Dáithí Ó Sé tellsabout the shape he's in
Dáithí Ó Sé is on a new health kick. But it’s not about looking trim in front of the TV cameras — he wants to feel the energy course through his veins again.
“When you don’t start feeling well inside — you start feeling sluggish. Before I might have ignored that but I don’t do that any more,” says the Galway-based father to a five-year-old. “With Mícheál at home, it’s different now — you want to be around for him.”
More importantly, he wants to get fit for himself. “You have to mind yourself first. People are afraid to say that because it sounds selfish but I think that frame of mind is changing. You need to take care of yourself first because if you don’t take care of yourself you’re unable to take care of anyone else.”
A co-presenter of RTÉ’s Today with Maura and Dáithí, he has been an ambassador for the Irish Alzheimer’s Society for three years. “People with dementia and Alzheimer ’s can only play the hand they have been dealt with, but it’s up to us as individuals as a society to do something and to go out of our way to help people who can’t help themselves.”
What shape are you in?
I’m hiding a lot. Usually, in February and March, I start sliding down a slope. But I made a decision recently that I’m going out in the morning. I went out today at 6.10am for a 35-minute walk. To be honest it’s about how I feel inside and energy wise as well.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I drink plenty of water. Maura and I do a show for two and a quarter hours every day and we encourage each other to drink water throughout to stay hydrated. In terms of vitamins I take Revive Active and Cleanmarine — both are brilliant, natural and Irish. Also, I eat as much fish as I can — I’d have salmon maybe three times a week. I’m not great on the greens.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Indian takeaways — I love Chicken Tikka Masala.
What would keep you awake at night?
I’ve learned how to compartmentalise. It’s only in the last year or two that I’ve said I can’t actually deal with that now, so get on with your night’s sleep. I’ve become very good at it. But I hadn’t been good for a long time.
How do you relax?
Walking and looking around and taking notice. Looking at the birds and hearing the birds — hearing something happening the ditch going in and seeing what’s happening there, going down to the river and seeing what’s happening there. I know it’s very simplistic but, you know what, it’s a tonic.
Who would you invite to your ideal tea party?
My mother Kathleen. It can be nice to sit down and talk with family — you don’t have the TV on, you put the phone away. A woman I’ve always admired is President Mary McAleese. I used to do MC for her at the Áras for a few years and afterwards we’d always sit down and have a cup of tea. That was quite special.
What’s your favourite smell?
Lavender — I find it very calming. We have it growing in the back garden and it’ll be coming up in the next couple of months.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
I work in television and my appearance is the least of my problems. I just get on with it. Again I’d prefer to be feeling better inside than looking good on the outside.
When is the last time you cried?
When Dublin won four in a row — and I’ll cry harder if they win the five in a row. [I’m from Kerry and] hopefully, we’ll put a stop to their gallop this year.
What traits do you least like in others?
Disloyalty, ignorance is an awful one and not being empathetic is probably the biggest one.
What traits do you least like about yourself?
I can work too much. I can be tired and not mind my health as much as I should even though, to be honest, in the past couple of years I’m getting a lot, lot better.
Do you pray?
I pray every night. I say a decade of the rosary — I’ve done that since I was 11 years of age. We were brought up with it. I sleep better at night because I pray.
What would cheer up your day?
If my wife Rita and Mícheál are in good form or if my mother is in good form. You can look at all the big things — I don’t care about them; you can look at the simple, ordinary things that make me happy.