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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-06-28 07:29:34

kathryn thomas

kathryn thomas

GThe irl

In the past year, she has smashed TV ratings, moved in
with the love of her life and started her own fitness business.
Shauna O’Halloran met up with Kathryn Thomas, to see
what happened when the girl who dared followed her dreams.


It’s not about
how you look, it’s
about strength.
Strong is sexy

Sequin Make Believe shirt (€690) by
Natalie B Coleman @ Nataliebcoleman.
com; skirt (€1,150) by Preen @ Brown
Thomas; Success rose gold bracelet (€98)
and sterling silver bracelets (€65) @ The
Kilkenny Shop



t’s the day after The Voice of Mother of pearl crop top (€375) by Issa,
Ireland final and Kathryn Thomas navy blue full pleated skirt (€475) by
turns up to our photoshoot at 8am Sportmax, sandals (€730) by Givenchy,
with zero signs of the morning all @ Brown Thomas; Success rose gold
after the night before. She skipped bracelet (€98) by Melissa Curry @ The
the wrap party, it turns out, to Kilkenny Shop
stay fresh faced for her cover
moment and to be in raring form
for her four-hour drive to her new
fitness camp in Skibbereen, Co
Cork, directly after. “I know your
makeup artist is a miracle worker,
but there’s only so much she can
do,” she quips when the team
praises her dedication.
The truth is, I’m about to discover,
Kathryn is the dedicated sort – to
work, to her health, to her new
business interest. While she does,
she insists, love a glass of wine and
an indulgent meal here and there,
there seems little that can take her
focus off the prize once she has it
in her sights.
The last 12 months could be seen
as something of a stellar year for the 36-year-old presenter. She
returned to host two of RTÉ’s most successful flagship programmes
on television – Operation Transformation and The Voice of Ireland
– became the regular stand-in for John Murray on RTÉ Radio 1
and made the leap to move in with her restaurateur boyfriend
Padraig McLoughlin. But perhaps her biggest achievement, and
labour of love, has been setting up Pure Results Bootcamp, her
own fitness and wellness retreat on the remote and private island
of Inishbeg, just off the West Cork coast.
It’s a very personal project which has come to fruition after
18 months of planning in tandem with her already work-laden
schedule. “It’s completely my own concept,” she tells me of the
week-long boot camp sessions, which include nutrition, fitness and
personal wellness. She takes a holistic approach to putting clients
on a brand new road to health, complete with a follow-up plan
to take home. “I interview everybody, I review the meal plans, the
recipes. It’s been full on, you know. But I’m really good when I’m
busy and I feel really good when I’m exercising as well.”
Her own regime is a super healthy one – and it emanates from
her glowing skin and toned abs and arms. As well as training four
times a week, Kathryn factors in long walks and a healthy dose of
sleep each night to keep herself at her best. Although she has always
been athletic and taken an interest in her health, it is something, she
says, which has inevitably become more important with age. “We
have children, we do our jobs, keep our houses, meet our friends,
go out on the town – your body is doing all this for you and I know
for me and friends of mine, we didn’t think about this until we
were in our thirties. We don’t think about our bodies, it just does
what it’s there to do. It’s not until we get sick – and a very good
friend of mine got sick – when you have an illness like cancer hit
your body, you think ‘I better be good to my body; I better change
this, and juice this and wheatgrass that’.” Kathryn’s philosophy is
a simple one: to treat her body with respect in return for all it does
for her. “I look at my body as my friend – that sounds a bit tree-
huggy! – but, yes, I bring it out, I bring it dancing and have a nice
time, but equally, I now try and get more sleep and as well as my
glass of wine in the evening, I make sure I have my fruit and veg
and complex carbohydrates. I look at my body and think ‘What
does it want, what does it need?’ And not just ‘What do my friends
want from me, what does work want from me?’. I put my body on
the same level on the ladder of importance.”


I've never been
the girl that dreams
of the big white dress,
but I'd never say never.
I'm really happy


coverstar Mesh layered dress (€695) by Cedric Charlier @
Costume; Success rose gold bracelet (€98) by
She teams her love of keeping Melissa Curry and sterling silver bracelets (€65)
fit with her passion for travel @ The Kilkenny Shop
by going to far-flung places for
a variety of health camps. One
particular experience recently
in Spain inspired her to bring
the concept to Ireland. “I
didn’t know if I was going to
be surrounded by models who take this week
to tone up, or if I was going to be with very
overweight people and would I be pushed
enough? In fact it was both. It was a real
mix and everybody was as intimidated as the
next.” She went on to describe the women, in
particular, who she shared her time with there.
From women in their fifties who had given
over decades to minding their children and
homes and spared little time for themselves,
to a high powered New York banker who was
so immersed in her work, the first day or two
phoneless was a guilty wrench. “After three or
four days that sense of guilt melts away from
those women who hadn’t exercised for so long
and you could see the strength emerging from
people. That was truly inspiring.” By the end of
the week, it was the change in mindset, more-
so than the change in physicality, that really
inspired Kathryn. “It’s not about how you look,
it’s about strength. That’s why I love this whole
fitness craze – strong is sexy, not skinny is sexy.
It’s not about diets, it’s about healthy eating
and exercise and I 100 per cent believe that
(strong physically is strong mentally) and vice
versa. When mentally, you’re in a good place,
your body responds better.”
With the support of McLoughlin, himself
an entrepreneur, and close friends in business
like the duo behind the Great Outdoors, who
came on as sponsors to provide equipment for
attendees, Kathryn ploughed ahead and made
Pure Results Bootcamp a reality. Already it’s
been a resounding success both in terms of
client feedback, as well as pounds and inches
lost by those who have spent the week with
the team. So much so that they are looking at
expanding the business to do even more camps
in late August and September.
The new challenge has suited the spirited
blonde down to the ground, both in terms of
presenting a new challenge and in the timing in
her life – a time, she says, when she has never
been more content.

I look back now and go:
mwGhoudecn,hIItuhdsoiedudngt’htotngaeinevdde ttehonaetrgsoy,


“I don’t give as much of a shit, basically!” she “My Dad is my hero,” she says without schmaltz

laughs. “When you’re happy, I think you become or falsity. I believe she means it. “I really admire

more accepting of yourself, you don’t give yourself everything that he has worked for – and he still works

as much of a hard time as you did, say, in your incredibly hard. He instilled that sense of hard work

twenties when you were more insecure. I’m 36 now in all of us. But equally, he has instilled a sense of fun

and I’ve experienced the death of close relatives, I’ve and adventure in us as well.”

witnessed friends go through illnesses very young, I’m “He’s a go-getter,” she explains and describes his

godmother to lots of my friends’ children – I’ve seen philosophy for life. “Do you sit on the sideline and

them have babies and bring children into the world. think about how it could go wrong, or do you go two

And all of a sudden the things that are important to feet first, if it’s something that you believe in?” she

stress about and worry about become very real and asks rhetorically. “He very much believes life is for

things that you used to worry about – when it was living and I definitely learnt that from him.”

just you I suppose – I look back now and go, God, I Not that it has always worked out.“He’s gone through

used to give that so much thought and energy, when a lot over the last couple of years from a business

I didn’t need to.” end of things. It’s caused him a lot of hardship and

Part of the contentment is, no doubt, down to being struggle,” Kathryn shares. But she’s quick to point

settled in her relationship with McLoughlin, who out that the way he handled adversity is as much an

she shares a home with since they moved in together inspiration to her as his attitude through the good

last year. The subject inevitably turns to weddings times. “I think there’s a resilience in my dad that says,

and babies. “It’s funny – I’ve never been the girl that ‘Whatever happens, tomorrow is another day’. He’s

dreams of the big white dress, but I’d never say never. an innately happy person! He doesn’t let stuff get in

I’m really happy. And I’d love to have kids, we would on his head and it’s a sign of real strength to me. He’s

love to have kids, if we’re blessed, if we are lucky. come through some difficult times, but there’s always

“But you can’t have a someone worse off and

ticking time clock hanging I don’t give as much life is for living and having
over your head and make of a shit, basically! When the people you love
everything work. It has to you’re happy I think you around you.” She likes
feel right, it has to be the to think it’s something
right time and there’s a lot that has rubbed off on

to consider when you’re become more accepting her. “He’s extremely
thinking about a family. At of yourself positive – I don’t think
the same time, we’re in a I’ve ever, or very rarely,
great place.” seen him in bad humour.

It seems to fit in with I like to think I’m the

they way she lives her same...although Padraig

life. Like something? Go for it; don’t waste time and mightn’t agree!”

energy strategising for things you may not be able to So, dare I ask, what’s next? “I plan to take a long

control. “I wish I was more of a planner and planned holiday! I’m going to take a three-weeker and I haven’t

my time better, but I don’t,” she agrees. “I just have an done anywhere exotic for a couple of years. I’d love

idea and if I really believe in it I go for it.” somewhere far-flung like Bali or Northern Thailand

“People, like my bank manager, said: ‘What’s the or Polynesia or somewhere like that to just disappear.

business plan, what’s the two, three year plan?’ [when I’ve plenty on my list of places to go! I’d love to take a

setting up Pure Results] and I said, ‘Look, I know it couple of weeks and really take some down time – it’s

will be fine...this is going to work; it’s going to be that little addiction that I have to just put a backpack

word of mouth, it’s going to do well, I’ll work 150 on and go again!”

per cent’.” Funny that, it hardly seems like she’s stopped.

We start discussing the idea of true self-belief and

where it comes from. I tell her about the women PS: Interested in taking part in one of Kathryn’s Pure

we are featuring in the issue who have inherited or Results Bootcamps? There are two seven day courses

gleaned their working personalities from their fathers, left for the summer – one starting on 5 June and one

and ask about her relationship with her own Dad. Has on 12 June. Go to to find

he something to do with this dogged determination? out more.

PHOTOGRAPHY by Barry McCall; PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTED by Dylan Madden; STYLING by Aisling Farinella; STYLING ASSISTED by Maeve Barry; MAKEUP by
Zoë Clarke; MAKEUP ASSISTED by Samantha Mulligan; HAIR by David Cashman @ Morgan the Agency


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