I was excited when I discovered Ellie Bell and The Collective Elite, because myself and Freedom Wellness share a very similar philosophy to them.
Like us they are trying to empower woman with the right wellness information and lifestyle philosophy. The Collective Elite focus on what they believe are the four foundations of health: Mindset, Nutrition, Fitness and Regeneration.
Read the full story of Founder Ellie Bell below.
Tell us a little about your journey and who you are?
Throughout my life I’ve always enjoyed being active. I was always running around and playing all day as a kid, and from age 13, I played soccer for 12 years (competing at state level).
Adding to that, I’ve always been passionate about health. I studied predominantly health sciences at school. And when the time came to attend university, I completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), which I loved – as it gave me a taste and insight into what’s always fascinated me: the incredible workings of the brain and its impact on our behaviour. After that course, I then completed my next one: Graduate Diploma of Psychology. During this time, I worked in the field of mental health and social welfare. After a few years of work, post graduation, I enrolled in a PhD, where I researched a new form of Schizophrenia Rehabilitation, while I both taught at University and continued to work in the mental health sector.
All throughout this time I was observing the amount of effort being put into the treatment of not just mental health issues, but general health issues across society (treating the symptoms) – and I knew things had to be done differently. I felt that there needed to be more of a focus on prevention of ill health through the promotion of wellbeing. So I made the decision to change direction, left my PhD and became a Personal Trainer. This placed me on the front line of preventative health and enabled me to empower individuals’ with not only the right approach to exercise, nutrition and recovery, but additionally use my expertise in psychology to help them with the right mental approach. Combined with my husband Dwayne’s 10 years of experience as a personal trainer, we fine-tuned our holistic approach to helping our clients, placing a major emphasis on mindset. Our client’s success was overwhelming; and not just regarding their ability to physically transform, but mainly their ability to make a permanent change. We knew that we had a developed a unique and effective method. The success that we were having with our clients is what led to the development of The Collective Elite.
What is yours and The Collective Elite’s health and wellness philosophy?
Both my and The CE’s philosophy is one and the same. It’s based on a simple idea: the way you choose to think about your approach to making a change to your health or your body determines your chance of actually making that change. A couple of examples to help explain what I mean – you can choose to view healthy eating as restrictive and unenjoyable, where your focus is only on ‘getting skinny’, or you can choose to view it as a show of self-respect where you’re nourishing and taking care of yourself through nutrient-dense real food. And you can choose to view a workout as something hard, that you hate doing, but have to do because you’re trying to fix things you hate about your body…or you can choose to view it as an opportunity to give back to your body, an opportunity to challenge yourself, while testing your determination, focus and work ethic.
We believe that the majority of people that want to make a change are approaching it through this ‘diet-style’ quick-fix mentality. And it’s not their fault at all. The health and fitness headlines you see on TV, in magazines, on social media and some blogs provide false hope to consumers through featuring the latest workout fads, extreme celebrity diets and short term ‘28 day’ style programs. So it’s understandable that when someone chooses to start something, it’s this type of approach that they think is the way it needs to be done.
Of course the right nutrition, the right workout methods and the right recovery strategies need to be utilised – this is something we call the “mechanics” of a healthy lifestyle. But the mechanics are useless unless you use them with the right mindset, otherwise the likelihood of achieving a sustainable change is minimal. Once you get your mindset right, the right mechanics have a chance of becoming a part of your normal life, rather than being something used for a short period of time until they’re finally discarded and replaced with your previous way of life – the lifestyle that got you to the state you wanted to change in the first place. Once your mental approach is right, you can become truly healthy and the by-product will be that your body will take care of itself.
What are your ‘non negotiables’ when it comes to your own health?
I have a few actually…
First off, I make the time to workout. I train 5 (sometimes 6) days a week, no matter how busy I am or how much I have on…These are appointments with myself I always keep. I’ll get to the gym early, I’ll stay late or if I’m really short on time I’ll do a short (but effective) 10-15 minutes of HIIT.
Second, I don’t believe in the idea that being short on time or being out and about is a reason to make poor food choices. There’s always a solution, if you can be bothered to look for it. When you decide that your health is a priority and truly important, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make whatever situation you’re in work for you.
My last non-negotiable is related to my regeneration (recovery). At least 3 – 4 times per week, I make sure I schedule an activity which helps my body recover from my workouts, but also something that lowers stress and clears my mind. I’ll foam roll, stretch, have an Epsom salt bath or even go for a coffee and a walk with friends. I think recovery is such an easy part of health to forget or overlook, but without it, I couldn’t workout as often as I do and I definitely couldn’t work as hard as I do – it has a direct effect on my mental health too.
Through training your clients and having great success, what do you believe is the key ingredient when it comes to having someone having a successful exercise routine?
There’s seriously one main ingredient: a focused mindset. That’s because it doesn’t just help the approach towards your workout routine, but your approach to all other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, which also includes nutrition and regeneration.
However, I see there to be a huge difference between just turning up and ticking off a workout and actually pushing your limits. A focused mindset allows you to really attack your workout, and be willing to progress and challenge yourself every session. It’s the perspective you have before and during a workout that determines the effectiveness of your workout and therefore, a focused mindset determines what kind of results you’re going to get.
What is your favourite way to move your body?
Personally, I’m just in love with resistance training. And that’s not just because it’s the best method of exercise to get strong and improve body composition, but because of how I can use my weights and reps each week to watch myself progress – putting those numbers and progressions down every session is just so motivating and continually rewarding.
The Collective Elite definitely shares similar values to us here at Freedom Wellness which I obviously love. Tell us about the balanced approach you teach and empower woman to have within their lives?
The CE’s balanced approach focuses on what we believe to be the four foundations of health: nutrition, fitness, regeneration and especially mindset. It’s an approach where the food you eat is just as important as the effectiveness of your workouts, the quality of your recovery and the content of your thoughts.
We empower women to implement this lifestyle method through The CE’s first product The Body Guide & Handbook. We created this to be everything that a woman needs to make a positive lifestyle change, that will better her health and get her the body she wants.
I believe that how you spend the first 80 minutes of your day sets up how the rest of your day will flow. Tell us about your ideal way to spend the first 80 minutes of your day?
The first 80 minutes of a standard weekday for me would go like this:
⦁ Alarm 5am, where I take a few minutes to wake up properly, as I don’t like the idea of shocking my body awake by jumping straight out of bed.
⦁ At 5:10am I prepare and drink a combination of warm water, lemon, ginger and cayenne
⦁ From 5:10 – 5:30am I look through prioritise tasks for the day ahead, double-check my schedule and respond to emails. I’m so productive at this time of the morning – it’s just so quiet!
⦁ Shower, get ready and then I’m out the door by 5:50am to greet my first client of the day, who starts at 6am.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
It’s to live by the idea and mentality “decide and it’s done.” This is something my husband says all the time and something I witness him to live by. It’s inspiring to see and it’s so true. It’s based on the idea that if you want something, or if you want to do something with yourself or with your life, all you have to do is make the decision to do it. You must consciously decide that it is something you will achieve and believe it. Then it’s already done, it’s already achieved, because now that your mind is in focus and you are committed, it’s just a matter of time until you’ve accomplished it.
It’s something that really highlights the power of the right mindset – that’s what I love so much about it.
What is the single best thing you believe someone should do to get their health and wellness journey started?
Without a doubt, my answer to this will always be the same: “know your why.” What I mean by that is, every single one of us has our own personal reason as to why we have decided to improve our lifestyle. Some of us do it for confidence, some of us do it to be a better parent and some of us do it to just prove to ourselves (and even to others) that a transformation is possible. So to get started, I’d tell someone to take the time to find their “why”, because once they find it, it will give them an unwavering dedication, a serious reason to make change and something to think about should things feel tough. It’ll never let you down.
Where can our FW family find you?
Follow me on Instagram @elliebell_01
Follow The CE on Instagram @thecollectiveelite.
And check out The CE’s website: www.thecollectiveelite.com
I hope you have enjoyed another inspirational interview with Ellie Bell. Stay tuned next Sunday to be inspired all over again.