Belfast Telegraph

Ex-jockey AP McCoy puts on two stone since retirement

Champion jockey admits giving up choccy biccies may be biggest hurdle he has faced

By Cate McCurry

The world's most successful jockey has revealed he is living a life indulging in biscuits and late-night cups of tea and has put on two stone since his retirement.

Sir Anthony McCoy, who was accustomed to an ultra-disciplined way of life, said he now eats "every chance" he gets after years of one meal a day.

The 20-times champion jump jockey said he was enjoying munching chocolate biscuits with a cup of tea in front of the television at night.

"I thought the novelty would wear off but it hasn't just yet," he said.

"I'm a little bit too much in the comfort zone, and I keep thinking at the end of every week come Monday there will be no biscuits in the house, but it never happens."

The Moneyglass man admitted that he will have to scale back the treats after a recent health check flagged up some minor issues.

Sir Tony, who is known as AP, underwent blood tests at Randox Laboratories, where he is an ambassador.

The results raised concerns over his cholesterol levels and the spectre of diabetes, which runs in the family.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the 42-year-old said he always worries about what effect his racing injuries have had. He weathered around 1,000 falls and multiple broken bones - but he always walked away with little long-term effect.

"I was a bit worried about my results because I always worry about the effects the trauma did to my body," he added.

"Sometimes it can trigger other illnesses and I was worried that as my body has been through that much trauma it might lead to something like arthritis, but luckily I'm OK."

The father-of-two puts that down to his healthy lifestyle as a jockey.

"I always felt that helped me heal quicker and felt I was a good healer from injuries," he said.

"I do think that it's amazing what the brain can do, it's the greatest healer."

He retired in 2015 after a record-breaking career that amassed more than 4,300 jump racing winners.

Sir Anthony was tall for his sport, at just over 5ft 10in, and endured hot baths, saunas and near-starvation rations as he kept his weight down to about 10st 3lb.

He added: "I went from eating once a day to eating every chance you get.

"I'm two stone heavier than what I was 18 months ago, so it's probably an overreaction from my body.

"My calcium levels were quite low, and that was disappointing, so I need to address that issue too.

"It's amazing how little willpower I have now compared to what I used to have.

"When your career depends on it, it's totally different, I can see why people sometimes struggle with willpower."

After looking back on the endless number of injuries he sustained during his career spanning two decades, Sir Anthony said the risk of falling was one of the many parts he missed about the sport of horseracing. "It's the danger, as you're living on the edge all the time. In some ways I shouldn't miss it because I didn't realise how lucky I am to walk away from those injuries," he said.

The health check also confirmed a previous issue surrounding the former jockey's struggle to have children with wife Chanelle.

Both their children, Eve and Archie, were born through IVF after AP's gruelling lifestyle made it difficult for the couple to conceive naturally.

"The doctor more or less told me we wouldn't be having kids naturally, but I think Chanelle has had enough anyway," he added.

Looking back over the past 18 months of his retirement, he admits the toughest aspect is the lack of fulfilment in achieving new goals.

"This is the problem, you try and find something that gives you a buzz that riding horses did and it's an impossible thing to find," he said.

"The last 18 months has passed very quickly, it's scary how quickly it goes. It's not something you get used to.

"I've had my perfect days, I don't know whether it was winning the Grand National on Don't Push It, or winning (BBC) Sports Personality of the Year, or playing golf with Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy.

"How would I ever replicate that? I'll never have another perfect day, and that's sad. Am I ever going to get a day that was as great as that? No chance."

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