By Liana Jacob
THIS UK lifestyle guru who overcame anxiety to win the perfect body shares the secrets of her success to an Instagram following of 480K fans.
Fitness and lifestyle social media influencer and Gymshark athlete, Robin Gallant (26), who lives in Birmingham, UK, grew up in a challenging family background that meant her parents pushed her to overachieve in life.
Because of the pressure of maintaining an A+ average in science and engineering, she began to neglect her health; consuming food low in protein, high in carbohydrates and fat, while taking part in no exercise. This led to her lightest weight of 7st 7Ibs.
Her weak body made it hard for her to walk up the stairs without losing her breath. After years of the immense pressure of school and her lack of healthy eating habits and physical strength that led to her developing anxiety, she knew she had to change her daily routine to regain her mental strength.
After focusing on her diet and including exercise into her routine, she gained 10 pounds of muscle and is now a healthy 8st 3Ibs. She now shares her new outlook on diet and exercise with her 482,000 Instagram followers.
“As my parents both came from difficult and underprivileged upbringings, they wanted nothing more than for me to succeed,” Robin said.
“This meant they exerted a lot of parental pressure to excel in academics and life from a young age.
“The pressure grew throughout my time in high school, and by university I took it upon myself to overachieve.
“I allowed my complete sense of self-worth to be determined by numbers and scores. Although maintaining a near perfect GPA (A+ average) in science and engineering, I started to neglect my physical and mental health, barely sleeping or eating, so I would have more time for schoolwork.
“My anxiety disorder became debilitating. For the first time, in January 2013, I allowed myself to take time away from school to regain my health. This is when I discovered fitness and I’ve never looked back.
“I was never overweight, if anything under-weight. I had a completely lack of fitness and proper nutrition, I would barely eat most days while going to school and studying.
“I remember walking up the stairs would be such an effort for me, I would get out of breath easily, and I couldn’t even do one bodyweight squat or push-up.
“I was twenty-one, which is around the age when you start gaining fat and cellulite in the areas you don’t want it. I didn’t hate my body or have a poor body image, but I did want to get into better physical shape.
“I decided it was time to take care of myself – my body, and my mental and physical health. I knew that better nutrition and a healthy lifestyle would help me anchor myself and would cause a positive change that would help me deal with my anxiety.
“I was very embarrassed by my lack of exercise fitness, and I didn’t want anyone to see me struggle, so I refused to go to the gym.”
Instead of going to the gym, Robin decided to get fit within the comfort of her own room at university until she was body-confident, then would move on to a local woman-only gym.
“This has completely transformed my life. It’s given me a sense of self and value,” she said.
“I feel strong and confident in myself. I feel as if I have determined my path in life and I can succeed in anything I put my mind to if I work hard and smart enough.
“I started eating healthy, balanced meals. Rather than packaged snacks throughout the day and one huge unbalanced meal, I now have 3-4 meals with a protein, carb, fat and fruit/vegetable source in each.
“I have a couple treats a day, usually carb-snacks around my workout, and I drink three to four litres of water per day.
“The hardest part for me was overcoming the initial embarrassment, but once I decided to forget about what others thought and stop comparing, it was easy for me to put in the work.
“At first my parents weren’t supportive, as they thought it was unlike me to change paths so drastically.
“They also feared I wouldn’t go back to school and they hoped I would become ‘more than a personal trainer’ having high hopes for me to become a corporate engineer or doctor.
“Although I didn’t use my education via the traditional route, I take an educational approach to my social media content; aiming to help spread factual fitness information to other young women.
“Start where you’re comfortable – workout at home if you need to. Lifting weights is what built my physique, but there are so many ways to exercise.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/robingallantt/