#MyInstaLife: Niamh Cullen Talks Fitness, Body Confidence And Those Late Night Ab Workouts
This girl is fitness #GOALS.
YouTube: Behind The Braids
We’ve all been stuck in a rut from time to time, but last year Niamh Cullen decided to do something about it. “I decided that in 2016 I wanted to be the best version of myself,” she says. And boy, did she follow through. Over the last eight months Niamh has become one of Team STELLAR’s Instagram go-tos for fitness motivation, nutrition tips, and some hella gorgeous hair-braiding tutorials to boot. We caught up with the Instagram fitness queen in the middle of a busy day working with Dublin Fashion Festival and Cocoa Brown Tan, to get the skinny on how she fits it all in…
Your Instagram is total #fitspo! Have you always had an interest in fitness?
Yes, big time! From a young age my parents encouraged me to do extra-curriculars, so dancing and Irish dancing were my main focus growing up. Since then I’ve always had to have some sort of fitness in my life. It keeps me going. I truly believe that fitting exercise into your daily/weekly routine has a positive effect on mental health.
We’ve yet to see you not looking 100% impeccable, how do you manage it?!
I do believe that when you look good you feel good, and that’s a huge confidence boost too. My mum always said ‘Never leave the house looking like you’d turn your head away from Brad Pitt!’ Basically, make sure you look decent as you don’t know who you will bump into. Good advice!
You’ve had something of a fitness transformation over the last while – what kind of changes did you make?
I didn’t make any drastic changes as I’ve always had a healthy enough diet, though I’m a bit more mindful now about my sugar intake and things like that. I do suffer slightly with anxiety, and fitness has been my saviour. Eating well and working out regularly have worked wonders, and I’ve had such a transformation body wise. It’s such great feeling looking back on my “before” photos – seeing results is a great way to stay motivated.
What’s your training routine like at the moment?
I train with Sean Harding from Back2Basics fitness studio two to three times a week. I have lots of goals in mind and he has been helping me massively. I can’t always make it to the gym, as working in retail comes with long hours. If I’m short on time, I’ll do a HIIT workout at home, and anyone who follows me on Snapchat knows I love “abs before bed!” I truly believe that anyone can incorporate fitness into their lifestyle, be it doing jump squats waiting for the kettle to boil or doing abs workouts while scrolling through social media on your phone.
What’s a day on your plate like – do you follow a strict diet?
I love being clean, so I keep things pretty simple. I’ll start with oats or eggs in the morning, a salad for lunch, and then I’ll fill my dinner plate up with veggies and good carbs. I also drink plenty of water, and if I’m hungry between meals I’ll snack on nuts, but not too many.
Tonight’s clean healthy dinner – Prawn & Chorizo stir fry Recipe : spices .. Garlic soy sauce, lemon juice, chilli . Vegetables .. Carrots , mushrooms , peppers, cherry tomato ,. Spring onion , asparagus . Prawn + Chorizo! Fry up veggies + chorizo 1st with coconut oil add spices. Tiny bit of water let simmer for 3/4mins. Then add prawns fry up some more . Garnish with lemon and spring onion #healthyfood #healthyeating #cleaneats #fitnessfood #fitnessblogger #fitnessblog #fitfam #irishfitfam #behindthebraids #foodie #cleanfood #irishblogger
You’re also the face of Cocoa Brown, how did that come about?
I’ve been working with Marissa [Carter, the founder of Cocoa Brown] for the past five years. I started off as her part-time receptionist when studying in college. Marissa is an amazing woman and has been a mentor and a massive support to me.
We LOVE your braiding skills! What’s your go-to summer hairstyle?
I have LOADS, but one I always come back to is a fishtail milk maid braid. It’s very simple to do but looks glamourous enough for a wedding, festival or any special occasion.
All it involves is making two fishtail braids, bringing them up and across the crown of your head and then securing them with a couple of clips.
And finally… Who are three people on Instagram we should be following and why?
There are so many, but here are three ladies I love to follow…
For career motivation… Marissa Carter (@marissacarter)
Business woman, entrepreneur, total #girlboss and the most amazing mammy and friend.
For #fitspo… Rosanna Davison (@rosanna_davison)
Rosanna has been my girl crush since forever.
For #OOTDs… Rosie Connolly (@rosieconxxx)
I love the edgy sporty twist she puts on all her looks.
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