Max May, Lara Bingle’s bestie and hair and make-up artist, arrives flanked by suitcases; Mikey, her stylist, has turned up with racks of bikinis; the Being Lara Bingle film crew have been waiting outside since before OK! even turned up; and within a not-too-tardy 30 minutes, Lara herself and her manager, Hermione Underwood, walk through the door of the cliff-top mansion we’re shooting at today.

Lara, 24, who weathered her fair share of criticism last year for adding on a few kilos, has promised OK! she’s back to her bikini best and, despite the blustery Sydney day, has agreed to strip down and show off that swimsuit-model figure that made her famous when she walked along an Aussie beach asking, ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ in 2006.

In the six years since, Lara’s fame has skyrocketed, in part thanks to her engagement to cricketer Michael Clarke. But one of the downsides of their very public break-up was her weight gain. ‘Most people lose weight after they split from a boyfriend. I did the opposite, I just got bigger, bigger and bigger,’ Lara admits.

‘At the time, I was going through a lot and everything caught up with me,’ she adds. ‘I took everything for granted when I was younger, you know, when you’re 17 and 18, eating well and training hard isn’t really on the to-do list… So I put on a little weight, but I’ve turned it around in the sense that I’m eating right and I train hard now. I lead a very healthy life.’

Looking at Lara now – perfect skin, clear blue eyes and killer curves – it’s hard to imagine anyone criticising her. And when OK! sat down for a chat about embracing a healthy body, her new reality show and rumoured relationship with Gareth Moody, she was as likeable as she was candid…

Lara, you’re looking fantastic! How confident are you feeling in a bikini?
Other than it being winter… I feel comfortable and confident that I’m back! It’s really important for me to feel comfortable and confident because it’s my job, and once you feel like that it shines through.

You were targeted last year for putting on weight, and you admitted you weren’t eating well but that you were proud of your curves. Why have you lost the weight again?
I’ve had a complete lifestyle change because my body is my job and I have to take it seriously. [The criticism] was one of the best things that happened to me, to be honest. Even inside my soul, as a person, it completely changed everything. It’s not just about the way you look – you need your ups and downs to realise the good parts.

For the rest of the exclusive interview and pics, pick up a copy of this week’s OK! magazine, on sale now!

Source: OK Magazine