10 QUESTIONS WITH… ANNIE KIRWIN
Hi Annie welcome to Liffey Valley Style HQ! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
1. Happy new year Annie - Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
Oh, new year’s resolutions. In previous years, I have had mile long lists so I am trying to keep it to a small realistic list. My main New Year’s resolution is self-care. So, to make sure I look after my mind and body with lots of healthy food, yoga and pilates. Luckily, these are some of my favourite things, but just to make sure they are a priority. A perfect handstand seems to my resolution every year and this year is no different. Fingers crossed this is the year. I also have a 2018 bucket list, including running two marathons! Paris in April and Dublin in October.
2. When you look back on 2017, what are you most proud of?
I set up my Wellness company Project Revive with my business partner Hayley in 2017. That was a lifetime goal realised. It was definitely a leap of faith but luckily things have gone from strength to strength. We have a studio in Ranelagh and work with lots of corporates and events. We also just hosted our first retreat that was just magical. I think 2017 was my best year yet so I am super excited for 2018.
3. What got you into health and fitness?
I have played sports since I could walk so it was always part of my life. Pilates and yoga came later in life. My body was starting to suffer from pushing it so much and not looking after it. Pilates helped me heal injuries and grow so much stronger and more flexible. I only wish I found it sooner!
4. What advice would you give to people before they take up new health and fitness regimes?
Find something you love and that works for you. I personally hate the gym. I just can’t do it. But I love going to a pilates or yoga studio. Or running outdoors. One of my favourite things is to do is yoga or a workout on the beach. It is important to try as many things as possible to see what is best for you. Try and rope in a friend too so you can do it together. You must also make time for it. Mark it in your schedule and stick to it.
For diet, the same idea applies. Make sure it works for you. I always encourage small changes that will be super sustainable. It might be as simple as switching to porridge and a smoothie for breakfast. Or swapping your 3pm treat to a healthy option. When it comes to dinner home cooking is the key. There are so many amazing healthy recipes out there that are so simple, anyone can do it. I rotate between about 3 dishes throughout the week. I cook them in bulk, freeze them and then use them as I need. My Instagram is full of lots of healthy recipes for everyone to follow.
5. What is your best childhood memory?
That is a tough one! I would say running wild with my brothers and sisters. Our Dad used to take us on adventures, mainly climbing mountains. I think that’s where my love of outdoors comes from.
6. What is your guilty pleasure?
I think coffee with hazelnut milk or possibly hazelnut butter. It gets me every time. I don’t have much of sweet tooth. I used to, but I gave up sugar a few years ago and lost my sweet craving. I think that could be my biggest achievement. My sweet tooth was so bad I once cried when my sister ate some chocolate I had stashed. I was an adult at this time! It is amazing how you can retrain your taste and habits.
7. Where do you like to go bargain hunting?
I am such a big fan of H&M. There is no better place for some wardrobe stables- undies, socks, legging and string tops. They always have such a big selection of woolly grey jumpers, which make up 85% of my wardrobe. It is not very often I am out of gym clothes but guaranteed when I am H&M makes up most of it!
8. What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Please be kind to yourself. I had a very warped view of myself growing up. I look back at all the time wasted on being tough on myself or trying to change my body. It was really only when I found Pilates that I started to appreciate my body and focus on my health that things began to change. My relationship with my body and food has come full cycle. Self-care is really the secret to health and happiness.
9. What was the last picture you took on your phone? Can you show us?
Yes, it was of sunset over the Aviva Stadium. That is my favourite thing about running, getting to explore the city and see it looking stunning.
10. What achievement are you most proud of?
Aside from quitting my sugar addiction?! Probably quitting my PhD. Which mightn’t sound like much of an achievement. I was studying Immunology and after two long years, I knew it wasn’t for me. So, I left to go follow my passion in Pilates. People thought I had lost the
plot! But it was the best thing I ever did. They say follow your dreams and amazing things will happen.