Today I am chatting with the lovely Connie Simmonds, new mama to Macie and all around inspirational lady!
Connie, I first discovered you via Instagram when you were pregnant with Macie. For anyone who doesn’t know you, how would you describe what you do/ the kinds of stuff you share in your blog and on your Insta?
Firstly thank you for having me! Instagram became one of my full-time jobs quite accidentally, I began as a self-taught makeup artist showcasing my work on there and advertising my services and then after a bit of a wake-up call in regards to my health, I used it as an almost diary. Everyone found my healthy weight loss journey really inspiring. Now it has evolved into more of a lifestyle page where I mainly focus on beauty from the inside out, lots of body confidence posts, health, fitness, food and now of course motherhood.
For me it is so important to be as authentic as possible, showing the good the bad and the ugly because social media can be very deceiving. I want to make people feel good.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to body positive?
It’s been a rollercoaster that is for sure. Especially now I am a mum, I’ve never battled so hard with myself to embrace the changes in my body. For me being body positive is all about embracing your body, loving it, nourishing it, moving it and doing whatever it is that makes you feel most body confident. For me, that is taking the time to exercise, eat well plus lots of self-care.
A huge part of it for me is to not compare my body with others, something I think we do naturally as humans. If we start to see more body diversity we can learn to accept and embrace our difference a lot more. My favourite quote is, “you can admire someone else’s beauty, without questioning your own”.
Do you think there is too much pressure on mums’ to bounce back after having a baby?
Absolutely. I think especially with social media now, even if people aren’t directly saying “bounce back like me”, they’re still choosing to only show their best bits. So subconsciously other mums will question why they don’t look as perfect as other new mums online, I know I have.
What we have to remember is that social media is a platform in which the person chooses what they want you to see, it is a snippet of that persons life. So the mum that has bounced back may have a full-time nanny and can go to the gym every day, she may be suffering from anxiety and can’t stomach food, her body may have really changed but only she can see it and feel it.
The most important thing for me was to focus on Macie. She is 6 months now and I am ready to give myself some more time to go back to the gym and I feel like I know her routine enough to cook my healthy meals around her naps etc.
I will have to pay for childcare to do this, so it’s definitely not as easy as some people make out.
Tell us about your podcast Growing Up Female?
I often worry about the younger generation, I feel like they’re growing up too quickly and negative body image is hitting them even younger than it did me. I also found after visiting high schools and speaking to teachers that a lot of ambition had been lost, most of the kids I met wanted to be a “youtuber”.
So I wanted to start a podcast that would inspire, my guests are amazing young women who have achieved great things, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for them but they share the highs and lows of Growing Up Female and share lots of advice and tips.
I often feel like a new woman after listening to them, it’s like therapy even for me. I’m recording series 2 at the moment.
and your book?
My book Healthy Forever came after my healthy weight loss journey before I fell pregnant. I’m a big anti-diet advocate and hate all the fads. The book is full of my very own recipes, I wrote every single word and created every single recipe in there so it means a lot to me. The publishers followed my journey online and saw a gap in the market for a healthy cookbook that wasn’t full of salads or specific to a diet. It is all about enjoying your food and being mindful rather than calorie counting etc. I’ve got chocolate recipes in there and a section called “can’t b asked to cook” because we all have those days. Again it is very real.
What is next for Connie Simmonds?
I’m at a place in my career where I am re-discovering myself, what I love to do and trying to fit it all around a baby.
I would love to do more around post-baby body confidence, I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve. I want to start up my make up business again and I want to showcase more of my cooking.
My Insta has been very mum and baby recently as that is where I am at but it’s evolving again and I’m ready to work with more brands on campaigns to get women feeling more confident.
A massive highlight this year has been working with Tommee Tippee as a brand ambassador, hopefully, more partnerships like this will happen so I can keep on doing what I am doing.
Lots of Love xx