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.
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.
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.