Celebrity chef Miguel Maestre is the first to admit he’s not the healthiest guy on the planet.
The Spanish-born 39-year-old literally eats and cooks for a living, so he’s always tasting foods that are incredibly delicious, but probably not too great for the waistline.
But then, he signed up for Dancing With The Stars.
The show’s gruelling training schedule is famous for quickly honing the physiques of its celebrity contestants, who rehearse for about four hours a day, five days a week.
When Miguel started dance rehearsals with his professional dance partner Megan in January, he was carrying a few extra kilos and found it difficult to move his body around quickly – and you need to move swiftly to nail all those tricky dance moves!
Now, he’s lost a tonne of weight and is feeling better than ever.
Sadly, Miguel’s tango wasn’t up to scratch and he was the first contestant eliminated from the show on Monday night. The outcome is decided through a mix of the judges’ scores and a public vote.
But when Now To Love spoke to Miguel post-elimination, he was anything but down on himself.
In fact, he was over-the-moon with his efforts and thrilled to have been involved in such a wonderful experience.
Plus, he’s lost loads of weight thanks to all that training!
“I just look like a different person,” Miguel said.
Keep scrolling to read exactly how many kilos he managed to shift in just a few weeks.
Miguel, were you shocked to be the first contestant eliminated?
“I am being really honest … I wasn’t expecting to go first. When we did our routine – the tango – I thought we nailed it.
“Normally, I would just tough it out, but this was the first time where the lift worked and everything came together.
“But somebody had to go first, and it’s just a game.”
Why did you want to go on Dancing With The Stars?
“I did this to raise awareness for RUOK? Day, a charity to support mental health, because mental health is a big issue among chefs.
“We’re fighting the image that chefs are tough people, that they don’t crumble and they’re invincible.
“We have had some of the biggest names, Anthony Bourdain, Darren Simpson and Justin Bull [take their own lives] just a few months ago, chefs who do exactly what I do.
“It’s very easy to get caught up and not share what you’re going through with anyone. If you’re in a stressful environment, the pressure of being good at what you do.
“It’s OK to not always be 100 per cent. The number of suicides in Australia every weekend … it’s too many. So one question at the right time can save a life.”
Have you made some unexpected friendships with the other celebrities? You guys all seem to get along so well!
“I have! I never thought I would be friends with Curtly Ambrose. You should see him. He was so nice, he came and hugged me, also Michelle Bridges and Olympia [Vallance] and Courtney [Act] … Someone who in the morning will be a beautiful boy and in the afternoon was a pretty girl.
“But not just with the celebrities, the dancers too. They are beautiful people. It’s almost like a little circus.
“[Miguel’s professional dance partner] Meghan is a part of my family now. She has been so supportive and she is part of us.”
Watch below: Miguel is eliminated on Dancing With The Stars**
You mentioned your weight loss during the premiere episode and you look fantastic! How much weight did you lose in the end?
“I was 117kg and now I’m 106kg, so 11kg. It’s unbelievable. I just look like a different person!
“The physicality was my biggest challenge. I was really unfit and to do this, full credit to my partner Meghan. She was very focused on fitness, making sure my legs and arms were strong.
“It was an amazing thing to do, training for eight weeks just for one minute of dancing on the night. What a commitment and what an insight into the life of a dancer.”
Has this experience inspired you to focus more on your health and fitness?
“I will definitely keep dancing. I would love to do a bit of boxing and swimming. My feet will be so much better now, I’ll be much faster in the ring.”
Now, there’s been a bit of talk both on the show and on social media that some of the celebrity contestants are hooking up with their dance partners. Jett Kenny and Lily in particular! Can you give us any inside gossip?
[For the record, Miguel is happily married to his wonderful wife Sasha and there are no rumours about him and Meghan].
“I’ve been thinking about this and honestly, we’re so exhausted from training that all the celebrities and their partners. Everyone is so focused on their performances and everything is so fast paced.
“I can’t tell you anything … I would not have a clue if anyone is hooking up with anyone else.
“I don’t know how people have the time to hook up! I don’t even have time to have a coffee!”
To read more about Miguel’s chosen charity, RUOK? visit ruok.org.au
Dancing With The Stars airs on Monday nights at 7.30pm on Channel 10