WeBlogNorth Featured Content Creator of The Week - The Real Life Fit
This is a space that showcases all of you awesome WeBloggers in the North and gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, as well as raise your profile (and your DA!). This week we're chatting with Rachael, who shares inspiring fitness content for fellow Mums on her blog The Real Life Fit.
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Name: Rachael Broderick
Blog URL: www.thereallifefit.com
Instagram followers: 3k+
Only create and share content or posts that either inspire, inform or humour your audience. Anything else is just noise.
How long have you been creating content?
I started my website blog in June 2018, but I’ve been ‘micro-blogging’ on IG for a while now… probably over a year properly.
Why did you decide to start your blog?
Well, I’ve always enjoyed fitness, eating well and focusing on a positive mindset. If I get my head or ear into a good personal development book, I inhale it like air!
On a serious note, after the birth of my first child 6 years ago, I became ill after quite a difficult labour and my health deteriorated over the months that followed. I developed viral meningitis, hypothyroidism and pneumonia in the space of 18 months. I knew that I wasn’t really looking after myself and I wasn’t moving my body enough or eating well and during that time I put on weight and became really uncomfortable in my own skin.
I reached a tipping point when my son Jack turned 1 and I’d just decided that I’d had enough of feeling that way. I knew something had to change so I needed to make a change. At the time, we were living in Wales and there wasn’t a great deal to do in the village we lived in, plus we didn’t have any family nearby to help with childcare so whatever I did needed to be accessible at home so I could work it around my son.
I followed quite a few fitness people on social media, most of them based in the US, and at the time there was a home-based workout program that I kept seeing pop up called T25 by a celebrity trainer called Shaun T. Basically it was a HIIT/Cardio workout program, 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 10 weeks. Do you know what the bad thing was… I didn’t even buy the workout DVD’s from the approved sources! I got my hands on a dodgy copy off some bloke on Facebook!!
Anyway, I got the DVD’s and for 25 minutes a day for 10 weeks, I stuck to the program and saw it through to the end and over the course of those 10 weeks, lost all the weight I’d put on after having my son, plus some weight I was carrying beforehand – 25lb in total. I’d not deprived myself of anything either – I’d still had the odd glass of wine here and there, a few slices of cake etc. I’d just changed my relationship with exercise and food but most of all I had changed my mental relationship with myself and learned to love myself a little bit more. Ever since then, over the last 5 years I’ve completed various home workout programs and love the challenge of trying different styles of workouts without having to leave the house!
Fast forward to 2017 and I was pregnant with my 2nd child and I really wanted to share and connect with other Mums like me, however when I went onto social media, much of what I was seeing was lovely 20-somethings in expensive gym gear looking amazing and buff and that just wasn't where I was at in my life! I've had 2 kids, I've got stretch marks, I have a laundry pile the size of Everest, I struggle to keep up with the millions of emails from school and I sometimes pee when I jump up and down! (Two kids via natural labour - 1, Pelvic floor - 0!) So that's where the idea for The Real Life Fit came from - because my posts aren't beautifully curated and colour themed (I wish I had the time to do that as those profiles look fab!) and kind of touch on the reality of taking care of yourself as a mum while juggling other responsibilities too.
Do you see this becoming a career or part of your career?
I'd very much like to think so! 12 months ago I was just blogging as an outlet, to use my creative streak and share my own health journey and struggles. So much so I set up a free online community for Mamas who want to eat better, move more and be inspired to see the best in themselves. I called it The Strong Mama Sisterhood. That community has been running for nearly a year and we have 250 members - all Mamas who are wanting to be healthy and feel amazing. There's so much love in that community let me tell you! I think the fact that it's a free community open to all Mamas hopefully conveys how passionate I am about this stuff!
In addition, I have recently partnered with the company Beachbody that produces the home-based workouts that I have done for the last 5 years. I would describe myself as a Body Positivity Coach for Mums who want to step it up and follow a structured workout program, whilst working on that positive mindset and eating great food – I genuinely believe that we can only look after our physical health if we are starting with our mindset.
I actually think the profile of mental health being raised so much over the last few years kind of echoes that exactly. If we don’t believe as Mamas that we deserve to feel amazing then we aren’t going to make better food and exercise choices. It has to start with how we think about ourselves as women. So, next I’m creating a members online virtual bootcamp for Mums, where they can get plugged in to one of the 100’s of online workouts available through the platform, they can also access lots of nutritious recipes and inspiration and I’m there as well as the other Mums in the bootcamp as their virtual cheerleaders to keep them accountable – which is huge when you workout at home and you want to watch Netflix instead of pressing ‘play’ on your workout!
What do you hope to achieve for your content in 2018 and what’s your big-picture goal?
For me, the content is really a platform to shout out about how bloody amazing we are as Mamas. Like seriously, we are freaking A-MAZ-ING! I am open to collaborate with other bloggers to really celebrate Mamas and drive the message home that we HAVE to put our own health, wellbeing and happiness first instead of looking out for everyone else around us. I love the fact that self-care is really promoted and talked about at the moment as it makes it so much easier to start those conversations with people and for Mamas to connect over their experiences.
Big picture goals… run online bootcamps for Mamas across the globe! Write a book… I don't know why I feel like I want to write a book… I feel that there's so much life yet to live but I feel that there is a book there somewhere! And of course keep focussing on my own health to stay well and healthy for me and my family. I love the fact that part of my passion means having to look after myself first… how amazing is that?!
What is your favourite social media channel & why?
By far I would say Instagram. It's just so much easier to reach and connect with your kind of people; your tribe. It’s so easy to start conversations with people who watch your Stories or use the same hashtags as you - it's so powerful!
What is your favourite tool or app that helps in your content creation?
I use Planoly to plan out the layout of my IG grid and schedule my content. I think it's relatively cheap for what's on offer and it's easy to get a feel for the layout far in advance, as well as move things around until it looks right. I'm still playing around with the layout of my IG - it's a work-in-progress but it's fun!
Who is your blogging/vlogging/content inspiration and why?
Gosh, there are quite a few. I would say on Instagram it's Eleanor Bowmer - her IG stories are hilarious and she's a northern lass who seems super down to earth - I love authenticity on social media as there is so much highly curated polished content, it's nice to think, "ah well, she seems normal like me!". Also Mother Pukka again just for the honesty, rawness and plain comedy of her stories and feed. I feel like we could share a bottle of wine!
I also listen to quite a lot of podcasts as it's easy for me to digest info on-the-go around the kids so also The Motherkind Podcast which focuses on all aspects of family life, the ups and the downs and relates it back to self-care. Finally, Chalene Johnson has a podcast called Build Your Tribe which is amazing for info and tips on building your brand on social media.
What do you like to do on weekends? Where can we find you hanging out?
OMG! Sleeeeep! Ok, so the thing is, is that kids don't know the meaning of the word 'weekend'! So I tend to get up one of the days at 6am as usual and let my husband have a lie-in and then he takes the early morning shift the next day. I live in Altrincham in Greater Manchester so quite often we will go and have a mooch around their market which is FAB! I actually love to just be lazy in the house also. I think life is so busy in the week with the eldest in school and home life that I'm super content to just 'be'. So on Sundays, we like to chill and watch movies with the kids, eat cake and drink tea.
If you could go anywhere in the world or experience any one thing, what would it be?
I've never been to India and would love to go one day when the kids have grown up. I think there's so much energy and spirituality about India. The other thing I'd like to do is drive from the East coast of the US to the West coast.
What're your tips for staying motivated and/or organised in your work?
Motivation is a funny word I think because I feel that if you have found what you are truly passionate about, that that passion will always find a way to push you forwards. However, I do have days where the self-doubt creeps in and I wonder what on earth am I rabbiting on about. But then, in a coincidental way, something will happen such as a message from one of the Mamas in The Strong Mama Sisterhood or someone will reach out via IG and be really positive about the message I'm promoting and it's as if the universe is giving me a sign to quit the negative self-talk and stay focused!
Organised… well, some days are better than others that's for sure! The key for me I've found is that I have to get to bed by 10pm so I can get up at 6am and get ready before the kids wake around 7am. That hour to myself in the morning (when it happens!) is absolute 100% bliss. I sit and journal, think of everything I am grateful for, meditate and read 10 pages of something that inspires or uplifts me to set the tone for my day.
Aside from that, I swear by Asana for managing projects and ideas day-to-day. I use Asana to manage work and home life! It's a godsend and it's free!
Microsoft One Note for everything and anything to do with my blog, social media, personal development, newsletter, goals…
I also schedule EVERYTHING in my Google calendar. Including my workout. If it's not in the calendar, it doesn't happen.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give other content creators & aspiring bloggers/vloggers?
Only create and share content or posts that either inspire, inform or humour your audience. Anything else is just noise. There are so many people out there with IG accounts and microblogs, it's important that when someone looks at your Story or post that they want to watch your Stories through to the end or they feel compelled to take action on one of your posts - whether it’s to buy from you or just reach out and comment or message you.
Fun/Random fact about you (go on, surprise us!):
I was on a Sky One reality dating show when I was 20 called The Villa - it was like the original Love Island!
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