Sporty Suli: Fitness is about improving and feeling good in your own skin

Why not talk to an expert in fitness, workouts and the gym life? I teamed up with Sporty Suli and she shares her thoughts on motivation, health and lifestyle in the interview below! 

fitness outdor london

What motivated you to start?

Motivation didn’t come overnight for me. It was more like a step by step transition.
But one thing that drives me, is the fact that I knew for myself, that I didn’t want to be the old Suli anymore. I realised that I can be more than a girl that just lives for the weekends. I was looking for something that brings more joy and passion into my life then any bottle of alcohol or cigarettes can ever give me. I found my passion for fitness. Once I started I couldn’t get enough of it. And the more I trained the more I wanted to improve and learn.


Don’t expect miracles over next night. Focus on the process. Learn about exercises, workouts and different diets. And improve your knowledge and skills every day. The results will follow automatically. That’s why I don’t like the word “Diet”. Most of the time a diet program is only for a short period of time and doesn’t really educate the person.

People should focus on an overall healthy lifestyle, where you fuel your body with the right nutrition food and exercise daily.
Stick to real food, that actually fills you up and gives you all the nutrients you need. The less processed food you eat, the better.
Be prepared, if it is imported for you, you will find the time to plan your meals ahead and plan 1 hr of exercise every day.



What fitness myths you want to debunk?


Women should lift lower weights than men and do higher repetitions instead.



This myth is very common because women worry that lifting weights will bulk them up. However, Without chemical assistance, women cannot achieve extraordinary muscle growth. Because women’s testosterone is lower, they won’t be able to build as much muscle mass as men. But the typical 1,5 kg lady dumbbells won’t work because the resistance is too low to create change in the muscle. I recommend everyone (men and women) to focus on eight to ten repetitions with a weight that really challenges them.

 

jump fitness london

How important is the connection between thoughts, food and fitness outcome?
 

Without a proper diet, your body is not able to function at his full capacity. That’s why I am not a big fan of diets that put your body into a starvation mode, by only consuming 1200 kcal or less.
However, if your goal is to lose body weight you have to be in a calorie deficit (burn more calories then you consume). Therefore It is very important to be prepared! If you don’t have time to cook during the next days, you have to prepare your food in advance or find out where you can find healthy alternatives to snack on.


Who inspires you?


Too many! I am actually addicted to motivational speakers. I love to listen to them during my workouts or at home.
Here are a few: Gary Vee, Less Brown, Jessica Arevalo, a fitness entrepreneur and my boyfriend Daminda. He knows how to motivate me in every area of my life. So knowledgeable in fitness and entrepreneurship. Great inspiration!



Your social media story! How do you engage with followers! How are you outstanding as a fitness influencer?


I started posting on Instagram about 2 years ago. At that time I was mainly posting pictures of my healthy breakfast recipes. After some time more and more people started interacting with me and that motivated me to post more and more. My focus then shifted from food into fitness, because this is the biggest passion of mine. Right now I am posting a lot of my workouts on Instagram. I want to encourage as many girls as possible to go to the gym and do something for them self’s, and also take the fear of exercising away by showing step by step exercises that are easy to follow.
I believe engaging with your community is the most important thing of all. I focus mainly on educating my followers about fitness and healthy eating. Rather than just flashing my own half-naked body!
I strongly believe that fitness is about performance, improving yourself every day and feeling good in your own skin.
Unfortunately, many Instagram fitness girls have totally other perspectives these days.
99% of these girls portray them self’s in underwear, almost naked, flashing their button into the camera and calling it “empowerment”. Fitness is no longer about the sport and workout itself, it becomes an obscene contest of “who has the biggest butt” and “who can strip down the most” If you are waiting for my “butt pictures” you need to unfollow me because this is something nobody will ever see. I believe in educating people and showing empowerment through strength!

london fitness workout outside



What is your expat story?

I moved from Munich to London about 2 years ago. It was a great risk for me to move but also a great chance. I was really scared at the beginning, to leave my family, friends and all the comforts behind. But looking back it was the best decisions I had made so far.  I strongly believe that if you know deep down inside you, it is the right thing to do, but you are scared, you HAVE to do it!!! Fear is the indicator for me that I am doing the right thing!



How do you find living in London?

The life in London’s is very different than what I was used to in Munich. It is so diverted and you will never get bored. It is a great place for creatives, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs. If you are looking for an opportunity you will definitely find it in London’s.
For me, London was the place where I found myself and my passion. It was also the place where I learned to be accountable to myself. Without hard work, and without stepping out of my comfort zone I couldn’t stand long in this crazy expensive city!

What have we been doing?

Most of the year is already over.  One blink and it will be Christmas. Cosy socks and mulled wine. I can't imagine this right now because the summer is so real now. Summer means adventures, change and new challenges. It has always been like that for me ( possibly influenced by the fact that school holidays during the summer used to be THE time of the year). But even today I feel like that during the spring and summer time most things happen and develop. All the seeds we plant in the autumn and winter are coming to live now and are ready to be harvested. (Literally and metaphorical, by the way, I planted a pumpkin seed once and I with my green thumb it turned into a gigantic, colourful pumpkin plants.

I have spent some wonderful time at the WestCord Fashion Hotel in Amsterdam. It was definitely a place to relax and to recharge for me. I took the time to organise some of my latest posts.

On this occasion, I want to pass the last months on abutterflypath in a review.  
 

 

The summer lots of projects and creatives ideas came to live. I challenged myself, travelled more than before and shared my experience shameless with the world :) Click on each picture to find out more about the story behind it. 

Don't believe the hype

 

My noble challenge of 30days of Yoga and Clean eating came to a down point. Not giving in but playing with the thought of reducing the intensity.

Not doing Yoga every day. 
Not eating clean every day. Skipping healthy routines for the sake of being lazy. 
Feeling energyless, tired and unmotivated. 
Am I foolhardy for believing in this challenge? 
I would lie if I would commit that I  have those thoughts, especially in the last week.  Work, social commitments and more work through me of my daily habit routine. 

 

Habits of routine

I didn't feel like quitting, but I felt like changing my routine a lot to make it easier for lazy me to sneak out of the corner again. 
I just wanted to skip yoga because I felt too tired to go down the road to my studio. 
I didn't want to keep up eating at least two out of three daily main meals mostly vegetables and healthy ingredients. 
But the main goal was to keep pushing. Not falling into the spiral of quitting. 


Don't believe the hype

So yes, I have been very excited and motivated about my progress, especially in Yoga. But there are also those days where you don't want to move and just chill on your couch with a bag of crisps. It is normal to have those thoughts and anybody who tells you there changing of habits was just positive and all wonderful is not telling you the truth. Don't believe the hype and just follow through, even if it doesn't feel motivated at the moment. Sometimes you have to follow through even if you do not see the bigger picture yet:)

Have a lovely week  Xx
 

How to become a photographer

 Portrait by neeqs

Portrait by neeqs

I had the opportunity to talk to the talented photographer NEEQS. I did meet her on a chilly but sunny afternoon on a rooftop in Shoreditch. The location could not have been better. From talking about how travel inspired her to become a photographer to accepting the fact, that we all have many sides in ourselves than can be honored in different ways - the interview is an insight into one unique creative mind. I also had the opportunity to collaborate with her on a recent project.

Accept the challenge of
being an individual.
— Neeqs
 Outdoorshoot with neeqs

Outdoorshoot with neeqs

We connect more with people when we understand
that they have been gone through difficult times as we have.
— Neeqs
 Me in an more unusual pose with soil "In the Shadows"Series

Me in an more unusual pose with soil "In the Shadows"Series

Find out more about Neeqs

How travel inspires you to write a cookbook

In the first interview from the new series, I am talking to Omer from Sudanesekitchen. He founded Sudanesekitchen after discovering his passion for home cooked, savory and delish meals. While studying away from home he learned how to cook traditional Sudanese food and eventually started to collect recipes. 

What started with a curious mind and taste buds is now a project that has been successfully crowdfunded in order to publish the unique cookbook. Besides that Omer creates 3-course dinners at Pop Up Kitchen Events in London and the rest of the UK. 

Are we too busy?

 What is your place to rewind?

What is your place to rewind?

Living in a place like London is something that can be wrapped up together with a few words: Hustle, work, and play.  The possibilities are endless and the hustle is real. I only know very few people in this city who are not chasing their dream instead or even after there 9-5 job. Everybody is doing something on the side, having a business, doing a course, working two jobs, changing careers, saving for a house, planning to record an album, directing videos, writing or volunteering in their local community to organise a street festival. 

Truth is, everybody loves being busy sometimes. Which definitely has a positive side but can be being too busy be harmful to us?

Let’s be honest, when somebody asks us what is going on in our life, the usual answer is  „I have been so busy lately“ or „I am too busy for that.“

 I found my rewind place: Skygardens on top of the city. 

I found my rewind place: Skygardens on top of the city. 

But are we actually too busy?

Too busy to actually do things we enjoy just for the sake of doing them?  Didn’t  the smarty pants from Apple & Co. invent all those intelligent devices to help us to work in a faster and more efficient way and then have more time to play? Didn’t we all hear about work-life balance and watched corny movies like EAT PRAY LOVE just to storm out of the cinema to order a giant plate of Pasta Alfredo, because well…  the main character was treating herself this in the movie and giggling like a happy five-year-old? In eating that pasta she didn’t work towards a goal or looked into the deeper meaning of it. It was just mindful enjoying of the moment. 

 Tropical plants on top of the metropole

Tropical plants on top of the metropole

So should I stop reaching for goals?

Sometimes our time can be spent with doing nothing. Doing something that has no relevant effect on our performance. Like eating more mindfulness. Going to a great venue and leaving the phone at home, so nobody can take pictures. Talking a long walk. It is all about creating a healthy balance between striving for more and being content with what is already there. 

Everybody reacts differently to a stimulating and eventful environment. Some people love the thrill of rush hours and excitement, others seek islands of peace to reset their batteries. I am personally a mix of both and I try to implement a healthy balance of both in my daily life. 

 Enjoying the view and plants

Enjoying the view and plants

How (not) to set goals

Hey,

It’s almost the end of the week and most of you are probably not too happy about Monday sneaking in. Developing this mindset of living on a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 schedule, our brains are programmed  in a way to get the creeps on Monday mornings. Did you know that more heart attacks occured on a Monday than on any other day during the week? Seems like there is a collective anti-Monday campaign going on.

Weekends and holidays become goals, travelling during our free time becomes a purpose and we hustle every day to get the reward in the end: Leisure time!

I was wondering if another approach could be more effective. There are 5 things to consider when planning towards a bigger goal and not to fall into the Living for the weekend lifestyle.

 

cafe

1. Systems instead of goals

Ever wondered why these endless goals lists just never work out as they supposed to? Writing down goals is a good step, but it is only the first. Try to focus on systematic goals instead of saying "getting fit and go to the gym every other day" you could create a system which promotes activity and a healthy lifestyle. Try not to set goals because you think you need to fix something, keep the values of your systems updated and consider them when doing anything.

 

2. Short term rewards

Discipline and motivation are two tricky factors. If you are not motivated the discipline will fade away and if your lack of discipline leads to less significant results your motivation will shrink. Until you have created a new habit and the new behaviour is fully internalised  in your system (see point 1) try to give yourself some small rewards every now and then. Accomplished a goal? Get a treat that is not in conflict with your system and celebrate the daily life instead of waiting for the weekend or your holiday. Don't be over obsessed with optimising yourself and give yourself some breaks to relax and also to refocus on what's important for you.

 

3.  Make mistakes

It is not easy to admit a failure or a mistake, but a mistake or failure is actually not that bad, as long as you keep moving. Mistakes are natural and part of getting closer to the goals you actually want. Embrace a failure stands for embracing the journey.

 

4. See the bigger picture but stay flexible

If you are like me and love to dream big plus having a tendency to  be not the most patient person in the world the struggle is real. When trying to achieve a goal be flexible, have long term and short term goals and try to be flexible with time and effort. It might need you to try to something a few times more than expected. Overnight success is a myth. People, who are extremely successful or famous overnight, were mostly hustling for a long time in their area before they got successful.  

 

5. Learn to love the hustle

I think that was also one of the hardest for me to accept. You can't skip it.  Every master or successful person in any area had to get to some phase of hustle. That doesn't always mean to work like a maniac and so on as it can vary for every person. Hustling for the moment so you can earn the rewards in the future. Learn how to save, live on a budget, plan more efficient and get organised.

And don’t forget, the journey is the reward :)