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Women In Wellness: Eloise Head of FitWaffle on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Go outside every day — The times I’ve felt the lowest are generally when I’ve been stuck inside with my own thoughts all day. I think it’s very easy to get stuck inside your own bubble where everything feels a lot bigger and a lot deeper than it really is. Just stepping outside into nature, getting some fresh air, smiling at someone in the street or speaking to an employee at the store can reground you and uplift you.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eloise Head of FitWaffle.

Sunday Times Bestselling Author Eloise Head (Founder of @FITWAFFLE brand w/ over 8 million foodie followers) is a health & wellness guru and author of Amazon #1 Bestseller Baking it Easy. Eloise created these fun, delicious, and easy treats for the home chef out of her passion for fitness, and the belief that all kinds of foods can fit into your daily diet.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Thank you so much for having me. I would love to share my backstory with you. Before starting Fitwaffle, I worked full-time as a personal trainer and gym manager. I’ve always been into sport and dance and I was really active as a child. I really enjoyed cooking and I used to bake with my great Auntie a lot when I was young. She used to look after my sister and I when my mum and dad went to work. She taught me how to make cookies, jam tarts, cakes and simple meals. I think that’s where my love of baking began. I always loved food, but unfortunately I haven’t always had a good relationship with food. When I was 18 years old, I became overly obsessed with working out, doing fitness classes and spending hours at the gym. I also started ‘eating clean’, meaning I cut out just about every processed food from my diet, including cake, chocolate, fast food and even white potatoes. I lost a lot of weight, including a lot of muscle from undereating. I had endless fights with my mum and I had a very unhealthy mindset towards food. I considered certain foods to be ‘good’ and others to be ‘bad’, with no real knowledge about nutrition.
Fast-forward a year, I enrolled in a personal training course. I learned about anatomy, resistance training and nutrition, specially macronutrients. This new knowledge completely changed how I looked at food, which I no longer saw as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. I was now able to regard what I ate for what it was without any emotional attachments or labels. I learnt that, at the end of the day, food is energy. Some foods are high in calories and low in nutrients, while others are low in calories and high in nutrients. It’s the balance of these foods that matters, alongside your personal energy output. I started Fitwaffle to document my food and fitness journey online as I was learning to enjoy all foods in moderation. I would work as a personal trainer throughout the week, then visit London at the weekend with my fiancé to try new restaurants, street food markets and all kinds of foods. I posted photos of these foods to my social media and they started to become popular. My Instagram page started to grow as almost a ‘guide to London food’.

When the pandemic hit, restaurants closed and we went into lockdown, I decided to start posting my homemade creations to my Instagram and TikTok page. This is also when I created the Instagram page @FitwaffleKitchen. I wanted to build a community of fellow bakers and foodies in a time of uncertainty where we all felt isolated. I made it my personal mission to help keep people occupied and uplifted during these difficult times. I also wanted to make sure that my recipes were accessible to as many people as possible — that they were easy and achievable, without all the fluff.

Roll-on a couple of years to now, I have over 8 million followers across social media and my very own cookbook. It all seems very surreal to me and I’m so grateful for every opportunity and my amazing community.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

Going into lockdown was probably the craziest thing that happened since starting my career. I had left my job as a personal trainer to pursue Fitwaffle full-time just 8 months prior. This was my first glimpse of self-employment, I was working with brands and running social media accounts for restaurants. When restaurants closed, I lost some of my clients and I wasn’t sure whether my first go at running my own business was going to be short-lived.

Within the first week of lockdown, I started posting recipes to my social media. I wasn’t sure how my followers would respond, but it was something I’d always wanted to do and I had a good feeling about it. People couldn’t go to restaurants, but they could cook at home. I wanted to give value to my followers and I wanted to spread joy and positivity in these difficult times. My first viral recipe came quite early on receiving over 39 million impressions and over 700K likes. It was a recipe for 3-ingredient Oreo Fudge (which is also in my new book). I took my social media following from 300K before lockdown to over 8 million in 2 years by consistently posting sweet, easy, and accessible recipes.

I cannot see myself being in the same position now if I didn’t adapt quickly to the situation and if I didn’t provide the value that I did through creating recipes throughout lockdown. It taught me that providing value through my content is so powerful and so important for building a community and an audience on social media. The amount of heartfelt messages I have received throughout my time of posting recipes online has been so touching and eye-opening. I feel very lucky to have been able to impact so many people’s lives in such a positive way.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The biggest mistake I made when first starting was not trying new things early enough or not sticking with them. For example, when videos were first introduced to Instagram, it took me a while to start consistently producing good quality video content. I jumped on before it was rebranded to TikTok and one of my first videos went viral, but it didn’t seem worth my time back then, so I wasn’t consistent with it. I started posting consistently to the platform once it was rebranded to TikTok and started gaining popularity. If I had been posting consistently from the start, who knows where my following would be right now. At first, I ignored Facebook as a platform because I didn’t think it was the right platform for my content. I was so wrong!

The lesson I have learned here is to move swiftly with new features and new arising platforms and be consistent in finding what works on them. This applies beyond social media and into the real world also. A lot of the time it’s scary to try new things and step into the unknown, we often don’t see immediate results, so we give up too soon. Social media has taught me that persistence can go a long way.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

I believe that diet culture is a big problem in today’s society and that lack of proper teaching about food is one of the biggest challenges surrounding obesity.

We’re very quick to jump on the next diet trend, trying to find a quick fix to lose weight or get healthier without actually learning the very basics of nutrition.

I believe that moderation and balance is the key to a healthier life and mindset around food. I think a lot of people believe that to be healthy you need to give up a lot of the things you love, such as dining out, drinking alcohol, or having dessert, and therefore decide it’s just not worth it.

Even though my social media is not solely focused on spreading this message, I try to help my community whenever I am asked about this topic, and I like to show that enjoying dessert, learning to bake and having fun with food is not a bad thing, nor is it something to be afraid of.

I want people to feel inspired and happy when they watch my videos. I know baking for a lot of people has given them purpose, it’s helped them with mental health issues, it’s got kids off their phones and into the kitchen and some people have even started their own businesses. If I can help or inspire just one person, then to me, I have made a positive difference in the world today.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

Go outside every day — The times I’ve felt the lowest are generally when I’ve been stuck inside with my own thoughts all day. I think it’s very easy to get stuck inside your own bubble where everything feels a lot bigger and a lot deeper than it really is. Just stepping outside into nature, getting some fresh air, smiling at someone in the street or speaking to an employee at the store can reground you and uplift you.

Enjoy all foods in moderation — Moderation will mean something different for everybody. In general terms, eat fruits and vegetables and get enough protein because it’s good for your body. Go out to dinner with your friends and family because it’s good for your soul. If you’re someone who feels guilty about consuming foods you believe to be bad for you (like I used to be) challenge your thoughts and the information you’re consuming, and try to avoid triggering content across social media.

Sleep — Sleep has so many benefits, including regulating your mood and your appetite. Aim for around 8 hours a night as often as you can.

Take time to rest away from social media — Scrolling online is not resting. You may be resting your body, but your brain is still very active. Go for a walk, go to the beach, sleep, hang out with friends, go for coffee on your own without your phone. I for one often don’t realise how stressed I am until it’s too late. These things help to keep your head level.

Exercise — (I would say that, I’m a personal trainer.) But, I don’t mean just go to the gym and lift weights (although I would recommend that too), do whatever form of exercise you enjoy. Play a game, play a sport, walk, run, swim, dance, try Pilates. In simple terms, just get your body moving. Whatever exercise you enjoy and your body can manage will massively improve your physical health and your mental health.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would start a movement to encourage everybody to go outside without their phones for at least 30 minutes every day. You could walk, you could meet a friend, you could just sit down and stare at the sky. So many people have the ability to do this, yet so many don’t. I think just being outside with nature, without the internet could massively improve the wellbeing of a lot of people in today’s world.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Good things take time, but if something’s clearly not working, change it sooner rather than later. — When it comes to social media and growing a business, I think there’s a balance between being persistent/continuously putting in the work to get great results, and learning when something isn’t working and moving on quickly. For example, if I make a recipe and it doesn’t perform very well because it has an ingredient in that many people don’t have access to, I probably won’t use that ingredient again if I’m looking to reach a wide audience with my video.

Repurpose your content on as many social media platforms as possible. — Many of the big social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat now support 16:9 videos. I have a different audience on every one of these platforms, so it makes perfect sense to repurpose my content and grow a following on each platform. Each platform offers something slightly different and it makes sense not to put all your eggs in one basket. The hard part is creating the content, posting it is the quick and easy part.

You don’t have to know everything to start — I’ve noticed I can often hold myself back by wanting to be more confident in something before starting. But, I’ve come to learn that you only gain confidence in something by doing it over and over again, not just by reading about it.

Not everyone is going to like you and that’s TOTALLY fine. You’re not supposed to be liked by everybody. — When you’re a content creator, you’re going to get some hate. It doesn’t matter if you do everything right, someone will find something to dislike about you — It’s unavoidable. So make yourself proud and don’t worry about the haters.

It’s okay to say no — When I first started, I would say yes to everything. I had got it in my head that if I said no or pushed back, that would be the end of a working relationship. Now that I have built confidence in my abilities, I am happy to push back and say no if something doesn’t fit or doesn’t align with my brand or my beliefs.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health is closest to my heart, as it’s something I have struggled with at points in the past and is something that I am aware of everyday. I have definitely fallen victim to poor information and comparison on social media, which impacted my relationship with food and in turn my relationship with my body, my friends, and my family. Mental health is at the core of how we think, how we live, and the decisions that we make, and poor mental health is something that affects so many people.

I am a big advocate of balance and moderation and this extends to mental health. For me, taking time away from my phone and social media and going for a walk or going to the gym is essential for me to keep my mental health in check.

As I mentioned previously, I like my social media to be a place of positivity where others can come to find joy and inspiration. Many of those people then use my recipes to bake something for their friends, family or even for their business. They bake to have fun with their children, or they bake alone to enjoy some peace and quiet. What I love about baking, is there’s always a reward at the end, whether that’s a beautifully decorated cake, a scrumptious batch of brownies, or just the sense of accomplishment from completing something from start to finish. I think baking can be a beautiful tool for improving ones mental health, and helping people do that is one of my core values in my business.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

Instagram @fitwafflekitchen and @fitwaffle and @eloisehead

Facebook: Fitwaffle

YouTube: Fitwaffle Kitchen

TikTok: @fitwaffle

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.

Women In Wellness: Eloise Head of FitWaffle on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.