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When she’s not tearing up the waves at her local surf beach, Rani – who loves and lives an active lifestyle - is lifting weights and building strength in the gym, studying for her PhD in Sports Biomechanics and Physics and focusing on self-love and kindness. A member at our Fernwood Robina club, she’s an advocate from steering clear of the social media comparison game, and believes in healthy living as a lifestyle. Put simply, she says being active “makes me feel better in every way”.

“I am happier, more motivated, kinder to myself and everyone around me,” she says. “It gives me life balance and allows me to keep everything in perspective.”

“Moving my body clears my mind like nothing else ever has. It makes me feel strong and more than capable. I definitely notice a difference in my attitude and focus if I haven’t taken time for myself that day to workout or get outside for some exercise. Overall, it allows me to be the best version of myself, and as a result the best for the people I love around me.”

We were beyond thrilled when Rani accepted her nomination as a 2021 Fernwood Fitness ambassador, joining fellow members Kellie and Katrina to inspire women all around Australia.

“It is so empowering to be a Fernwood 2021 Ambassador. I am so grateful for this opportunity to motivate and inspire other women to love and be who they are. My 14-year-old self would be so proud. Fernwood is an incredible organisation and platform to make women feel strong in everything that they do and I am lucky to be a part of it all.”

The importance of an active lifestyle and positive mindset was instilled in Rani from a young age, her parents always advocating for an approach to health that focused on feeling better mentally and physically, and never about the way she looked.

A competitive swimmer from the ages of eight to 18, Rani trained more than three hours a day, while juggling school and a social life. She says sport made her the person she is today, and taught her invaluable attributes such as how to set and achieve goals, determination, discipline, resilience and sportsmanship.

“Sport and exercise was fun and food was delicious and fuel for our incredible bodies. Looking back, I will always be so grateful for that because it is exactly how I feel about it to this day - living an active lifestyle because you love your body and want to look after it,” she says.

When she hung up her competitive swimmers, she noticed a drop in motivation and confidence. Active her entire life, she knew she wanted to fill the gap left by swimming. Every week, she aims for two to three Fernwood sessions a week, plus a personal training session. She loves RPM classes for the challenge, and the invigoration she feels for hours after. Plus the pumping music and motivated trainer makes “the hard work fun”. She surfs as many mornings as possible, walks every day for at least half an hour and finds comfort in being seaside.

A place of calm, Rani finds time spent by the ocean as a form of meditation. It’s a time when she can disconnect from the rest of the world, focus inwards and simply enjoy the place she’s in at that moment. We imagine the sound of crashing of waves and misty sea air to be a breath of fresh air too.

A believer in balancing fitness with wellness, Rani always makes times for meditation, and writes in a journal every night before bed, noting three things she is grateful for. This regular ritual clears her mind for a sound sleep, and ensures a positive end to any day by reflecting on what went well, and remembering to be grateful.

When it comes to self-love and kindness, being happy and comfortable in her own skin, and staying positive, Rani says one of the key things to remember is that health and happiness looks different for everyone. She views her body as her home – something to care for and love and appreciate – and refuses to spend her life hating or trying to change it.

“The rise of social media is challenging and the reality of comparing who you are to someone else’s highlight reel, most of the time edited photos, is dangerous. To that I say unfollow those people and only fill what you see with content that makes you feel good. Or at least know it’s not all real. For me, it’s just important to remember that all lumps, bumps, rolls, movements of my body are normal and I am proud of it all because it’s me.

“Once I let go of the comparison and got out of my head and back into my body, I let a lot of the social pressure go. I am me and I do not care what other people have to say, because if anything, that is a reflection on their character! Life is short and I don’t want to get to the end of my life and regret not wearing a bikini to the beach or eating a delicious pizza because I was worried about the way I looked.

“Freedom from expectations makes being positive about life easy. I can only do my best. I align myself with kind and loving people and do what makes my soul happy. That really is all that matters.”

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