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fighting fit Fitness star Maeve Madden say she was 'severely underweight and in an awful relationship' but is now getting hitched

From fruity ovaries to forthright Irish mammies, nothing is off the table with Queens Don't Quit personal trainer Maeve Madden. We chat to the candid fitness influencer and model

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Maeve Madden (right) when she was underweight in unhappier times

Maeve Madden (right) when she was underweight in unhappier times

Maeve Madden (right) when she was underweight in unhappier times

I challenge you not to fall in love with Maeve Madden - who, as it happens, is easily the most candid interviewee I have ever encountered.

Likened to somewhat of a female Joe Wicks, thanks in part to her invigorating workout regimes and outrageously frenetic energy, the businesswoman and personal trainer has just recently launched her Queens Don't Quit workout programme and become a welcome influencer in our lockdown living. But before we get to her stellar fitness venture, there's more pressing matters at hand, like the weighted rock that's residing on her wedding finger.

Speaking of her shock new year engagement, the best-selling author wants to clarify something.

"People were like 'sorry, what, someone has proposed to you out of the blue?'

"No, my mum has not paid someone to marry me, although I think she possibly would have. We've been together for three years. He's real," laughs the Newry native.

"I share a lot about myself and my ovaries - as my mum says 'talking about your lady bits again' - but some things I like to keep private.

"We're getting married in June 2022 in Ireland.

"Even my fiancé who is from London was like..." she stops in her tracks and adds, "that's the first time I've said that - he said 'let's get married in Ireland'."

"He has one uncle, I have 40, of course I am getting married at home," Maeve jokes.

"It was never even a discussion."

If you expect the influencer and model to wax lyrical about the minutiae of her dream day, guess again, the lifestyle and fitness guru doesn't buy into the idea that marriage and babies are the pinnacle of success.

"Even when I got engaged my mum was like, 'oh thank God, I never thought it was going to happen'. I think a lot of Irish mammies and daddies unknowingly put you under a lot of pressure and it is hard.

"I think they get stressed. My mam is one foot in the grave and she's 64 and she will probably live until 100. Parents think they will leave and not know if you're happy because getting married and having babies is success to them.

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Maeve has moved her business online with lockdown restrictions

Maeve has moved her business online with lockdown restrictions

Maeve has moved her business online with lockdown restrictions

"It doesn't help when my mum is saying, 'when I was your age I had 40 children and a job and a house'. I am like, good for you, that was 30 years ago.

"You don't buy houses for £5,000 now," Maeve adds good-humouredly.

Her engagement bliss seems all the more surreal because the 35-year-old once swore off love completely.

"I was mentally low especially a few years ago. I was severely underweight and I was in an awful relationship for four years. We were getting married and then it all fell apart and people said 'what will you do?'

"But it was only breaking through when that relationship ended that I changed my mentality for the better.

"I didn't even go on a date for two years, not even a text. I just said 'I am over men, I can't be bothered'.

"A lot of people say to me 'I am single in lockdown'.

"Listen, I survived two years of being single - this is such an amazing time to focus on you and what you want to do in the future. This is such a great time to learn about yourself. This will end, it's not like the future won't come. I changed my whole life around for the better.

"Here I am now at 35 and I have started this new career and some people at 35 are like 'I may as well sit on the sofa, I'm practically dead', but it doesn't matter what age you are. I was a personal trainer and now I have this whole new business out of lockdown."

So it's little surprise that the wellness guru isn't bowing down to societal pressure to immediately start a family.

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Maeve's proposal delight

Maeve's proposal delight

Maeve's proposal delight

Having documented her journey with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which can cause fertility issues and affects one in 10 women, Maeve reveals: "I have had two surgeries for PCOS and surgery for a fibroid, which is why I have a really great gynaecologist.

"I would rather pay for my health insurance than buy bags or clothes or any other s**t.

"Apparently after everything, my eggs are fruity.

"It's really weird when you are sitting there with your legs open and you have a man saying, 'Maeve, darling, your eggs are so fruity'.

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Maeve shows off her new sparkler

Maeve shows off her new sparkler

Maeve shows off her new sparkler

"There you go mum - fruity ovaries. I speak to my mum all the time, that's why I reference her so much," she laughs. "She's the best, she's just very honest."

Leveraging her Instagram fame to kickstart her subscription-based workout platform was a no-brainer, but there are some elements of social media the personal trainer can't abide by.

"Unboxing gifts. I hate all that s**t. I love things and I have a wardrobe full of things but no, it's so showy-offy. I was watching a girl two days ago unboxing a fancy bag for her birthday.

"That's great but hundreds of thousands of people are losing their job and have no money. We don't need to see it, put it away for a year."

And then there's the Z-list celebs who are cashing in on skinny teas and laxatives, which proves to be an especially contentious subject for the influencer.

"We know if you've taken anything like that, you've just done a massive poo, they're just laxatives. These brands are still going which means they're still making money. We need bigger voices to shut these things down.

"How they are legal I have no idea, how someone would sell out and do it - are you that desperate? If you focused on being healthy people would respect you more and I know you are only getting about a grand for doing it in the first place.

"Choose being healthy and choose self-love - that's what my Queens Don't Quit community is all about.

"Rather than looking in the mirror and saying 'I wish I was skinnier,' give yourself the tool kit your body deserves to flourish and practise kindness to yourself.

"I'm really proud of the platform I've built - it really is a safe space for women to come and workout and support each other. It's definitely a dream come to life for me."

⬤ For more on Queens Don't Quit go to maevemadden.com

Maeve offers affordable monthly, quarterly and yearly plans ranging from €20.22 to €168.61 .

Via the website, members can gain exclusive access to a range of daily classes from cardio and weight training to yoga and pilates, hosted by Maeve and a team of inspirational fitness leaders.

See maevemadden.com

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