Behind the gram: Krystal Hipwell talks social media, motherhood and confidence
Krystal Hipwell is a mum, a wife, a fitness trainer, an influencer and a wearer of many hats. And like most mums out there, she too goes through mum-guilt and that nagging feeling that she could be doing more. Don’t let the perfectly curated images fool you because when it comes to motherhood, confidence and raising children in a social media age, Krystal is just like the rest of us. Having gone through her own love / hate relationship with her body and exercise, nowadays Krystal has learnt to nourish and fuel her body, rather than punish it. A journey she shares with her dedicated followers on her namesake blog and Instagram account. Sharing her tips on all things health, wellness and family life, Krystal is a source of inspiration to her dedicated followers and community. A community she first built as a source of healing and one she continues to maintain though her real and honest advice.
What inspired you to start your Instagram page?
I started my journey on this platform around 2 years ago now after I had just gone through my second miscarriage in 8 months. I was feeling rather distant and alone at the time and not knowing too many people that had experienced miscarriage I thought I would share it with my small following in the hopes that I could perhaps help others who were also going through something similar and also help them feel less alone. For me it was a big part of my healing process. I was so overwhelmed with all the support I received. There were so many strong and incredible women sharing their stories with me of what they had gone through and how they overcome their dark times and it gave me so much hope.
Is there a certain level of responsibility that comes with this and how do you navigate around this?
I believe there is. I’m obviously a mum so I want to ensure that everything I do is in line with not only who I am as a person but also who I am as a mother. Being a mother in itself carries a huge responsibility and I want to try and be the best role model I can for my little ones. I also want to make sure that I can be as open and real with my followers as I can be. I would hate anyone to think that I am perfect and have it all together because that’s certainly not the case. I want to build a community that makes women feel empowered, motivated and better about themselves.
What is the most challenging part of being so open on a public platform and how do you navigate around this?
I think that the more you share the more you put yourself out there to be judged. As much as I want to keep it real there are some things that I like to keep private. At the end of the day people are always going to have their opinion though and it's up to you what you choose to take on board. I am pretty blessed to have so many lovely, kind followers and the positivity far outweighs any negative comments.
How has becoming a mum changed your outlook on body image and confidence?
Prior to becoming a mum I had a very different relationship with my body. When I looked in the mirror I would pick myself apart but since becoming a mum I see myself in a whole new light. I have a newfound respect for my body and what it has endured, what it has achieved and created- life, and to me nothing can compare to that! All those little “imperfections” don’t seem as significant anymore.
What advice do you have for new mums who feel that they may not be on the same path as other influencers they may look up to?
I think that it’s important to remember not to compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. A lot of influencers choose not to show you their daily struggles and hardships and only really show you the “good side” of their day. Remember that just because it may not end up on their feed it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. EVERYONE has bad days. EVERYONE has their own issues. Just be kind to yourself and applaud yourself of all that you are accomplishing, even the little things and remind yourself that you are doing a good job mumma! YOUR BEST is THE BEST, don’t compare someone else’s “best” with your own.
What is one fear you have that you believe all mothers share?I personally struggle with mum- guilt on the daily! I’m guilty if I feel like I didn’t spend enough “quality” time with the kids one day and spent too much time doing housework and then the next day I’ll feel guilty that the house is a mess and there is a huge pile of washing to get through. It’s kind of this whole never ending battle but I try to tell myself in a way it means that I just care so much and that’s a good thing! I want to be the best mother possible for my 2 little ones.
When we view influencers on Instagram there is a common belief that they have it all, body confidence included. What is any are you wish to be more confident in?
I think just being able to have more confidence to step outside my comfort zone and be prepared to take a risk. I think quite often we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to taking a chance and putting ourselves out there. I definitely need to try and improve and grow in this area and not just stay stagnant out of fear of failure.
What are you doing to change this?Positive affirmations are an awesome tool for this! I try to acknowledge when those little negative thoughts or self- doubt might creep into my head and then dismiss it and counteract them with words of kindness and encouragement to myself rather than letting that negative thoughts rule my day or my attitude toward a certain situation.
What is the one habit you abide by to practice self-love?
I love to be able to escape to the gym or to go for a walk. To me exercise is like therapy! I feel like it’s how I stay sane lol!
What is the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Stop striving for perfection because there is no such thing!
What is your approach to nutrition?
I don’t believe in fad diets and putting an expiry on your health and fitness. It should absolutely be a lifestyle, something that you can sustain day-in, day-out! This is why I don’t deprive myself of the things I love like chocolate and pizza. It’s all about finding that balance!
Nutrition plays a big role in self-confidence. What advice can you give to women about their relationship with food?
Just enjoy it! Eat to fuel your body and nourish it! Don’t exercise to punish your body for what you ate but exercise so you can reward your body for all the hard work it has done!
What does confidence mean to you?
Confidence comes in all shapes and sizes. I think it’s about giving more attention to what’s on the inside rather than putting so much emphasis on the outward appearance.
What is the biggest misconception about social media and living in the digital age?
That your life is perfect!