Lauren Tickner | Rebellious Fitness
Lauren doesn’t do this fitness thing the way anyone would tell a person to do so. Dropping out of University is such a cliche in some ways but not when it’s your reality. Lauren really did drop out of University to strike out as a fitness instructor, educator, and (dare I say, for fear of being cliche again) influencer.
On that note, maybe it’s best to just let Lauren tell you herself what she does in her own words, “I suppose I’d say I am a fitness lover who documents their lifestyle on social media, and who has somehow attracted a following!” Lauren laughs, “ I started out on Instagram and did it as a total secret. Then, when I had just under 5000 followers, EVERYONE at school found it. I was mortified! And then, I was bullied for it. And some of the boys in my year posted a photo on Instagram which was targeted at me, totally mocking my Instagram fitness account.”
“It made me want to stop, but I continued on anyway!” Lauren reflects, “ And I even went one step further and started a YouTube channel! I was embarrassed at first, but now I have no shame! I absolutely love what I do and aim to help, educate and inspire as many people as I possibly can during my lifetime.”
Even through the embarrassing manner in which this fitness life started for Lauren she plugged through it all and THEN decided to jump in with BOTH FEET…. In order to reach the largest possible audience “ I have started a new podcast, ‘Business Meets Fitness,’ which combines my two passions – business and fitness!” Laruen tells me, “ I also created a hashtag #StrengthFeed. It started off as a hashtag: a place whereby people share their journeys to become stronger, and to empower men and women, both young and old to become STRONGER.”
“When I say stronger, I don’t mean only physically stronger, but mentally too. Strength is not just about that which can be seen. Within yourself, finding strength enables you to achieve new heights.. and overcome things which you never thought you would be able to. Using this incredibly empowering hashtag, the #StrengthFeed allows people to connect with like minded individuals who are on the same path as them.”
When you talk to Lauren about her mission, you can feel her passion. I can relate, and personally tell you that the mission of connecting and uniting people that are having the same struggles, doubts, and challenges can be so helpful; so empowering. So many times in life as we face struggles or take on new challenges we feel alone, like we are the only one’s going through what we’re going through. But that is never really the case. Whatever doubts, obstacles, or difficulties you’re facing; there are so many others out there that are (or have) facing the same thing. It’s empowering to connect to a community that relates to you (and you to them too).
“Not only does this prevent the ambitious strength-seekers from feeling alone, but it also connects them to people who may eventually become their closest friends. Going on this journey can often be incredibly isolating. yet the community that has been created through the #StrengthFeed is so incredibly supportive.”
“Then, I decided to create two guides. Then, I turned it into a business, selling my training guide, and my guide which is all about tracking macros (I speak about this more later). This means that people can go on the journey together, and do it in the most efficient, effective and healthy way possible… and ALL science based… something which is SO important to me!”
After telling me what she does and what her ambitions fitness mission is, I had to ask Lauren how the heck did she become motivated to do all of this in the first place. “In my early teens, I was overweight.” says Lauren, “ Admittedly, not by a lot – yet I was unhealthy. I gorged on junk food as well as DETESTING exercise. I remember eating entire big bars of dairy milk chocolate (melted) almost every day after school, which I followed with either plain pasta and cheese, or pizza. My mum always offered me the healthy food that she and my dad would be eating, yet I always declined: I was incredibly fussy and liked to stick to what I knew.”
“Even at the age of twelve, I remember being incredibly insecure about my body. I would always edit photos to make myself look smaller (what a Generation Z thing to do!). And I always felt so large next to my friends. It wasn’t only my body I was insecure about: I caked makeup on my face even at this young age because I hated how I looked and would always tell myself I was ugly. By the time I reached fifteen years old, this became increasingly problematic, particularly as I was bullied at school for being ‘fat’. The boys in my year mocked me and called me ‘Macy Ds’ due to my size and due to the fact that I had a shiny forehead.”
“This, of course, made me hate myself even more. And it led me to take extreme measures. I cut my calories to a ridiculously and dangerous level, and began doing excessive cardio as it was the only way I believed weight could be lost. I became obsessed with the number on the scale. If one day went by where I didn’t wake up lighter, I punished myself through extra cardio or even fewer calories. I didn’t realize I had a problem. Until the panic attacks hit me.”
Throughout my year at University, I was not capable of lasting an entire day at school. My panic attacks were debilitating. I was no longer able to be a ‘normal’ teenager. If you’ve ever had a panic attack you will know what I mean. But each time a wave of dizziness came along, a panic attack came with it. And each time, I felt like I was dying. But even that did not stop me on my quest to be ‘skinny’.”
“A few months later, once I reached my ‘goal weight’ – I was still not happy. However, luckily, the people around me saw the damage I was doing to myself, and confronted me. This really hit home and I decided that it was time to change.”
“I remember googling ‘how to gain weight healthily’ and the first thing which popped up was weight training. So, slowly but surely I eased off the daily cardio, and switched across to lifting weights. I was SO nervous to begin with, but I asked the trainers in the gym for a little help, and after about ten months, I was off the cross-trainer completely. But, little did I know, I was training too often. I thought weight training 7x per week to absolute failure on each set was the way to go. On social media, I would always see memes with slogans such as ‘go hard or go home’ ..and I took them a little too literally.”
“I followed a few fitness pages on my Instagram page for inspiration, yet I wanted to interact with them. I was too embarrassed to like and comment on the posts, in the fear that my friends would see it and mock me for it. So, I created my own fitness page, which, at the time was ‘@fitnesslifelauren’ (which I then changed to @laurenfitness after a friend of a friend found me). I felt so isolated from all of my friends, as none of them were into fitness like I was, and it felt so good to be part of a like minded community.”
“In May of my A2-levels year (when I was eighteen years old), everyone found my fitness page. I was mortified. I seriously felt like I had been engulfed by a big, black hole. I didn’t want to show my face in school, and I knew for a fact that people were talking about me behind my back.”
“One night, all of the boys had a gathering together, and while there, they posted an image, with the caption: ‘Thank you so much @laurenfitness for my 90 day fitness meal plan’ – and then there were a load of hashtags such as #SponsorMePlease. The photo was of one guy shining a light (for the ‘good lighting’) on another, topless guy, and the location was ‘The NPC Night of Champions’ (NPC is an American bodybuilding federation).”
“As an 18 year old girl, I was mortified by the fact that my ‘friends’ were publicly shaming me in that way. It made me want to quit, never show my face in school again… and just hide away. But I didn’t. I continued, held my head high… and even went one step further and created a YouTube channel!”
I was doing what I was doing for ME, and because I knew that I had something to give to the world. So, I decided that I would let no one stop me!
Rewards of the Journey
“Meeting people whose lives I have changed. I never realise that I am doing it, but when I meet people and they bring me gifts, or turn up in floods of tears… THAT really hits me. It makes me so emotional seeing the impact I have on the lives of others. Sitting here right now, I still can’t get my head around it. It is incredible… and I don’t think it will ever feel real.”
Advice for a person getting started
Lauren’s Fitness Tip (Getting the most of what you put in)
“Don’t get caught up on the scale: Take progress pictures, and honestly.. Don’t even bother weighing yourself! How you FEEL is important, not how much you weigh.”
Lauren’s Fitness Gold Tip
“If I was to give only one piece of advice, it would be to TRACK. YOUR. FOOD. INTAKE.”
‘Tracking Macros’ (as it is called) is the most efficient way to progress. It’s SO easy and effective, yet so incredibly underlooked, because the best answer doesn’t sell diet books! I did write a guide called The Ultimate Guide To Tracking Macros to simplify EVERYTHING! There isn’t a ‘quick fix,’ despite what people so want. It takes time, and it takes dedication! So just do it the right way the first time, rather than constantly jumping from diet to diet and wasting a load of money!
Also, follow a structured training plan starting NOW.
So: tracking macros, and following a structured training plan. These are the two things which will get you the most bang for your buck
The most important thing to know
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Lauren’s Fitness Mindset
Mindset is everything. For example, if you went in thinking 80/20, you’d think ‘ahh.. Training isn’t too important, i can skip it a couple of times per week’ – but if you start getting lazy, then you just won’t see the results you want!
Similarly, you need to love yourself. If you come at it all from a negative place like I did to begin with, you will hate yourself and it will really impact your life. Negativity breeds negativity. Positivity breeds positivity.