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Erin Holland spills on 'unfinished business' with SAS Australia: 'Missed out'

As Aussies get ready to watch the next batch of star-studded recruits on the new season of SAS Australia, last year's contestant Erin Holland admits she's got "unfinished business" and would relish the opportunity to take part in the brutal military-style challenge again.

The TV host and former Miss World Australia had to leave the show much earlier than she had hoped after being unable to carry a Home And Away star Dan Ewing on her shoulders and complete a task.

Looking back at her time on the show now, Erin tells Yahoo Lifestyle the whole experience was "overwhelming" and "humbling", especially lining up alongside elite athletes.

Erin Holland on SAS Australia
Erin Holland was one of the stars of SAS Australia in 2021. Photo: Channel 7

"I was overwhelmed," Erin tells us of the moment she first met the other celebrities also taking part in the 2021 season - which included Olympians Jana Pittman and Kerri Pottharst.

"[Before the show] I was pushing myself as hard as I could to train and I considered myself to be a casually, everyday fit person.

"But obviously that's completely different, once you get in amongst very genuine, real, very talented athletes. So it was overwhelming, definitely.

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"And it became very apparent very quickly, that this show is so much more than even it seems and it's so much harder even than what we're privy to on the television. It is just the most genuine, real, and exhausting experience.

"Right from the very first task you kind of just go 'oh my gosh, what am I doing here'?"

SAS Australia Erin Holland during a challenge
The TV host would do the show again tomorrow and says she has 'unfinished business'. Photo: Channel 7

But while her time was cut short, Erin says she knew something physical would eventually be her downfall on the show, though she knows she had more to give.

"I thought mentally I'd be pretty strong. And I think the way that my time came to an end on the show actually gave me the confidence to know that I'm quite self aware. I did know that was going to be the thing that would bring me undone," she explains.

"Physically, it was going to be a huge challenge and I'm sad I didn't get the opportunity to push myself even more physically. I thought I had more in me - I didn't have 91kg Dan Ewing in me - but I felt like I had more days left in me than what I was able to get on the show.

"But I'm not surprised that it was something like that and me not wanting to disadvantage my team any further. That led to my downfall."

erin holland at the gym
Erin says it was 'overwhelming' to line up alongside athletes. Photo: Instagram

'I would do it again tomorrow'

The brutal aftermath of SAS Australia became apparent when Erin shared photos of the bruises that covered her body after her overall relatively short stint on the challenge.

She also had to deal with a ganglion cyst in her finger after one of the helicopter challenges, as well as scar tissue from when she fell off the helicopter and "face-planted hard".

But the MACROS ambassador says the show also taught her so much about fitness and nutrition, and definitely left her "wanting more".

"I'm trying to definitely keep up some of the intensity [in my training]. It was it was a really incredible experience. And I think even in the few days that I was there I grew a lot as a person," she says.

erin holland bruises after SAS Australia
Erin shared photos of her bruise-covered body shortly after she left SAS Australia. Photo: Instagram

"I was really grateful for not only the opportunity to be able to throw myself out of a helicopter or get tear gassed or live these once in a lifetime experiences.

"There was challenges that popped up after I left that I was like, 'Oh, I would have been so good at that' because I'm small and that would have actually worked to my favour. So I was feeling that I missed out on on some more of those.

"But to come out of it, and people go 'oh my god, that looks awful'. I was like, I freaking loved it. And I would do it again tomorrow."

What SAS taught Erin about health and nutrition

Getting to compete alongside world-class athletes, Erin says she learnt so much about how to navigate roadblocks and keep pushing.

"What I loved about the show and in this whole amount of training that I got in before that was you know you can push yourself further than most of us think and you can work harder at the end of the day," she says.

Her focus has now shifted a lot to her overall nutrition - which is where the MACROS meals have come in handy - as well as hydration, after having to try and be physically and mentally competitive on limited food rations on the show.

"The food was was really difficult," she admits. "And it's about the decision making process. The way that we nourish and hydrate ourselves actually has a huge impact on our cognitive processes and our decision making.

Macros ambassador erin holland
Erin's overall health focus has shifted to nutrition and hydration. Photo: Supplied

"So if you're dehydrated and you're hungry, you might make the wrong decision in a snap moment where it can be life or death. And that was what they're trying to teach us."

"I'm sort of trying to focus more on better eating habits and better hydration habits, that will help me do what I do day to day.

"You know, the better you treat your body, the better decisions that you make. I think until you push yourself to the absolute extreme, perhaps you don't realise exactly how much of an impact it has for a regular punter who's not an athlete."

The new season of SAS Australia starts on Monday at 7:30pm on Channel 7.

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