WHILE most women put on weight during pregnancy, Charlotte Dawson says she is the fittest she has ever been – despite being 16 weeks pregnant.
The reality star, daughter of the late comedy legend Les Dawson, credits the healthy-eating plan @dotheunthinkable for helping her lose 10lb.
Since finding fame on dating show Ex On The Beach in 2016, straight-talking Charlotte, 27, has amassed more than 800,000 followers on Instagram and 380,000 on video-sharing site TikTok.
Unhappy with how she looked, Charlotte would use editing apps to slim and filter her pictures on social media — until online trolls called her out on it.
So almost two years ago, she ditched the apps in favour of showing off her real self.
The move has boosted her following and, more importantly, her confidence.
There is certainly no camera trickery behind her recent posts, which show a trim body and pregnancy glow.
Charlotte, who has been with boyfriend Matt Sarsfield, 29, a plasterer, for four years, says: “I just got weighed and I’m only 10st 8lb. When I first went on the diet I was 11st 5lb.
“All I used to eat was Chinese, Domino’s pizzas and other takeaways. But I cleaned up my diet and cut back on drinking and I feel like that helped us to get pregnant.
“I started this meal plan before I was pregnant to get healthy and lose weight. I’m still really slim. I look the best I’ve ever looked. I’ve had all my hair extensions out and I’m trying to look like a trendy mum. A MILF!”
Charlotte, who lives in Manchester, has not always been confident about her weight. She says: “When I first got into TV on Ex On The Beach, I was so, so body-conscious.
“I just wanted to look like all the other girls on there, to be really skinny. I got the job and thought, ‘I need to get in the gym’.
“I lost an awful lot of weight. I was a size eight, which isn’t that skinny for some people but is for me. But I got there, just ended up being me and everybody ended up loving me for it.
“But I was still at that point where I was posting pics of myself (on social media) that were so Facetuned, I got a lot of abuse from people, telling me I looked nothing like my pictures on my Instagram and Facebook.
“It’s just so dangerous for your own wellbeing to give such a false image of what you look like.”
Around 20 months ago, Charlotte stopped editing her photos — marking the beginning of a more candid approach to social media.
She says: “It was a bit nerve-racking at first but I never, ever touch my body (in pics) any more, as you can all tell.
“I learned to love my bunions, my belly, my ‘cup holders’, my double chins ‘Bob and Belinda’ . . . sometimes they have twins!”
Despite following @dotheunthinkable’s diet plan, which includes a protein-rich meal box every week and fitness support, Charlotte is ready to embrace her growing bump, plus all the cravings pregnancy can bring.
She says: “I ordered Domino’s to celebrate when I found out I was pregnant. I’m obsessed with Golden Nuggets and cereal at the moment. And obviously chips and gravy! Anything to do with gravy, really.
“I’m going to embrace my bump. Call it ‘bumpalicious’. Seeing my body change completely is going to be amazing.
“I’m going to try to be as healthy as I can but it’s hard. I’m still going to use my plan as I go.”
Charlotte and Matt had been thinking about trying for a baby for a while, despite some relationship issues.
Charlotte says: “We actually wanted a baby last year to try to save the relationship, which is ridiculous. But we needed all of it to happen to make us stronger. I’ve always wanted babies. I knew I’d have a baby before I got married. That was always on the cards.
“Matthew is always so lovely with his nieces and it melts my heart when I see him with them.
“We went on Celebs Go Dating earlier this year and we sorted all of our issues out, so now we’ve got pregnant at the right time.
“I’ve not been on (contraception) for a while, so if it happened, it happened. That’s what we always said. It was a proper surprise.”
Charlotte found out she was pregnant in April and worked out that she would be due a week before what would have been her father’s 90th birthday, in January 2021.
Charlotte is the youngest of Les’s four children. He died of a heart attack aged 62 in 1993 when she was just eight months old.
The comic was so revered that a memorial statue was put up in Lytham St Annes, Lancs, where he lived.
Charlotte says: “I was actually with Matthew when I found out I was pregnant because it was in lockdown. Matthew is so good with knowing when my period is, which is handy.
“He was the one who said, ‘You were weeing all night last night’. He said to do a test. So we got a cheap test and it had a faint line.
“I thought it might be a dodgy test, so we went to get another one and it said one to two weeks. That’s how early it was when I found out.
“We worked out the baby is due a week off my dad’s birthday. It was absolutely bizarre. He would have been 90. But it breaks my heart that my dad’s not going to meet the baby. But my dad is so around and he’s so here.
“Me and Matthew will take the baby to the statue and it will know all about Grandad. We can watch him together on YouTube and they can get to know him through that.”
Charlotte has clearly inherited the funny gene from her dad. During lockdown she has gained 200,000 new followers on TikTok thanks partly to her uncanny impressions.
And she says her dream would be to present a remake of Blankety Blank, which Les hosted for many years.
She says: “It’s just crazy how it has all blown up. I’m always like this but I’ve had time to do all my videos now we don’t have anything else to do.
“When I first got into TikTok, I didn’t understand it. I can’t stop now. I am really, really good at lip-syncing. I didn’t realise how good I was!
“I’m a bit thick but I’ve got a bit of a good brain for learning scripts. I’ll just look once and I’ll know it.
“I’m really good friends with Alan Carr and we have spoken about doing stuff, and I’d love to do stuff with amazing comedians like David Walliams and Johnny Vegas.
“My dream would be for Blankety Blank to come back on the telly, with me doing it.”
Having a ball
Charlotte wants to continue making her followers laugh during her pregnancy, despite being petrified of labour.
She says: “I’m still trying to be ‘me’ and put funny stuff out there but I’m just absolutely up the wall.
“I’ve done a few TikToks and people have commented, ‘You shouldn’t be shaking your belly like that, there’s a baby in there’. But I think it’ll be having a ball in there. People go running and stuff (while pregnant) so whatever.
“I’m absolutely petrified and scared of giving birth, though. It terrifies the life out of me.
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“I’m having loads of thoughts and I’ve mentioned C-section to mine and Matthew’s family and both of them said, ‘No, you’ve got to try to do it naturally’.
“If I’m honest, I think I’d regret it if I didn’t try naturally.
“I still don’t know myself, as I’m genuinely so nervous. I’m not too posh to push but I’ve been having dreams about it. It really unnerves me but I’ll be fine.”
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