How I Move Alice Live­ing

Per­sonal trainer gained con­fi­dence and re­solve through weight ex­er­cise and has used her char­ity work, pod­cast and In­sta­gram chan­nel to in­spire oth­ers

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Women's Sport Monthly - Alice Live­ing was talk­ing to Molly McEl­wee

I was in a phys­i­cally abu­sive re­la­tion­ship 10 years ago when I was a teenager.

I can only de­scribe it as be­ing in a snow globe when you shake it up and your whole life is in pieces. I had to re­build my­self from the ground up – I had zero con­fi­dence. I wanted to train to be in mu­si­cal theatre, so I went away to theatre school. But I was never the strong­est dancer or singer, so it got to the end of my first year, and my teacher said: “Alice you just need to be stronger.” That word re­ally stuck with me, so I just took to that like a red rag to a bull and thought “I’m not go­ing to be the best dancer or the best singer, but I will be the strong­est in my year”.

Weight train­ing has hon­estly been the most trans­for­ma­tive thing.

With all of the his­tory that had hap­pened be­fore, sud­denly be­ing phys­i­cally strong and be­ing in the weight sec­tion of the gym, the con­fi­dence that gave me, I just sud­denly be­came a dif­fer­ent per­son. I had con­fi­dence in ev­ery­thing that I did.

I make sure I am as qual­i­fied as pos­si­ble and I hope that is what sets me apart from oth­ers.

I took my time to get qual­i­fied as a per­sonal trainer. I’ve spent six years work­ing on a gym floor, I have men­tors, I do cour­ses all the time. Be­cause I re­ally have that at the heart of ev­ery­thing I do – to be able to be a trusted voice within the fit­ness in­dus­try. It is mad­ness to think that you can do a quick PT course and then come out and be able to write train­ing guides and post fit­ness con­tent on­line.

I started my In­sta­gram as a food di­ary. My diet up un­til that point had been ab­so­lutely atro­cious, uni-style bad. I was a ter­ri­ble cook.

In­sta­gram was my way of be­ing able to make my meals pre­sentable so that I’d en­joy eat­ing them and en­joy mak­ing them – and that re­ally took off. I pub­lished the

Body Bi­ble about two years later. I started my plat­form with trans­for­ma­tion weight loss pho­tos, and I have to be re­ally hon­est about that. I have been on a jour­ney and been vul­ner­a­ble and hon­est about the prac­tices that haven’t worked. I am the first per­son to hold my hands up and say when I am wrong, and I def­i­nitely did things years ago that I would never do now. But I’m glad I did them be­cause it’s taught me why they’re wrong and there are bet­ter ways to do things. In this world of can­cel cul­ture, when I think back to four years ago, I had a bet­ter chance of mak­ing those mis­takes then than I would have done now. I val­ued

hav­ing an au­di­ence of peo­ple who al­lowed me to make those mis­takes and still stuck with me be­cause I was hon­est about them.

I raised £16,000 through my classes for Women’s Aid over lock­down.

It was amaz­ing be­cause I’m an am­bas­sador for the char­ity and it is re­ally close to my heart. I saw a big spike in peo­ple en­gag­ing in my videos dur­ing lock­down and I re­ally tried to give peo­ple some cred­i­ble fit­ness and coach­ing through In­sta­gram. I went from do­ing maybe a couple of live work­outs a week to then do­ing my 21-Day Chal­lenge, which was ev­ery day. It was crazy. It made me feel like I was do­ing my bit dur­ing such a dif­fi­cult time be­cause I think all of us kind of felt a bit help­less. My favourite ex­er­cise I don’t post about is clean­ing the house! I don’t put it on In­sta­gram, but I en­joy putting some mu­sic on, danc­ing around and clean­ing the house. I’m lov­ing my box­ing at the mo­ment, too.

I have seen peo­ple en­gage in ex­er­cise in a way that they have not pre­vi­ously dur­ing lock­down.

For so many peo­ple, my­self in­cluded, the first time they en­gaged in ex­er­cise was when they wanted to lose weight. I know so many peo­ple who only start ex­er­cis­ing for a hol­i­day, or a wed­ding – it’s only ever re­ally seen as a weight loss tool. And ac­tu­ally, what Covid has done has been to re­move any sort of weight goal – be­cause none of us re­ally have to look good for any­thing – and made us recog­nise that ex­er­cise brings so much to us men­tally and phys­i­cally. That has nothing to do with weight loss. I think that is what has helped peo­ple see a sus­tained en­gage­ment in ex­er­cise post lock­down.

My pod­cast Give Me Strength was re­ally about exploring dif­fer­ent ver­sions of strength and what strength meant to dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

We of­ten see strength as be­ing a phys­i­cal at­tribute and ac­tu­ally what the pod­cast did for me was to re­ally ex­plore dif­fer­ent ways in which peo­ple find strength hav­ing gone through se­ri­ously chal­leng­ing things. We have had guests such as Mar­tine Wright, who lost her legs in the 7/7 bomb­ings and went on to com­pete in the Par­a­lympics, we have had Claire San­der­son, ed­i­tor of Women’s Health mag­a­zine – all sorts of peo­ple and each per­son has dif­fer­ent kinds of con­nec­tions to strength.

Pos­i­tive out­look: Alice Live­ing has used her ex­pe­ri­ences to high­light how weight train­ing can ben­e­fit peo­ple men­tally as well as phys­i­cally

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