Tell us a little about yourself (age, hobbies, interests, job, etc)

I’m 29 years old, been interested in fitness for a while, but I never found a programme that could fit my schedule or which offers me what I wanted. The Active Spirit vibe is one that I totally clicked with from the start. So now I can workout more often 🙂 I work at St Edward’s College as part of the admin team and also with the boarders, so three times a week I find myself at the College till 20:30 supervising the students. This makes me push harder when I’m working out as I know that with my roster, I won’t always manage to attend the same amount of sessions each week. I also really enjoy winding down with my husband and friends. Even if it’s just a quick drink/coffee/chat with friends to catch up or just going for a walk in my area with my husband. I also enjoy spending time with my mum, she supports me in anything I do and that really motivates me.

You’ve recently adopted a vegan lifestyle. How has that improved your wellbeing?

I was introduced to sports as a kid, when my parents enrolled me into athletics at age 9 (I’m so thankful they did that!). I trained and competed for 5 years till I was 14, and progressed from coming last in every single race, to winning the road running league cadets category in 2000 and also being the fastest 600m and 1200m cadet runner at the time. To my regret, I decided to quit athletics after those 5 years.

My parents have always been very conscious about a healthy lifestyle and I was brought up consuming a balanced diet. However I only recently began noticing that certain products I consumed had a direct impact on my skin and body function. I’ve always had problems with my skin with acne. I’ve been told to take countless pills, creams etc but never thought of changing my diet. Till a year ago when I decided to stop taking pills and I started researching and reading the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet. I first cut-out my dairy intake and saw a noticeable difference in my acne after a few months. So then I tried cooking plant-based meals three times a week and found it had a positive impact on my stamina, my fatigue (less of it), my skin, my digestion, my hair and much more. I then found it easy to cut-out all other animal products from my diet. It was the best decision I could have made for my health and lifestyle. I am extremely lucky that my husband was ready to try this out with me and is just as happy as I am about this change. He is a huge support for me and I couldn’t have done it without him. The fact is that there are many other ingredients we can consume out there which are 100% healthier and tastier 🙂 We just need to take the time to inform ourselves.

We know you LOVE to keep fit! What keeps you motivated and what are your biggest milestones in your fitness journey.

You’re totally right, I love working out. I really do look forward to our training sessions. However it is hard sometimes in winter to get myself out from my cosy clothes at home 🙂 but I say, 1 hour passes so quickly and I gain so many benefits from that 1 hour. And that’s what pushes me. Since my husband started joining the classes, that’s also been a huge motivation for me, I enjoy attending classes with him and seeing him change his perspective on working out. I also love the feeling of being physically tired from working out, it’s something hard to explain. I enjoy attending a class and not knowing what circuit we’re going to have. Each round motivates me to do the next, if I managed 10 reps last round, I’ll push myself to push it to 15 or 20 even. But I would rather take things easy and build up the momentum so that I can last the full circuit and maybe even do an extra round. That is the way I like working out. The biggest milestone for me in my fitness journey is the small milestones each week. Finding that balance between my work routine and my lifestyle changes. My priority is to get at least three workouts a week, if I manage those then I’m happy, if I manage more, then I’m proud. Proud that I can still juggle everything and keep up. Rather than set one big milestone, I try set small ones each week and that’s what keeps me going. I feel this will eventually prepare me for when children are in the scene. 🙂

Do you have any fitness dreams/aspirations that you’d like to achieve?

I hope to manage to still keep fit and going even when I have kids. That is my ultimate goal! I want to be able to achieve a balance between my duties at home and “Me Time”. My aim is not to lose weight but to be healthy and fit. Losing weight will come if the right mind-set is there. Aim for health and everything else will fall into place. I’ve come to accept the curves I have and not to strive for something unattainable but rather I focus my energy on goals which make sense for me and my body.

How do you juggle work/life in general and keeping up your fitness/nutrition regime?

I honestly don’t know sometimes. But it definitely is a huge effort. Which is why I try to work out hard when I do manage to slot in those sessions because I don’t have time to waste and I want to maximise my time to get the results I want. I work around my roster, so if I’m working an afternoon/evening shift I make sure I attend a morning session. When it comes to nutrition, we try to plan from the morning what we’re going to eat that evening and if I’m working, my husband will buy everything and cook. He is a massive help in that respect and loves experimenting and cooking, so I am extremely blessed. We prepare snacks like granola bars for the day also and shakes for the morning. We try to prepare for the day as much as we can.

Who are the people in your family/close circle who support you?

Mostly my husband. Without him I wouldn’t manage to maintain this lifestyle. It’s great having him with me on this journey as we compare and discuss things together. If I had to be doing this on my own it wouldn’t be half as fun 🙂
My mother is also an inspiration to me as she really makes time for her fitness even at her age (62) and she looks fabulous! I wish I could look as good as her when I’m that age! She understands when I don’t go to see her because I had a training session, she understands the food I choose to eat (although finds it hard to prepare haha). My father also is another person who supports and gets what I do. He’s the person who made me aware of certain foods which can cure certain aches and pains or supplements which help with specific diseases. He is rather obsessed about these things, but I know I can turn to him if I need advice. My friends also are a source of encouragement, from which I get that extra push to continue. Love them to bits xxx

If you could give others just one (ok, maybe two) tips for living a healthy life, what would it be?

  1. Inform yourself about the benefits of the variety of alternative foods available, like seeds, grains, veg, from which you can gain a mountain of proteins and nutrients. Experiment with food!
  2. Make time for a some sort of exercise 3 times a week. It improves your days, lifts your mood by 120%. If you’re having a crap day or going through issues of your own, going to the gym or getting out of the house and going for a walk/jog will (I guarantee) improve your morale.
  3. (I had to sneak in a 3rd one). Set small everyday goals which you can reach rather than unreachable goals which demotivate you.