This much I know: Lisa Cannon, TV presenter

Lisa Cannon has lost 11 pounds in two months. Weight Watchers taught her all about moderation.

I’m useless at compartmentalising my life. I’m always working.

I sleep with the phone under my pillow and am always checking it.

My parents were teachers. 

As a child, I was a bit of a giddy goat and I loved being outdoors and always had a huge imagination.

My earliest memory of performing is doing ballet, which I studied until I was 19.

I always knew I wanted to perform. I set out to be an actor, doing drama and theatre studies in TCD and a masters in film.

I got an agent and got some work but it wasn’t hugely lucrative. I was totally immersed in acting. But it is so precarious, a bit like winning the lottery. 

There’s a million to one chance you’ll get one of the big roles. I found it irritating after a while, it’s such a slow process. When I was doing a course on acting for camera, someone suggested I try for broadcasting.

I started doing late night radio, that got me in the door and then I was asked to produce a radio programme and the fact that I have a good voice was recognised. 

Then I started producing for RTE TV’s Nationwide and one day Mary Kennedy couldn’t do a piece and I was asked to step in and present, and I produced segments for the show for two years, alongside the radio jobs.

I did Exposé for 10 years. I’m fine now with leaving that show. Ten years was a long time to be on one show. 

I have to accept that jobs in television change. I’ve moved to Saturday and Sunday AM on TV3.

It’s very immersive. I have to keep up with what’s going on in all areas - politics, healthcare, books, fashion. Everything. I listen to the radio constantly to keep informed.

My advice is to be flexible if you want to work in an area like this. All media is transient.

I live in Dublin with my husband Richard. We’ve been married for a year and a half and we have our dog Lulu.

When I’m not working, I watch movies and like to cook. I actually watch a movie every night. I’ve always been into film and the arts.

Like so many women, I’ve always put on and lost weight over the years. 

Usually wanting to drop a stone, it was very frustrating and an ongoing battle which I never seemed to win until I went to Weight Watchers. 

I learned about cooking and about the correct foods to put into my system.

My life is busy and I have finally learned to balance eating well with my job and with the dreaded exercise. I have lost 11 pounds in two months. They taught me all about moderation. 

It’s an annoying and even patronising word but what it means is that you recognise when you are overeating. You start to learn how much is too much. 

The key is to listen to yourself and know when you’ve had too much and to then pull back.

My biggest fault is that I’m too generous with my time and belongings and myself. I’d give the shirt off my back to other people. 

It hurts you deep inside when people don’t reciprocate, that is the saddest thing. I have learned to be more mindful of that.

I keep meaning to try meditation - but I’m just too busy!

The trait I most admire in others is generosity and a sense of humour.

If I could be reborn as someone else I’d be John Lennon for a day. I love how outspoken and clear he was about what he believed in, be it politics or music or people. 

He was so inspiring and spoke to all generations and classes and nationalities - a truly universal language. He was an activist and a father and a husband, a believer and a non-believer. He looked behind the curtain and let others see behind the curtain with him.

If I could change one thing in our society it would be our narcissism and the level of self-importance that accompanies it.

So far life has taught me that things never stay the same, no matter how much we want them to. 

Life is full of joy and fun but the pain and the heartbreak and the loss are all just part of it too.

  • Lisa Cannon is brand ambassador for Weight Watchers Ireland and has lost nearly a stone following the Smartpoints plan. 

  • www.weightwatchers.ie 

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