From personal trainers to girls who just love their exercise, we love meeting fitness girls of all shapes and sizes, with different backgrounds, with different stories. We recently caught up with blogger and Instagrammer Hannah Rose Fit, whose personal fitness journey is inspiring thousands of girls around the world. Facing injury and surgeries, Hannah is the perfect example of positive body image: no retouching, no lies, no miracles – just the honest (sometimes difficult) truth. We did a little shoot with this inspirational superwoman right before she was headed off for a second knee surgery which she is now recovering from…
Who are you?
My name is Hannah and I’m a health and fitness blogger, I’m 24 and I live in London, I’m originally from the countryside in Devon and I’m just a regular girl trying to keep healthy, happy and active in the big city!
Tell us a bit about your fitness journey so far…
I’ve always been very sporty, I played Netball all through my school years and competed for my county in 100 and 200m. Despite this, I never actually enjoyed the notion of fitness. That was until I started going to the gym in January 2015, I had my first knee surgery coming up and was determined to become fit and healthy for it. Since recovering from my first surgery in March last year, I’ve worked extremely hard, fallen in love with yoga, learnt the magic of lifting weights, and just completely changed my life, sounds cheesy, but it’s true!
You’ve just had surgery on your knee, how do you cope with being put on forced bedrest? Any advice for girls in a similar situation?
It is really tough, I’m not going to lie to you all and say it’s all unicorns and fairy dust, it really sucks. I’ve just been telling myself it’s temporary, and soon enough I’ll be (mostly) back to normal. I try and distract myself as much as possible, I have never watched so much TV in my entire life! Advice wise, try and remember it’s not permanent, and in situations like mine, where you’re recovering from surgery, or even just an injury, know that this is progress, this is what your body needs right now. Distract yourself, sign up to Netflix, read as many books as you can find and just try to stay sane!
Through your blog and social channels you’ve been an outspoken positive body image advocate, is there anything you would like to see change in the future (the media, fashion industry, etc)?
I honestly think women don’t have it easy. You look in a magazine, you look on social media, all you see are these svelte, perfect figures, not only are they most likely photoshopped, but they’re also not a true, real, honest representation of the female body. Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and the world needs to start realising this. I don’t just mean the media outlets who put those long, lean bodies without a freckle or a bump in sight, in front of our noses, I also mean us regular folk.
I have had my fair share of body image problems, which is pretty ridiculous because I know I look good. Even writing that I nearly deleted it, because that comes across as so conceited, but it shouldn’t be! And that is a whole other problem, women aren’t allowed to be confident in their own skin, there’s such a conflict of what we’re meant to feel… We’re meant to love our bodies, yet we can’t say it without looking overly self confident. I’d really like that to change. When I’m a mother (in the far far off future), I’d love my daughter to grow up in a world where girls don’t feel self conscious about their bodies, don’t feel embarrassed when they’re actually proud of how they look and class their worth on their minds and their souls, as opposed to the size of their thighs.
What has been your biggest fitness highlight to date? Do you have any fitness goals left you would love to achieve?
I think running again after my first operation, they didn’t think I’d be able to. And although I’ve had to have a second one, and running it mostly off the cards for now, it was an amazing milestone! I would love to be able to do a handstand, I am planning on doing a lot of upper body and core training when I’m back in the gym to make it happen. In an ideal world I would love to be able to play netball again, but that’s something that I am trying not to think too much about at the moment.
What inspires you?
People following their dreams! I have seen a lot of people turn their passions into a career, and I really would love to be able to do that myself!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I honestly have no idea, sounds like such a lame answer, but it’s the truth! Maybe I’ll still be in London, maybe I’ll be somewhere else entirely. I lived in Paris for a year during uni and I would love to go back, so maybe there, showing the Parisians how to be fit and active!
Do you have any advice for people starting their fitness journey?
First of all, well bloody done, it’s not easy committing to wanting to start getting fit! Second of all, be patient. Results are never immediate, but they are 100% worth the wait. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself, it isn’t as easy as it looks on social media, it is incredibly tough, and you’ll probably want to quite a hundred times, but don’t!
What’s the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A black leather jacket, I live in mine! It can be worn with everything and is so versatile.
What are your style tips for dressing to the gym?
I am a huge sucker for patterned leggings, so as a result I tend to wear plain tops. But really, just wear what you feel comfortable in. You’re working out, you’re getting sweaty, the most important thing is that you feel ok doing this. Luckily, there are a TONNE of brands out there now that can offer super stylish sports wear that is not only practical, but looks good too! I think start with what you feel happy in, and then maybe adventure out to more daring stuff piece by piece. Just do you, if you want to be head to toe in black, that’s awesome, if you feel confident in just shorts and a sports bra (which you totally should by the way), they do it!
What’s your favourite healthy snack?
Dark chocolate and almond butter, I am obsessed! I have to watch my portions though!
What do you indulge in on a cheat day?
It really depends on the day, I am huge sucker for a burger and fries, but sometimes I want pizza, or macaroni cheese, or just a big bar of Cadbury’s… they’re probably the most common choices. When I cheat… I do it in style!
What’s your workout of choice?
Yoga, 100%. I love it! But if I’m looking to break a sweat, I’d probably choose HIIT, it’s so diverse, there are a lot of different types and I never get bored.
How do you motivate yourself when you don’t feel like working out?
I think I just tell myself that I’d regret not doing it, but I’d never regret doing the workout. I also think that because I’ve had two knee surgeries now, and have an ongoing knee injury, I am extremely grateful for my body, and grateful for the fact that I can get up and workout, that’s always something that drives me.
What do you do to relax?
I honestly love just lying in bed watching something good on TV. It’s always the way I’ve wound down. I quite like my alone time as well, just chilling by myself with a good show and my duvet.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
My aunt once told me that things will happen in their own time, when they’re supposed to. I think that when you’re a young adult, you think everything important in you life will happen immediately. It’s easy to forget that actually, we have our whole lives ahead of us. I’ve got another 80 years or so to live, and that’s amazing, and it makes the unknown stuff right now a little bit less scary, and a lot more exciting.
If there was a soundtrack to your life, what song would be playing right now?
I have been in love with ‘Walking in the Sun’ by Fink, the PANG! remix for a while now, whenever I feel upset or anxious, I listen to it, it’s my happy song!
Wearing NO KA’OI Kihi Leggings and Ola BraWearing We Are Handsome The Dalliance Capri, Bra and Jacket and Reebok TrainersWearing NO KA’OI Kihi Leggings and Moku tank topWearing Olympia Activewear Ophelia Bra and Neo Kore 3/4 LeggingsWearing Alala Palm Print Bomber and Olympia Activewear Neo Kore 3/4 leggings