Carmen has found a way to mix her two passions in life (writing and maintaining a balanced healthy lifestyle) in her blog, The Fitaholics. Carmen has traveled, and lived, all over the world and has maintained a consistently fit life. In her most recent workout endeavor, Carmen has found a passion for dance and acrobatics after her move to Hong Kong. We are excited to have had the opportunity to interview with Carmen who is one of our inspiring #WorkoutPrincesses and a #bosslady!
1. How did you discover your passion for writing and fitness/wellness?
I was born and raised in Australia, which meant that I was always running around doing some sort of sport, including competitive swimming, athletics and tennis. During university, I discovered martial arts, and ended up training in Muay Thai, as well as dabbling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. Since moving to Hong Kong, I’ve been concentrating on pole dance, acrobatics and stretch/flexibility training. All in all, while the activities have changed over time, my passion for fitness and wellness hasn’t!
On top of all that, I have always loved reading and writing. When I was younger, I entered short fiction competitions, would write stories online for fun, and ended up interning in the editorial department at a top women’s magazine.
Nowadays, my day job as a lawyer involves reading and writing legal submissions, and my nights are spent writing articles for the two blogs that I run (one of which is The Fitaholics).
2. Who or what inspires you to work out?
I’m usually quite self-motivated to work out because I genuinely love it. If I’m unable to get a good work out in, I become pretty cranky (and let’s face it, pretty chubby!).
Having said that, I find that every now and then, it’s helpful to have something that forces you to push your own boundaries: and for me, that’s usually a dance performance, competition or showcase. Having a set date where you’re going to be performing in front of a bunch of random people makes me work extra hard to ensure that I don’t fall on my face on stage (too often). Instagram is also a great source of inspiration - my feed is full of crazy bendy yogis and contortionists, hard-working fitness models, healthy and delicious recipes, and athletic and graceful pole dancers who are constantly coming up with new, innovative moves to try.
3. What do you think it means to be a #bosslady?
I love this term: it turns the word “bossy” (which is almost exclusively used to describe women - and never men - in a negative light) around and makes it something empowering for women. I think that being a #bosslady means that you are taking control of your life - you’re in the driver’s seat, and you take full responsibility for the ups and downs. It’s not necessarily about leading that perfect Instagram life or having a bunch of minions working for you. Most #bossladies that I know have created something for themselves - even if it’s just a blog that only your mother reads, it’s yours, you own it, so get out there and kill it!
4. Where did your journey with @thefitaholics begin?
I actually had a fitness/health blog a while ago, but after I had a pretty devastating fall-out with a group of girls (who said some rather negative things about it), I was pretty crushed and closed the entire thing down. But my love of fitness and writing made me come back, stronger than ever. While it had hurt at the time, their criticism actually helped me think about what my blog’s mission and direction should be and how it can be achieved - and that’s how The Fitaholics was born. It’s a fresh start, and a little slice of the world wide web that I can call my own.
5. What does it mean to you to be successful?
Being a lawyer, I have a typical Type A personality, and am well accustomed to being in a competitive environment. I used to measure my level of success against other people’s standards (i.e. whether I measured up in their eyes), but I’m starting to realise that what’s important is actually whether I measure up in my own eyes.
Surprisingly, this doesn’t always make life easier: there have been times when I’ll get great feedback from lovely friends about a performance I did, but I’ll actually be kicking myself because it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped. On the other hand, I’ll have 12 year old gymnasts commenting on my Instagram account about how they can do a gymnastics walkover better than me - but comments like that just make me laugh because as a 29 year old with no real gymnastics training, I can’t really complain too much about my ability!
6. What is one part of your daily routine you couldn’t do without?
Eating. As much as I understand that fasting has some serious health benefits, not being able to eat is torture for me. Even juice cleanses have me gnashing my teeth (literally)!
7. What is one thing you do to treat yourself?
Massages. The great thing about Asia is that you can usually find some cheap and cheerful massage treatments that really work your knots out. I also have a bit of a thing for ice-cream and red wine, but I probably have them too often for them to be called treats!
8. If there’s one piece of advice you’d like to pass on to the women trying to pursue a similar career, what would it be?
Be prepared to knuckle down and work hard, and don’t ever expect things to be easy. Go out there and create opportunities: I’ve lost count of the number of times I have cold-emailed total strangers, some of which have resulted in wonderful opportunities (including this chance to work with Workout Princess!). You’ll always get rejections (and the occasional hater), so make sure that you have equipped yourself with the skills, experience and confidence to handle them - like a #bosslady!
LOVE Carmen as much as we do? Check out her blog!
Instagram: @thefitaholics / @aerialjinx