Taking Five – Nicole Leadbeatter

Whenever this girl pops up in conversation, regardless of who you’re chatting too,  it is usually filled with the words gorgeous, friendly, kind, fit, mega babe (this one always coming from me, especially) and extremely hardworking – which is exactly why I approached Nicole for an interview for the bloggie this week.

So, if you don’t know her, let me give you a little bit of background! Nicole made her impact on the bodybuilding scene in 2014 competing in her first show in Melbourne with IFBB as a Bikini first timer. After that she made a successful debut on the ANB stage and just this year in May, she competed with the WBFF (in a show stopping bikini, can I just add). She is a sponsored athlete for both ASN and Blissfit Bikinis, manages F45 in Braddon with her partner in crime and is soon  going to dive into the YouTube world to launch a lifestyle channel. (See what I mean about hardworking, right?)

In the last couple of months Nicole made the decision to publicly announce she was taking a step back from the bodybuilding stage to focus on a more functional training approach and put her health in the forefront once again. After reading her post and getting in touch with her, I quickly figured out that she truly embraced all the things that not only I, but everyone else appreciate in someone who has been so involved in the health and fitness industry for many years. I consider myself extremely grateful that Nicole took some time out of her hectic schedule to answer some questions for me (and you) about all things self love, training, food and her big decision to take a break from the stage. I hope you guys enjoy this chick as much as I do!

And again, thank you Nicole, you gorgeous mega babe!


Schae: What is your current outlook in regards to Health and Fitness?

Nicole: My current outlook in regards to Health and Fitness is centred around feeling good. I think too often we think about concepts of health and fitness as a means to looking good, rather than for the simple purpose of being fit and healthy! There is a lot more to health than physical stats – mental wellbeing to me is the cornerstone of health. If your head is in the right place, you have a much better chance of success in everything you do.


 S: How has this changed or evolved over the last few months/years?

N: In the past I have definitely been way too uptight about my image and how people see me. Unfortunately in this social media age it is very easy for young women to feel unrealistic pressures to look a certain way and live a certain way. Until only recently I placed a lot of pressure on myself to seem as ‘perfect’ as possible. I think a lot of girls do this, which is so sad as we become so cruel to ourselves in that pursuit. I have recently come to understand that you can really only be happy when you accept yourself for how you are in the present moment. You might think you’ll be happier if you lose X amount of kilos in X many weeks, but why don’t you deserve to be happy now? Taking the approach that you deserve to feel good in the present moment will make it a lot easier to exercise and eat well. If you are torturing yourself with hours of exercise and super strict diet with the vague end goal of happiness, where is the fun in that? For the last few months, I have really enjoyed training and have been able to eat a lot more intuitively because I haven’t been as caught up in how I look.

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 “You might think you’ll be happier if you lose X amount of kilos in X many weeks, but why don’t you deserve to be happy now? Taking the approach that you deserve to feel good in the present moment will make it a lot easier to exercise and eat well.”


S: You recently announced that you were going to focus on other aspects apart from competing. What pushed this change and do you have any advice for other competitors?

N: I realised that over time competing had essentially diminished my self-worth. It started as a really positive exercise in discipline and public confidence, however as time went on I began to feel overwhelming pressure (mostly internal). An injury I sustained at the end of last year (and am still in the process of rehabilitating) made me realise just how much I valued being functional.  When you are restricted physically you spend a lot more time in your own head! After a lot of reflection, I realised how unhappy and anxious I had become, and that the only thing keeping me going in competing was worrying that I would be letting down my partner, friends, family and sponsors. It was such a relief to let myself be ok with not competing, and the support I received from all the people I had worried about disappointing was so beautiful.

 I still have a lot of respect and admiration for all disciplines of bodybuilding, so I would never try to discourage people from it in general. I think the best advice I could give is that you need to know where you stand on these three questions:

·         Am I doing this for myself?

·         Do I love what I’m doing/does it make me feel good?

·         Will I be ok regardless of the outcome of the competition?

If your answer to any of these questions is no then it is probably not the right lifestyle for you!


 S: What is your all time favourite Canberra spot for a good breakfast?

N: I can’t say enough good things about Eighty/Twenty Food in Braddon. The ‘Green Nourish Bowl’ with poached eggs is my go-to, however if I’m craving a sweeter breaky they do some amazing acai bowls!

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Eighty/Twenty Food just launched a new menu, FYI! I will be going there on Sunday with my favourite twin’s (Bron + Myf, hello lovelies) and will do a full review! Image via Instagram: eightytwentyfood


 S: Current goals and plans for the future?

N: My current goal is to compete at the F45 Playoffs in 2016. It’s the ultimate fitness test comprising ten different exercises that put your strength, agility, speed and endurance to the test. I’ve been working on improving my scores for each individual exercise at the moment – this has been a really encouraging process as it enables me to measure improvements to my fitness. One of my plans for the hopefully not-too-distant future is to launch my own YouTube lifestyle channel, which will focus mostly on fitness and wellbeing.

S: If you were to choose your favourite type of training style, what would it be? Why?

N: I’ve fallen in love with functional high intensity interval training. As the Head Manager of F45 Training Braddon, I’m privileged to be able to train in this style and share it with others every single day. With a variety of different class types, work:rest ratios, and a completely different circuit every day, there is no chance of losing motivation or plateauing. The thing I love most about it is the team environment – its super fun and keeps you working a lot harder than you would if training alone!

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 S: One thing about yourself that people wouldn’t know about you?

N: I have an irrational fear of fish! (not eating fish, but encounters with live fish)


 S: One thing you would tell your younger self in reference to body image/self love?

N: Your body is not who you are! Having a ‘good body’ (whatever that means) does not necessarily make you a good person, and likewise for the opposite. Your body is only your vehicle. The reason you should exercise and eat well should not revolve entirely around achieving a certain look you have idealised in your head. You should do these things because you deserve to be healthy, strong and functional. The anxiety that comes with being imaged-obsessed will not only prevent you from achieving happiness, but also you will never be satisfied. Treat your body with kindness and respect and the physical stuff will come a lot easier!

S: All time favourite food:

N: This question is so hard because if I say one it makes me feel like I’m being unfaithful to my other food loves! I have to say I’ve never been disappointed with anything caramel or salted caramel flavour 🙂

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Go see Nicole and the team at F45 Braddon to get a free 2 week trial! You won’t regret it… Or will at the start but won’t at the end, promise!


 Hope ya’ll are having a good week!

And if not…

Uh,

… love you ❤

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