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Interviews

Finding Balance and Inner Peace with Brin McKinnon
This month, we sat down with Innermost Insider Brin McKinnon to discuss inner peace, managing conflict and maintaining balance. Representing us in Australia, Brin is a true Innermost Insider, having loved our products since she was a London native. Funny, thoughtful and eloquent, even with the 11 hour time difference making the interview 1am for her; this one's definitely worth the read. Hey Brin! Tell us about yourself! Hi, my name is Brin, and I am currently studying a Bachelor of International Relations at the Australian National University, whilst also working as a management consultant and freelancing. I've been using Innermost products since 2018 when I used to live in London, and since then they’ve been my favourite products, specifically in terms of vegan products. I then became an ambassador this year, because I wanted to share my love of Innermost products with other people. My favourite platform at the moment is my YouTube channel where I actually recently spoke about Innermost and the products I’ve been loving. View this post on Instagram A post shared by B r i n 🌱 (@brindarcey) Our theme this month is peace. So, the first question I want to ask is, what does peace mean for you, in your own life? A lot of the time in the health and wellness industry, the focus is on the physical and specifically on aesthetics, but I think that it’s really important to understand our health as something that's part of a bigger whole. It’s not just physical - it’s mental too, and that’s why, personally, peace is such a big thing for me, mental-health wise. Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing and I think finding peace is really central to looking after your mental health. I wouldn't say I'm naturally a peaceful person but it’s a process to find that sense of inner-peace and maintain it. What process do you undertake to cultivate your inner peace? What steps have you taken? Over the last few years, I've definitely been taking steps to improve my relationship with myself and I suppose, in a way, to relax a little. As I mentioned, I think that it's definitely a process, and how you cultivate inner peace depends a lot on the individual. For me, a lot of that is spending time in nature, taking walks and exercising outside. I also think that meditating can also be useful, but I think that something that can dissuade people from meditation a bit and definitely dissuaded me was the idea that there’s only one way to meditate. But I think that just finding something that's meditative to you can be really useful in cultivating inner peace and it doesn’t have to be sitting down with your eyes closed. It can be spending time outside with your family or your friends, or even just watching a television show that makes your mind switch off for a bit. The first step to cultivating inner peace is finding what brings you peace. How do you make peace with your mistakes or regrets? I think that I'm quite lucky because I'm naturally quite good at letting things go and I don't necessarily regret things. So unfortunately, that's not going to be helpful for everyone. But I think that, for anyone, letting yourself come to terms with your emotions and letting yourself feel those emotions, is the most important step in making peace with them. However, I also think it’s then important to not hold on to those negative thoughts and feelings for too long. Once you’ve let yourself feel those emotions, you then need to accept them. A lot of the time your ego can get in the way of this step, but you need to be humble and say “okay, I've made a mistake”, perhaps get advice from friends or family and then just take time to reflect on yourself. In the end, the most important step is letting go; it's so important to accept and then move forward, otherwise we let things that we've done in the past continue to hold us back in the future. Is there anything that disrupts your peace and how do you manage it? I’m a person who doesn't necessarily enjoy change. So any small thing that happens in my day could completely derail how I'm feeling and that's something I'm definitely working on. But as I mentioned, it's a process. It's not going to happen overnight. The way I deal with this is not over-committing, organising, scheduling and planning things, but also respecting that things change and that's okay. In addition to this, I've also been going to therapy for a few years and I think that's been really important for me as well. Therapy is typically seen as something just for people who are deeply suffering with their mental health but, I think that therapy can be for everyone. It's just a really useful tool to break down the way that you think and the way that you approach situations that can derail your inner peace. And its been really important for me in my journey to protecting my peace from those day-to-day disruptions. How do you manage conflict with other people? I think that these last few years have been particularly emotionally challenging for everyone. So I think that an increase in interpersonal conflict is something that's inevitable. I'm definitely naturally quite a combative person and I'm anxious-avoidant in my relationships, so I have felt this in my life too. Whilst I do think that it's important to stand up for yourself and for what you believe in, I also think that approaching people with respect, openness and honesty is the best way forward when you're having a conflict with someone. Of course, not all interpersonal conflict is going to be fixable but that's okay. Sometimes we need to let relationships go as well. Beautiful you’ve been open and honest with people then you can move forward knowing you don’t regret how you’ve handled the situation. View this post on Instagram A post shared by B r i n 🌱 (@brindarcey) Do you feel like your nutrition is important in being in that good headspace? Absolutely. I think that nutrition is incredibly important. There’s a massive connection between your physical and mental health so eating a balanced diet is really important. I don't believe in restricting certain food groups, because I think this can actually disrupt your peace. However, I think by listening to your body and viewing nutrition as fuel rather than something to be labelled good or bad, you can make nutrition benefit your peace. For example, for me eating protein is really important because I'm vegetarian. I find it easiest to do this by using a vegan protein, so it’s about finding ways to make nutrition work for you. I actually think that finding balance in our lives is probably the best way to cultivate inner peace, across the board. We can't always strive for perfectionism but I don't think we should be happy with mediocrity either. We need to be somewhere in the middle; striving to do the best for ourselves in the moment that we're in. That’s where you find peace. To keep up with Brin, check out her Instagram! Read more
Looking For Muscle Gain Inspiration? We Spoke With Innermost Ambassador Izzy For Her Tips
Self Love & Becoming Your Own Best Friend with Mandy Smith
A new year represents a new chapter. For most people, this means goals, resolutions and, often, an immense pressure to achieve them. For Mandy Smith, fitness professional, lifestyle ambassador and Innermost Insider, a new year means another 365 days of honouring herself, embracing growth and experiencing the world around her with a refreshing openness that makes you instantly drawn to her. Something which she attributes to her commitment to self-love. So, we took the time to sit down with her to discuss self-love, her journey, and how to overcome the pressures of the New Year. So, Mandy, tell me about yourself! I'm Mandy (@mandy_moveit), a fitness professional and lifestyle ambassador. I live a full, open minded and open-hearted life. I became a fairly young mother and am fortunate that we have grown and embraced a journey through which we have developed our own aspirations, dreams and virtues in tandem. When asking my daughter for her view of me, she said I was not a conventional Mother but that I had “vitality and eccentricity”, something which pleased me to hear. Aside from being a mother, I live and work as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and presenter in London during the week and I’m on the South Coast with my partner at the weekends. Being one to thrive on variety and movement, this combination suits me to a tee. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mandy (@mandy_moveit) How would you define self-love? I would define self-love as becoming your own best friend whilst rationalising any judgment both within and around you. Self-love is to acknowledge your whole and accept all aspects of yourself, especially in today’s social media meta world. Rather than flaws, they are unique parts of your make up, so cherish them. Self-love also means to laugh at yourself. Take note of the things that make you the happiest and with this, confidence builds, and better and better days unfold. How has self-love been important in your journey, especially within the fitness industry? Self-love has not always come naturally to me. In the past, I have tended to think that I needed to always put others first, and knowing that others were happy made me feel content. However, always placing the needs and wants of others above your own will eventually result in low self-worth. This an affliction that many, to greater and lesser extents, are affected by but when affected it is as if we were living with the handbrake on. It is only with maturity and acceptance of myself that I have unwound the constraints of living to please other people. I can now say with ease that I live a more fulfilling life, encompassing my own morals and principles and both within and outside the confounds of my remit. Through self-love and embodying my best self, I can extend myself in my most honest form to the world around me, ultimately, the bigger and greater cause. Between New Year’s Resolutions and Valentine’s Day, it can be a difficult period to remain kind to yourself, what advice would you give to people struggling with their self-worth? Quieten the negative voices within and seek out an environment that you cherish. For many, the New Year means getting fit and healthy, but this can often then become a chore or a pressure, which then detracts from the very essence of fitness and wellbeing. By feeling that you ‘must’ do something often has the opposite reaction. Therefore, for motivation, I would suggest that we quieten any negative voices within, telling us we can’t do it, laugh off the perceived pressure from society and put yourself at the center of the fresh New year. What do “YOU’ get out of fitness and in which environment do you thrive? Are you an outdoorsy? Then take in the world around you as you get your exercise. Are you a team player? A solo gym goer, a yoga bunny? Or you like to try everything, like me! Whatever it is, focus on the why, the reason for you. The positivity, the health benefits, the feeling of achievement, make these be the reasons and not the conformity. Make your own fitness, your own business and celebrate the small wins. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mandy (@mandy_moveit) What are the three things you love most about yourself? I’m optimistic, warm, and energetic. I have the constant perspective and belief to see most things as ‘half glass full’, always seeing the bright side of things that others may find stressful. I’ll see challenges as an opportunity and a chance to re-evaluate, and small setbacks as insignificant in the grand scheme of life. After all, as Oscar Wilde noted, “experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes.” I’m told that I have warmth, and this is a byproduct for me of being confident in my own skin, not comparing myself to anyone and having genuine interest in others and learning from them. Energy is something I do embrace as a large component of myself, and I see it as a personal wealth. Through fitness, I find my energy is untapped. For me personally the more energy I exert, the more I generate. How do you plan to celebrate and honour yourself in 2022? I aim to enter 2022 with integrity and virtue. I will be seeing the world, enjoying the environment around me, and surrounding myself with people who make me feel alive and appreciate me, quirks, and all. I’ll train for my wellbeing. Functional training and cardio keep me feeling strong and conditioned and fantastic. I will breathe in the world around me with awe as always, the sea being my special place and the freedom it symbolises. Looking out at its magnitude and beauty astounds me, for it is never the same twice and so with open eyes I will enter 2022. I will eat clean, without denying myself the food that just tastes too good to miss out on, including my protein balls. Not only are they more-ish, but they also make me smile every time I make them. A smile is the most precious gift to receive, so love yourself and let your radiance shine through and you will exude magnetism. To keep up with Mandy, check her out over on Instagram @mandy_moveit. Read more
Discussing Truth & Transparency with Anj Magecha
Innermost Insider and mindful wellness advocate, Anjali Magecha sat down with us to discuss truth and transparency in the wellness industry, as well as her own journey to unlearn industry myths and reconcile her relationship with food and exercise. Honest, transparent and vulnerable, she sheds light on what it means to be true to yourself even in the most challenging of circumstances. Tell us a bit about yourself and how began your health and wellness journey? Hi, I'm Anj, I’m 23 and I'm passionate about helping people have a healthy relationship with exercise and body image. Before my journey into mindful wellness began, I had poor mental health and would use food to cope, resulting in a vicious cycle. I was chronically under eating, and I had never taken protein powder or any kind of supplement, so I wasn’t hitting my protein goals at all. It took quite a while for me to recognise this but eventually I found myself in a place where I was tired of being constantly unhappy and knew something needed to change. It was at this point I decided to forget all the expectations I had previously put on myself and just do the things that made me happy, with the knowledge that everything else would fall into place. I began getting more into training and lifting and begun fuelling by body with protein powder and supplements such as the Power Booster. Now I feel happier and healthier than ever and want to help other people to achieve the same. View this post on Instagram A post shared by anj |mental health+fitness| (@grow.with.anj) Our campaign for January is truth and transparency. What do you think the importance of this is, particularly in relation to the health and wellness industry? There are so many health and wellness influencers who are not truthful and transparent in their journey, and it makes people feel like a failure when they aren't getting the results that are falsely promised to them. For example, there are people who've become millionaires, have massive brand deals and are living a life that most people could only dream of, all off the back of their fitness transformations. Everything about them just screams success and obviously people want to emulate this. But if those same people don’t disclose the full story people are never going to achieve this and they’ll feel like they’re the problem, because if someone else can do it, why can't you? Humans are quintessentially social creatures; we're always going to be comparing ourselves to one another even when we try to be mindful. So, it's so important to understand that you can save someone a lot of pain by just being honest. This is something that I used to get angry about, but now I know that anger will never be the solution and that you just need to be that other voice and hope that you can help as many people as possible. So, how do you try to be this voice of truth and transparency, particularly within the health and wellness space? I think it’s important to remember that to be entirely truthful and transparent about your journey you also need to be vulnerable enough to share the moments when it isn’t easy. Sharing these moments is infinitely more valuable than just showing the highlights because it makes us realise that we all go through them. However, in the health and wellness industry this isn’t the norm; people use photoshop and promote ‘fat burners’, and avoid any vulnerability, creating this pressure to conform. I think to break this cycle, we all need to be a little more vulnerable. Because whilst waking up at 5am and walking everywhere might make you feel happy and fulfilled, some people need 10 hours of sleep and sometimes you’ll want to sit in front of the TV and watch something mindless. This doesn’t make you a failure and by being honest with yourself about what truly makes you happy and portraying this in a vulnerable way you can help other people realise this too. As you mentioned, the space does currently have a lack of transparency, so how do you discern the truth from the myths? When it comes to fitness and nutrition, I always try to think about who the information is coming from. I hate being a cynic and I love to think that everyone has everyone else's best intentions at heart, but I think it’s important to consider what would this person have to gain if they weren't really telling me the entire story? Then you also need to consider what their credentials are. Are they a doctor or dietitian or are they just someone who looks good? It’s so important that you can know and trust your source of information. I also think, that there’s no one size fits all approach, and the most important source of information should be yourself. For example, I love chaos and I thrive under pressure, so taking five minutes to write affirmations down just doesn’t fit with me. It’s important to trust your own intuition and timing. If you can do both these things then when influencers promote low calorie diets in partnership with these big brands you can ask yourself, what are their credentials, what do they stand to gain and is this something that I think from my own experiences would work for me and make me happy? What is a truth that you've learned during your journey that you're passionate about and think that everyone should know? To get something you've never had you must do something you've never done. What I mean by this is that it's not your fault if something hasn't worked for you. A lot of people blame themselves for not sticking to diets and fitness regimes but if you didn’t stick to it, it’s not you that failed, it’s the diet/ fitness regime that failed. There's a reason why it was so difficult for you to stick to it; perhaps it was too restrictive and resulted in binge eating. Perhaps it was stopping you from enjoying meals out and living your life fully. The answer should never be to blame yourself. You just have to try something new. Create a meal plan which allows you to feel good without restricting yourself and cutting out whole food groups, try a sport you actually enjoy and keep trying new things until you find something that works. You’ll never get to a different destination by taking the same route over and over again. View this post on Instagram A post shared by anj (@anjmagecha) Finally, it feels very relevant to discuss this during January. There’s always this huge influx of mixed advice, myths, and fads at this time of year so what’s your opinions on this and particularly the idea of New Year New Me? I think it's utter rubbish (laughs). You don't need to change people. It's just January. The only changes you should ever make are the ones that genuinely make you happier and you can make these year-round. We all experienced this during lock-down too, there was this huge hustle culture and pressure to use lockdown to learn a new skill or achieve your dream body, and if you weren’t doing this, you were lazy. It made me feel rubbish and I know lots of other people felt the same. It’s so important to try to drown out the pressure and just focus of being in touch with what makes you come alive and what makes you happy. Shifting my focus from external validation to internal happiness is the most important change I made when transitioned from the miserable person I was, to the person I am today. Of course, in the spirit of transparency, not every day is a good day for me and some days I have identity crises and some days I break down. But that's all just part of the job. We’re all a work in progress and the sooner you can embrace all of this and focus on do what makes you happy on a daily basis instead of doing what you think should make you happy, it will open so many doors. To keep up with Anj, check out her Instagram and TikTok for more content on truths vs myths. Read more
What Does It Take To Become A Truly Inclusive Fitness Company? With StrongHer
Celebrating the Good Times with Caitriona Hyatt
Hi Caitriona! Give us the life story. Who are you, what do you do, and what are you passionate about? Hi! I'm Cait, I'm an Actress and Personal Trainer. I was born in Luxembourg but moved to England when I was 10. I'm super passionate about all things fitness and mental health. Having struggled with my own mental health in the past I love helping other people find what helps them the most. For me, it started off with spontaneously signing up for different fitness challenges. At Uni I went from not running at all to signing up for my first marathon and then signed up for a Half Ironman having never done a triathlon (go big or go home right?!). I've met so many inspirational people along the way who always keep me striving for more, and I want to be that person for others. Honestly, I think I was put on this earth to be the biggest cheerleader to everyone chasing goals (including myself of course) and that's what I now spend my days doing! I'm the Master Trainer at F45 Shepherds Bush, I coach at Evolve353 and I'm now hosting the NEW Innermost HIIT and Run Club, which I can't wait to see expand and succeed.  Fitness changed my life by surrounding me with insanely wonderful people and I love helping others find their tribe.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Caitríona Hyatt (@caitrionahyatt) What’s your favourite celebration; Birthdays, Christmas, Pancake Day?  Absolutely 100% Christmas! I'm a massive family girl and Christmas is the one time of year it's almost guaranteed that my whole family will be together (I'm one of four siblings so it doesn't happen very often)! For me, you honestly can't beat time spent with my crazy family.  What do the holidays mean to you and how will you be celebrating now that restrictions are lifted? Holidays for me mean switched off, uninterrupted time with friends or family. It doesn't matter what I'm doing as long as I'm surrounded by the people I love. I really cherish those moments.  I don't think much will change for me if I'm honest. Last year I spent most of my time off either reading in the same room as my brother or sister, knitting with my mum in front of a movie (yes I am a grandma), or forcing people to do team workouts with me! It'll basically be the same this year but extra special as my Oma will be able to join in (she couldn't travel from Switzerland last year) and I haven't seen her in 2 years! What’s the best way to celebrate big wins; raves, rom coms, reps or none of the above?  Take away every opinion of what you think other people might think and do exactly what makes your heart sing. If you've accomplished something big, a) that is incredible!! and b) you should reward yourself with YOUR favourite things to do. Whether that's stay in and order a takeaway, going for a run or going on a massive night out there's no 'right way' to celebrate as long as it's what YOU want.  How do you make celebration a daily practice and also celebrate small wins? I won't lie, I still catch myself overlooking the small wins. It's hard when everything around you seems to move at the speed of light and there are constant comparisons to other people, whether that be over social media or even just in your friend group. It might be hard, but taking a step back to appreciate every small thing you've accomplished is so important. When I can, I try and make lists of all of my small wins and also what helped me get there. I've been writing gratitude lists for years, so I try and combine them so I can really appreciate how much I've achieved - even if I didn't realise it at first! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Caitríona Hyatt (@caitrionahyatt) Use this space to celebrate some of the people in your life! I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many incredible people. But the most important ones who keep me going on a daily basis are; My family (obviously). They are so supportive, caring, absolute nutters, and just all-around great human beings who've never doubted my ability or let me doubt it.  My best friends Amy and Chris. I haven't seen either of them in ages because they're out there taking over the world but they are my soulmates.  My Crossfit girls. Sarah, Lou, Georgie, Celeste, Rach, Anna and Joey. They single-handedly kept me sane through lockdown and they make me feel like I could rule the world (while simultaneously achieving incredible things themselves every single day). Everyone needs friends like these. Sophie. She's in Spain now (moved during the pandemic because she's a badass), and even though she's not in the same country I don't think anyone else would bother listening to my 15 minute voice notes when I'm lying on a rug and need to get something off my chest and it means the world to me.  What are you celebrating as this year comes to an end? (An achievement, your health, new beginnings) How lucky I am to be healthy and be surrounded by such incredible human beings. I've not had the best relationship with my body in the past and it's caused a few very hard years. Now I celebrate it every chance I get. This year has been a tough one and my body has allowed me to do SO much regardless - getting through lockdown, starting a new job, competing in my first fitness competitions, and endless other things. And I've had unwavering support every step of the way. That's something that should never be overlooked!     That's a wrap, thanks Cait! Be sure to follow @caitrionahyatt to keep up with Cait's adventures. Read more
Being Thankful and Expressing Gratitude with Maddie Rose
Growth And Goals With Innermost Insider Amy Costello
Hi Amy! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into your fitness journey? Hey my Innermost faves! I was always involved in sports at school and loved running, but it was on my travels to Sydney, Australia, that my passion for fitness as a real, positive, daily part of my life, kicked off. I love the lifestyle in Sydney. Everyone is really invested in their health and fitness and that fuelled me to get my Personal Training qualification and start going to the gym (I’d never stepped foot in a gym before this!), where I learnt absolutely everything I could about functional and resistance training. I read books, I watched technique videos, and I put all of it into practice in my own training and programming. But this was just the beginning! How did your passion for fitness begin to translate into your full-time job? Whilst living in Australia, I met Mike, who is now my fiancé (woo) and my business partner in the fitness empire we are building!  It actually started when my Aussie visa was due to expire, and we were game-planning ways that we could stay together and avoid doing the long-distance relationship thing. At the time I was coaching at an F45 studio in Sydney, and after a bit of research, we realised there was only one F45 studio in London - so Mike got thinking - why don’t we see if we can open one!  It then all happened very fast - within a couple of months we had signed with F45 to open our own studio, had packed our bags and were moving to London. 4.5 years later and we've built an incredible member base and community at F45 Tottenham Court Road, and also launched our own fitness retreat company, Salt Escapes, where we run fitness holidays at various beautiful destinations around the world!  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) What was more challenging, opening your F45 Studio or launching Salt Escapes?  I would have to say F45. It was our first business so there was a lot to learn and a lot to prove. We made a heap of mistakes and knew next to nothing about business, but we worked our little asses off to build our gym into what it is today.  When we launched Salt Escapes, we already had an engaged, interested customer base in our clients at the gym, so it wasn’t SO terrifying to launch! Also, with it being our own brand and company, there were no limitations like with F45. Instead we were free to branch out, be adventurous and see what works. This is how we like to do things! How has your business evolved through lockdown?  Wow, it’s been a testing year. We lost a lot of members throughout the past year. Being located in central London was a huge advantage for the first few years of business, but when lockdown hit, everyone just disappeared!  It’s almost as though we’ve had the chance to start from scratch, which has meant we’ve had the opportunity to re-evaluate everything from our finances, processes and sales strategies, to our membership offering and client-relationships.  From that perspective (and ONLY that perspective), it’s been great for us. We’ve been given the opportunity to build our business back stronger. Nine months of closure allows you to do a lot of reflecting.  How have you personally evolved throughout the last year?  Well I’ve managed to avoid packing it all in and moving to a tiny island in the middle of nowhere - does that count?!  Haha, no but seriously - I guess for me, it’s been the year I’ve actually understood what it means to look after your mental health. It’s been a really challenging year to own a gym and a travel business, and my sleep and mental health has taken a battering.  Realising the importance of “self-care” (sounds cheesy, but it’s a whole vibe) has been a game-changer. For me, it’s walks in the park, my daily 10 minute Calm, switching my phone to Do Not Disturb, and prioritising learning (books, podcasts, journals).  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) What does the word ‘growth’ mean to you? Aside from #gains? Ha.  In the past couple of years - Mike and I have started saying to each other, and our team, “we like solutions, not problems”. Look, in work, training, life, there are always going to be problems, difficult people, and tough days. I used to obsess over the problems to the point they’d keep me awake at night. Now the minute a problem arises, I start thinking about the solution. Because there’s always a solution if you look hard enough, so what’s the point in stressing over things you have the power to do something about?  For me - that’s growth. Pushing forward, maintaining a solution-driven outlook whatever is thrown at you, and working out how to move past problems - adapt, reflect, learn.  How do you push past plateaus? I think the most important thing is that you recognise you’ve hit a plateau. Whatever it is you’re trying to change, be it weight loss, muscle gain, fitness levels, or whether it applies to work and productivity. I love to track everything. I write down all of my workouts, including the reps I’ve done, the weights I’m lifting, and even notes about how I felt during and after the session. This helps me clearly see when I’ve plateaued in my training, and encourages me to then reassess my goals and make a plan to push forward.  There are so many ways to mix things up. If it’s a training plateau, maybe try hitting the gym with a friend, trying out a different class, or getting a PT for a few sessions to give you some fresh ideas and perspective.  What aspect of your life do you struggle to develop most?  For me, it’s definitely finding balance. Running two businesses doesn’t usually allow for much down time, especially as I work with my fiancé, which means that we’re always either at work or talking about work. I really love working for myself, but it’s definitely had a big effect on my social life. Any 'time off' I do get, I usually feel like I just want to chill out alone. I definitely find it a struggle to maintain or build more meaningful friendships these days. Don’t get me wrong - I have a whole heap of wonderful people in my life - I’m just not that hot on messaging back or letting my hair down and going for a night out these days.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) Do you set yourself goals? How do you make sure you achieve them? All the time! But I read a great book recently, Atomic Habits by James Clear, which taught me about the importance of goals that are specific and actionable. He says goals are good for setting direction, but systems are best for making progress. I can resonate with this from my own experiences, and from watching so many clients set themselves goals, and then feel like they’ve ‘failed' because they’ve been so focused on the end goal, as opposed to making small, actionable, daily changes to get them there.  So for example, a small goal of mine at the moment is to drink more water as I’m generally pretty bad at this. I’m making this a habit by setting out my bottle of water before I go to bed each night, so I see it first thing in the morning. I tell myself I can’t leave the house for work until I’ve had 600ml water. I also use a water tracker app, which sends me little push notifications throughout the day. System in place, and so far it’s working and I feel great!  What is your greatest life accomplishment? It’s got to be building Salt Escapes. Mike and I have been on the same page since we met. We wanted to create a life where we could work for ourselves and travel the world. We’ve achieved that with Salt Escapes, and there’s a lot more to come!  On top of that, I don’t think there’s any greater feeling than being in a beautiful part of the world, with a bunch of amazing people who have just had the week of their lives, and have been inspired beyond measure, and realising that you made that happen.  What’s one goal you’re going for now? Work goal: Building my businesses back up in a post-pandemic world. We’ve got 9 Salt Escapes trips on the schedule for this year and I’m going to do everything in my power to make them all happen. I just need Boris to play ball!  Personal goal: Mike and I want to buy our first house by the beach. It’s definitely a longer term goal, but everything in our foreseeable future is now driven by this end goal. We’re focused on a future of beach walks, BBQs and puppies!  What are the benefits of having a growth mindset? The opportunities! Personally, I didn’t do too well at school. I didn’t get the point of learning for the sake of learning. But I’m pretty proud of the fact that through hard work, applied knowledge and a lot of determination as an adult. I now own two businesses, work for myself and get to travel the world.  Natural talent or academic intelligence is one thing, but a growth mindset allows you to experience success, build resilience and overcome challenges, all through a simple shift in your perspective.  To keep up with Amy, follow her on Instagram and on Salt Escapes.  Read more
Finding Yourself And Celebrating Individuality With Sandy Martin
Self-Care and Putting Yourself First with Bec Ahern
Editorial of Neev Spencer looking to the side
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.  Read more
Kate Parr posing on one leg
Aaron Breckell looking to one side
Aaron Breckell is an online body transformation coach at ABC fit and an Innermost Ambassador. Aaron has been a coach for over five years now, and is currently working with over 75 clients online all working towards fat loss, muscle gain and performance based goals. We sat down with Aaron to find out about how healthy habits and routine fuel his hustle, and how he teaches the importance of habit to his clients.  Hey Aaron! Tell our readers a little bit more about yourself and your background? I'm a personal trainer and online coach that helps individuals to burn fat, build muscle and improve their confidence. I’ve been doing this for around 10 years now and have worked with hundreds of people. My own interest in health and fitness comes from my background and experiences working out in the gym and improving my body and lifestyle. As well as my interests in the gym, I’m a keen guitar player and I also love surfing! What inspired you to start ABC Fit? My coaching business is a reflection of my ethos when it comes to health, fitness and body transformations. I love helping people and I wanted to deliver a message to my clients that shows simplicity and sustainability. Getting in shape and improving your health doesn’t need to be, nor should it be hard and complicated. The “ABC" in ABC Fit stands for Aaron Breckell Coaching, but ABC being the first three letters of the alphabet are simple and easy - just like the message I’m trying to get across.  Do you think health and fitness is all about habit? Habits allow us to live our lives efficiently without thinking about the small, regular things we do day in, day out. I think of them like the human body’s autopilot. Developing good habits and maintaining them is fundamental to seeing longterm sustainable results with any goal. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aaron Breckell Coaching (@aaronbreckellcoaching) How have positive habits changed your life?  Positive habits have not only helped me to change my body, build my confidence and improve my health. They also have created the disciplines that have allowed me to build and run a successful coaching business. Take us through your daily routine. How do your daily habits drive this? 7am: My days usually begin at around 7am. I kick the morning off with my breakfast which is usually a high protein/moderate carb/moderate fat meal. I find this is the best way to start my day. Along with my breakfast I take The Focus Capsules. This has been such a fundamental supplement since working from home for me as it helps me to keep my focus and concentration. As we all know there are so many distractions at home that can get in the way - so staying on top of things mentally is vital! 9am: After my breakfast, I let this settle and switch on my laptop and reply to any urgent emails or messages from clients. The next thing on my agenda is to take care of myself so at around 9am I begin my workout. Around 20 minutes before my workout, I start sipping The Energy Booster. Making a habit of a morning workout means it gets done. 11am: I’ll finish my workout with the Innermost Strong Protein. This hit of protein helps my muscles to recover, plus its got creatine added which is a bonus so it can help to replenish my creatine stores too. I’ll be showered and dressed and at my desk by 11am ready to get stuck into the day. The bulk of my working day involves checking in with clients via my app, answering any queries and creating custom meal and workout plans for them to follow for amazing results. 1pm: Around 1pm I’ll have my lunch. I normally opt for something quick/easy, yet nutritious like a chicken wrap with avocado and salad. One thing I’ve found that has helped my productivity massively since working from home is to make a habit of setting and planning daily tasks to accomplish each day. It’s also really important to schedule in breaks during the day away from work or else it becomes so easy to keep working through without a break. It’s great to work hard at your job, but you still need to look after yourself right! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aaron Breckell Coaching (@aaronbreckellcoaching) 2pm: After lunch I’ll be back at my desk again and getting stuck into more client focused work. I quite often use this time to create content for my social media too. 6pm: I’d typically work right up until 6pm, by which point I’m ready for my dinner! I normally cook up something like fajitas or a pasta and meatball dish in the evening. Again something high protein and delicious! 9pm: Around 9pm I’ll take The Recover Capsules to further assist my recovery from training and the working day. This nootropic contains all sorts of amazing micronutrients such as zinc and magnesium, to help assist with recovery and calm the nervous system for an even better nights sleep. I’ve found I sleep like a baby since adding these into my routine. 10:30pm: I’ve made getting into bed by 10.30pm a habit. Sleep is so important! Best advice for breaking bad habits and routines? I would say - ease yourself in. Work on one thing at a time and nail this before moving onto the next. So many of us try to overhaul our routines overnight and as a results fail to adhere to the changes. Looking for ways to create accountability within the new habits you’re trying to stick to can also be helpful. For example an online coach, a food diary, a habits buddy you can share the journey with or by keeping a journal. Best advice you’ve ever been given? “In every negative situation there is a positive. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder for it”. Looping this back around to habits, if you keep failing at sticking to certain habits, there’s a reason behind it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if you look into why it's happening. Find the why and you find the positive. Understand what it’s trying to teach you, learn the lesson and I guarantee you’ll be successful. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aaron Breckell Coaching (@aaronbreckellcoaching) What have you found to be the most challenging habit to keep up with? When I first got started on my journey, I initially found drinking 3L of water each day to be a challenge. One way to help stick to habits you’re struggling with is to understand the positive impacts of it. For example we all brush our teeth twice a day because we understand it will help us to keep a white healthy smile, a clean mouth and fresh breath right? I didn’t understand the importance of staying hydrated - so once I educated myself around that I made a much better effort to stick to it as a habit and it worked. What are some of your worst habits?  Social media scrolling at night! We all do it, and it’s probably effecting our sleep patterns negatively. It’s definitely something I need to work on over the coming months and instead perhaps leave my phone in another room when I get into bed. Favourite aspect of being a lifestyle coach? I love being able to communicate a message to my clients (and followers on social media) that takes them from point A to B. It’s so empowering for me to see another individual achieve something important to them, especially when they’ve tried before and failed or have been led to believe that it’s impossible. To learn more about Aaron, follow him on Instagram or head to his website.  Read more