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Our women in fitness series is a celebration of fly girls doing fly things. Meet Aurelie – a student, research assistant and part-time cross-fit coach who found fitness after moving to London (from Belgium by way of Congo and South Africa). Inspired by her faith and fitness lifestyle, she now committed to using her Instagram to inspire women to be the best they can be.

I’d always been active but it wasn’t until I moved to the UK (from Belgium, by way of Congo and South Africa) that I really got into it. I was 18 and obsessed with football – but of course, that didn’t sit well with my mom. She was afraid I’d come here, forget my education and become a Z list football player, haha. To appease her, I applied for a BScHons in Biomedical Science and thankfully got accepted.

My first year of uni was a whirlwind; there was so much to take in being based at a uni in central London. I tried as much as I could to eat healthily but it didn’t always go to plan. I was surprised at how cheap junk food was. In South Africa it was slightly more expensive. I fell for all the 2 for £1 deals and Poundland was my best friend – I could buy all the Kit-Kats I wanted without breaking the bank! Deadlines at uni made it too easy to be unhealthy and become an emotional eater. I got to a point where I really didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, and started off by doing workouts on the Nike Training Club app. Back in those days, they had achievements that you could share on social media and I quickly got addicted to the buzz I had after every workout.As my weight stabilised, I got addicted to that feeling of being strong and getting stronger with each workout. More than the aesthetic benefits, strength (physical and spiritual) is what I’m constantly pursuing.

I’m running a half marathon on 27 April and I am NERVOUS. Ever since I started CrossFit, my running fell way down by the river-side and this half marathon is more of a mental challenge so that I can be decent at CrossFit and running. In terms of social media, my goal remains the same: to inspire through my own highs and lows. It’s important to not take social media too seriously but my faith in God means that more times than not, I try to post things that will either inspire, convict or make someone laugh. A lot of what I’ve learning and continue to learn through fitness is because of God’s voice guiding me.

Aurelie’s fitness and health tips

Focus on being the person that you'd love to see in the mirror, whether that's a real mirror or an imaginary one that's more for a soul check than a physique check. Don't compare your progress to what others are doing, focus on making your grass the greenest on your quest to be your leanest and healthiest. Do you boo!

AurelieResearch Assistant and CrossFit Coach

Follow Aurelie on Instagram @aurelie_ariel.

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