Monday Motivation…Sali Stevanja {Stylerunner}

Last night I was reading Napoleon Hill; the necessary steps to success are:

3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences. 4. A Friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose. As I thought about these words I began to think about the world I live in & the people in it.

I have made no secret of the fact that I love the deep meaningful conversations about passion and purpose, meeting and talking with people with their own souls alight as they talk about their own pursuit of happiness, or what they are doing to create a change in the world. I was pleasantly astounded when I realised that most of the people who I connect with as I change my own life, are entrepreneurs, or working for themselves, following their own passion and creating their own dream reality {WOW, I felt incredibly lucky}.

It has been said to be the era of the entrepreneur.

I am in awe of the capacity of these people, in particular one who I was lucky enough to meet {as a single woman, trying to create my own business, this woman is a role model to me}….Sali Stevanja Co-Founder of the popular Fitness Fashion online retailer; Stylerunner.


You have created a rapidly growing online fashion store, the ‘go to’ for the latest fitness fashion what do you attribute this success to? 

There are so many contributing factors but I believe the fact that Julie and I started the business as passionate consumers is a huge part, we are always thinking of the customer with every decision we make.

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Steve Prefontaine

When did you decide to you wanted to be involved in the fitness & fashion industry?

Living a healthy balanced life became really important once I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer back in 2008. I was young and with no family history of any illness I unknowingly took my health for granted. Julie was pretty much born to shop and once we noticed a gap in the market it was as if we just knew this was the space we belonged in. We quit our jobs and spent 4 months on setting up the business.

How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor?  

It is still somewhat surreal. It is one of the most rewarding parts of what we have created. We get so many emails and messages from women who have been inspired to live healthier lives and they send through amazing progress pics which we love to see. We also get a lot of letters from both men and women young and old wanting advice on how to start up a business or even just letters of thanks to say, you girls have given me the courage to chase my dreams. It is beyond rewarding for us to see that our hard work is not just about creating a successful business but about inspiring others to chase their dreams no matter how small or big.


Has there been any challenges along your journey? 

Haha – dating..does that count? It’s impossible to date or be social when you are in the start up years of a business. That has definitely been a challenge!

{Charlie: I definitely know about this}

 “If you want to be comfortable, don’t try to live your dreams.” Emily Trinkaus

How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health? 

It really is just about being conscious of what your body needs. There are times where we can work without a single day off for weeks at a time, sometimes working insane hours because that is just what needs to be done at the time but when our body is crying for a rest we listen. If that means taking a day off midweek we do.

“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” Richard Bach


What do you believe are the keys to success in business?

Stamina and resilience. I knew how tough starting a business would be before we started Stylerunner but I had no idea just how tough. It goes beyond no sleep, long hours, having to say no to all your friends social events because you need to work etc. Still your passion has to be greater than the hard work required to make it a success and if you have that in you … it might be tough but it is definitely worth it.


What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?

Don’t wait for the perfect moment to get started … just start.

‘Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.’ Norman Vincent Peale

Top 3 healthy tips/advice? 

I always start my day with a shot of Olive Leaf extract – it helps with my immune system

Get regular massages…not only do they feel good they help release toxins from your system

Treat yourself. I believe in balance. I generally eat pretty clean but if I feel like a piece of chocolate or cake I will allow myself to have it. I don’t believe in depriving myself or saying I can’t have this or that, I rather try and focus on what I can/should be eating that is healthy and wholesome.

Your top 3 tips for fitness fashion?

Be bold. Try and step away from safe basics and embrace a print. Prints are the current must have.


{Sali wears the absolutely stunning BSC tights, about to be released…I have my name on the waiting list}

Learn how to be versatile with your gym gear. Mix your activewear with pieces from your wardrobe, like wear one of our adidas by Stella McCartney studio sweatshirts with a pair of jeans and you now have activewear that is not just for wearing to the gym but for also catching up with girlfriends for coffee or going shopping.

If you love wearing black on black like me try and add a pop of colour with some super cool coloured kicks. Currently I am obsessed with our Nike Air Max 2014 in Lightning Red / Green

Share something no one knows… 

That is pretty hard … I’m somewhat of an open book so there is not a lot that people don’t know about… Let me see… I wake up at 5.22am every morning because my competitor once said she gets up at 5.30am.

{I just LOVE this!}

I sincerely thank Sali for her time.

Be sure to follow:

IG: Stylerunner & Salistevanja

FB: Stylerunner

To celebrate their 2nd birthday (I am lucky enough to attend their After 5 birthday aprty…what to wear???!!!) they have amazing online gifts to giveaway…no better time to upgrade your summer fitness fashion 🙂

Love & light, Charlie x.

Pretty sure I have some upcoming events I need to some new style/items for 😉



{Fitness Expert} Denver Steyn…Eating Disorders

I have spent time connecting with so many different people throughout my career, and recently I have spent more time actually listening to them, not the kind of listening that has my monkey mind wondering about what Im going to eat next, who I need to call, or what I need to do, but the real type of listening, the kind where you absorb the other persons words, active listening. It has been during this practice of listening I have been amazed at the wealth of knowledge that surrounds me…I felt it only right to share with you.

Today Im sharing Denver Steyn, a fitness expert who is a leading personal trainer in Qld, but also a genuinely good guy with a desire for knowledge and passion for fitness. He is (one of those) IIFYM followers, and it works for him. He is also a pro at the ‘selfie’, pre, during and post training. See below.

Eating Disorders, Denver Steyn

Nutrition is a core component of building muscle, losing fat, and ensuring your body is working as it should by providing the essential nutrients required to thrive and survive.

It is generally agreed that when you eat less you lose weight. When you eat protein you encourage your body to build and maintain muscle. When you eat carbs you provide your body with energy. When you eat fats you provide your body with essential nutrients for hormonal balance and transportation of other nutrients.

With that said, it is clearly important to incorporate all three macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat) in your diet.

People who go to extremes have the main goal of building muscle. This means more protein. Generally in excess of any study known to man. Protein protein protein. Every day. Every meal. In generic quantities without any consideration. 200g portions in the form of animal protein, 6-8 egg whites, protein shakes. Simple generic portion sizes. Some how it is whats required to get the job done, irrespective of a personal body composition assessment.

So if protein builds muscle which is an obvious major goal, and I need to eat less to lose weight, why not just eat minimal amounts of carbs and fats? That works right? How many times have you heard of people who “live” on chicken and broccoli. It has become more of a joke these days however it is still very relevant and continues to happen.

The issue is, people see short term results and don’t consider the long term effects. Eat protein; build muscle, eat less; lose weight or even; get “shredded”.


Knowing the importance of nutrition, your body will always get the calories or nutrients it requires to survive. It is simply impossible to excessively under eat without your body responding in more ways than just losing weight, or body fat. What I mean is, when you are restricting your daily food intake your body will force you to give it what it needs to keep functioning at its preferred level of health or body composition “set point”. This is part of why we get cravings, why we snack on foods without thinking, and the big one; why many people are binge eating on a weekly basis.

Having a diet that focuses on protein intake and not much else, you can bet your body is fighting you on a daily basis. How many times have you had that craving to eat one small treat and ended up eating everything in sight? That could be an example of your body “getting what it needs”, regardless of what you are trying to force it to do.

So when fitness goes too far, people are following eating plans that have very little consideration or recruitment of essential dietary fats and carbohydrates. Protein is the key, with green vegetables and salads not really for the micronutrient content but more because they keep you full and help in the process of feeing “okay” in what is essentially planned starvation.

Binge eating is prevalent amongst those who preach the idea of “eating clean” or being strict with generic uneducated fitness eating plans. More so, it is associated with those who are over eating protein but under eating total calories in an effort to build muscle and get shredded.

I have seen first hand people who claim to be health & fitness role models who are closet binge eaters yet portray a lifestyle of nothing but clean foods and won’t allow their image to be hurt by being truthful about their less than desirable eating habits.

Although I have never been one to hide my eating habits, I have spent multiple periods of my life where I was doing everything you have just read. Under eating, binging, thinking nothing but protein and a few fibrous vegetables was a way of life. I thought it was a necessary sacrifice to get that elusive shredded and muscular physique. It is obviously a less than desirable outcome when you realise you have developed an eating disorder and have created a yo-yo cycle of “clean” and “dirty” eating as well as a fear of certain foods and a very restricted and psychologically damaging approach to nutrition. The first untold truth.



Follow Denver on his journey…


IG: Biggydee

Love & light, Charlie x.

Do you know someone or are you someone that would like to be featured? Please email me I believe that sharing is caring and together we can make a change.




Monday Motivation…Lynsey Willenberg {Waters Edge Yoga}

This woman is the reason I have continued my yoga practice. She is my absolute favourite yogi and somehow always seems to know what I am needing in each class. The words she speaks and quotes she chooses always reflect my life, it honestly amazes me. Sometimes I feel like she sees right through me and into my soul, I cant help but smile.

“Wellness is a connection of paths: knowledge and action.”  Joshua Welch.   

Im lucky to introduce you to Lynsey Willenberg, director of Waters Edge Yoga {Rushcutters Bay, Balmoral & the Domain}




Charlie: You are the owner of Waters Edge Yoga, a rapidly growing yoga practice, what do you attribute this success to?

A cup of passion for health and fitness, a tablespoon of seeing individuals transform their health and a pitch of a desire for constructive feedback is my recipe for success. I get such a kick out of receiving feedback from customers and really listening to their wants and needs.

Charlie: When did you decide to you wanted to be a yogi?

A Yogi to me is someone who can love, care, listen and treat themselves as well as others with respect. I was taught these fundamental qualities by my family since day dot and continue to live by them. Although I have practiced and taught the physical elements of Yoga for many years, I feel like I have always been a Yogi. It is wasn’t a decision, it is a lifestyle.

Charlie: When did you decide you wanted to work for yourself?

I have worked and continue to work for other companies. I do really enjoy the collaboration and working in a team, it is a great space to  learn and grow from others. However, building my own empire has been one of my goals for a long time. I am a free spirit who is very driven so I decided that giving it a go couldn’t hurt right?  In 2013, I began the journey and I love every bit of it with my whole being.

“Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.“ Bhagavad Gita.



Charlie: How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor?

I don’t really see myself as an inspirational figure/mentor. I just live the life the way I believe is true to my core values. I try to be the best person I can be for my friends, family and students and hope that they also strive for their dreams. I just like being me and if that happens to inspire others, then that is one awesome by-product.

Charlie: Has there been any challenges along your journey?

HECK YES!!! There are daily challenges if not hourly! Haha.. and you have to embrace them. I have struggled a lot with my limiting core beliefs, which can hold me back from achieving my goals. How have I dealt with this challenge? I have acknowledged these thoughts and accept it is a part of me instead of fighting them. I use tools such as positive affirmations, Yoga, meditation and surrounding myself with beautiful, uplifting and supportive friends and family.

“He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.“ Arabian Proverb.

Charlie: How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health?

I break down my goals into categories; career, relationships, well-being & financial. I read them every day and make sure that daily I work towards each and everyone of them. It really helps me to not put the emphasis on one more than the other because in order to obtain my balance life, every single goal needs my attention.

”We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.” -Eat, Pray Love


Charlie: What do you believe are the keys to success in business?

Love what you do!

Back yourself; you ARE awesome and unique

When a problem arises, look at it as an opportunity to  grow and learn

Believe that every day you are presented with thousands of opportunities. Keep an open mind and you never know where the next great thing will present itself

Embrace constructive criticism

Charlie: What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?

Go get’em Tiger!!! Haha…

Be specific and clear what that dream is. Visualise it, hear it, smell it, taste it! Ignite all your senses so that you feel your whole being already there.

Write your dreams on a piece of paper or print out pictures of what they are. Stick them in your shower and see it every day!


Charlie: When can we look forward to next from you?

Ahhh. I have a few great things up my sleeve. Blogging, video content, teacher training

Charlie: Top 3 healthy tips/advice?

  1. Have a plan. Get rid of the “Ummm…I am hungry, what should I eat? syndrome” Invest time into constructing a weekly healthy meal plan and stick it on the fridge. This will remove any ambiguity of deciding what to eat. When you are ready for your breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, you won’t waste precious mental energy working out what healthy meal should be. Mix it up and change your meal plan weekly or fortnightly
  2. Move your body every day. Whether that is creating shapes with your body in Yoga, going for a run, walking, using the stairs rather than the lift make sure you MOVE it! Move in a way that you feel your cells, muscles and organs are singing with praise.
  3. Consistency is the key. When I was younger, I use to practice my timetables consistently every day until they became so ingrained in my mind that it became easy to reel off any timetable. I find it is similar to health and fitness. If you consistently practice good eating and fitness behaviours, it just becomes a part of you and without thinking, you find yourself naturally living a healthy lifestyle.

Charlie: Share something no one knows…

Haha! That is always a tricky question because there are reasons why you don’t say things that no one knows but I will give it a go…

I think my head is too big for my body..weird!!

‘Want to be happy? Just be yourself.’ Unknown



I sincerely thank Lynsey for her time and for being one of my own personal sources of inspiration.

Lynsey and Waters Edge Yoga are giving away a 3 class pass to any location. To enter, simply share this post on your Facebook page. Tag Charlie de Haas; Wellness coach/fitness Model & Waters Edge Yoga.

Entires close Friday 14th at 12pm.

Follow Lynsey on Facebook: Waters Edge Yoga. 

Love & light, Charlie x.

Sharing love…

To show my sincere gratitude for all the support and love Ive been given with the release of my book, today I am giving away a copy of Live a life you love, a guide to living your life well. To practice the art of giving.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa


To enter:


Simply repost the above image on your facebook (be sure to tag Charlie de Haas; Wellness Coach/Fitness Model) or Instagram page (#charliedehaas). Tag a friend you would like to win this and why they should win.




Sometimes we forget to let people know how much they mean to us, how inspiring they are to us and to really show our love. So share a little love and let them know you are thinking of them.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston S. Churchill




Sometimes people can be scared to ask for help, sometimes we all get a little lost on our journeys and sometimes we all need a helping hand. Live a life you love, is a self help book that is filled with love, healthy habits and inspiration (also over 40 healthy recipes).

“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” Steve Maraboli




“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi

If you love someone, tell them. If you miss someone, call them. If someone is hurting, be there. If you need help, ask for it.

Humanity. Compassion. Love. Respect. This is what the world needs more of.

Love & light, Charlie x.

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” Brian Tracy

Always practicing an attitude of gratitude. So deeply thankful for this very moment. To write, to offer my story, to share with you my personal struggles in this beautiful life. To share with you my belief that you can create the life you love, your dream reality, and you can make every day better than yesterday.


Monday Motivation…Noa Ries (Vie Active)

I recently found one of the hottest, ‘must have’ labels in fitness wear…Vie Active (yes, sometimes I can be behind times).

Today I would like to introduce you to Noa Ries, the co-founder of one of Australia’s premium activewear brands.

“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” Richard Bach



NBB: You are the co-founder of one of the hottest/sexiest fitness wear labels of the moment, what do you attribute this success to?

Firstly, thanks so much for the lovely compliment! It is so exciting to know that an idea that started as a vision and a concept for doing things differently is being responded to so well around the world. I think part of this is due to the fact that I used to be a personal trainer and I created the range with people who sweat for a living in mind.  Women who don’t want to compromise style for functionality.

NBB: When did you decide to you wanted to be involved in the health industry?

I’ve always been incredibly passionate about health and fitness.  I decided to become a personal trainer when my husband and I moved to Singapore in 2008 and its health & fitness have been embedded in my life ever since.


1391746_10152122922993619_673985858_nNBB: When did you decide to begin Vie active?

One afternoon I had an epiphany to create the range after realizing I was spending my LIFE in activewear and would often get to the end of the day feeling cold/clammy and really quite daggy! I set out on a mission to create truly technical activewear that would enable me to do an intense workout but would also be chic and stylish enough to wear all day long. Vie Active started with the finest quality Merino wool – an incredibly unique fabric and the ultimate performance fibre as it is naturally temperature regulating, anti-microbial, shape retaining, moisture wicking, odor resistant (I could really go on and on…..!). It’s not only super soft and breathable on your skin but it also allows you to be dry, stink-free, and just as comfortable after the most demanding run, yoga, or boot-camp session. From the beginning, we decided to push the envelope by integrating high definition prints into the Merino fabric to fuse fitness with fashion and function and as a result, our clothes truly do look and feel just as good on the studio as they do on the street.


“Faith is not desire. Faith is will. Desires are things that need to be satisfied, whereas will is a force. Will changes the space around us.” Paulo Coelho

NBB: How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor?

Honoured and flattered beyond words.

NBB: Has there been any challenges along your journey?

Many! Manufacturing is by far our biggest challenge and I think our lack of experience in the fashion industry has been both a positive and a negative for us. On the one hand, its enabled us to think outside the square and push the envelope in terms of product development to envisage something that didn’t exist before (truly technical and fashionable performance wear that can be worn all day long). On the other hand, it’s been a very intense process to create this product and work with our suppliers and manufacturers to get it right and to the highest quality.

NBB: How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health?

I try to do something active every day. More for my mental sanity than anything else. I do a combination of barre workouts, HIIT classes and walking my two daughters in the pram. I try to nourish my body with food that is as clean as possible simply to provide me with the energy I need to get through the day as with a 10 week old, a 2.5 year old and a new business my life is very hectic and busy!

NBB: What do you believe are the keys to success in business?

Hard work, putting the customer first (always), doing something you love.

‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.’ Steve Prefontaine


IMG_1181NBB: What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?

Listen to your inner voice. Talk to other people you trust and develop your idea to the point that it’s a workable business concept. Don’t get paralysed by analysing, just go and do it!

NBB: When can we look forward to next from you?

Lots of new colours, and prints and some new styles plus lots more exciting health & fitness lifestyle content on our blog.

NBB: Top 3 healthy tips/advice?

  1. Be Active every day. Even if this means just going for a walk.
  2. Drink at least 2 litres of water each day
  3. Eat healthy fats and minimise sugar in your diet

NBB: Share something no one knows…

I decided to train for and run a marathon after being told by a massage therapist that I didn’t have the “right body” for marathons. It hurt like hell (I couldn’t walk properly for 5 days) but guess what, I ran across the finish line!

“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” Oprah Winfrey

I sincerely thank Noa for her time.

Noa has kindly offered a 10% discount on any vie active wear, simply enter CHARLIE10 after checkout (what a gorgeous christmas gift!).



IG: vieactivewear

If you have a dream, make a goal and dedicate everything you have to make it come true. This is true success.

Love & light, Charlie x.


Monday Motivation…Nikki Sharp

This gorgeous lady is one of my favourite girl crushes…I just have to say. She leads an amazing healthy LIFESTYLE, eats clean, practises yoga and inspires many…how could you not crush on her?

‘I love life because what more is there?’ Anthony Hopkins





Introducing Nikki Sharp, 26, international model & founder of Stay Sharp Be Strong. Based in London (Staysharpbestrong has 181K followers on IG).

NBB: You are a well-known Health/Wellness advocate. What do you attribute this success to? 

A huge part of this is that I have shared my struggles with my instagram followers so they feel like they’ve been on a journey with me. I have also made it a point to respond to every person that emails me as I like having that personal touch. I respond to comments on Instagram and try to encourage others who tag me in photos. I believe in showing my followers that I genuinely care for them and I think it shows by how quick my company grew. I also have my 5 day detox which has seen incredible results with over 20,000 people worldwide purchasing it. I love sharing everyone’s stories of their detox pictures and experience and my followers happily send me in their before and after’s to get featured on my account.

‘Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.’ Helen Keller

NBB: When did you decide to you wanted to be involved in the health industry?

It was October ’12 as I was really enjoying training and I was always making these delicious snacks that I thought would be cool to market. I ended up holding off on those and working on my detox instead.

NBB: When did you decide to start your own business?

The same time, October ’12. It all happened very suddenly and out of the blue I suddenly had this burning desire to be helping others which is why I started my website and company. It all evolved very naturally, which has been amazing to see.
‘Life is like the ocean. It can be calm and still or rough and rigid but in the end, it is always beautiful.’ Unknown
NBB: How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor?
I absolutely love it. I look at all these celebrities who say they don’t want to be in the limelight and will be caught smoking drugs and drinking lots and I just don’t agree with it. I feel that if you have the amazing opportunity to be well known that you should use it to your advantage and help others. Truly there is nothing more rewarding than getting emails from mothers saying them and their daughters follow me and that the mother loves what I do and the message that I promote and that they are totally okay with their daughters following me. It’s a very cool feeling to know that I can have the power to change people’s lives!
NBB: Has there been any challenges along your journey?
Ha, oh my gosh SO MANY! People forget that I’m human just like everyone else and I go through my own struggles on my body, weight, how I look and feel. I’ve experimented with so many diets and recently did raw vegan for a while and it just didn’t work so well for me. I get really stressed having my own company and it affects my skin (which is a problem I’ve dealt with my whole life). It’s definitely not all roses for me and I do share my struggles on my IG account 1. to show people I’m the same and 2. to also get support from others.
‘Your life doesn’t get better by chance, It gets better by CHANGE.’ Unknown
NBB: How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health?
Tough one, I try to exercise a few times a week but when I’m stressed it becomes less and I will stop eating so well. I really believe in moderation though and I used to work 10-12 hour days 6 days a week during the whole summer and it took it’s toll. So now I’m changing it up and instead working 5-6 days a week but less hours to help me keep my focus. I think it’s essential that I maintain my own health because when I feel good it shows through on my company.

NBB: What do you believe are the keys to success in business?

1. Believing in your product
2. Knowing that what you do/sell is different than what’s out there. I am definitely not the only one doing this, I’m not the best but I give a different perspective than what’s been done
3. Treating your customers (and more importantly your STAFF!) with respect. There are many times that I have had customers come back to me and not be happy and I will do what I can to help. I think your staff are most important though and that if they are not happy it will get passed on to your clients/ customers.

NBB: What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?

If it is truly achievable then I absolutely recommend creating a mind map and to get a notebook and write all ideas down. I personally carry mine at all times because you never know when you’ll hear a quote, have an idea, or just need to keep track of something. I do believe there is a difference between a dream that you want and one that can happen. I will never be Beyonce or a famous singer but that has always been a dream. I think realizing your dreams that you can actually achieve is key because then you won’t feel like you didn’t succeed when you don’t become Beyonce 🙂


NBB: Top 3 healthy tips/advice?

1. Focus on weight training, not just cardio. Cardio helps burn fat but weights are what will actually get you a toned, tight and fit body and keep you slim as you burn more calories when you have more muscle.
2. Have 3 colors at every meal. This will satisfy you a lot more and keep you from binging later on.
3. Learn to recreate your favorite naughty recipes with clean version. My favorite is my vegan cheesecake which is to die for and is actually nourishing for you body!
‘I wish that the message of Peace be experienced through yoga, which is not only a culture of the body but the evolution of the Self’ B.K.S Iyengar


I sincerely thank Nikki for her time. I hope you have found her feature motivating.
Follow Nikki and her journey…
IG: staysharpbestrong
Love & light, Charlie x.
Yes, I am putting the Vegan cheesecake on this weekends dinner menu 🙂 Life IN balance x.

Monday Motivation; Denver Steyn

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the weekend goes by, and were here at Monday again. How do you feel today? Are you rolling out of bed, already wishing the day was over? Or, are you full of life? Realising that ‘Monday’ is only a title, that so many use as an excuse to be unmotivated.

Get out of bed and make today happen! Do something good today.

‘In seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself.’

My good deed is sharing with you one of my sources of inspiration; Denver Steyn. Denver (25) is a Strength & Nutrition Coach (Empire Fitness Centre on the Gold Coast), he is a natural body builder (yes, he works extremely hard for that body) and genuinely wants  to help others reach their health and fitness goals.


ds1(This picture is for the ladies, I hope it gives you motivation for today/tonight’s gym session 😉


NBB: You are becoming well-known in the world of fitness, as a bodybuilder and also a ‘go to’ trainer, Why do you think that is?

I feel that social media plays a large role when it comes to connecting with others and provides a platform to interact in a way that can draw attention or create a following.

I think for myself personally, people come to me because of my experience and success in building a quality physique that is drug-free, and attainable with appropriate training & nutrition, guidance and adequate hard work over time.

 NBB: When did you decide to you wanted to be involved in the fitness industry? How does having a successful business feel?

 I decided I wanted to be involved in the fitness industry back in 2005 after 6 months or so of heavily researching bodybuilding as I had just started my journey and had seen great results in a short period.

During my last year of high school, I remember telling my teacher that I didn’t need to pass a particular computer-programming subject as I was going to be a personal trainer and it had no correlation. So I would utilise my time in that class planning my workouts, reading articles on, and eating my cans of tuna.

Looking back now, everything has come together perfectly and it definitely feels great to be successful.

‘ Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.’ Norman R. Augustineds4

NBB: How does it feel to be a successful Bodybuilder?

 Challenging. Success can feel short-lived when it comes to Bodybuilding. You are always striving to be better than you were yesterday, or the last time you stepped on stage. Things like injuries, social life, and business can sometimes hinder your progress or push you back, and it’s a long road before you can wake up and be satisfied with your efforts. Right now I am not in a position where I can say I am the strongest I have ever been on all exercises, or that I don’t have underdeveloped body parts, so I’m still striving for success.

NBB: Has there been any challenges along your journey?

Sure there has. None in particular that stand out but I am faced with challenges everyday to maintain a work/life balance and stay on top of the simple things like getting my meals and workouts in on a consistent basis. I tend to put others and business first, which challenges my personal bodybuilding goals at times.


 ‘You want me to do something… tell me I can’t do it.’ Maya Angelouds5

NBB: How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health?

I’m working on it! I need to get back on track with this. I used to incorporate what I like to call reverse scheduling. This means I would block out times in my week for personal health whether it is workouts, meals, massages, or simple downtime. My available work hours would be allocated around my personal health. Although I know this is a great approach, it can be tough to turn away business for personal time.

NBB: You portray an image of balance and follow the IIFYM (If it fits your Macros) plan, can you offer an insight into how this works?

IIFYM (If it fits your macros) is something I heard about in my first year of competitive bodybuilding in 2009. To be honest I had no idea what it meant and didn’t look into it. I was already eating the “bodybuilding friendly” foods and measuring my food intake to ensure I was consistently eating an effective amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, which is basically what IIFYM is all about. The main difference is that IIFYM is not restrictive to “bodybuilding friendly” food sources.

IIFYM basically suggests that you can eat whatever food source you like as long as it fits within your macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) intake each day. This approach however can be greatly misinterpreted without some basic rules.

I prefer to use what is commonly known as “flexible dieting”. This is a better way of enjoying the balance of flexible food sources but also ensures adequate micronutrients are included in the diet. Simple rules include having a fiber intake goal, having a combination of fruits and vegetables in the diet, and vitamins and minerals from multiple food sources and/or supplementation.

Because I weigh my food and track my daily intake, I feel like I wake up with an empty tank that can be filled with whatever foods I desire up to a point where I reach my set requirements. I will always make sure that I hit my macronutrient goals each day so depending on what I eat during the day, sometimes I will finish the evening with some whey protein powder or almonds, or even Nutella, if I haven’t quite hit my desired macros.

‘Energy and persistence conquer all things.’Benjamin Franklin

NBB: How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor?

I am always happy to help others especially when I meet people who are so set in their restrictive lifestyles yet could do much better with a bit of coaching. I hate to see people with the right mindset but wrong tools. As a mentor my job is to ensure my clients see results from their efforts by utilising optimal training and nutrition protocols.

If I inspire people by training hard, hitting my macros, and staying true to myself then I’m doing something right.

 NBB: What do you believe are the keys to success in business?

  1. Do what you love
  2. Seek further education with an open mind
  3. Find a way to help others
  4. Maintain integrity

NBB: What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?

If you have a dream, you have to protect it. Other people think they can’t do something so they don’t want to believe that you can either. What may seem like a dream to you could already be a reality to others in this world. Success leaves clues so follow the path that others have provided.



NBB: What can we look forward to next from you?

Right now I am rebuilding my strength after a long diet, lower back injury, and holiday. Once I am confident that I am stronger than ever before, I am interested in entering the powerlifting scene.

In regards to bodybuilding, I am considering taking some time off from the stage to stay in an extended calorie surplus to keep pushing my natural potential. Every time I diet down for a show my focus shifts from building muscle to maintaining muscle, which slows progress.

‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.’ Mahatma Gandhi

NBB: Share something no one knows…

I am scared of heights, hate public speaking, and almost never train forearms, abs, or traps directly.

Top 3 Fitness tips:

  1. Track your macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate, Fats)
  2. Train body parts twice per week
  3. Be flexible and always eat cake on your birthday (If you say so Denver!!!)

Want more motivation/inspiration? Follow Denver on his journey:


I sincerely thank Denver for his time.

As always, I hope you have read this feature and felt a little light of inspiration within you. Every day is a great day to start change (Mondays are even better). Its a new day, a new week, stop holding yourself back with excuses.

I have chosen Denver as my personal nutrition coach for after competition dieting. Its important after preparing for a fitness model competition (following a restrictive eating plan) that you have a plan for AFTER (I’m secretly excited for Nutella, and to get my ‘treat’ baking back on, I have missed my kitchen!!!)

Love & light, Charlie x.

My style forecast:


Challenge yourself…HIIT

Fitspo Friday…do something you haven’t done before… High Intensity Interval training (HIIT), or maybe you have just not as often as you should, like myself.


High intensity training is when you use every bit of energy you have for a short period of time (for example, 1 minute), followed by a rest period (1-2-3 minutes). Intense bursts of energy expenditure followed by a rest/low moderate exercise to recover.

It has been researched to be an effective way to increase fat burning ability. By reaching anaerobic zone (where you feel like you can’t breathe) you are pushing yourself to your limits (limiting yourself of Oxygen for a short period of time creating a chemical/hormonal response), repetitively doing so will increase your cardiovascular health, and your overall fitness capabilities. Studies also show that it may reduce subcutaneous fat, particularly of the abdominal area.

HIIT training may lower blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and the risk of developing Diabetes Type 2 (a worldwide issue).

“Sweat is fat crying.”

hi2‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’. Fred Devito

*Time efficient: HIIT is short, sharp and as, (if not more, studies show 50% increase of fat burning ability with HIIT) effective than continuos rate cardio.

*No excuses, no equipment needed. Just you and the earth (sprints, jumping lunges, burpees), get creative.

*Calorie use after HIIT is higher for 24 hr period then that after a slow steady run.

*Prevent muscle loss whilst promoting fat burning.

*Stimulate Human Growth Hormone (your body’s repair mechanism) by up to 450% for the following 24hrs.

WARNING: Exercise has been known to cause Health & happiness.

‘I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece, I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what the teach, who walk their talk.’ Tony Robbins

hi1HIIT example workout:

Walk at a steady pace 2 minutes.

SPRINT (with everything you’ve got) 1 Minute.

Walk at a steady pace 2 minutes.

SPRINT 1 minute

REPEAT as many times as you can (I generally do 10-20) once or twice per week.

As you adapt, cut your rest period to 1 minute. So 1 minute sprint, 1 minute rest.

*Please consult a Dr or physician if you have any medical conditions to se if HIIT is right/suitable for you.

“When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.


‘I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether its going to work or whether im going to fall flat on my face.’ Johnny Depp

I always worry about  falling off the treadmill and completely embarrassing myself when its set at 19.5 for HIIT. Hasnt happened yet (thankfully) Note to self, and all of you…BE CAREFUL. If you are new to HIIT, start with outdoor sprints, or ask a Personal Trainer to assist you through a session.

Happy Friday…be sure to plan some HIIT this weekend, try it, you never know you just might like it :). I’ve got mine booked in. ..SWEAT is FAT crying!

Love & light, Charlie x.

“The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.”



Monday Motivation…

Today it is my great pleasure to share with you someone who motivates me everyday, someone who is living proof that you can overcome life’s adversities to change your life and become the person you want to be, living the life you want to live.



Introducing Linda Fenech; Salon owner and therapist of Skin Fitness Hair and Beauty.

Linda began beauty therapy in 1993, 18 years ago. Then in 1996 bought her own salon and has grown her business to where it is today.

Linda: I have two established and busy salons in the Hawkesbury area of NSW with more business opportunities and adventures arising. I have 25 staff who are locally hired and undergo extensive training. All salons and staff have the latest up to date technology, science and trends.

All staff are very experienced in all different aspects of beauty. I have won the local business awards 10 times, winning the overall GOLD prize also for best business in the Hawkesbury and last year won overall best business person in the Hawkesbury 2010, we were awarded and made an Ambassador salon for Napoleon Perdis Makeup, With Napoleon himself inviting me to LA and NY for fashion week. We have also been rewarded with 10 trips to Paris as incentive trips from Payot Paris (prestigious skin care range).

I have a passion and dedication like no other, which is why we have achieved such great awards and results.

NBB: When did you decide you wanted a career in beauty?

I have always been an outgoing girl who just loved people and making them smile. I was 15 years old and in year ten in high school when I saw a job advertisement for an apprenticeship in beauty therapy. I wanted practice with interviewing and thought what do I have to lose. I passed the first two interviews and had a practical work day and I loved it, so much I found my career path.


NBB: Has there been any challenges along your journey?

The absence of family and the time you spend away from them.

NBB: How do you maintain balance between your Career and personal health?

When my marriage broke down I realised I needed to step back and take some time out for me, I had lost touch with who I was and what I wanted from life. I had become depressed and lethargic.

NBB: When did you decide to create change in your life?

I woke up one day and was having a depressed day. I wanted to  pull the covers over my head again and hibernate. I got up made a cup of tea and thought about the people in my life who have overcome adversity, my mum, friends who have lost a child and I thought to myself; I am the only one that can change my situation.

It was not at first a goal to get a fit body, but a healthy mind (also if I’m honest, jealous of my ex husband and his new girlfriend, I wanted to look good).

‘you’ve got to be willing to lose everything to find yourself’. Lyanla Vanzant


‘Your life is a result of the choices you make, if you don’t  like your life, its time to start making some better choices.’

NBB: Who are your inspirational figures?

Seriously I have a couple, My cousin David Vassallo, a really good person with heart and compassion.

Charlie, yourself, just proved to me I could do it.

Fred Hasting, He has lost alot of weight and inspired me constantly.


NBB: How do you feel as an inspirational figure/mentor? You manage a team of young women daily (I know its not an easy task)…

My staff call me mum at times because I like to give them advice and support. Some of my team have lacked friends or family support and I love being their big sister or mum. At times with hormones etc we can all have tough days but honestly overall I hire on good hearts and trade skills. You can always trade skills and learn something however a bad attitude or mental approach is the most difficult to change.

‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us’ Oliver Wendell Holmes

NBB: What do you believe are the keys to success in business?
Love what you do, treat people well and work harder than anyone else.

NBB: What is your advice for anyone who has a dream?
Plan, set goals and targets and adapt when needed.


NBB: When can we look forward to next from you?

I want a family that’s what I hope for next.

(NBB: Knowing you and your caring generous nature, you will be an amazing mother.)

NBB: Share something no one knows…

Noone knows that I actually am full of self doubt and hide it behind a smile. I believe if you think it you become it. SO I am a work in progress.

I sincerely thank Linda for her time.

If you would like to experience any amazing beauty/spa or hair treatment, visit for locations and services.

I realise there are many more inspirational stories out there, if you have an inspirational or motivational story you would like to share (it can be shared anonymously), please submit by email ( or personal message.

Life isn’t always easy and we all need motivation to create change for the greater good.

Love & Light, Charlie x.