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The Kissing Booth’s Meganne Young talks growing up in SA and her fitness routine while travelling

Meganne Young, Image: Instagram @youngmeganne_
Meganne Young, Image: Instagram @youngmeganne_

Wellness comes in all shapes and sizes. For The Kissing Booth’s Meganne Young, wellness means fitness and beauty.

You probably recognize Meganne Young from her lead role as Rachel in Netflix’s blockbuster original trilogy, The Kissing Booth.

But starring in one of the highest streamed movies on Netflix is only one of the notable accomplishments on Meganne’s resume.

She features in a variety of popular television series, movies, documentaries, and more in various genres.

Meganne hails from Cape Town, South Africa, and she grew up as an ex-pat living in locations throughout the world. Now, her career takes her to international destinations and sets for filming.

Travelling and moving around isn’t new to Meganne but being a sought-out actress can be demanding and overwhelming. Constantly uprooting her life for new roles doesn’t make it easier.

She’s devoted to her career and her competitive nature drives her accomplishments. Still, Meganne knows how important mindfulness is for wellness.

Mindfulness is a meditative practice of being fully present – connecting the mind and body with our surroundings to take stock of what we’re feeling and what we need as individual people.

Sounds simple enough! But for many people, including Meganne, it’s hard to sit still and focus on themselves. Intrusive thoughts about what needs to be done or what’s going on in life are almost impossible to tune out, even for just a few moments.

Luckily, meditation is basically me time and prioritizing hobbies or other activities can be enough to stay grounded and balanced.

Meganne practices mindfulness everyday through fitness. A friend convinced her to work-out when she reached a low-point emotionally and mentally after a breakup.

When she’s working out, she really concentrates on her physical body and well-being.

Despite her booming career and ever changing environment, she prioritizes fitting a work-out into her schedule no matter where she is or how hard she’s working.

“For me, having a fitness regimen is how I prioritize my mental health. Working out really helps with my anxiety but it also helps with my confidence and body image,” says Meganne.

A consistent skin-care regimen also helps Meganne maintain balance and feel her best. To read more about Meganne’s rituals and philosophies on wellness, read below for Glamour South Africa’s exclusive interview with her!

GLAMOUR: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Meganne Young (MY): Something I’d really like to mention is that I’m South African! I think people often think I’m American, or Canadian, because my accent tends to shift into that American sound so easily but I’m so proud to say I’m South African and my career started in the Cape Town film industry.

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?

MY: My best friend Caitlyn is the one who really got me into fitness. I was never really sporty in high school, and I didn’t really workout at all during college.

But when Caitlyn and I met, I was going through a break-up, and she encouraged me to tag along to the gym with her.

That was the start of it. I really felt it helped me with my anxiety and my confidence during a time where I was really struggling. It still helps me.

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

MY: I’m probably embracing one of the more relaxed fitness routines I’ve ever had. I feel like with quarantine and lockdowns, all that, my perspective has shifted.

I love pushing hard, I love being challenged, but I’ve started to really understand the importance of resting. Right now, I’m focused more on weight lifting and building muscle.

In terms of nutrition, I concentrate on making sure I eat enough in the day, so I have the energy to work-out the way I enjoy most.

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

MY: Lucky for me, I’m an early riser! I’ve always preferred to wake up earlier in order to get the workout done and dusted. I find if I leave it too late, something inevitably comes up and I need to cancel.

That being said, that isn’t always an option. At the end of the day, you do what you can do. If I can only spare 20 mins, I use the 20 mins. I don’t make myself feel bad because it’s not a full hour.

You work with what you have, and you do the best you can do. You can’t ask yourself for more than that.

GLAMOUR: We know that we have the Kissing Booth 3 to look forward to! What other new, fun projects have you been working on recently?

MY: Other than the things I’m not allowed to talk about… I’ve been really exploring creative directing.

I’ve always been a visual person and I’ve been playing around with some visual concepts recently which I’m hoping to expand on and put out into the world.

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

MY: Aside from the endorphins and the science? For me it’s about focus. I usually have a million things running through my mind but when I work out, I’m focused on what I’m doing. I’ve never been good at meditation, so I suppose this is it for me.

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

MY: I think I’m a naturally competitive person. I’m really motivated to reach a goal, beat that goal, and then start working towards the next. I also really want to play a role where the character is really physically fit and active.

I want to do stunts! I’d love to play a boxer or a sportsperson. I often daydream about that phone call that they want me to do Million Dollar Baby 2 and Hilary Swank will be the mentor or something!

GLAMOUR: How would you describe your philosophy or motto on health and wellness?

MY: happiness.

GLAMOUR: How would you define wellness?

MY: Wearing SPF every day, feeling strong, surrounding myself with people I admire and eating that ice cream.

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

MY: Find what works for you and start with small, achievable goals. With weight-lifting, you are sometimes just adding 1kg or maybe 2kg and it feels like a massive difference.

I think readjusting your perspective and moving at a pace that’s comfortable for you is the best way to achieve your goals, any goals, long term.

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

MY: Mascara, eye cream and SPF. Find brands that work for you. I often chop and change because I love exploring options, but these are three products I can’t go a day without using.

Beauty advice? Take care of your skin. Hydrate it, protect it from the sun and embrace its imperfections.

GLAMOUR: What is something people may not know about you?

MY: Although I was born in South Africa and have spent half my life living there, I’ve also lived in Nigeria, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and now Canada.

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