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National heroine Denise Lewis opens up about kids, the Olympics and turning 40

24 April 2012
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Denise Lewis may have retired from athletics but she is still always on the run.Getting stuck in paint with her youngest child Kane and playing with dinosaurs on top of the kitchen counter you can see that she takes her role very seriously.


And although the gold medalist describes herself as a "control freak who tends to micro manage the household" she still makes the most of her precious time with her three children.Speaking exclusively to HELLO! Online, the national heroine reveals her top tips to get her kids active, her skin and beauty favourites, the London Olympics and turning the big 4-0.As you turn 40 this year, what has been the greatest life lesson you have learnt?"I guess that everything usually sorts itself out in the end. You spend a lot of time worrying about things but I think you have to take the ebbs and flows, the good days and bad days and just try and keep yourself in the centre and you’ll be alright. "I don't worry about things as much as I used to."When you have a moment to yourself, what's your favourite thing to do? "To have a moment to myself is so rare; I can barely remember when that life was. I usually just go into a room in the house by myself and watch "my own" programmes – no fighting over the remote control, no cartoons. "I just watch something that I like to watch. My particular favourites are 'Come Dine with Me'. The narrator, Dave Lamb just makes that show!"


What are your top tips to keeping healthy all year round?1. "Try to do exercise that you really enjoy doing.2. "Although it’s not easy sometimes, you definitely are what you eat so try to incorporate as much of your 5 a day as possible.3. "Keep your fluid intake quite high, but not beer and wine! 4. "I try to do what I did as an athlete during the day and eat little and often.5. "It’s so important to have healthy snacks so find something you like NOT crisps and chocolate if you can help it."And your skin/beauty favourites?1. "Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream – that was a life saver of mine when I rowed across the English channel for Sport Relief. It's fantastic as a base for your lips.2. "Good old Vaseline. I have quite dry skin so tend to go for things with maximum hydration. 3. "Crème De La Mer Hand Cream. 4. "Bobbi Brown as they do really good dark skin colours."


Do you miss competing now that the Olympics has come to London?"I miss competing anyway, regardless of these Olympics, and it would have been nice to complete on home soil. "I didn't always love training as an athlete but I loved competing – the adrenaline rush and trying to stay focused is what really thrilled me the most. "Working for that end goal really motivated me and you have to be ready no matter what has happened throughout the rest of the year. "The mental toughness you have to have to deliver a good performance is still in my blood." Do you have any top tips on how to keep your kids active?"Make it fun. I know parents don't often have much time and it can be pretty cold outside, but you have to find a day or weekend when you make sure you go out and just have fun, no matter what."


What do you love most about being a mum?"My favourite, favourite time has to be when we have snuggle days and watch a movie on the sofa with a blanket." Have your cleaning habits changed since you had children? "Since I've had kids I have become a lot more like my mum and I can hear myself saying things to the kids that she used to say to me about cleaning up after yourself. "Her standards at home were always so high and now I find myself obsessed with the cleanliness of my home. "I look for products that don't leave behind chemical nasties like Dettol Power and Pure."

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