Franny's Fitness and Mental Health Journey FEAt. Zooey!

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My favourite frozen berry and banana smoothie! So simple yet so tasty <3 Perfect way to kick-start your day!

My favourite frozen berry and banana smoothie! So simple yet so tasty <3 Perfect way to kick-start your day!

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Another favourite! A mango and spinach smoothie with peanut butter! You can’t even taste the spinach!

Another favourite! A mango and spinach smoothie with peanut butter! You can’t even taste the spinach!

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The hiking gang! This year has been a bit crazy but when we find the time, we all love to get together and go on hike. Amelia Allan is our hiking guru! Also known as   Meliaallan     on Insta!

The hiking gang! This year has been a bit crazy but when we find the time, we all love to get together and go on hike. Amelia Allan is our hiking guru! Also known as Meliaallan on Insta!

As you probably can tell from our Insta stories, Franny LOVES to work out. We want to share our thoughts on the importance of health, in relation to how you function as a person. For us, a healthy lifestyle helps to foster and nurture a mental state where music and any other creative endeavours can flourish. Hopefully, you might find some tips and suggestions from this post that are useful and which you can implement in your own life.

Franny:

It’s crazy for me to think about how I was before keeping fit and healthy compared to the person I am today. They are two very different people. This is a relatively new habit I have instilled in my day-to-day routine and something I notice holds tremendous value in how I feel physically, emotionally and mentally. I started to work out and maintain a healthy diet (minimising my fast food and foods with artificial preservatives in them) in order to keep my weight at its best. And though I am a little embarrassed to admit this, it was purely to do with aesthetics! I wanted to look good naked and to become lean and toned. I think we all tend to judge ourselves very harshly and although I know there are many of my friends who didn’t think I ‘needed’ to work out and that I was ‘fine the way I am’, I wanted to see what my body was capable of and, lets be honest, I wanted some toned glutes, LOL! But seriously, I think it’s hard when we are so bombarded with images of the ‘ideal’ body and what makes you a ‘real’ woman, that unfortunately, we do become brainwashed. I REALLY do not endorse the ideals these images promote and have suffered first-hand from the damage these images can inflect upon one’s self-esteem. I have felt inadequate and unworthy because of societal expectations and the constant bombardment of damaging images of photoshopped, fake women (when I say ‘fake’, I mean women who have been trimmed to look skinnier, filtered and made to look ethereal with their smooth, unblemished skin… Seriously? Come on. Let’s be honest. Flaws and flawed people - as we all are - make us much more interesting and unique… So why do we try to cover this up?!). So, yes, I began my fitness journey based on these feelings of wanting to look ‘ideal’ and though I knew it was impossible to LOOK like those women, I felt as though just maybe if I could look a little bit like them I would be HAPPIER. Little did I know, with this journey I would discover many, many more benefits of keeping fit and eating healthy. What I thought would bring me happiness, didn’t, and what ended up bringing me happiness was something I had not anticipated. These days, I don’t even think twice about weighing myself or how I look in the mirror naked – it’s essentially not about how I look, but rather how I feel. It’s become totally part of my routine and has become a LIFESTYLE choice. I LOVE working out! I LOVE seeing what my body can do and how it improves every time I push myself. I LOVE feeling strong and powerful! Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t think, “Hmm, I wish that flabby part there would go away” or “My butt jiggles way too much” or “Fuck off, cellulite.” Instead, I see a woman who is strong and has really pushed herself beyond what they ever thought they were capable of and… gosh, do I feel PROUD!

 

What are the benefits that I have experienced personally?

-          I lead quite a busy life… I work 4 days at my primary job whilst keeping on top of my musical projects and endeavours. I have just signed with an acting agency to pursue further acting opportunities and on top that I have my day-to-day ‘tasks’ that I need to get done. I know before I started working out, my mentality would have been, “Where the hell do I find the time to stay fit?” and I would have used that as an excuse to not move my body and to stay in a rut. For me, working out is ME time. I spend 30 minutes a day moving my body and letting that energy flow through me at the beginning of my day before going to work. It sets me up to feel energised and ready to take on the day!

 

-          Emotionally and mentally I am so much more stable! It’s crazy! I do suffer from anxiety and sometimes it does get the better of me, but since keeping fit and healthy, my anxiety levels have decreased and I feel a lot more in control and strong within myself.

 

-          Being creative is one of the MOST important parts of my life! When I am in a rut, the creativity becomes stunted. It doesn’t matter how many times I try to write a song, if I’m stuck inside my head, nothing tends to flow out. Keeping fit opens up my mind and releases endorphins into my body which help to nurture my creative side. This is incredibly important for me given my life revolves around my creativity.

What does my fitness routine look like?

-          I began my fitness journey at the end of 2017 and joined the Keep It Cleaner community at the beginning of this year to push myself further. It’s amazing working out with a community of like-minded women who help to motivate and generate discussions around all sorts of topics that help to keep me focused on my goals. I love being held accountable - and this group makes sure of it! If you like to work out at the gym or have sporty activities every week, that’s great, but if you’re like me and feel most comfortable in your home, joining a community like KIC is a great way to kick start your health/fitness journey.

 

-          Every morning before work, I spend 20 minutes working out. In one week, I do the following sessions:

·        High-intensity interval training (HIIT) x2

·        Strength x2

·        Boxing x1

·        Running x1

·        Pilates or Yoga x1

This way I am moving my body every day! I try to include small walks every day as well which I usually fit in when I walk to work.

-          After my workout I usually make myself a smoothie in the morning to kick start my day. Shortly after I have a coffee. For lunch, I usually buy myself sushi or have rice crackers with tuna and avocado. And for dinners, they range from all sorts of different meals. I like to cook in bulk and freeze meals for those days where I just don’t feel like cooking. I don’t usually snack throughout the day, but if I do, it will be on some KIC bliss balls or some fruit or a muesli bar and lots of tea! I love my tea! Of course I also eat out and have Uber Eats on days that I don’t feel like cooking or want to splurge AND that is completely fine. It’s all about balance and moderation!

How do you stay motivated to workout?

This is a tricky one, but essentially when you have something that is soooo embedded into your routine you feel almost out of sorts when you don’t workout.  For me, when I am feeling particularly unmotivated I think about the fact that it’s only 30 minutes of my day that is being dedicated to nurturing my body and that my body deserves this! I think about how good working out makes me feel during and after, and how much more switched on I am when I go to have a jam on my keyboard. When I feel those endorphins kick in, I seem to be able to create and be in the moment with my music. It’s also to do with confidence. When I work out I feel confident in my own skin. This translates to also feeling more confident in my music, which I have struggled with in the past.

Tangent time: To go on a bit of tangent, something I’ve really struggled with is having faith in my ability to create music, and having faith that it will be something others enjoy listening to. I have had an enormous amount of self-doubt and self-destructive moments that seem to still haunt me at times, especially when it comes to performing. I find, however, that when I do a yoga or pilates session, I am able to refocus my brain and the anxiety starts to decrease… It is still something I am really trying to work hard on.

So, knowing that moving my body helps with my performance-anxiety is a HUGE motivator! I guess, for me, I see keeping fit as a therapeutic approach for my insecurities.  You really just have to play around with it, and see the differences for yourself.

Before I started this journey, there is NO WAY I would have predicted how amazing I feel today. All I can say is I totally recommend picking up something like a sport or dance or a fitness program that gets you moving to see for yourself just how different you will feel within, I reckon, a month! For me, it has been so worth it! Go kick some goals!

Zooey’s two cents!

Alrighty folks. So working out isn’t really my thing. I’ve tried to incorporate it into my routine a few times, and have never been able to make it a habit. In saying this, I do admire Franny’s hard work (and her toned booty hahaha), and I can really appreciate how many health benefits working out can have, both physically and mentally.

In my defence, I’m not a total couch potato!!! To exercise, I love getting out of the house and doing an activity. I love playing tennis, and most of all hiking with my fave hiking buddies, Franny and Amelia!! I was also doing a lot of indoor rock-climbing last year and I’d love to get back into that!

So my theory is, if you want to exercise but can’t stick to a rigid work out routine, find a fun activity that you enjoy and go for it!!