On the best days, when everything goes according to plan, it’s easy to not prioritize fitness.
But life is unpredictable, and, on most days, there are a million and one excuses to put off your plans.
The global pandemic showed that even the most dedicated and fit people can lose motivation when the unexpected happens.
Ophela Mhlauli has mastered a positive mindset that continuously drives her to stay healthy and in shape. Her determination wasn’t the least bit shaken up in 2020.
The mentor and fitness guru struggled with insecurities for years until she found a passion for health and wellness that pushed her to overcome her struggles.
Along the way, she developed a formidable resolve and, as a fitness trainer and public figure, strives to help others achieve the same.
Partnerships with household name brands, like Powerade and NPL ProLifestyle, the premier nutritional supplement brand, speak to her global influence.
She showcases herself authentically on social media and inspires her audience with viral body-positive content, nutritional tips, and personal life updates.
Through innovative wellness challenges centered around various topics, she guides people to see that they’re capable of kickstarting a long-lasting relationship with fitness.
She offers individual support to clients with one-on-one training sessions and personalized fitness plans built on encouragement.
For more insight on getting empowered to tackle your health goals and staying accountable to yourself no matter what life throws at you, read the full interview below!
GLAMOUR: 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?
Ophela Mhlauli (OM): I was a little chubby when growing up and in the earlier years of high school I started feeling uncomfortable in everything I wore, especially in skirts and shorts.
I decided to take it upon myself to start research what to eat and what kind of exercises to do.
Little did I know that I would fall in love with the journey and help those in need. It is such an amazing feeling!
GLAMOUR: What is your fitness mantra/philosophy, and how has it evolved?
OM: “If you cannot like it, change it” If there’s a particular thing that you do not like about yourself, you have the power to change it!
I have said this since the beginning of my journey, and I still say it now – it has progressed throughout other areas of my life.
GLAMOUR: What workouts do you foresee trending big in 2021, and why?
OM: With this global pandemic, home workouts have become the future, which means that body weight exercises will be trending.
GLAMOUR: What is your current fitness regimen, and your nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?
OM: I have no restrictions in any of either of my plans, but I do not overindulge. I eat clean from Monday through Thursday and satisfy my cravings during the weekend.
GLAMOUR: How has your routine changed to stay fit in quarantine? What can people do to still get the same challenge/burn that they would in the gym?
OM: Quarantine forced us to train and work from home. Since we’ve been on lockdown, I have been training from home and, to spice things up, I go on runs and hikes.
Being at home all day can get too comfortable and boring!
GLAMOUR: What one thing do you never skip in your workout?
OM: I always do one cardio exercise to increase my heart rate. The feeling always gets me in the mood – It’s like the warm up after the warm up.
GLAMOUR: What is your best advice for people who want to get in shape in 2021, but don't really know how to stay on track?
OM: Explore! explore! Explore! Until you find what you like, what works for YOU, and create a routine that’s best for you, keep looking.
Forget what everyone around you is doing, what you see on social media, and just focus on YOU and your journey.
Take every day as it comes but also stayed prepared for anything. Lastly, be patient and do not be hard on yourself.
GLAMOUR: What's the biggest mistake that fitness newbies make?
OM: Fitness newbies compare themselves; they always want to be like their favorite fitness influencers on social media, of which some are just that, “influencers”.
They only practice health and fitness on social media, not something in their daily lives. Bodies are photoshopped; the list is endless.
This discourages the newbies as they don’t feel “perfect enough” when all they need is patience, dedication, discipline and consistency.
GLAMOUR: One of the key elements for staying consistent with working out is accountability. Who keeps you accountable for working out consistently?
OM: Once you stop relying on motivation to get things done and apply disciple, you will always hold yourself accountable and remain consistent.
GLAMOUR: Tell us about NPL ProLifestyle. How did you partner with one of the most trusted and respected fitness and health brands?
OM: I have always wanted to partner with a supplement brand that takes care of its ambassadors. When the director at NPL contacted me, I knew that it was my time!
I believe I managed to be a part of this amazing team because of my endless love for health and fitness and the work I have put in and out there over the years.
My community values my opinion because of my honesty.
GLAMOUR: Your positive mindset is so inspiring. What keeps you motivated and energetic, even in the toughest of times?
OM: What you think and consume becomes your reality. I choose to be positive and grateful; that has transcended into my reality.
I choose to think positive thoughts, practice gratitude even with the tiniest of things because that is the reality that I want.
I face struggles like everybody else but I choose to not entertain those stressors because they will taint my reality and fill it with negativity – negativity has no place in my life, no matter what I am faced with.
Energy is the only language I understand more than words and, if it is not positive, it won’t be entertained nor consumed.
GLAMOUR: How has the pandemic altered your approach to fitness and health overall?
OM: The pandemic has really showed me that ‘The world is your playground’, you do not need a certain place or space to get things done.
I do not need half the things I think I need to get started.