This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Mirella Ingamells.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I am a mummy to my beautiful little girl Atari Maya and I run my own fitness coaching business to include online coaching and retreats in Ibiza where I live. Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine. From when I was a child, I used to do a lot of sports and activities including gymnastics, ballet, swimming and athletics. I went from being a cardio bunny in my late teens to transitioning into lifting weights in my twenties and never looking back.
Where does your motivation come from?
My own internal drive and love for health and fitness. I love to feel good and looking after my body through eating well and training smart, it gives me the best feeling. My little girl is now a huge added motivator to be the best role model and best version of myself.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
I went down a different career path after leaving school. I worked as a Personal Assistant/Secretary, then moved into business management in the tourism industry. It was only in my late twenties that I realised I wasn't doing what I was truly passionate about.
I come from a small city in the UK and moving to London opened my eyes to more possibilities...it was then that I decided to make the jump to change my career and change my life for the better. Financially, it was hard in the beginning but waking up each day, helping others and doing something I was so passionate about helped get me get through it.
I have built a very successful business off the back of my passion and now a day's work doesn't feel like work because I am doing something I love. Before my little girl came along, I would happily work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don't have that luxury now but I do try to have a good work/life balance, so that I can focus on keeping my business going and helping others, as well as being a good mummy to Atari.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Mindset is the key to self-care. Learning to love your body, flaws and all. Self-sabotage is the route to most failures for a lot of women. Building confidence through inner strength, self-love and empowering women is something I focus most of my energies on when helping clients to better themselves.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
So many women are scared of bulking up and looking manly. This is pretty much impossible for most women naturally. Most of the women I know in the fitness industry have built strong, beautiful, feminine bodies. Not just on the outside, but they are strong on the inside too, because they have learnt to love their bodies and build a strong positive mindset in the process.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
I think it comes from all the ridiculous diets that have come and gone over the years i.e. the cabbage soup diet, paleo, weight-watchers, etc. All these diets focus on cutting out food groups and cutting calories...unrealistic ways of bringing about a leaner physique, but not a happier one. What these diets are is NOT sustainable. Which is why so many women get bored and fall off the wagon.
Many women who come to me for help, I find are quite honestly miserable...trying to survive on 1000 calories a day, doing hours and hours of exercise, wondering why they aren't getting the results, and just feel exhausted and demotivated with it all. Which is really sad.
The first thing I do, is give them more food to eat and cut down their workouts, which of course they think I'm crazy about at first. But you'd be surprised how many, pretty much all of them, feel great within one month, start to see results and wonder why they were being so harsh on their body beforehand. It's not rocket science and there isn't a magical method for all. It's about finding what's right for you.
One of the key things I try to educate clients on is how to eat smart and train smart. It's an educational process but one I really enjoy helping women with.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
You can never know enough, you will never know it all and there are so many ways to achieve health and fitness.
How important have the people around you been when it comes to your success?
Extremely. No matter what I learn, there is always so much more. Learning and taking support from others in the industry has been imperative to my own success and continues to be.
Name 3 things people don’t know about you.
1. I'm a party girl at heart
2. I live in Ibiza but not for the parties :)
3. I run fitness retreats in Ibiza for women
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
I follow an 80/20 principle. 80% healthy, 20% that allows room for fun.
How do you stay productive?
Keeping on top of my health and fitness gives me high productive levels. When I feel good, I work harder!
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Everything I could tell my younger self I have learned over time.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
I eat a healthy balanced diet...3 meals a day, 1-2 snacks. I don't go long between meals. I eat often and small meals. I enjoy meals out and a few drinks at the weekends.
I run once a week, pilates once a week, and train approx 3 times a week with either a high intensity bodyweight workout at home or follow a tough legs and glutes circuit with weights.
Going into 2017, what are your biggest life goals?
To teach my little girl more about the world as she grows older, and to continue to build my business so that I am able to support her development and everything she wants out of life.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?