As an influencer and entrepreneur, Elle Ferguson is no stranger to the public eye. Here, the Olay ambassador tells how making health and fitness her priority has helped her feel more confident in all areas of her life and business.
Elle Ferguson: How to feel happier, healthier and more confident
You used last year’s Covid lockdown period to work on your fitness, nutrition and overall health. What prompted you to do this?
It was the second week of lockdown and I had cleaned my house from top to bottom. I’m never usually home for longer than six to eight weeks [at a time] because I travel, and suddenly I had this amazing opportunity to invest in myself and use the time to look at my health and fitness. Before iso I was trying to walk 10,000 steps a day, so when we went into lockdown I hired a treadmill.
What did your fitness routine look like during lockdown?
For me to be the healthiest version of myself, I like to do two workouts a day – one hour of running for cardio, and one hour of Pilates to condition my body. My partner loves to run, but I’d never run in my life. I’d always been told I couldn’t run because I was so tall. So I started walking on the treadmill for an hour at a certain speed, and then I started to set little goals for myself, like running for 10 seconds. Then once I could do the 10 seconds, I’d try to run for 10 seconds every 100 metres.
By setting these small goals for myself every day, I pushed it more and more. When I got the treadmill, I thought I was going to just nail it and be this amazing person – but in reality it wasn’t like that. However, there was something really nice about setting myself up for little wins – especially when we were faced with so much uncertainty [due to the pandemic].
Did you make any changes to your diet?
I made a giant change – I deleted all the food delivery apps on my phone. Life had been going by so quickly and I was always travelling and making silly food choices. Once I was at home, I wanted to cook food for myself. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 18 months, so now I cook lots of fresh greens, beans, tofu and salads for lunch, and mostly Mexican-inspired dishes for dinner.
What was the most challenging part about getting started on your new health routine?
Starting something new is always hard, as is having to continually show up. Getting up to work out every day was really hard in the beginning. I think back to when I started and how much heavier I felt mentally and physically; putting one foot in front of the other was a struggle.
How have you maintained the routine now that life is returning to something more normal?
I’ve been training six days a week for nine and a half months now. I’ve really worked it into my day and I think I’ve been really strong with setting boundaries. I need to be able to do it, as much for my physical strength as for my mental strength. It’s become part of making me a better person.
What have been the biggest benefits?
I feel so much stronger, mentally and physically, and my skin has never been better and brighter. I also think I’ve created a better version of myself and I’ve made the people around me very proud, as I said I was going to do something and I did it.
Has getting active boosted your confidence?
There is a sense of confidence that comes with being fit and strong. You are unstoppable when you have that inner strength. The confidence I have in my business has been amazing – there’s no holding me back now. No-one else can give you that feeling, you’ve got to give it to yourself. You’ve got to feel good.
What else makes you feel confident?
Having great skin is number one – it’s all about the glow for me. I feel like I wear less make-up now because my skin is better. Before, I was packing it on, but now I feel so much more confident because my skin has levelled out and is looking really good. A great self-tan is like confidence in a bottle. And also listening to my favourite songs – I’m having a real Celine Dion fest at the moment but I also love [the TV show] Glee. I listen to [the soundtrack] on the treadmill, which just brings me great joy.
As someone who’s in the public eye, do you ever have moments of self-doubt?
It’s not self-doubt because I’ve always been confident in who I am and I believe in myself; I think that’s why I’m lucky to have gotten where I have. But I do have this thing where I say, ‘You’ve got to flip the script. You’ve just got to go for it’. If anything, Covid has shown us how blessed we are to have the opportunities we do have and also that life’s too short. You can’t doubt yourself. I also say, ‘By this time tomorrow, it will be over’. So if you’ve got an hour of challenges, just go for it – push through it and get it done.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
I’m looking forward to new opportunities. I also think there’s been a sense of kindness coming through – it’s cool to be kind, and it’s really nice to be part of an industry right now where that is happening. And I’m looking forward to navigating my way through the next 12 months with a lot of kindness and people giving it back.
Luxe for less
Elle reveals the pro tips that can help you get her luxurious beauty look without breaking the bank.
Skin: “You need to have good skin to start with. Even the best make-up artists in the world can’t cover up a bad base. I love the Olay Regenerist Whip moisturiser – it’s super light, but it also acts as a primer. ”
Tan: “It’s all about skin prep. Exfoliate every seven days to remove dead skin cells and old tan, then apply your tan. And don’t forget to moisturise – that’s really important because it prolongs your tan.”
Make-up: “I always wear a nude eyeliner on the waterline [inside the rim of the eyes]. A make-up artist taught me that and it really makes your eyes look brighter.”
Hair: “Wash it less often. The natural oils are good for your hair.”