Everybody is different, beautiful, and special in their own way, but it doesn’t always feel this way.
In the age of social media, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, finding reasons to push away self-love, and having difficulties celebrating our bodies for nurturing us and keeping us going.
But Nkateko Dinwiddy is here to change that.
The South African choreographer, and creator of Rockingnheels, is on a mission to empower women to embrace themselves wholeheartedly for exactly who they are.
She founded the #LoveYourBeautifulBody movement to further push this goal and spread awareness about the importance of feeling confident, happy, and strong in your own skin.
A true fitness and wellness inspiration, Nkateko has worked with several notable brands, including the likes of Puma, to promote this cause and make an impact.
She sat down exclusively with GLAMOUR South Africa to discuss her approach to holistic health, her workout tips, and how she stays mentally and physically balanced.
What sparked your passion for the body positivity movement? Was this always important to you, or did a certain instance in your life inspire it?
After I lost my Dad in 2011, I lost myself too. I didn’t take care of myself, I wasn’t eating properly and lost a lot of weight off my already small frame.
I didn’t look healthy and wasn’t in a good place. My Mom’s strength and encouragement inspired me to pick myself up and do what I love the most; dancing.
Dancing has always played a bit of a healing role in my life, and during this period of mourning, I had the inspiration to create Rockingnheels.
My concept was to create a dance class to focus on building women’s self-love and self-confidence, and so my journey to help others really began.
What is your current fitness regimen, and your nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?
I start most days with a 3-5km run depending how much time I have. I then do a #PUMATRAC workout or dance workout while juggling looking after my 1 and 3 year olds - I’ve become a pro at multi-tasking and including them in my home workouts.
In the afternoon, before the girls have their nap, we often go for a 30 minute walk if the UK weather is fine. I eat to fuel and heal my body so my morning starts with a healthy smoothie.
I quit meat 3 years ago so all my meals are plant based. I eat 5 times a day which includes Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. I’m a breastfeeding mom so it’s very important for me to consistently fuel my body to keep up energy levels.
Knowing that the time factor is a major deterrent for many people, how is it that you are able to manage the demands of your family and still make time to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?
It’s really really tough at times and the easiest solution has been to integrate workouts into everyday life by making it fun for the kids to join in.
Some days my workouts take longer than usual but I’m always happy to stop and be present for them before I continue. I guess it all boils down to a good balance.
What new projects have you been working on recently?
There’s some exciting new ventures that I’m working on in South Africa within fitness and fashion, so watch this space.
In the UK I’ve been doing content creation work for various brands. I’ve just signed up to management and the next few years should be great.
How did you gain your following?
I’ve tried to always be authentic and real, and consistently share parts of my life and what I'm passionate about.
Social media has been a positive experience and has connected me to so many amazing people online.
There’s a supportive and engaged community out there which has helped me through so many experiences.
How do you think that exercise and fitness can be therapeutic?
It’s great for two reasons. It gives you time and space from everyday life, like a break from the world.
It’s also a good mood booster with all those feel good hormones which your body releases when you are working out.
Who or what gives you the most inspiration and motivation to achieve your fitness goals?
I just want to be the best version of myself, whether as an individual, a mother, a wife or a daughter. This inspires me to do all that I can to achieve a healthy mind, body and soul.
How would you describe your philosophy or motto on health and wellness?
Love your beautiful body and do everything practical in your power to achieve that.
Be kind and gentle to yourself with the way you approach loving your body, mind and soul. Just appreciate you without being too tough on yourself.
How do you prioritize your mental health with your fitness regimen?
Healthy living includes both physical and mental well-being so I have the view that physical exercise benefits both. If I’m feeling a bit flat I workout and usually I feel better.
How would you define wellness?
For me wellness is about practising healthy habits every day to ensure a healthy body and a healthy mind. Ultimately wellness comes down to looking after yourself and therefore feeling good.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy and mindful lifestyle?
Start off by working out what you want to achieve and why. Understanding your purpose and motivation is key to starting the journey.
Secondly, be practical and realistic, don’t set huge goals in unrealistic timescales which doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. It can be demotivating which will make you inconsistent.
My final tip is have fun with it and you’ll want to stick to your plan which will be sustainable long term.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how it is being one of the judges for Afro’s Next Dance Crew?
It’s a brilliant project to be a part of and I love seeing some of the amazing dancers from around the globe.
I really love how the hosts and founders Ezinne Asinigo and Swoosh have made it an online competition with all that’s happening in the world right now which opens up the competition to more people.
There’s some seriously good talent out there and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
What is something people may not know about you? I’m quite an introvert.
I love being home and enjoying my own space.
This article was written by Sebestian Lagree