Ora, 26, says she now loves her body because it is curvy.
“I have thighs. I’m a size 28 in jeans. And that’s an average, normal size,” she tells SHAPE for their May cover, on newsstands April 19. “I’m proud that I’m normal.”
Ora was able to accept her body when she learned to value strength over being skinny.
“I’m not going to lie and say I was completely happy with my body before,” she says. “I didn’t start working out to get skinnier — I started working out to feel better. And I think it’s important for women to know that. Don’t be obsessed with being thin. You just have to be fit, healthy, and strong.”
And the “I Will Never Let You Down” singer achieves that with slow and steady gym time.
“I do circuit training. I usually work out for one or two hours, depending on how much time I have,” Ora explains. “I do three circuits and repeat that three times. I mostly focus on my thighs and my bum, so I do a lot of squats and weight lifting. And I do one circuit of cardio.”
“What I’ve learned is that you can take your time with training. You don’t have to beat yourself up as long as you get in the workouts that you need. I used to push myself until I felt sick. But I’m approaching it differently now. I enjoy working out. And I like the aftermath — that feeling of contentment.”
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Like most people, though, Ora doesn’t always love heading to the gym. But she has tricks for getting her there.
“Sometimes it’s hard. I don’t just wake up and run to the gym,” she says. “When I need to motivate myself to work out, I look at pictures of women like Jennifer Lopez and Kate Beckinsale. They look incredible! If they can look like that, I have no excuse.”