I can’t be the only one yearning for a palm-fringed island holiday in the Maldives after scrolling through Rochelle’s Instagram grid last month. In fact, I’d put good money on it. But, alas, after an “Easter to remember”, it seems like business as usual for the This Morning presenter as she speaks to me on her way to do voice overs for her new interior design series for W Channel. Before jetting off to paradise though, Rochelle was determined to stick to the resolution she made at the beginning of the year (flagged with a simple Instagram post that read ‘unplugged’ in italic script), which was to be more present with her children and spend less time online. How’s she getting on with it? Pretty well it seems. Here, the steadfast businesswoman talks cultivating boundaries, time on her own and making the most out of life.
Route to health
As a self-proclaimed control freak, you may not think that a fluid daily schedule, such as Rochelle’s, fits with her orderly persona, which is why she credits a few staples – waking up an hour before her kids, a workout if it suits her and a bath in the evening (“that’s my thing”) – to keep her wellbeing in check. “When I first started [setting the alarm] for 5.30am I thought, oh my god, I don’t really want to get up that early, I’ll just wait for my kids to wake me up to maximise my sleep, but it means that I get more time for myself at the front of the day.” Being home in time for the school run and kids’ dinner and bath times are also non-negotiables for Rochelle, not to mention one of the main incentives for getting her cardio fix on the Peloton. “I just want to be fit because I have to run around after three kids; especially my son [Blake], he’s 19 months and has so much energy.”
And, as far as fitness goals are concerned, Rochelle has a fairly laidback approach and is quite content on doing the workouts that she enjoys. “I think I’ve got it wrong in the past,” she admits. “I used to think, I need to do this type of workout with this trainer, but actually, fitness doesn’t have to be so military. Once you find the thing for you, you can enjoy it and for me, sometimes that’s just a nice walk and some Pilates. Fitness is super personal and I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing either.”
Despite being thrust into the public eye at a young age (Rochelle began her singing career in S Club Juniors in the early noughties and started dabbling in presenting on children’s TV thereafter), she’s never felt the pressure to conform to female stereotypes. “I’ve always had a really healthy relationship with my body,” she says proudly. “My weight has definitely fluctuated, it’s made a baby three times, so it’s bound to have. I try to go easy on myself. I’ve got a crazy work schedule and a family who I need to be hands on with, so if I don’t work out one day, I don’t feel the need to put pressure on myself in those other areas of life.”
Nutrition harmony is also key to Rochelle’s family’s health. As a mum of three with JLS star Marvin Humes (with whom she co-hosts The Hit List), she confesses an “old school” approach when it comes to feeding her family. “Cooking is so relaxing – apart from the chopping, I hate that part – and there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing your family has had a good meal. I try to make sure everyone has the right amount of everything, but again, it comes back to balance. This weekend there have been lots of kids’ parties, and that means E numbers and cakes, so when I’m cooking tonight, I’ll be conscious of what everybody’s had.”
It’s not surprising then that Rochelle’s wind down secrets also extend to her nightly skincare regime. That glow you see on the TV screen? It’s a combination of high-end brands – such as The Rich Cream from Augustinus Bader (£215, augustinusbader. com) and Sisley Paris’ Confort Extreme Nutritive Lip Balm (£56, sisley-paris.com); (“it’s annoyingly expensive, but it does last forever”) – and high-street heroes like Weleda Skin Food (from £8.25, weleda.co.uk). “I’m a real product junkie and I think it’s really worth investing in skincare – it’s such a little commitment for big gain. Marvin’s away for work Monday to Thursday and the kids go to bed at around 7.30, so I love having that time to myself for a little pamper evening or catch up with a girlfriend. I’m conscious about drinking more water for good skin, but I’m not as great at that as I’d like to be,” she adds.
Yet, Rochelle doesn’t always have the luxury of time as a busy mum and founder My Little Coco, a veganfriendly, multi-purpose skincare brand that’s exclusively available in Boots. “I’d love to tell you that every evening is chilled, but a lot of the time, I’m catching up with emails I couldn’t do because I had a house full of kids – I’m always needed. I’ve started charging my phone at night in the hallway now instead of my bedroom. That’s been a gamechanger so I can fully switch off in my sleep.” When I ask about honing those boundaries at work and in her personal life, she tells me that it’s been a huge learning curve. Referring back to those series of snaps she shared of her family getaway, she explains that she doesn’t use Instagram when she’s away and instead uses the opportunity to reflect and post in her own time.
She also recognises that boundaries are a two-way street. “I was away with my family and children in September last year, so my boundaries meant that I wouldn’t be on Instagram, and if I’m working for [a brand] and they expect a post when I’m on holiday, it has to wait until I get back, that’s just how it is. Two years ago, if someone said to me, ‘we really need an answer for this’, I would have been like, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve got to do this’, but now, I’m at the point where it’s not a bad thing to say this has to wait or not replying until you’re back. It’s taken me a while to get there, but I really believe that boundaries are so important.”
Exploring new territory
To add to her ever-growing resume, Rochelle’s also released her own edit with outdoor clothing and footwear brand, Regatta, shooting for the brand in the south-west county Cornwall. “We didn’t have the weather on our side, it was like your typical UK staycation. We were promised sun, but it didn’t quite deliver, so we had to wait hours for the rain to pass. It was a real test of the outdoor wear!” So, how would she like someone to feel while wearing one of the pieces from her edit? “Confidence was my main priority when I was choosing my favourites. I love my edit because it’s a mix of carefully-considered outdoor wear that actually works.”
The word ‘confidence’ prompts me to ask about the advice she’d give to her younger self, and while she responds with something we hear a lot at H&W (“worry less about people think”), I was pleasantly surprised that she takes everything she’s learned from being in the public eye in her stride. “I wish I knew there was an older me who wasn’t bothered about the trivial stuff, but then I think it’s all part of the journey. The more experiences you have, the more you realise some things are there to test you; it’s character building at the end of the day. One thing we’re all sure of is that we don’t know when our last day will be, so my mindset now is, you’ve got one life, grab it by the balls and enjoy it.” Consider yourself told.