My body & soul: Shappi Khorsandi, comedian, 35

Are you healthy?

Pretty healthy, but I've had stress-related alopecia and peptic ulcers, so for all my "Yes! I eat blueberries and I go jogging" the thing that I should pay most attention to - my mental state - is probably the thing I neglect. After this Edinburgh I'm going to be all about yoga and pilates and meditating cross-legged in Richmond Park.

Ever spent a night in hospital?

Yes, I recently had a little benign tumour removed from my womb. My GP called it a tumour and I nearly died, but in hospital they said, "Actually, we call it a polyp," because even a wart on your finger is classed as a tumour.

Have you had any notable accidents?

My mother was trying to give me a Diana haircut when I was nine and the scissors ended up hitting the top of my eye, so I have a scar there.

Do you worry about your weight?

I was a fat teenager and fat in my 20s, then I realised that I was addicted to shoving stuff in my mouth and I learned to eat healthily. For Iranian families any meal is a banquet - you don't have platefuls, you help yourself to trayfuls. I was amazed when I went to English people's houses and dinner was served on a plate and you might or might not be offered seconds.

How do you relax?

I don't, it's terrible. I've relaxed twice; on holiday in Corfu when I was 20 - I was on this lilo in the ocean and I suddenly realised that I was relaxed. Then about three years ago I went to Turkey, where my in-laws live. My husband was on a sun lounger reading, my mum-in-law was in the kitchen and I was in their pool on a lilo and could hear wind chimes.

Have you ever had therapy?

Yes, talking therapy and neuro-linguistic psychotherapy (NLP). I went to NLP because I had this terrible habit of crying when I felt flustered. Instead of dealing with challenging situations as grown-up me, I would drag five-year-old Shappi in, so we got to the root of where I learned that behaviour.

What's your attitude to drugs?

At university I tried to be a dope smoker but only enjoyed it when I got the giggles, so I stopped. I went through a spell of enjoying myself - with friends, in a nightclub, dancing to tunes that perhaps I wouldn't ordinarily dance to, but I started feeling depressed when the sun came up and that's no way to live your life, so I stopped that, too.

And drink?

I used to drink pretty much every night - I'd do a gig and have a few drinks with my fellow comedians, then pregnancy hormones made alcohol taste of sick, so I stopped. Being hungover with an exuberant child is a form of fresh hell, so I hardly drink at all now. It's much more fun running off finding snails in the park than laying on the sofa drinking sugary tea.

• Shappi will be reading extracts from her book A Beginner's Guide to Acting English (Ebury Press, £11.99) at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, daily until 31 August

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