close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
P
Pa
February 26, 2021

‘I want to guide people on the same journey I have been on but without all the mistakes’

Sports

P
Pa
February 26, 2021

Lucy Spraggan has had quite the 18 months. In that time, the singer-songwriter has split from her wife of three years, successfully gone teetotal and transformed her body with an astonishing three-and-a-half stone weight loss.

And not to forget, she has also written and recorded an album, which she hopes will answer all the questions you and I may have about her personal life. “It literally is a diary of the last year-and-a-half,” she explains over the phone. “I am really interested in when people dramatically change their lives. When they take a complete U-turn it is very intriguing. I get asked a lot of questions and literally every single one has an answer on the record.”

Since her brief stint on The X Factor in 2012, shortened due to illness, Spraggan has defied the usual sell-by date assigned to TV talent contestants to become an artist with legs. The 29-year-old, originally from Buxton in Derbyshire, has scored four top 20 albums in the last decade.

Now she is releasing her sixth, Choices, her most overtly autobiographical yet. Across Americana-referencing tracks like Sober, Run and Heartbreak Suites, she tackles a transformative period in her life. “With how stressful this lockdown is, people are looking for all different kinds of ways escape,” she reflects. My way of escaping for my whole life until 18 months ago was drinking.

“It is funny to catch yourself thinking, ‘God I wish I was on a beach with a cocktail’ and then I think to myself, ‘No I don’t. I just wish I was on a beach’. People who abstain from all kinds of stuff, anyone who has stopped doing something because it is detrimental to them, most of the time it is a coping mechanism. This is the biggest thing that any of us have ever had to cope with. My heart is with everyone doing it.”

It was in November 2019 that Spraggan, who came out as lesbian aged 14, announced she had split with Georgina Gordon, her wife of three years. The pair met shortly after her X Factor stint and in recent years had fostered children together.

They had even been undergoing fertility treatment to have kids of their own. Spraggan has therefore spent much of lockdown alone, aside from her Boston terrier Steve, a regular fixture on her social media channels and a fan favourite.

This time has seen her reassess her relationship with her body through a combination of weightlifting, running and protein rich diet. “I have the tools now to change it to look however I want it to look,” she explains of her conversion to fitness fanatic.

Spraggan took this passion further than even she expected and recently qualified as a personal trainer, launching her own fitness brand, Fully Rewired.

She hopes to open a community not-for-profit gym that people will attend for both their physical and mental heath — once coronavirus restrictions allow, of course. “All I really want to do is guide people on the same journey I have been on, that I am still on, but without all the mistakes,” she laughs.

“At the beginning I was eating 500 calories a day, which is not enough for an adult human being. What I wanted was to be able to put my message out there but with a qualified personal trainer and a nutritionist who knew what they are talking about, to assist people to do the same.”

This urge partly came from her own experience of fitness and the pressures of being in the public eye. “Gyms are really daunting,” she admits. “They used to scare the s*** out of me because I didn’t know what I was doing. You can walk in a gym and just feel really overwhelmed and like you are not supposed to be there. I went through all of that and now I adore most gyms.”

Her transformation has improved her body confidence, but it has also thrown up unexpected challenges. In December she underwent surgery on her breasts — a mastopexy, which raises them, and augmentation, which enlarges them, to be exact — after losing weight left her unhappy with their sagging appearance.

Spraggan has candidly documented the experience on social media. “The thing about losing loads of weight is that loads of people in the public eye lose loads of weight and they just look ace in a bikini,” she half-jokes. “I did it and I realised that something that happens a lot is that your boobs become empty bags of skin because you have lost the body fat. I wanted to be totally transparent that that is what happens — you get loose skin.

“I have got loose skin on my belly, I have got loose skin on my arms. The one thing you can’t actually change without surgery is loose skin.”

As a musician who earns much of her income through gigging, the pandemic has hit Spraggan hard. “There is absolutely zero support still for the arts from the government… There is just nothing,” she laments. “I have not been furloughed, not had any grants, it has very much been we are just on our own here. It’s funny because it is a multibillion-pound industry. It is not just a show that we play… We have stage hands, tour buses, we employ and provide so much for the economy and we have been chucked to the back.” Choices by Lucy Spraggan is out today.