We recently chatted to Simone Marie about all things fitness, health and her experience suffering from anxiety. We’ve been following her journey on social media for a while and are so inspired by her bravery and ability to view her mental health challenges in a positive light.
Simone is 31 and currently based in Cairns, having recently moved there from Perth. She was working in the mining industry in HR recruitment and unexpectedly lost her job (which she says in hindsight is one of the best things that has happened to her). She has now made it her mission to inspire ladies to live a healthy lifestyle – body, mind and soul.
- Have you always been very healthy?
No! I came from a background where being healthy wasn’t encouraged and over the years I have fallen on and off the bandwagon. But I got to the point where I realised I just wanted more for myself. So, for the past six years I have really focused on living a healthy lifestyle and made it a part of my every-day life.
- How do you stay motivated with your fitness and healthy eating?
I really just focus on how GOOD being healthy makes me feel! I remind myself to simply do what I can – even if it’s just a 20 minute walk and that’s all I can do that day, then that’s okay. I really listen to what MY body and mind needs – as long as I’m moving my body, whether that’s cardio, weights or a simple walk, then great!
I’ve also learned to drop the expectations and not be so hard on myself – if I’m not feeling up to a workout mentally or physically then it’s OKAY not to go that day.
- What does your workout routine consist of?
I try to workout about five times a week. I’ll normally start the day with a 20-30 minute fat burning walk (on the treadmill, as it’s so hot here!), then I’ll go to the gym in the evenings with my husband.
I find walking in the morning great as it really helps kick-start my day and clear my mind, then I like to do cardio and weights later in the day as I find that’s when I have more energy
- What are your daily rituals to keep you on track with your health?
Every morning I drink a 500mL glass of warm water with ½ lemon squeezed in and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. It feels good nourishing my body with something so cleansing first thing in the morning! I try to drink 3L of water every day (my Real Active bottle definitely helps with that). And, of course, my fat-burning walk every morning.
- What does being healthy mean to you?
For me, the mental benefits of being healthy actually outweigh the physical benefits. I know if I eat healthily and train well I’m not only going to reap the physical benefits but I’m going to feel a lot clearer mentally too. When I’m living a healthy lifestyle, I’m a lot more focused, inspired and motivated.
- What are your other passions?
I’m a real foodie and love cooking and whipping up healthy meals. I like hunting around in the health food stores and making up yummy clean treats. I also love going to the movies, shopping and reading… but I’m actually a bit of a homebody!
To be honest, I feel like I’m really just finding myself at 31 and still feel very young at heart. I’m sure there are plenty more passions to be discovered in my lifetime.
- Your Instagram handle is @therealsimonemarie – what does this mean to you?
It means I can be whoever I want to be on any given day – if I’m having a bad day I’ll say it, likewise if I’m having a good day, I’ll share that. It means being real, raw, open and honest. People’s lives aren’t perfect (though often they can appear that way on social media) and I want to show the real me.
- It seems like you spend a lot of time giving to others through your social media - do you ever need a break from this?
Definitely – if I’m not feeling myself I will have a day or two away from the screen. In order to give to everyone else, I need to fill my own cup up so I try to do this. I find giving myself a time limit for replying to people’s messages really helps too.
- Who inspires you?
My girlfriends – they are all so supportive and encourage me to keep sharing. If I’m having a bad day, they remind me that I could be helping someone out there simply by sharing my experience. My followers are my biggest inspiration. I carry a lot of self-doubt and they invest in me and believe in me. If I wasn’t receiving the messages of love and support that I get on a daily basis, I definitely wouldn’t be sharing all that I do! I also really love Sophie Cachia’s vibe and follow her journey on social media.
- You are very open about your anxiety – what made you start sharing your journey on social media?
I looked at Instagram and I saw all these people sharing photos of their perfect bodies, perfect tan, perfect smooth skin, perfect life and I just thought it’s not real! And one day earlier this year it just came out of my mouth and I just rolled with it.
- When did you start struggling with anxiety and can you remember how it started?
I’ve been struggling with anxiety since I was about 13. I just remember always feeling on edge, nervous and second guessing myself at such a young age. It could have entered my life much earlier I feel, but 13 comes to mind.
- How does anxiety play out in your life?
It can really stop me in my tracks sometimes! I can either wake up feeling anxious and almost out of breath, even in tears. If I wake up feeling anxious, I choose to acknowledge it straight away. Or if it pops up at any point during the day, I choose to go easy on myself and slow down where I can.
Anxiety can be really horrible for me at times and almost makes me stop believing in myself and throw everything away that I have worked so hard on personally and professionally. As long as I’m aware of it, I get through the other side okay every time.
- What are some of the things you have in your toolbox to manage your anxiety
- Eating well
- Keeping active (even if it’s just a 20 minute walk)
- Keeping hydrated by drinking 3L of water a day
- Going easy on myself and treating myself with kindness
- Writing in my gratitude journal (I also use this to manifest the sort of life I want)
- Listening to Tony Robbins
- Practising self-care – this is about making time for YOU. I’m all about finding things to fill your cup up and give yourself things to look forward to, even if it’s just once a week. Journal, go for a walk, go to a café, do whatever you can to feed your soul and make it count.
- I’ve heard you mention that you view your anxiety as a strength not a weakness. Can you explain a bit more about this?
I have an “inner mean girl” who gives me self-doubt which feeds into my anxiety. And if I listen to that voice, I fail before I even give something a try. But I’ve been through a lot and grown so much that I can now look back and think “wow, I am actually a really strong person.”
- If there is anyone reading this that is struggling with anxiety themselves, what would you suggest they do to help themselves feel better?
- Acknowledge that you’re anxious – and don’t fight it
- Be kind to yourself - thoughts have power! Challenge yourself to quit the negativity and fuel your inner dialogue with nothing but love for yourself. I find doing this can create such positive change
- Acknowledge what has caused the anxiety – sometimes I find if I’ve had a super busy day my anxiety is a lot higher so I take extra care to try to find time to fill my cup up on those days
- Accept that sometimes we aren’t able to tick everything off our list and that’s okay
- Distract yourself with something good for the soul – hang out with a girlfriend, cook, read a magazine, go the gym or go to the beach
- Don’t forget to breathe – quite often if I’m anxious, I’ll notice my breathing is very shallow and that I’m holding my breath without even realising it. Breathing is so important so if you’re feeling anxious, stop and take five deep breaths
- It’s okay to say no sometimes – set your own boundaries and don’t feel bad about saying no! We’re only human and choosing to look after yourself doesn’t make you a bad person
- If you’re anxious, write it out – once you have it out on paper, do whatever you want with it e.g. scrunch it up or run it under water and let it go!
- Take your shoes off and walk on the grass or sand to ground yourself
- Sing or dance it out – turn that music on and physically shake it off and get out of that funk! My go-to songs are ‘’Don’t Kill My Vibe” by Sigrid and “Simple Things” by Ziggy Alberts.
- What would you say your life mantra is?
Be okay with where you’re at today.
- What’s coming up for you?
I want to take my message global. I want to be sharing my story and empowering women to be confident and to love themselves. I find the more I share my message, the more my confidence grows and the bigger that fire becomes in my belly. Stay tuned!
To hear more from Simone, click here to follow her on Instagram or add her to Snapchat (realsimonemarie).