Body

Matilda Rice opens up about stress, self-confidence and why she's taking a gentler approach to fitness

“I want to treat my body with more kindness this year.”

By Sara Bunny

With a successful healthy food business to run, a wedding to plan, and a new role as a host on TVNZ's Heartbreak Island, it's hard to keep up with Matilda Rice.

Not only are her days filled with everything from publicity meetings to photo shoots as her career gathers steam, she's also evolving on a personal journey; facing up to life in the spotlight, and rethinking her ideas on health and fitness.

And while she readily admits that the social media storm following the first episodes of her new show was difficult to deal with, she's learning about herself in the process, and the challenges are unlikely to slow her down.

"Post-The Bachelor, I realised that I really enjoyed the media side of things, like doing interviews on breakfast television, and it made me think, 'I wonder if I could do that somehow as a career?' Before that show it didn't cross my mind as I just never thought I would have the opportunity. Honestly, I think going on The Bachelor helped me a lot with confidence. Afterwards I realised I can do whatever I set my mind to."

She's clearly the glass half full type, but in private, Matilda, 27, knows all too well about the challenges of pushing past self-doubt and keeping a lid on stress levels.

In the early months of planning Plate Up, the business she co-owns with her fiancé, The Bachelor NZ star Art Green, her strength was put to the test.

"It was bigger than I anticipated," she recalls, "and I was just thinking 'how are we going to do all of this?' I know I have a habit of getting stressed and wound-up about things that haven't happened yet. It's like I get stressed about the things I think I'll worry about later. Then you take a step back and a deep breath and think, 'I'm actually working myself up about nothing'. I think finding that perspective is really important."

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Keeping healthy and happy is also high on the agenda, but these days, she's taking a gentler approach to health and fitness.

"I want to treat my body with more kindness this year. Last year I absolutely thrashed it." And with so much on the go and a jam-packed diary to juggle, keeping a positive headspace is just as vital.

"So many things have happened that have pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I feel like I've achieved a lot of things that I never thought I could do," she muses.

"I try to keep that self-belief in me, that thought of 'Well I managed that, and then I achieved this other thing, so why can't I tackle this new challenge?' I definitely have days where I think holy s* I'm in over my head! But it's through those times that you really grow and learn."

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