How to stay motivated: let’s hear it from Rene-Roberts Patel, a fitness lover and woman of resilience

Rene Roberts Patel fitness COVER IMAGE
Rene Patel fitness blog image 1

How has your upbringing in Cape Town played a part in the fitness lover you are today?                 

Growing up in Cape Town South Africa has moulded me into a woman of resilience. I had a very happy childhood, a Mother who was always there for me and a Father who worked on sea as a Marine Engineer provided handsomely for our family. I witnessed the good and the bad especially because the neighbourhood where I grew up was infested with drugs and gangs so loads of crime. Peer pressure was rife, so things could have easily turned out wrong for me. I would enter beauty pageants as a distraction and also use it as a means of income. Growing up in Cape Town in the 1980’s and 90’s has definitely taught me that you should never let your circumstances determine your destiny. 

What inspired you to create MI-GYM?

I always dreamt of owning my own Gym, I was an athlete at school and a bit of a fitness fanatic. Becoming one of the South African TV Gladiators (Lightning) solidified the fact that fitness would always play a part in my life. I studied to become a Personal fitness instructor while pregnant with my first baby girl, she turns 18 in a few months, so yes it was a while ago. Never really felt that working in a big mainstream gym training client was my thing so I continued to study further. It was when we lived in Dubai that I fell in love with the Power plate machine and decided to do a course and became a certified Power plate trainer. The first gym opened was on the island of Mauritius, (yes, we lived there to) and while on the island I continued my studies and got a Diploma in Sport Psychology.  My husband had a brand called Mi-Fone, it was the first African mobile phone devices brand and I loved the fact that it sounded so personal. We always refer to our own mobile phones as ‘my phone’ so thought it would be amazing to do the same for the gym I would open one day. It was then and there, and that exact moment when Mi-Gym was born.

How do you stay motivated?                                                                                                                 

My family keeps me motivated; they are the lifeforce behind everything I do. 15 months ago, we were blessed with our 3rd baby girl, she keeps me on my toes and I’m sure she is one of the main reasons I have managed to snap back into my old body this quickly. A positive mind has been a bit challenging especially with everything the world is going through but having them by my side constantly has definitely made it easier to remain motivated.                    

Many of us with a busy lifestyle find it difficult to incorporate a fitness routine. What advice do you have for someone living on fast forward?                                                                           

Having a young baby around surely does keep me busy, that and the fact that I do most of the chores around the house, managing everything household and still try to fit in work as a wellness influencer can really be tough sometimes. For the sake of my own sanity I have to press the pause button sometimes as its good for my mental health. Living a fast forward life isn’t good for the mind, body and definitely not for the soul. So, my advice to anyone struggling to fit in a 5-minute break is to just press “pause”, even if it’s just a quick meditation or a stretch here and there, make it your own time just for you. I’ve incorporated 5-10 minutes of meditation and stretching which forms part of my morning exercise, and you know what? It’s okay, it’s a start.

What are your go-to keep fit exercises that have helped with your fitness routine at home?    

I believe that stretching is the best form of exercise, it loosens and relieves tight and muscle tension, simple stretching exercises before any form of exercise is simply the best. I’m normally running up and down our staircase at home, so cardio happens involuntarily anyway.

Morning routines have the power to make or break our entire day. What does your morning routine look like to ensure you always seize the day?

My day wouldn’t be complete without my singing bowl. It just rings positive vibrations into my mind space and sets up my day in the right way.

Some people swear by lemon water in the morning, is there a particular drink/food you love to take for health benefits?                                                                                                          

Lemon water in the morning is great, I have that most mornings as it just helps maintain and balance ones PH levels and simply because it’s just filled with the good stuff, THEN we hit the coffee. I’ve also recently been adding a few drops of CBD oil into my morning coffee and then for lunch, I add in a few scoops of marine collagen to my juice. So besides me taking my vitamin C chewable, B12, and primrose oil capsules I also take a 5ml dose of ESS60 blend in pure olive oil. It’s a mouth full but hey you know what they say, whatever doesn’t kill you makes your stronger.

What is the most valuable thing you have learnt when taking care of your wellbeing?

I have a young baby girl that looks up to me for guidance, she mimics almost everything I do. I have witnessed and have seen family members fall victim to bad and irreversible illnesses where they have lost battles with their health. Watching this has motivated me to constantly strive to live and eat healthier. Setting an example to my baby girl is my driving force and that’s why I am addiment to keep learning so I can share the values and importance of taking care of your wellbeing with her and the rest of my family.

How has your life changed for the better since practising meditation?                       

Meditation practice has taught me to stay calm and be in the here and now. Being present in whatever life drags into your path and take calmer measures when a curve ball gets swigged your way. It’s also taught me to be patient and has definitely helped me conquer my journey as a new mother again.

How has WholyMe become a part of your everyday routine?                                                       

I’ve just recently been introduced to the WholyMe brand, and since the introduction I have been adding a few Relief Drops in my morning coffee. It helped with my mind focus and has helped me to get things done. It’s easy to get distracted with the millions of tasks I have to complete in a day, so I am extremely thankful for this wonderful little gift of nature that helps me get through my day undistracted.

What do you use WholyMe for and have you seen a difference in your body?

Besides the drops in my morning coffee I have also been applying the WholyMe Relief Balm to my right knee. I injured it a while back after over stretching in a yoga class, its definitely helped to relieve the pain.

The positive relationship you have with your body is so inspiring to women who struggle with self-confidence. How did you learn to love the skin you are in and what advice do you have for someone about to start their journey?                                                                              

I’ve been blessed with 3 beautiful girls, my eldest daughter Shanti is 17yrs, my Omala is 16yrs and my baby Zofia Nyx is 15 months old. Having my body stretched out to the max while creating their lifeforms has taken a serious toll on my belly skin’s elasticity, I had severe stretchmarks which somehow disappeared after a while but then with Zofia Nyx they came back 10x worse. It’s just that one thing that has made me self-conscious. All 3 of them were rooftop babies so additional scarring but I have learned to look past the ugliness of what appears in the mirror. My children are here, they are alive and well and that’s all that I need to make me happy. The skin that I live in is temporary, it’s their lives that matter. So my advice to someone who is currently struggling to love the skin they are in, is to  remember that we as women are nurturers, we only have this one body so treat it like a temple, feed it healthily and remember that’s it’s an inside job. Your body does not define your self-worth.

What are your words to live by?                                                                                                         

The words I have pinned up on my wall and it is about courage, I look at it everyday before and while I sit at my desk.

It reads:

Have the courage to be disliked today. YOU are not perfect, but you are perfect in the eyes of God because he created you. Other people liking you is a bonus, but you liking YOU is the real prize.