Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Casey Donovan on the worst things she’s ever eaten and why she’s loving mealtimes now

Much-loved Aussie performer Casey Donovan loves a challenge. Not only is she currently rehearsing for a top new musical, she has a new single out, Shake It, plus a host of other singing gigs. Talk about busy!

However, embarking on a full lifestyle challenge to overhaul her health and nutrition has been one of the most rewarding undertakings of her life. Here Casey shares what she’s learnt and what she’s most definitely not keen to eat every again!

You won I’m a Celebrity back in 2017 and we saw you drop a lot of kilos in the jungle – was that partly because you had to eat a lot of really revolting things?

Haha, yes some of the things were awful, but I did try to eat them because I know that in some cultures these things a bloody delicacy! Some things included a dung beetle in the larvae stage, intestines, brains and hearts. Once they dumped a whole lot of offal on me and it really smelled and literally stained my skin. Luckily, I never had to eat any animal’s balls which was nice!

You’ve had lots of ups and downs with your weight over the years but am now in the best shape of your life having lost 15kg in just 12 weeks on the program. What’s changed?

I changed from thinking I needed to be on a ‘weight loss journey’ to a ‘lifestyle journey’ instead. I’d done weight loss programs over the years, but they were always unstainable. When Jenny Craig approached me last year to join their program I had a very matter of fact conversation with them. I said this is my life and I want it to work, I want to feel hapy and healthy and not feel like it’s a diet. It’s actually worked so well with my lifestyle which is crazy busy as the meals are all taken care of and are really tasty. I still supplement with groceries form the supermarket, but now I’m in the mindset of just getting what I need.

You’ve also become quite close to your coach Angela, haven’t you?

Yes, I talk with Angela quite often she’ll ask if there’s any obstacles, for the week that will be or were quite challenging. No one has ever asked me that before. Previously I went out to dinners just hoping for the best. But now I have strategies in place and feel no guilt. It’s much nicer planning a meal to a nice restaurant – I love fine dining and a charcuterie board – instead of going through a drive through to grab a dirty burger!

We can’t wait to see you in new upcoming musical & Juliet at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre debuting on Feb 23 alongside your good friend Rob Mills – what’s that’s been like?

It’s been so fun! My character Angelique is such a mothering character, ballsy, protective and vulnerable. Rob is just such a joyous human – he’s a caring, loveable larrikin who I can always confide it. He used to call me “Pacey Donovan” as backstage I’d just pace around as I’m a very anxious person. He’s a lot of fun.

At one point you said you had ‘imposter syndrome’ when it comes to your success as a singer – why was that?

I think it’s just part of what comes with being an entertainer, sometimes you feel you aren’t good enough and that little voice inside your head tries to tear you down. For many years felt I didn’t deserve certain things. I do a mindfulness podcast called The Space with short meditations, motivations and tips to improve your day, which has really helped to open up that can of worms for me and question what’s going on. On days when ‘that voice’ creeps in, I’ve now got the tools to rationalise it.

Do you ever feel a lot of pressure?

I love my job and what I do but yes sometimes it’s stressful. Performers sing, entertain and deliver fun – we basically make up for everyone who may be having a shitty time. However with that comes a lot of responsibility.

So, you’ve now moved to Melbourne, partly to be closer to your partner academic Renee Sharples. How has that been going?

It’s been wonderful, we met on a dating app during the pandemic and went on a COVID safe walk. She didn’t know too much about me which was nice and has added to the organic nature of the relationship. We like to do healthy dates now as well – we’ll go on walks – it’s just been so lovely. I’m just loving life at the moment.