This week we're chatting with Sophie Whitwell. Fitness professional, blogger, avid coffee snob and all round babe. After her own healing crisis disrupted her life a year ago, she set herself on a mission to heal and created a blog as an outlet. Now that she has recovered, she teaches classes at the Louisa Drake Method Studios in central London, and her blog has evolved into a hub of wellness that reflects her active lifestyle.
(ON HER BLOG)
A year ago, I was diagnosed with glandular fever and chronic fatigue and I started the blog as a way to stay sane whilst bound to the sofa. Now that I've recovered, it’s evolved into all things fitness, food, wellbeing and lifestyle. Readers can expect to see a range of posts, from recipes, fitness tips, city travel guides, and plenty of brunch spots. I write what makes me happy, and hope that readers will also enjoy it too. I guess because I cover a range of things, not every post will be for everyone, but I’m totally okay with that.
(ON TRUSTING THE TIMING OF LIFE)
I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, proven by my chance meeting with Louisa (and how I met my boyfriend 2 years ago!) The opportunity to join the LDM team came at a time where I had no idea which route to take with my career. I was just coming out the other side of my illness, and the daunting prospect of launching myself back into the musical theatre and performing world was looming over me. I felt like the chance to be part of LDM just as it was launching was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass by. Being fit, and leading a healthy lifestyle is a great passion of mine; as well as performing, but it’s fitness that really makes me happy. Being ill gave me the perspective to see what is really important, and if I’m healthy and happy working as a fitness professional, then I think why not just run with it?!
(ON HER FOOD + LIFESTYLE PHILOSOPHY
I’ve always chosen and enjoyed wholesome and healthy meals, and now being gluten and dairy free lends itself to me having to make lots of fresh and vibrant foods which I love! I don’t have any rules, but aim to feed my body with soul enriching foods. Particularly after being ill, I’ve learnt what my body needs and what it craves in order to feel good. I think my lifestyle matches this too. I’m always on the go, and it’s my goal to share my passion for health and fitness with both men and women through my classes and privates at LDM. We all want to look good on the outside, but I’m trying to learn and share that it’s also important to feel good on the inside too. I’m pretty hard on myself so this is an ongoing challenge!
(ON HER HEALING JOURNEY)
I feel like everyone is constantly growing and healing to create a better version of themselves. Personally, ‘healing’ plays a big part in my day to day. Recovering from chronic illness left me with emotional worries and unexpected hurdles, so my goal is to heal myself fully, not just physically, but emotionally too. I’m also learning that it helps to share the good and the bad with loved ones and like-minded ladies; many of whom I’ve linked with through social media!
And as for my skin, I swear it never used to be a problem, however, skin health and healing is also a journey, so I’m TRYING to give it time. Finding the time for my daily skin routine is always difficult with such early mornings and often late evenings back from teaching, however I make sure that in between all the sweaty classes, my skin is clean, hydrated and free.
(ON THE LOUISA DRAKE METHOD)
I teach at the Louisa Drake Method, Fitzrovia, private LDM sessions, as well as leading weekly LDM sessions at Shoreditch House. Louisa has created an amazing method of exercise; something that I believe can really change people’s bodies, and the way they move and feel on a day to day which I think is so important. LDM is a fitness fusion drawing upon the most effective elements of resistance, conditioning, cardio and stretch for fast results that will transform. When I take a session, I hope that clients leave feeling positively peachy, and ‘light’ rather than having that heavy-leg feeling after a workout. LDM is the only form of exercise that has really helped me see a change in my body, even though I feel like I have a long way to go - I guess no one is every truly content.
(ON DEFINING A SUPER HIGH VIBE LIFE)
The words that come to mind here are happiness, positivity and health. I think those who create and live with a ‘super high vibe’ radiate energy and confidence; something I’d like to say that I give off sometimes, but maybe not always. I think it’s important to know that being in a high state maybe isn’t always 100% achievable when ‘life’ gets in the way, but to at least it's is a good place to start.
(ONWHAT SHE'S MANIFESTING FOR 2018)
Simply, I’m happy that I am beginning 2018 feeling healthy, and am determined to stay healthy throughout the rest of the year and beyond. I want to launch myself further into the fitness industry and continue to grow my blog and it’s following. Organically, I would love to keep connecting with like-minded people through social media, in the hope of building a little hub of happiness and positivity.
FOODS SHE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT... Avocado, nut butter, dark chocolate… wow that makes for a strange meal! I am also partial to a soy latte (which people may have seen from my Instagram) however being the coffee snob I am, I only really like a coffee from my favourite little spot SHOT in Fulham!
SKIN-LOVE ESSENTIALS... I can’t live without a natural lip balm, especially in this chilly weather. I’m obsessed with the ‘Neal’s Yard’ All Over Balm. I love the feeling of cleansing my skin on a morning and evening with cleanser and a hot muslin cloth. I’ve recently started using the ‘Balance Me’ Cleanse and Smooth Balm as well as their Balancing Facial Moisturiser; both of which seem to have helped my skin massively. I also love using a facemask to make me ‘glow’ when my skin is feeling dull and dry. I use quite a few by ‘Origins’ as well as the Pure Clay ‘Glow’ mask by L’Oreal. I don’t wear a lot of makeup as I like to look natural and let my skin feel free, but I like using a CC cream (Glam nude- ‘L’Oreal) everyday to level out my skin and make me look a little more alive!!
WELLNESS MUST-HAVES... (1) My LDM bands, they pretty much go everywhere with me. It’s crazy how much you can challenge and change your body just by using resistance bands and your own body weight. (2) My re-usable water bottle. It’s both environmentally friendly, and super cute, covered in avocados! If someone didn’t know about my love for avos, they will once they’ve seen my bottle!
(3) And lastly, a trusty pair of Sweaty Betty leggings!
MORNING ROUTINES... My mornings are never the same. If I’m up early to teach, my morning consists of a quick shower, getting ready in the dark, and heading straight to the studio to teach. I always feel pretty tired, but as soon as clients arrive and I see their dedication to come and train with me, it always makes it feel worth it. Alternatively, if I don’t have an early morning teaching, and my schedule matches my boyfriends, I love heading out to Shot for a coffee date and catch up. Sitting down for a coffee is more than just the coffee, but rather quality time to spend with my better half and a moment to just ‘chill’. Everyone moves so fast in London, as well as myself, so I appreciate the moments of stillness. Instead, I sometimes have a home workout or head to the studio to train as a client rather than being an instructor.
SELF-CARE SUNDAYS... I love Sundays; most of the time a Sunday is my day off. I’ll attempt a lie in (although my body hardly ever lets me), go for coffee or brunch, workout, see friends or just chill with J. I like to try and make a nice meal on a Sunday evening to prepare me for the week ahead, as well as prepping my diary and head ready for Monday! I don’t know what it is about a Monday, but they are always a little bit of a struggle!
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