredible women to choose from, and they all need to have a few things in common: to be utterly inspirational, proud of who they are and the type of gal I’d like to knock back a cocktail or two with.
I reckon I’ve hit the jackpot this month. Let’s all take a moment to bow at the altar of Katie Piper. She blows my mind. Her positivity, kindness, intellect, sheer bloody-mindedness, work ethic, how she’s utterly in love with her partner and their two young daughters… I could go on.
She endured the most unimaginable of horrors, yet there’s not an ounce of bitterness in her. She’s thankful for the wonders each day brings and is so humble and unaware of her brilliance that, when she took a look at the photographer’s laptop at the end of a long day shooting, she was charmingly in awe of the, let’s face it, nothing short of breathtaking photos you’ll find on page 38. ‘I didn’t realise I looked like that,’ she said – more than once.
Let’s not forget this is a women who, at the age of 24, was so badly scarred after an acid attack that she has since had over 300 operations and was once told she would never exercise again. But Katie’s not the type to be told what she can and can’t do. Fast-forward 10 years and she’s on the cover of Women’s Health, after giving birth to her second child in December, proving nothing and no one can hold her back.
Also in this issue are the results of our annual WH Food Awards (page 113). I joined five top foodies and pros to plough through the thousands of entries we received and find the best products to fill your fridges and kitchen cupboards. I have a little confession. I’m a nut butter addict – I’m obsessed with the stuff. So I particularly enjoyed judging that category. The winner might surprise you.
Finally, as a book-lover, it was a joy to judge the Wellbeing category of the inaugural Big Book awards this year, alongside PT Alice Liveing and wellness entrepreneur Lauren Armes. It was a tough category, featuring some brilliant new talent, but Jasmine Hemsley won us over. In East By West (£25, Bluebird), she delivers delicious, comforting recipes alongside ancient Eastern wisdom – the copy in my own kitchen is wellthumbed and sauce-stained, which is always a good sign. Congratulations to Jasmine on a well-deserved victory.