Meet 21 years old Chloe Langer, who’s also known as gingerfitspo by her fifteen thousand plus followers on Instagram. She’s originally from Nice(France) but currently studies in Brighton, England.
Just like Tori Porell who I interviewed last week, I was introduced to Chloe through a mutual friend. We were discussing about the process of writing a book and being published, and alas she revealed that she had a friend who was in the process of publishing a recipe ebook. This got me buzzing to meet the young ambitious lady and here we are.
When I had the idea to establish the YAMI interview series, Chloe Langer was the sort of inspirational young creative that I had in mind. So read on and learn a thing or two from this fitness guru and future author.
Chloe recalls the journey that kickstarted her healthy lifestyle and the drive that has led to where she’s currently at. Read on and be inspired:
I have always liked sports, but being at University, I had quite a lot of time on my hands, and I’m the type of person who just CAN’T sit still doing nothing all day. So I started going to the
gym mainly ‘to kill time’ and when I started noticing serious changes in my body shape, I became addicted to fitness before I had time to even realise it!
You know what they say- once you see results, it becomes an addiction; and I couldn’t agree more.
For years, I was struggling with my weight. I was playing sports and “eating well” but couldn’t understand why I wasn’t still losing weight. That’s when I started following several instagram accounts such as Kayla Itsines, Inspiredtobefit and censkii. I felt silly learning about fitness via instagram, but I slowly started putting every advice they gave into practice. It worked a treat! All those years I had spent wishing to get rid of that fat, and here it was, melting off in only a month or two. That was when I realised that I got it all wrong from the beginning.
No, there was no point having a salad if you were going to put tons of olive oil in it: you would be hungry 1 hour later. No, one hour at the gym could not make up for a pizza, chinese take away or any cheat meal of that kind. Yes, I will have to work for it, but eventually, I will see results!
I have always eaten relatively healthy. However, when I started training, it encouraged me to eat healthier, drink less, etc… not to ruin all my efforts. When you are running on a treadmill and happily burn up to 300 calories, the last thing you want to do is grab a pack of cookies, eat 2, and then put those 300 calories back on! It really helps with self-control. Then, you slowly get healthier habits: less sugar in your tea, lemon instead of oil on your vegetables… details which make a difference on the long term.
When I finally lost the 13kg I had wanted to get rid of for so many years, many of my friends asked me for tips and that’s when I realised that most girls who wanted to lose weight were exactly in the same situation as I was a couple of months before: the motivation was there, but they needed to change several things in their lifestyle if they wanted to see results.
In November 2013, I decided to start my own health & fitness instagram called gingerfitspo, which would provide weight loss tips, based on my own experience. I have not studied nutrition, and I surely have lots of things to learn as well, but there were several pieces of advice I thought others could benefit from.
If you told me 9 months ago when I created this account that I would have 15k+ followers, and people all over the world would send me emails with their progress pictures, I would have NEVER believed you… but I could not be more thrilled right now!
S: So how did writing an ebook come about?
C: I love cooking. However, cookies & dieting don’t always go well together. So slowly, I started experimenting, and discovered there were endless possibilities to make recipes healthier, especially when it comes to baking!
I love a challenge, and the creativity required to come up with new recipes, including the most unexpected ingredients. For example, did you know you could replace the flour in your brownie with mashed black beans? mashed chickpeas? Or replace the butter with bananas? And the sugar with applesauce?
Like I said, the possibilities are endless.
Some of my followers suggested I wrote an ebook, to make it easier for them to access all of my recipes. I loved the idea, but didn’t feel confident enough to write one. Fortunately, with the encouragement of friends, I found myself filling up the Amazon ebook submission page.
I am still in the process of writing it because rewriting recipes, and mainly re-cooking everything to take a professional picture of every single dish is taking me a while, but I’m hoping to publish it by Christmas!
S: Wow! That’s great, but I’m sure people would like to know if you’ve always been so passionate about fitness
C: I have always liked sports in general. I was rowing competitively for several years at high school, played tennis on the side, loved skiing, swimming, and any other kind of outdoor sport, but I had never walked into a gym!
When I first joined the gym, I used to kill myself doing cardio: running, cycling… it was really good to release the stress, but truth is: I have never enjoyed running, or cycling. Watching videos of my instagram fitness inspirations gave me the confidence to start using weight. I very quickly realised I enjoyed it a lot more. The thing with weight lifting is that most people set themselves a program: shoulders monday, legs tuesday, and so on. The fact of having to train different parts of your body on different days, means you have to be consistent. You have to train a lot more often, and if you skip a day, you will notice the lack of change in your body and you will get frustrated. I guess this is how you get addicted to fitness. I’m not sure if this would make sense to anyone, but it makes sense to me, and probably to other weight lifters too 🙂
S: I believe a YAMI to be someone who is fiercely and fearlessly pursuing their passions. I’ll like to know if you’ve had any challenges since you started to write the ebook.
C: It is not finished yet, and I’m sure I am going to encounter many more challenges before it is finally published. But so far, the main challenge would be having to cook everything again to re-take pictures of everything! I stupidly deleted off from my phone all the pictures I had taken, after posting them on instagram. Although I still have access to them through my tumblr, the quality is really average, and I’m a perfectionist!
S: Can you briefly explain the process of writing an ebook? Like did you have to first find a publisher or get someone to approve of your ideas for the book?
C: Amazon makes it really easy for anyone to write an ebook. All you have to do is own an Amazon account which is free, and fill up a couple of forms regarding the copyrights etc. Then afterwards, all you have to do is upload your ebook online and set a price! People will then be able to buy it like any other ebook, and Amazon will get (really small) a commission.
S: Where do your inspirations for the recipes come from? Are you reworking old recipes or making original ones?
C: Most are standard recipes from internet, recipe books, etc which I adapted to make it sugar free, fat free, or just healthier. It’s all about experimenting. It doesn’t always come out great, but that’s how you learn!
S: Apart from writing this book, do you have any other work or projects you’re working on? Like what’s a day in your life like?
C: I have just started my year as a Master student in International Marketing at the University of Sussex. I also have two jobs on the side. One as a freelancer multilingual SEO (digital marketing), and the other is part time work in Recruitment. As you may have noticed, there is nothing I hate more than having time to kill, and I get bored really easily! That’s why I need my days filled up! My schedule changes a lot from day to day, so I try to fit in my gym sessions whenever I have spare time.
S: Finally, we would like to know what piece of advice you’d give other young people who might be contemplating starting out in a creative venture or business?
C: Don’t hesitate, go for it. Whatever your business is, it WILL take a lot of your time, and you have to be willing to put the time and effort in for your ideas to work. But hey, hard
work always pays off!
It was great getting such detailed insight from Chloe, and she’s truly inspirational indeed. Definitely a poster girl for what YAMI is all about!
As a fellow health and fitness enthusiast, I obviously can’t wait for her ebook! Who doesn’t want to eat their cake and have it too? Healthy desserts? Yes, please!
UPDATE! The website to get her eBook is now available here.
You can contact Chloe using this links: Email- email@example.com
Photo Credit: Chloe Langer
I’d love to leave you with this little wisdom from Karl Marx, the great Sociologist and Philosopher. He described four main ways in which man is alienated in the domain of work due to society’s structure. He enthused that man is alienated from the object he produces, from the process of production, from himself, and from the community of his fellows.
However, I believe that in this regard, the young creatives that are featured in the YAMI series, by steering their own directives in life and work, surpass this alienation of men.