icon-account icon-glass

Popular Products

The Lean Protein
Whey protein powder for weight-loss.
The Energy Booster
Pre/intra-workout powder with BCAAs.
The Glow Booster
Collagen supplement for skin.
  • Community
  • Motherhood, Mental Health and Staying Optimistic with Neev Spencer

    30th April 2021

    30th April 2021

    By Caitlin Bell

    Innermost Insider, Neev Spencer, is probably best known for her positions as a television and radio broadcaster, having found success in her multiple broadcast roles, including her notable award-winning shows on popular UK radio station KISS FM. Having spent years of her career supporting industry-giants on tour, hosting for some of the world’s biggest brands and being the face of some of the UK’s favourite TV programmes, Spencer is also known for making waves with her advocacy for mental health, particularly following her own experiences with postpartum depression since becoming a first-time mum.

    The subject of mental health is one that Spencer is hugely passionate about, combining her wealth of industry experience with the topic to interview A-List celebrities such as Ed Sheeran on the topic live on air. Having been inspired by her incredible work and dedication to raising awareness surrounding mental health, we sat down with Neev to discuss the reasons behind her passions, her incredible fitness and mental health journey, and all things optimism.

    Hi Neev! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into your fitness journey?

    I would describe myself as a yo-yo dieter. My whole life I was never very happy with my weight but never quite took it seriously enough – I would go through phases of trying this and trying that. I would say that it became a very important thing to me when I was pregnant, this is when it became a priority in my life. I wanted to do a lot of pregnancy yoga and wanted to be the fittest I could ever be or have ever been ahead of the birth.

    A couple of months after my first baby was born, I found out I had an undiagnosed slipped disk in my back – not the kind of surprise that you want when you’ve got a tiny baby to look after. It was horrific. It was an injury that they think happened years before, from DJing – maybe carrying my record bag around, but it was a terrible, terrible surprise.

    It meant that I was separated from my baby a lot which really impacted my mental health. It was a dark and difficult time, but a time for me to learn so much about myself. I had to have physiotherapy to get walking again and take care of my little one – this is when I learnt about my body in a much deeper way and had a much deeper appreciation for my physical health.

    After this happened, I was hell-bent on helping people with their mental health, especially pregnant women. I had gone to deep depths and had to rise and swim to the top, and thankfully, I made it. But – not everyone does. This is what motivates me with my charity and mental health. Following his journey, fitness is now something I prioritise and enjoy.

    Why is fitness so important to you as a woman?

    As a woman, a lot of us want to be mothers. As a result of this desire, it’s very important that you keep your physical health up there. It’s also really important for our hormones, and our mental health. It’s good to feel proud of yourself! As women we have high pressured jobs – many of us whilst juggling being a mother, being able to create that time for yourself and your preferred exercise method is you and that thing – and that is important. It is for you.

    What is the one piece of advice you would give to our readers regarding their fitness journey?

    Listen to your body, and what it is telling you. Don’t just think of fitness in an aesthetic way. I’d love to be able to fit into my jeans before I had children, but you need to take your time. You’ve got to nourish the changes you are making and cultivate it – that’s where Innermost comes in. Those supplements supporting your goal, keeping you maintained and on the right track.

    What is your greatest life accomplishment?

    First and foremost, my children. But, I am also immensely proud of the fact that I was the first British-Asian woman to ever get a commercial mainstream radio show.

    How did you know that you were ready to become a Mother?

    I had always wanted to be a Mum. I’ve always loved children and after I met my partner I knew that was a priority. We are so grateful that being a parent was able to happen for us – there were many years when this dream seemed very distant, and this struggle really opened up my wellness journey. Being a parent and having gone on that natural journey is a blessing.

    Can you tell us a bit more about your mental health campaign work?

    I use my own lived experiences to help relate to other people and help them through what they’re going through. These range hugely – from domestic abuse, to personal struggles: I lost my best friend to drugs and alcohol when I was in my 20s, I suffered depression in my teenage years, and again, as a first-time Mother, when I was separated from my little one, this took a huge toll on my mental health.

    I’ve found that being honest and sharing how I got through those moments is what drives me to help other people, and that’s why I make it my mission to do as much mental health work as possible.

    Do you think ‘optimism’ is something that we can learn?

    Absolutely. It’s something that we have within us naturally – children are very optimistic, they are innocent and joyful. Life really wears us down – experiences, loss, trauma and grief, all of that plays a part in where we begin to lose that optimism. For me, optimism really is faith. I am Sikh, but this faith doesn’t necessarily have to be in God, if you’re not religious.

    It’s a faith in the greater good. Faith in humanity – that something good is out there. It is the most important thing you can have as a human.

    What are your top three life tips for staying optimistic?

    • I think the place we are in as a society with the pressures of social media can lead us to forgetting how lucky and fortunate we really are. When you focus on where you are in comparison to someone else, this can be really powerful. It’s important to ground yourself.
    • Get a blessing box. This comes from Tibetan culture and is a way of looking ahead towards your dreams and never give up on your fantasies. This allows you to really focus on what is important.
    • Allow yourself to see the positive sides of life, don’t focus on the negatives.

    Do you think that optimism affects our physical health, as well as our mental health?

    Absolutely – without being optimistic you can begin to feel lost. Optimism gives us direction, and we need this grounding to feel at peace. This allows us to feel less anxious and in control. Being able to look ahead to our dreams is a way of us constantly motivating ourselves.

    Small practices like setting an intention everyday and using this as motivation to keep this together is a great way of keeping your mental health in check. Optimism is the line that lies beneath all of this – regardless of what your intention is.  This is hugely important for our psyche. You can’t have good mental health without good physical health – they work in synergy.

    Finally, who are your role models?

    I’d have to say my parents. They are just wonderful. They’ve been through so much, they care for my little brother who has special needs, and even though they have been dealt with unbelievably difficult cards in life, they have always taught me to persevere. They taught me that you must remain kind and compassionate and have really instilled those morals on me. I’m very proud to be their child.

    Other than that, I would have to say Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Muhammed Ali – anyone that uses their platform and voice to help motivate and change the whole world we live in. That’s what a role model is to me.

    To keep up with Neev, follow her on Twitter and Instagram

    Other Insights

    Making Time For Mindfulness With Alex Manderstam
    We sat down with wellness fanatic and Innermost Insider Alex Manderstam, who gave us the lowdown on all things mindfulness: its importance to her, how she makes time for it, and her top tips on how you can incorporate a little bit of it into your daily life. Read to the end to find out which Innermost product keeps her on track! Hey Alex! Could you introduce yourself to our readers? Hi! My name is Alex and I live in London. By day, I work at a food tech startup. By night, I’m a founder of Allright - a self care collection bringing back calm through the power of plants and wind-down rituals, launching later this year. I love all things wellness and like to spend my free time cooking up healthy recipes, trying new workout classes and indulging in self care rituals. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex | Wellness | London (@alexmanderstam) Mindfulness has really stepped into the spotlight as an important aspect of wellness in recent years. How long have you been conscious of its importance / when did ‘mindfulness’ as a concept enter your life? Since I was very little actually! My mum is really into meditation and wellness and used to take me along to her meditation retreats since the age of 5, so mindfulness has always been a part of my life. Last year I experienced burnout and had a terrible time with anxiety so I tapped into the mindfulness tools I knew and they really made a difference. What exactly does mindfulness mean to you, and how does it benefit you day to day? For me, mindfulness means being aware of your thoughts, your environment and your body. By bringing mindfulness into my daily routine, I can be more present, less reactive and overwhelmed, and show up as the best version of myself every day. What activities do you do to be mindful? I like to start every day with a little mindfulness routine. This includes not looking at my phone first thing in the morning but taking a few minutes to do a guided meditation to set the right tone for the day, journal about my intentions for the day ahead, followed by daily movement. I find that exercise really helps clear my head and put me in a productive mode. Do you ever find mindfulness a difficult thing to achieve? What key tips can you give to people struggling with mindfulness? Absolutely! With being so busy in my professional life, it’s so easy to open up my laptop first thing in the morning and get lost in my to do list without looking after myself first. Things that worked for me when starting to incorporate mindfulness into my routine were starting small (you don’t need to start with 20 minute meditation) and keeping a habit tracker for activities I wanted to build into my morning routine. After a few weeks, it became second nature! Do you find that nutrition can play a part in mindfulness? Very much so, at least for me. I think it goes both ways - if I am more aware of myself and my body, I’m more likely to choose a more nourishing meal and really take care into what I put in my body. On the other hand, eating healthy can help me gain the self-care momentum and make me more motivated to stick with your mindfulness routine. Are there any specific occasions in which you felt particularly supported by staying mindful? As everyone else, I’m trying to juggle a million things and often get overwhelmed. Taking just a few minutes every morning to reflect and prepare for the day ahead really makes a difference on those busy days when you have so much to do and don’t know where to start. What time of day do you feel most mindful? How often do you give yourself mindful moments? Early mornings are my “me time”! I like to wake up slightly earlier and take 30 minutes to meditate, journal and set intentions for the day ahead. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex | Wellness | London (@alexmanderstam) What are your favourite Innermost products and how do you typically use them? How have they helped you so far? I love The Detox Booster and The Digest Capsules the most! The Detox Booster is a great alternative to tea and coffee and is packed with superfoods - think matcha, turmeric, chlorella along many others. And digest capsules are an absolute must have too. Packed with prebiotics and probiotics, they are instrumental for gut health. That's a wrap! To keep up with Alex, follow her on Instagram, @alexmanderstam - and be sure to check out her upcoming wellness platform, @allrightwellness! Read more
    Staying Driven and Determined with Gia George
    For the month of April, Gia will be sharing how she stays driven in amongst being a DJ, Coach, Qualified PT, NLP in training and more. Always on the go, we delved into what drives her, and how her journey has shaped her into the person she is today. Read to the end to find out which Innermost product keeps her on track! Hey Gia, could you tell our readers a little more about yourself? Hey! I’m Gia, I’m from Essex, currently living in North London. I am a fitness and mindset coach, qualified PT and recently completed my NLP training. I am also a DJ and recently graduated from a music production degree. I used to work in the city for corporate banks as an event coordinator, but had a big mental health breakdown 5 years ago. This was the catalyst for changing my life and retraining. My purpose in life is to show other people that you can achieve anything you want with the right mindset, and I do that by transforming my life first. I’m big on energy of all kinds, I love fitness, festivals, music, fancy dress, traveling and fast cars/bikes. I’m here to show you that you can have fun and be fit and healthy with the right balance and self-expectations. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gia George 💖 (@giageorge__) How did you become an Innermost Insider and what’s your goal as an ambassador for the brand? I worked for F45 Stratford (check it out, its a WHOLE VIBE) and the Innermost range is stocked there, so it naturally became my go to protein; it bangs and it's vegan so it ticked all my boxes. My goal as an ambassador is to always to keep it realistic, promote balanced living and help people manage the expectations of themselves with the lifestyle they want to live. I’m passionate about helping people LOVE their bodies exactly as they are, no matter what stage of the journey they are at and encouraging sustainable habit changes which elongate happiness and life, without it completely taking over your life (unless you want it to of course!). Our topic this month is drive, how would you define drive? To me drive encapsulates a few different words. I believe it is the combination of vision, willpower and discipline that actually creates the forward motion/action that gets things done, AKA drive. The first step is to have the vision, to see your goal in your mind's eye and to envision the future you, so you have something to work towards. This doesn't have to be anything massive, it could just be to feel better about yourself, to feel stronger, to get fit for a holiday or for your mental health. Then it's a question of will power. I believe that each day we all have a certain amount of willpower (break that word down: the will to do something right?) and that once we have decided what our priorities are, then we can decide how that willpower will be used. Discipline is the feeding the voice in your head that says I want this, and I’m going to ignore the other voices and focus on how I feel when I have completed this ‘thing’. We all have 2 options but over time I believe that when you continually feed the 'I am going to get this done' voice, it becomes subconscious and you just do it automatically. DRIVE = VISION + WILL POWER + DISCIPLINE How has drive been important in your health and fitness journey? Drive is imperative in your health and fitness journey, you really have to want it and if you have no drive, you are kind of just floating around in a feminine energy flow (not attached to gender). Whereas drive is a masculine energy (not attached to gender); it's an action based word, so without it the ‘journey’ doesn't really start. Is there a time you struggled with drive and what’s your advice for someone struggling themselves? I had a huge mental health break down / break through almost 5 years ago and I questioned whether I wanted to continue with my life (there's a full video on my instagram @giageorge if you want to hear this; I've been told by many people that it really helped them understand ways to navigate and rebuild their life). When you are in that state of mind, drive is the HARDEST thing in the world, because your mind basically steals your desire to do anything at all. I, at least, was completely consumed by overthinking. I then discovered the golden ratio (google it) and realised that everything in life is just a pattern, thoughts included. I needed to change my thought patterns so I began SMALL and that's the best advice I can give. Do your BEST to not think about the big picture, think about the next hour, and if that's too much, the next 5 mins. Slowly, you’ll notice your thought patterns change for the better. One of the hardest parts of this is making new habits, so it's important to help yourself by making sure you’ve got things in place when you're first building 'habit loops’ (hit me up on insta for more info on this). For example, if your goal is to start exercising, and you're having a tough time getting going, break it down into small steps, start with 5 mins for 5 days, then 10 mins and so on. Get a programme to follow or join a class, make sure your not just going to the gym aimlessly, as that is not going to help you. Even if you're struggling to get dressed, think one sock at a time, literally break down item by item and eventually you’ll be dressed. Don't think about the gym/class/run until you’ve thought about getting out the house. Just keep breaking it down into smaller steps until it's manageable for you that day. Some days I’m fast, some I’m slow, but I keep driving forwards, one step at a time. What are three things that drive you? My determination to lead by example and show people you can achieve anything in this world with the right mindset. I choose to ‘spend’ my will power every day on my health before anything else, and everything else flows from this. The vision of future me, I will achieve my dreams, there's no other option, I am committed to her. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gia George 💖 (@giageorge__) Finally, what's your favourite Innermost product for staying on track? The Health Protein. Order it, have it in the house, in the kitchen, your muscles need it, get that into your daily habit loops. To keep up with Gia, check out her Instagram and coaching Instagram! Read more