Behind the gram: New time mum Cass Olholm talks fitness, nutrition and confidence
When it comes to the Happy Way family, the name Cass Olholm has become a part of the furniture. As one of our long-standing ambassadors, she was recently the inspiration behind the launch of our all-natural BCAA range. In true spirit of her sheer determination and work ethic, when Cass couldn’t find a natural product she loved on the market, she collaborated with Happy Way to make one happen. As a nutritionist, recipe developer and fitness influencer, she has long inspired her dedicated followers to lead a balanced and active lifestyle. One she recognises means different things to different people. Championing women to become the best possible versions of themselves, this new time mum and business owner is the true epitome of what it means to inspire. Having amassed a large and dedicated social media following and fan base over the years, we asked Cass to share life behind the lens and what confidence means to her in a digital age.
What do you love about sharing your life on Instagram?
I love that by sharing snippets of my life that I am able to educate, inspire and empower others to live a happier and healthier life. If I can just impact one person each day, I’ve done my job. It's a really rewarding feeling.
What is the most challenging part of being so open on a public platform?The community I have online is always so supportive and encouraging of what I do, and I love them for that. However by being on a public platform you do open yourself up to everyone, including those who don’t vibe with you. That’s just a part of the nature of it. In saying that, I am lucky enough not to have experienced too much negativity on my platform.
How do you navigate around this?
I’ve just accepted that not everyone is going to like you, agree with you or vibe you and that is absolutely ok.
I don’t think anything has changed dramatically. My platform is focused on health, fitness and nutrition with a little bit of my life mixed in there too. So you will see Charlotte on there from time to time, but I’m happy to leave most of it to the beautiful mummy bloggers out there. Although I will say that behind the phone, when I am being a Mum to Charlotte, I give her my 100% of my attention. When I am working, I give that 100% of my attention. That way I am not juggling both roles at the same time and only giving each half of my energy.
What will you teach Charlotte about self-acceptance and love in a social media age?
I will teach her to be brave enough to listen to her heart, to be strong enough to stay true to herself, that she is her own kind of beautiful, to never let anyone ever dull her sparkle and that she is SO capable.
What is your approach to fitness as a new mum? Did you feel pressure to get back into your normal routine straight away?
I am surrounded by beautiful family and friends, and my online community is so supportive so I didn’t feel any pressure to get back to my normal fitness routine until I received the all clear from my Women’s Physio and my Obstetrician. Exercising is something I love to do and I have been fit or played sports my entire life. Charlotte is my number one priority, however I know that if I can give just 1 hour a day, 4-5 times a week to my training that I will not only be a better mum but will also be a good role model to Charlotte.
How has becoming a mum changed your outlook on body image and confidence?
Isn’t the female body amazing? For me personally I have gained a new appreciation for my body and how I view and speak to my own body. Before falling pregnant I would see photos of myself and to be completely honest and transparent, 9/10 times I would pick them apart. Now looking back at these photos it feels as though I am looking through new eyes. My body is strong, beautiful, more than enough and it provided a healthy place to grow my baby girl.
What advice do you have for new mums who feel that they not be on the same path as other influencers they may look up to?
Just do you. Every mum’s pre-pregnancy journey, pregnancy, labour and postpartum journey will be 100% unique to them and different to everybody else. Just focus on you and your perfect new baby.
When women view influencers on Instagram there is a common belief that they have it all, body confidence included. Can you share with us something you wish to be more confident about?
To be completely transparent I am very self-conscious about my skin. I have experienced pretty bad acne growing up (one of the reasons that made me want to become a Nutritionist) as well as adult acne. I still experience it from time to time, so that along with the scarring it has left means you won’t often see me without makeup.
What are you doing to change this?
I constantly remind myself that having bad skin doesn’t change me; it doesn’t make me any better or less of a person.
What is the one habit you abide by to practice self-love?
I think self-love is a journey rather than a ‘you have it or you don’t’ kind of thing. I’m not perfect and this is still a work in progress but for me I always try to be aware of the way that I speak to myself.
What is the one piece of advice you would give your 20-year-old self?
If I could tell my younger self just one thing, it would be to not let the fear of judgement hold you back from doing what you want to do and achieving what you want to achieve.
What is your approach to nutrition?
I live by two messages: The first is balance and the second is to always listen to your body.
Nutrition plays a big role in self-confidence. What advice can you give to women about their relationship with food?
Find something that works for YOU and something that you can do for LIFE. Everyone’s body, lifestyle, goals, job, genetics and demands are different so what works for someone else may not work for you. You need to find something that is realistic, sustainable and maintainable. A balance between foods that feed your body but also foods that feed your soul.
What is the one thing you wish women would stop doing with their food?
Don’t categorize foods into ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Food is an emotional subject and labeling food this way often leads to associating certain foods with feelings of guilt. Try to replace those words with ‘healthy’ and ‘not-so-healthy’.
What does confidence mean to you?
Confidence is an internal feeling, not something determined by external factors. It is being able to be, do or say something and wholeheartedly believe and stand by it.
Can you share with us the best piece of advice you have ever received about self-acceptance and love?
It’s actually a quote rather than advice, but it had a big impact on me and I’m sure it may impact others too. It is: “I hope one day your human body is not a jail cell. Instead it’s a sunny 2pm garden with daisies thriving because of self-love.”