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Nadia Sawalha teaches daughters body confidence by ‘shaking her cellulite’

Telly star Nadia Sawalha says shaking her cellulite in an Instagram video is the ­bravest thing she has done.

The Loose Women panellist posted the footage after years of struggling with her body image and yo-yo dieting.

Nadia, 54, felt compelled to share the video to normalise cellulite for other women – and particularly daughters Maddy, 16, and Kiki, 11.

The former EastEnders star says: “Posting that video on Instagram was perhaps the most courageous thing I’ve ever done. And yes, my daughters were proud of me.”

Learning to accept her body has taken therapy and years of work, but Nadia is now “stronger and happier than ever before”.

Of her younger days, she says: “I was a hot babe and had no idea. I’d cry myself to sleep worried that I didn’t look good enough.”

Nadia with her eldest daughter Maddie at the Rocketman premiere in May this year

Doubts resurfaced in her 40s when she put on four stone after having Kiki. She adds: “I went into denial, avoiding mirrors, wearing elasticated trousers.”

Diet and exercise helped her drop to size 10, but Nadia wasn’t happy. She goes on: “I’d dreamed of this and when I got there, I didn’t believe it.

“In therapy it’s called ‘Stinking thinking’, that you’re living a lie. I couldn’t take it in and I still felt fat.

“I’d look at the size 10 jeans and think they couldn’t be for me. I felt I wasn’t me any more.

“I’d been curvy for years – the classic 36-24-36 figure – and knew I wasn’t supposed to be this skinny bird I saw in the mirror.

Nadia on the panel of ITV’s Loose Women

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“I realised I wasn’t happy, so had therapy. I didn’t want my kids to feel the same way about their own bodies as I’d been made to feel about mine.”

Now a healthy size 12 to 14, Nadia grew to love herself – cellulite and all – and, one day, might even pose nude.

She says: “The older I get, the more ‘out there’ I seem to be, so don’t rule it out.”

Nadia, who backs weight loss programme The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Challenge, admits to using neck-lift tape to hide wrinkles – but has no plans to go under the knife.



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