Meet Healthier Leila, an Average Girl on a Feirce and Fearless Mission!
Drum, roll…… please put your hands up for Healthier Leila, co-founder of Fierce and Fearless an initiative that empowers and inspires women through events and meet-ups. Leila is a qualified fitness instructor and Fiit Ambassador and as if she is not busy enough she also makes time to run Best You retreats and boot camps designed to help people reach their full potential. We had to have Leila join the FitFest Oxford family and couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s on board! Want to know more about Leila? we thought so, check out our exclusive interview with the lady herself.
What was your motivation for setting up a fitspiration movement?
My journey started back in June 2016 when I was feeling really miserable with my body. I had gained a lot of weight; I was living and unhealthy lifestyle, working long hours in London and not finding any balance. I started my blog and my Instagram account to help me find motivation and meal ideas. I then stumbled across The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan. I signed up for the plan and completed it in 6 months, a little longer than recommended but I still wanted to enjoy my life on the side. When I came to the end of the plan I’d lost weight but still felt miserable in myself, I still felt fat! I’d fallen back in love with exercise, joined the gym but still couldn’t find the love for my body and my confidence was low. It was the start of 2017 when I found Tally Rye’s Instagram and YouTube account. She spoke about self love, body confidence and everything around the subject. At first I didn’t understand it in the slightest, how could I still love myself if I considered myself fat. How could I look at myself in the mirror and like what I was looking at? The fact that I didn’t have a flat stomach or a thigh gap really got to me. I soon discovered that this feeling was a feeling from outside pressure, social media, press and magazines. I felt like I had to fit into an ‘ideal’ that was being shown around. I felt that ‘this is the way I should look’. I’d never even thought about not having abs and being happy. After months of watching YouTube videos, following new accounts on social media, deleting the Kardashians and finding women who really inspired me I started to ‘like’ what I saw in the mirror. That’s when my journey really started….. How did you build your body confidence?
It took a very LONG time. I tell everyone that it’s a journey, it isn’t over night. I made sure that I stopped buying the trash magazines that were unrealistic and for most not unattainable. I removed all the ‘celebrities’ from my social media that just posted themselves in lovely bikini’s or even airbrushed their photos. I followed women who were more my size and shape along with those that empowered me, inspired me and educated me with their content. Still to this day, I have days were I don’t feel 100% in my skin, but that’s completely normal and that’s the point, it’s a journey not an overnight mind-set change.
What is your favourite type of workout and why?
This changes all the time! I love using my FIIT app at home, its flexible and I love all the trainers that the app has. It’s also so convenient. With my busy job I love that I can take it anywhere with me, the cardio workouts are my favourites. I’ve recently got back into my running too, which I have found has really helped me with getting the head space that I need with a busy work schedule.
How will you keep a healthy balance during the Christmas period?
I make sure that I keep moving, but I also make sure that I enjoy myself. I no longer limit myself on food because I know that it’ll make me miserable if I see chocolate as a treat. I don’t have a negative relationship with food or my body anymore and I’m lucky that I’ve found the right balance on knowing what makes my body tick. To keep me motivated I always remember how good it feels after I’ve done a workout. I also plan my workouts around the festive period. Knowing when I’m going to workout and train really does help. But remember, ENJOY yourself!
What are your fitness and wellness goals and ambitions for 2019?
I have a huge year coming up in 2019 and some really exciting things happening. I decided that I really wanted to challenge myself and push my body. I want to show people that you can do anything you put your mind too, so I have decided to do 12 different challenges in 12 months. These are all completely different and I’ll start in January. This challenge is about pushing myself and making people realise that your body is more than aesthetics.
What can people expect from you at FITFEST OXFORD?
I am so excited to be hosting a body confidence talk and a workout at FitFest Oxford next year. You can expect a motivating and empowering talk where I’ll be giving you tips on how to change your mindset and how you can change the way you think about yourself. I’ll also be hosting one of my signature #BestYou workouts designed for beginners – intermediate, all bodyweight workout that you can take home away with you.