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Exclusive: Ayanda Thabethe talks spirituality, self-care, and living her fittest life in lockdown

Ayanda Thabethe
Ayanda Thabethe

Author: Sebastien Lagree

When it comes to balancing health and wellness with a busy lifestyle, no one does it better than Ayanda Thabethe. The award-winning TV presenter leads a very active professional life, but she also never lets her fitness priorities fall by the wayside.

She’s truly a master at time management, and has developed holistic habits that contribute to her productive day-to-day routine.

The fashion mogul considers every facet of health to be of equal importance, so she’s very in tune with her mental wellness, physicality, spirituality, nutrition, and skin care regimen. Ayanda is truly living her best and most blessed life yet - and she’s sharing the secrets that she swears by to do so.

From her personal training Zoom sessions three times a week with friends, to her super green smoothies, maximum hydration, and the moments she takes for herself, Ayanda puts her well-being at the forefront of her life.

The MC spoke exclusively to GLAMOUR SA about incorporating fitness into her life during lockdown, focusing on self-care, why she always trains in the mornings, and why she views wellness from a holistic lens.

What sparked your passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle? Was this always important to you, or did a certain instance in your life inspire it?

When I turned 29 - the age factor took a toll. Suddenly I couldn’t lose weight as fast as I could or participate in a mere week long fad diet and get my body back.

Ayanda Thabethe

My body was literally craving that I take better care of it and that I fill it with nutrients that compliment the productivity that my day-to-day life required, and of course that I start training. That was all the motivation I needed to take a step toward a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.

What is your current fitness regimen, and your nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?

The lockdown has changed the way that we approach fitness. With all the temptations that surround one at home, it was hard to get into a routine at first but through teaming up with a group of motivated women under the guidance of a personal trainer, I have been able to attend online Zoom sessions at home at least 3 times a week.

I've also learned to fill up my 2.2 litre water bottle every morning and aim to finish it by end of day and have been a fan of super green smoothies as a complement to my diet and a way to get those greens in!

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 entertainment career and still make time to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?

Training in the morning before the day starts is a sure way to ensure that you get that training in. So much can happen during the day that can deter training plans, and so I've learned that training in the morning is the best in an effort to prioritise my wellness.

Ayanda Thabethe

What new projects have you been working on recently?

I have been doing quite a few virtual events, digital work and have a new show coming up that I'm preparing for. I also have something coming that has my name and stamp of approval coming for all my fitness bunnies. Watch this space :)

You hosted the first ever lifestyle magazine show on BET Africa, what inspired you to become a TV host?

Being a TV host is something that found me. I started off in modelling and acting but found that being a TV host made me feel more at home. I suppose it was always a natural fit. I love people, I love engaging in meaningful stories and of course I love the camera so I suppose it was inevitable that I would end up hosting.

How have you been staying busy during the pandemic?

Work, work, work. I have taken this time to lay the foundation on a lot of the things I've been wanting to do. I am focused on long term projects that will leave a lasting legacy.

How have you been staying positive through everything going on and has it been difficult to stay positive?

My spirituality has always held me together in times of uncertainty. My family and friends have also been a great source of support and love which is what we all desperately need in these very confusing times. I also must express that my family has been safe and not directly affected until now health wise and because of that I've been living with an attitude of gratitude and counting my blessings as opposed to looking at all the negatives that are currently taking place in the world.

How do you think that exercise and fitness can be therapeutic?

It's that one space where I've been able to shut the world out for that hour, where your concentration is not on your thoughts but rather on pushing your body and building mental and physical strength. It's definitely been my happy place plus those endorphins can do one a great deal of good!

Who or what gives you the most inspiration and motivation to achieve your fitness goals?

I'm a huge fan of everyone that’s trying to maintain fitness from any walk of life. I look at new moms trying to achieve their best bodies after child birth, people who are tired of not loving their bodies in their current state taking that first step or already fit people doing their best to maintain fitness and push themselves further. Those moments in different peoples lives definitely motivate me to look within and eat to achieve the very best for myself.

Ayanda Thabethe

How do you prioritize your mental health with your fitness regimen as well as with your entertainment career?

Mental health has really come to the forefront in the past couple of years and it's about time. I think we should normalise letting others know if we are not okay and also allow ourselves to take the breaks we need when we need to.

I prioritise my mental health by prioritising things that make me feel good and happy. Taking my dog for a walk, watching a good chick flick, having a really yummy cheat meal etc. It's important to invest in knowledge of self so that you are aware of the things that make you happy and the things that feed your soul. My mantra during this pandemic has been “whatever is good for your soul, do that.”

How would you define wellness?

Wellness is a holistic approach. Whatever is inside will translate on the outside. A pure heart, a clean body through feeding your body with good nutrients, a positive attitude toward life - all these ingredients count toward a life of wellness.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy and mindful lifestyle?

Take it one step at a time and eliminate one bad habit at a time. Small steps still take you to the finish line.

What are three beauty products you swear by - and the best beauty advice you could give?

Hydration: Water - it seems cliche but it works - drinking enough water is a really good habit to develop if you want your skin to maintain a healthy glow.

I use only ice cold water on my face. I never use warm water - I don’t know if this is scientifically proven, but I do believe that part of why I have great firm skin on my face is because of the ice cold water…take it or leave it hahaha.

I absolutely love my Ponds Perfect Colour Complex products as I do struggle with pigmentation and they help correct my complexion to its original and bright tone.

What is something people may not know about you?

In the context of fitness and wellness, I'll tell you that my very sweet tooth is what I constantly need to deny to achieve my goals phew!!

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