The Shape I’m In: Maria Walsh

TV PRESENTER and former Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh likes to keep herself busy and, despite frequently experiencing a restless mind in the early hours of the morning, plans to get even busier in the new year as she devotes more time to her new events agency, Juniper & Ruby.

“I struggle with night-time quite bit,” says the 29-year- old. “I revisit and mull over conversations and actions quite a bit and at times struggle to sleep properly. If I don’t feel I have achieved as much as I should have throughout the day that will keep me awake — or if I am travelling a lot.

“My mind is always busy, but this is not a comfort at 3am when I need to sleep.”

But while the Dublin woman and her business partner will be busy launching their new venture in 2017, healthy eating always remains a priority for Maria, particularly while relaxing with family, friends and her partner Shauna.

What shape are you in?

I am in moderately good shape. I promised myself last June that moving into 2017 is the time, pre my 30th birthday, that I would dedicate quality time to my health. While I am “in shape”, I have a number of health-conscious inclusions to make in 2017.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I think I eat quite healthily. When I eat at home, I use coconut oil. I don’t like sauces or spices. My food palette is quite plain — chicken, sweet potato, salad or steak, depending on what is in the fridge. But there are snacks and take-outs too.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Ice-cream. I could finish off a tub in seconds — it’s an art-form — also biscuits. I don’t drink or smoke, so I make up for those two vices with food.

How do you relax?

Switching off is difficult for me. I am moving into a part-time role with Bank of Ireland as their Workbench Manager in Limerick. I have an ongoing project in creating an events agency called Juniper & Ruby with my business partner Avril Reilly. And am working with my partner Shauna Keogh for Empire Elite Limited creating shows that will develop perspectives of people who watch them — as well as trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Relaxing hasn’t been on the agenda for a few years. But I want to introduce it to my life in 2017.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Ellen, Constance Markievicz, Mary Robinson, Amelia Earhart, Veronica Guerin and Madeleine Albright. I could continue but those ladies would create a very inspiring dinner party.

What’s your favourite smell?

I love passing bakeries, I adore the smell of turf fires and my perfume Inis — have worn it for years and shall never change.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I am learning to appreciate my appearance more and more as I get older and more comfortable with my body and my mind. If I had to change anything about my appearance, it would be my hair. The opportunity to have mid-length hair one day and short the next — how amazing would that be?

When is the last time you cried?

Toughest question of the lot as I am not a great crier, so probably three years ago when a chapter of my life was closing — but it was a relief cry more than a heartfelt cry.

What traits do you least like in others?

Rudeness is a horrible trait. It irritates me when people don’t say thank you for holding doors or offering to help them in some shape or form. I think we get so busy in our lives and minds we forget there are people fighting bigger fights. I remember seeing so much chivalry growing up. Where has that gone?

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I believe we are all a work in progress and continuing to learn and grow is a part of our culture now. Like many, I am not the greatest at accepting kind words and I often look for critique rather than say “that went great.”

Do you pray?

I do, in my own way. I walked the Camino de Santiago in June this year and over the 30 days of walking the 500 miles I attended mass every day. I use prayer and churches as a space to quiet my mind. Personal reflection is a brilliant aspect of life, and I am slowly introducing it more and more.

What would cheer up your day?

Music is the greatest gift. Or a movie that I know will inspire me to get motivated. Hanging out with close friends over a lazy dinner or with family always keeps me grounded.


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