Health scan: Sonia O’Sullivan

Sonia O’Sullivan: a banana fan. Photograph: Patrick Bolger Photography

Sonia O’Sullivan: a banana fan. Photograph: Patrick Bolger Photography


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
Yes, I am not as strict on diet as I was when competing but I still like to eat what I believe is healthy food and I never feel I am missing out by the food choices I make. I believe that a little of everything is good so I don’t deny myself any foods.

How often do you exercise?
I exercise daily but I do only about 50 per cent now compared with when I trained as a full-time athlete. I really enjoy the social aspect of running with friends. I also run with our dog Snowy, a border collie, who gets me out the door if I am stalling and the weather is not very inviting.

Do you get your five fruit and vegetables a day?

I eat lots of fruit in the morning. I often crave fruit after exercise so will always bring some with me if I am not finishing my run at home. I drink lots of water and am never without tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado which I eat most days.

My children think I make no sense when I talk about bananas. I tell them bananas are good for energy but also if I wake in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, bananas help me go to sleep. A contradiction but it works for me.

Do you worry?
I don’t worry too much. Sometimes I wake in the night and think about something and can’t get back to sleep until I get up and sort it out.

What do you do to relax?
I like to read a good book, follow a recipe and create a nice meal or dessert, walk the dog in the evenings and sometimes go to the movies.

What’s your worst habit?
I am a bit addictive and compulsive. I don’t like surprises or deviations in my plan. I like to be in control and do things my way. I find it hard to let others make decisions.

Sonia is ambassador for the Flora pro.activ ‘It Takes A Town’ initiative in Cobh, Co Cork.

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