Ola Jordan defends husband James’ ‘skinny’ comments as they lose over 5st

You can always rely on James and Ola Jordan to be outspoken and honest. Last summer, after a snap of the former Strictly Come Dancing dancers showing off their “mum and dad bods” went viral, they revealed they’d “let themselves go” since leaving the BBC show.

Posing in her swimwear, Ola – who at 5ft 3in weighed almost 12 stone – admitted she was feeling upset that she’d let her health slip.

“I wasn’t going to post this picture but I’ve decided to because I’m horrified and so disappointed with myself; by posting it, I’m hoping it will help motivate me to do something about it,” she wrote. “Our friend took this snap of us yesterday trying to stay cool by the pool but OMG… it was a total shock to say the least! When did we get ‘mum and dad bods’?”

The star went on to say that motherhood and being less active had taken its toll, adding: “That’s what happens when you stop dancing for hours every day and have a baby (I just want to know James’s excuse)”.

James then confessed he prefers his wife “smaller”, a remark which – unsurprisingly – caused a backlash online. But
it was the wake-up call they both needed – especially in light of their plans to try for another baby.

Combining their love of health and fitness, the couple – who welcomed baby Ella, two, via IVF in 2020 – have since lost over five-and-a-half stone between them. And they say they’re well on their way to feeling happier and healthier than ever.

Here, James, 44, and Ola, 40, open up about their weight transformation and new workout plan, Dance Shred, the challenges of parenthood and the secret to their happy 19-year marriage…

Hi guys! You’re both looking great – do you feel better after overhauling your fitness?

James: I have much more energy now I’m exercising and in control of what I’m eating. I used to have to sit down because I couldn’t lift my leg up to do my shoelaces, which is horrendous, because I’m a dancer! I also used to have brain fog and I don’t know if it was from the amount of sugar I was eating. Everything felt cloudy and I’d have dizzy spells.

Have you made other lifestyle changes, too?

Ola: We spoke to a dietitian and realised our portion sizes were way too big. I used to pile up James’s food and he’d still say he was starving!

James: I was just greedy. I’d go to bed and my stomach would hurt because I was so full. I was comfort eating. I’ll still eat chocolate and Ola will still have a glass of prosecco, but we don’t indulge like we used to.

James, why do you think your comments about Ola’s weight sparked a huge response?

James: People chose to be offended by it on Ola’s behalf, which I find bizarre. Do I prefer my wife being healthier? Yes, I do. Does anyone want their wife to be miserable? No. Ola is so much happier now she feels herself again.

Ola: The comments were taken in the wrong way. After I posted the picture, a lot of people said there was nothing wrong with how I looked and that I seemed happy. I wasn’t. I was fed up with putting the same old stretchy dress on when we were on holiday and James could tell I wasn’t happy.

James: Happy wife, happy life, right? It’s about being healthier and happier. Part of the driving force behind us doing this was because we went to the IVF clinic and they said it’d be a lot easier to conceive if we’re healthier. We were told we were nearing the obese side and it was the wake-up call we needed.

Is another baby on the cards?

Ola: I’d love to have another baby and Ella would love to have a sibling. Hopefully it will happen. But I didn’t want to get pregnant feeling the way I did.

Ella has had a few health scares over the past year. How is she doing?

James: So much better, but her hearing still isn’t great. She had such a bad ear infection. We have to shout at her at the moment. She’s been quite a sickly baby, but I hope it’ll build up her immunity and make her stronger as she gets older.

Ola: She’s so cute. She’s a performer. She comes home from nursery singing songs.

Would you support her if she wanted to go down the fame route?

Ola: I’d support her in whatever she wanted to do, just like my mum and dad supported me.

James: She’s going to be a professional golfer and I’m going to travel around the world with her as her caddy and manager. I’d only take 10% of her fees! [Laughs] She’s actually really into football, which annoys me as I’m not into it at all.

Ola, you turned 40 over the summer. How do you feel?

Ola: I really wasn’t looking forward to it as I wasn’t in a good place. But when I started to lose weight, I felt so much better. We invited some friends round, which was lovely, and I managed to squeeze into one of my old dresses. Bring it on. I am 40 and happy!

You’ve been married for 19 years now. What’s your secret?!

James: Honesty and humour. Sometimes you might not hear what you want to hear, but it’s better to be honest. We don’t take each other too seriously either. We have a laugh and wind each other up all the time!

Do you miss being on Strictly Come Dancing?

James: We loved being on it, but we’ve been there and done it. It’s so full on and I take my hat off to all of them.

Ola: We still watch it when it’s on, but I just couldn’t do it now – I wouldn’t want to be away from my baby!

How did your workout programme, Dance Shred, come about?

James: It happened by accident! We used to love going to the gym together, but since having Ella, it hasn’t happened. So we thought we’d go back to our dance roots. We started to add more functional exercises to the routines like lunges, squats and burpees and then realised we were losing weight from it. We were just doing it for us at the start, but then we realised there was something in it. A lot of people want to learn how to dance but won’t go to a dance class, and a lot of people want to go to the gym, but find it intimidating. This combines dance with functional exercise and you can do it at home in 15 minutes. We’re really excited by it.

James & Ola’s Dance Shred workout plan is available for a one off price of £49.99 at danceshred.com


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