Fitness / 17 October 2017, 4:00pm / Nontando Mposo
Sbahle Mpisane, commonly known as “Fitness Bunny”, has a toned and curvaceous body that’s earned her a number of fans around the country and the world.
Whether you’re a fitness fan or part of the “fitfam” movement, this time of the year is peak time for getting your body ready for the summer months.
Forget being super skinny nowadays; the buzzword is “body positivity”, which means celebrating your body in whatever shape or form.
Working out is encouraged as well as healthy eating and body shaming is a no-no.
Mpisane, a wellness and fitness motivator based in Durban, spoke about her experiences in the hope of motivating and inspiring others to adopt a healthier lifestyle beyond the goal of losing weight.
She also spoke about being part of the eighth season of Tropika Island of Treasure, set in the Maldives, along with the likes of former Miss SA Melinda Bam, media personality Tumi Voster, TV presenter Khanya Mkangisa and singer Brendan Peyper.
What inspired your decision to become the “fitness bunny”?
What inspired me was primarily to help curvaceous women like me who have lived all their lives on diet pills trying to fit into society’s definition of beauty. I started a movement for showing women that being thick and curvaceous is not a limitation or something to be ashamed of. That is what led me to share my journey to motivate and inspire others to adopt a healthier lifestyle beyond the goal of losing weight.
Your fitness experience inspires a lot of people around the world. How has your life changed since stepping into the limelight?
To be honest, the limelight hasn’t really affected my private life, but I’m constantly under pressure to maintain the image I’ve created for myself. Which is a good thing, of course. I live a very peaceful life and I only experience the glitz of being known when I host my bootcamps because that is when I’m surrounded by all my amazing fitness fans, who I dearly love.
You have a large social media following, currently 711 000 on Instagram. How do you use social media to develop your brand and to get business?
With my social media platforms growing daily by 1000-plus followers, I have managed to expose my brand beyond Africa. Social media has definitely helped me grow my online business and get clients all over the world. It’s a great marketing tool and my brand wouldn’t have been this big if it wasn’t for it.
What is your number one motivator?
Not to be vain, but I am my own motivator. Knowing how far I’ve come and how much potential I have has always got me through anything I put my mind to.
What essentials do we need at home to get the same results as we would at the gym?
My home and indoor workout essentials for me would be dumbbells, a fitness programme to follow and a good playlist to keep me moving to the end of my session.
What’s your main rule when it comes to your diet?
To never eat to be full - eat enough food just to keep you going.
What are the little fitness luxuries you can’t live without?
I mostly train wearing Nike tights, they are so comfortable and the perfect fit for my body type.
Your fitness idols?
My fitness idols would be FollowTheLita, BodiedByJ and Serena Williams. They are what I represent.
What was your reaction when you received the news you were to be part of Tropika Maldives?
Being selected to be one of the contestants was beyond great news for me. It would be such a great opportunity for me to show people the other side of me that they don’t know about because I’m breaking my A-game.
Your favourite holiday destination?
My favourite holiday destination would be the Philippines, it just screams the person I am.
Your top four tips for staying healthy and motivated?
1. Visit your doctor regularly for check-ups.
2. Carry a cooler box in your car with enough water, your meal preps and snacks. It’s very convenient for people who are always on the move.
3. Prioritise gym the way you would any important meetings you have during the day.
4. If you are new at looking after your health and fitness, Google as much as possible about everything. That’s how I started.
Connect with Sbahle on Instagram @sbahle_mpisane. Connect with Tropika and follow the latest #TIOT8 news online at Facebook: www.facebook.com/tropikaisland or Twitter: https://twitter.com/mytropika.