Going from fit to fat has ruined our sex life because our bellies get in the way, say Strictly’s James and Ola Jordan
THEY were known to have two of the hottest bodies on Strictly – so when former show dancers Ola and James Jordan posted significantly fuller numbers, it caused a storm.
The couple shared an unfiltered image of their “mommy and daddy bodies” last week, with the pair having grown a few sizes since their days on TV.
And speaking exclusively to The Sun about the virus crisis, the outspoken duo didn’t hold back – James admitting he wished his wife was skinnier, and Ola revealing their sex life had suffered because their “belly bothered them”.
James and Ola – who were on Strictly between 2006 and 2015 – say they are as shocked as fans at how much their appearance has changed.
Ola moved from 8th to 11½, while James put in a whopping 5th and is now 16th.
But that didn’t stop them from sharing the snap, which showed the once perfectly polished pair standing by the pool at their Kent home in swimsuits, captioned: ‘Couples who eat together stay together’.
James, 44, says of the photo: “We were like, ‘Oh my God, we look like fat old people.
“I just have this massive gut, I call it my overhang.
“And Ola also gained weight. We are in this position together.
James admits it was his love of junk food that led them both astray – and also put a damper on their bedroom antics.
He says, “I admit it, I’m probably not the best influence on Ola. I love my chips, my chocolate and junk food.
“I eat everything – Chinese, McDonald’s, Burger King, everything.
“Every night after we ate it all, we’d go up to bed and I’d say to Ola, ‘Oh my God, my stomach hurts so much’, and then it’s like, ‘Well, see you tomorrow morning’.”
Ola, 39, continues: “Sex life is decidedly different, if not worse, because you’re so fat and you don’t feel like moving after a packet of crisps and a Chinese.
“Bellies get in the way when it comes to sex. And I’m a bit heavy now. It’s not as exciting.
The couple say there’s definitely no more Dirty Dancing – and they certainly couldn’t pull off one of their sexy Strictly routines.
James says: “Sex is definitely not better with mum and dad bodies. I can’t throw it away like I used to.
“So we realize that we need to change our eating habits to get back into shape.
“I would love to hold Ola above my head again.”
Ola adds, “If we practiced the Dirty Dancing lift in the pool, I’d sink it right away.”
But the couple – who met in 1999 and have two-year-old daughter Ella – say they are not looking for sympathy as their weight gain is entirely their fault.
James says, “We know exactly why we got fat — we ate more and moved less.
“It’s a shame that my belly hangs just above my pants, it’s like a good old beer belly.
“And it’s annoying because I’m quite hairy, and sometimes my belly hair gets caught in my waistband, which is really weird.
“These are bad life choices that we made for different reasons, like lockdown, we both mourned my dad’s death a lot and I quit smoking.
“But I’m very honest about it.”
So what about that most taboo question in any relationship – does James love Ola less now that she’s gained weight?
As usual, he does not hold back, saying: “I would say that I prefer Ola smaller. Of course, I still love him and I still love him. It’s like that.
“She’s the one who’s now taken the steps to talk about it, so if she then asks me, ‘Thinner or fatter?’ I would say thinner.
“Does that make me a bad person? If so, then I’m sorry but I think that makes me honest.
“I don’t understand when guys lie to their other half and say they’re gorgeous when they don’t mean it in their head.
“I’m not saying that to upset her but it’s for health reasons. And I know it’s not just Ola, it’s me too.
“We found ourselves in this position together, and I hope we will support each other.”
And Ola goes out of her way to say, “Does her dad turn me on?
“Yes and no, because I think I like him the way he is, with his big belly, and then you look at Love Island with all the fitties coming in and you say, ‘Phwoar’.
“But would I like him to be fit again? Well yeah.”
And although they are proponents of body positivity, Ola, who is 5ft 3in, and James, who is 5ft 9in, want to be clear that they don’t think it should extend to obese.
James says: “We are both classified as obese for our height.
“And it feels like you can’t put a name to it anymore because people are so offended by the word ‘big’.
“The term, I guess, is heavily overweight. I feel like people promote being overweight like it’s okay, like, “Go ahead, eat whatever you want.” If it makes you feel good, then do it.”
“But they actually promote being overweight as body positivity.
“You’re just stressing your organs, and that’s a fact.
“We know we need to lose weight for health reasons and for Ella.
“We’ll never tell anyone else what to do with their body, but for us it’s important.”
Ola adds, “There’s body positivity, and then there’s fat.
“We don’t want anyone to feel bad about themselves, but I don’t want to promote that it’s normal for people to be unhealthy.
“It’s not healthy, I don’t feel healthy. I run up the stairs and I’m out of breath – it’s not healthy for me. I’m a professional dancer.”
Polish-British Ola says she was “horrified and so disappointed” when she first saw the photo, but decided to go public with it to help motivate herself and James to lose weight.
She wrote on Instagram: “I wasn’t going to post this photo but decided to because I’m horrified and so disappointed in myself.
“By posting it, I hope it helps motivate me to do something about it.
“Our friend took this photo of us yesterday trying to stay cool by the pool, but OMG it was a total shock to say the least!
“When did we get ‘mommy and daddy bods’?”
Ola adds, “Putting the picture to me was just a wake-up call. It was up to me to say “Boom, this is what I look like, wake up, Ola”.
When she won the BBC1 dance competition in 2009 with BBC Sport presenter Chris Hollins, Ola was a size six and weighed 8th.
Now she is about size 12 and 3½ heavier.
She says, “People have always seen me as the girl with the beautiful body wearing the catsuit.
“Then they looked at this photo and were like, ‘Oh my God, what happened to him?’
“But on Strictly, we did full ten-hour dance days, and after that we used to hit the gym.
“We didn’t have much time to eat, and if we did, we looked at all the food labels.
“I have since left that show and had my daughter.
“My body has changed. I’ve always had curves with boobs and buttocks, but now I’m very heavy in the middle and on the hips.
“I can’t keep blaming the lockdown and a baby, because Ella is now two and a half, and the lockdown was a long time ago.
“But I don’t know what happened to James – what is his excuse!”
James, who was around 11½ at his ballroom days, said: “My body has totally changed since Strictly. I was tiny.
“I’m going to put my hands up, I’ll be watching Love Island with a bag of crisps on my stomach and a box of sweets to my right.
“We ended up doing it every day.
“And then none of us fit into our clothes. I had to buy elasticated pants because I had put on so much weight.
“Sometimes I google us on Strictly and show Ola a picture and say, ‘This is how we looked before’.
“I also told Ola that the picture she put on Instagram will never go away. But that’s brilliant motivation.
Even so, the fact that they are dancing champions does not make it easy for them to lose weight.
James says, “People often tell us, ‘You’ll be fine, it’s like muscle memory.’
“No it’s not. We’re still like everyone else.
“We know that we can never train ten hours a day again, but we know that we basically have to move more and stay in the mouth less.”
Now the couple are focused on getting active again, including getting back into action on the dance floor.
Ola says, “We can all say I look great, but I’m uncomfortable the way I am.
“I don’t want to kiss my size. You have to be honest with yourself.
“I always thought, ‘I’m going to be the fit mom,’ and I’m not, and so it’s really sad.
“Now we will try to get out more.”
So would a return to the dance floor be possible, once they are ready to put on their old lycra outfits?
James thinks so.
He says: “It would be amazing to start dancing again, and it would be great to be able to lift Ola above my head once again.”