The Shape I'm In: Mark Feehily

Now that singer Mark Feehily has moved back to his native Sligo, he can enjoy his mum’s home cooking.

SINGER Mark Feehily has found what he’s looking for — a work-life balance.

After years living out of suitcases as he and the Westlife crew crisscrossed the globe, he’s now in control of his schedule.

It’s a process that started three years ago when he decided to move back to his native Sligo, renovating a lakeside house he had bought 10 years earlier.

“The family expands as the years go on. I’ve got two goddaughters, there are lots of kids around and it’s really nice to be at home with my parents. My mum can ring me and say: ‘I’ve got the dinner on — come over’,” says the 37-year-old.

He now divides his time between London and Sligo, sharing his Lough Gill home with his Irish partner. 

“We met in London four years ago and it’s been going really well since.” 

Renowned for his strong vocals, has been raising roofs since he was a young soloist in the local parish choir. A favourite song was the rousing O Holy Night, which features in his latest album.

The reference to ‘angles’ voices’ could easily refer to his beloved grandmothers who both passed away within three days of each other before Christmas three years ago.

 “It was a very sad time. But both were well into their 90s and they left nothing but positive memories. I always think the two are sitting on my shoulders. When someone has that much of an influence on you they’ll always be there within you.” 

* Mark has just released Christmas a collection of classic festive songs. He will play the Sugar Club, Dublin on December 19.

What shape are you in?

Better than I was a year or two ago. I started mixing up my exercise to keep it interesting, so sometimes I jog, sometimes spinning, sometimes a cardio/weight session and sometimes I’ll go in with a personal trainer. 

That, along with reasonable nutrition, has done me the world of good.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I have started visiting a great vegetarian place in Sligo called Sweet Beet Cafe and even if I’m not in the mood I’ll knock back a turmeric and ginger shot along with one of their gorgeous lunch dishes.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I rarely eat pizza anymore as carbs don’t agree with me but every now and again a nice stonebaked pizza on a hungover Sunday evening can be a nice treat.

What would keep you awake at night?

I hate confrontation so anytime I’ve had a dispute with someone it can really stress me out.

How do you relax?

A good strong massage. I’m talking a proper Thai style massage where it’s on the verge of hurting. 

The minute the massage starts I forget all my stress and worries.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Mariah Carey, of which I’m really looking forward to be opening for her on her Christmas UK tour. 

Then it would have to be Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin — all amazing icons.

What are your favourite smells?

In the summer, the smell of cut grass in Sligo brings me straight back to my childhood and in the winter a turf fire does exactly the same thing. 

I want to do a line of candles with these types of scents.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’ve learnt to be comfortable in my own skin and appreciate what I have instead of wishing I was something else, so I just try to keep the exercise/nutrition thing in check when possible.

When is the last time you cried?

At a wedding last week. I am strictly NOT a cryer but at weddings, I turn to mush when I see the bride walking in or when the groom says romantic things to his new wife at the speeches.

What traits do you least like in others?

Lack of empathy, people who genuinely think they are better than others because of wealth or success, two-faced people are the worst. Begrudgery really gets to me as well.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I overthink things but I’ve been working on that and have learnt the benefits of letting things run their course.

Do you pray?

I don’t pray very much but I’ll always have that foundation of spirituality that comes with growing up in rural Catholic Ireland.

What would cheer up your day?

Hearing something really good has happened to someone I love.


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