In seven months, Frankie has undergone her own body transformation and lost nearly two and half stone thanks to her efforts, and she's now spilling all her secrets in her debut fitness DVD, Frankie Essex Weight Loss Workouts.
Frankie debuted her new look when she made a return to The Only Way Is Essex for cousin Chloe Sims' birthday and Reveal have since caught up with the reality star for an exclusive chat on how she found making a comeback to the show, why Lauren left her feeling inspired and her new found love for the gym.
We've just seen you back on TOWIE for Chloe Sims' birthday, how was it filming again?
It was mad. It was like literally going back in time. It was so weird, I filmed to surprise Chloe and nobody knew I was filming. That was nerve wracking! I don't know why I was so nervous, I was shaking. I felt like the new one, it was just mad. I was 23 when I started and I'm 30 next year. When you put it like that, it's crazy.
The response you got from fans was incredible. Was that nice and encouraging?
I couldn't believe it. It's amazing, everyone has just been so lovely. It's given me a lot of confidence back and I really didn't have a lot of confidence. That's what I've been working on this year. It was last minute, but it was perfect timing and it's one of the best things that has happened to me.
Would you go back for good to the show?
I don't know, it's up to the producers. Nothing has been said. I think I'd like to go back to Christmas for a little cameo or something, but I don't plan my life out, I just go with it.
What about any other reality shows?
I would love to do something like Strictly Come Dancing, I'd love it. It's something different, all the glitz and glamour – I'd be in my element. I am actually a good dancer. I've got rhythm! And because I've been training in the gym, I've got balance, I'm quite strong, I think I'd be alright.
Speaking of the gym, you've got your very own fitness DVD, Frankie Essex Weight Loss Workouts, out now, what made you want to get into shape?
I just wanted to get fit, but I didn't have the balls to go to the gym. I was a bit embarrassed. I remember, one night I just said, 'This is going to be my last blowout, tomorrow I'm going to start.' I started spinning and it was in a dark room, I hid at the back, it was a way of easing myself in. The gym is intimidating if you've never done it before. I had been before, but not to the extreme to where I've wanted to properly get into it. Once I started losing the weight, my confidence grew in the gym. It became a routine and it made me feel happy, it made me feel good in my head, it was a release and gave me some me time.
What was the tipping point for you that made you want to do something about your weight?
I was really fed up, I was using anything to have an excuse to go out, but I wasn't even happy going out. I was just running away from myself. I just thought, 'What am I doing?' I spoke to my friends and I probably had a few cries. I knew I could do it, but I think you have to get low to get high again. Then I started to train with a personal trainer and went to boot camps. I was being weighed as well.
How have you noticed your body changing since you embarked on a healthier lifestyle?
I haven't really noticed it myself, but I think my clothes started feeling looser. It's hard for you to notice it, but when you see people and they start telling you [you've lost weight], I went on holiday to Ibiza and people were complimenting me, even Chloe was like, 'Oh Frankie, you look so good.' That made me feel really good.
They always say that once you've lost the weight, the hardest thing is maintaining it. How do you stay motivated?
I'm very driven. I've always been like that and once I want something, I will get it. It's the best thing I've ever done. I'm the only person who could have made myself do it, and I've done it.
How do you deal with the negative comments and body shaming that can come from social media?
[The haters] drive me. I think, 'No, I'm going to show you.' I have shown them, but they're still saying, 'You've had a tummy tuck, you've had lipo, you're airbrushed…' I haven't, I just use [the negative comments] to my advantage.
Lauren Goodger has also undergone her own body transformation. What do you make of her new look?
I love Lauren, she was kind of my inspiration as well. She's my mate and when she was training that made me join the gym. It was nice to have her there. I thought if she can do it, I can do it. I would watch what she does in the gym. She went on the steps and was like I go on these for an hour… that must be [why she has such a good bum now]. She is so fit, it's unreal.
Is there a part of your body now that you're really proud of?
I'm proud of my belly… I've got abs! Not like all the time, but if I lean a certain way you can see them. I only noticed them when I was filming DVD, I've got full on abs in my DVD. I couldn't believe it! I have moaned about my belly for years, but I've trained my belly so much that I've forgotten about my legs. Now I've got something else to conquer.
Do you have any advice for others who are starting out on their own get-fit missions?
Just believe in yourself. I believe if you want something that much, you will do it. Everyone fluctuates with their sizes, I'm not perfect, I'm still learning. You've got to do it for you.
Frankie Essex Weight Loss Workouts is out now and available to order from Amazon for £14.99.
Like this? Don't miss out! Make sure you're following Reveal across Twitter @RevealMag / Facebook @Revealmagazine / Instagram @revealmagofficial