The singer reveals to Wendy Squires how she got her fabulous new body, and transformed her career and love life in the process.
It’s a perfect day off Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef – and Ricki-Lee Coulter is in a teeny bikini, posing on a pristine white-sand beach, some 30kg slimmer than she was two years ago. To say she looks sensational is an understatement, but there is more to Ricki-Lee’s happy demeanour and glowing confidence than a smoking-hot body.Ask the 26-year-old singer her secret and she doesn’t hold back.
“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been – the fittest, healthiest and the most in love,” she gushes, looking adoringly at her partner, personal trainer Richard Harrison, 30. “And I’ve just signed an international record deal with EMI. It’s like every risk, every hard decision, every heartbreak I’ve experienced in my life has paid off. I’m living my dreams!” When Ricki-Lee met Richard in September 2009, she was far from being the svelte, energetic and confident woman playing up to the camera today. She admits she was in a very bad place, personally and professionally.
In the wake of her marriage breakdown, her weight had ballooned to 96kg. Her passion for making music had died, as had her lifelong dream of a career as a singer-songwriter. “I have always been a confident person, and I still was even when I was bigger, but when I look back at that time now, I see I was a complete mess,” Ricki-Lee says.
“I was getting over the break-up of my marriage, I became cynical about love, and started comforting myself with food. I was overweight, unhealthy and moody,” she continues. “My skin was terrible, my hair and nails were brittle. “I couldn’t do my job of singing and dancing on stage, because I would simply run out of breath. I felt I was being treated like a puppet, a robot being controlled, a child, even – by the people who were supposed to be my team.” A 1am meeting, which had followed constant pestering by matchmaking friends, saw Richard walk into Ricki-Lee’s life and turn it around.
See more, including our exclusive beach shoot with Ricki-Lee plus find out her meal plan, in this week's Woman's Day on sale December 5, 2011.