Farah Fonseca prioritises strength, focus and functionality above everything else in her training. That’s how she won England’s Strongest Woman three times. But even she isn’t immune to the pressures of the fitness industry, especially when it comes to social media.
Recently Farah took to Instagram to show the transformation she has been through from the ages of 18 to 28.
But the changes haven’t all been physical. In fact, the point of the post was to highlight how she's changed her outlook over the years and learned to love herself and her body.
Here’s what Farah had to say about her transformation over the last 10 years.
After years of airbrushing photos, posing to create a “thigh gap” and straightening her hair to try and fit into the fitness influencer mould, Farah switched her mindset. Now she feels strong, confident and authentically herself.
The key to making that shift? Fostering balance in every area of her life, celebrating and embracing her culture and not chasing perfection.
“I’m not saying I am perfect now. But over the past 10 years, I would like to think I’ve created a balance in my life towards food, alcohol, training.
“You’ll never catch me not eating something because it might ruin my physique. I never put any client on a strict plan, because realistically I couldn’t do it. So if I can’t, what makes me think my clients trying to juggle, training, mum life, being a partner, friend, trying to cook, socialise, have ‘me time’, develop themselves... the list goes on, but you get the point. Why add another stressor to your life of trying to be perfect?
“Learning to be authentically YOU is a process and a journey, but one I really push everyone to work towards. There really is no better feeling of having people around you because they love you for you.”
Loving yourself and building genuine self-confidence is a difficult task, even for a multiple winner of England’s Strongest Woman. But as Farah shows, it is one that’s achievable.
Take home message
So, take Farah’s advice. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re struggling to juggle all of life’s responsibilities on top of your ambitions, because you can’t do everything.
Take things one step at a time, keep time just for yourself and try to live a balanced life. Honour your cravings, go to the gym and move your body when it feels right and enjoy your social and family life. At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important.
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