This week for Wonky Meets, I caught up with the fitness fanatic and Instagram sensation Siobhan O’Hagan – OHFitness. Siobhan is a personal trainer and online coach who transformed her mind, body and life. Now she helps others get to achieve their goals too. She uses social media to share her journey in the hope of inspiring others, and a quick flick through her channels will most definitely leave you inspired to try new things, whether it’s kickboxing, Crossfit, solo travel or a trip to Kerrigan’s for one of her famous burgers!
Great to be chatting with you Siobhan! You have become synonymous in the Irish food & fitness scene over the last number of years, how did it all begin?
Four years ago, I had a good job. I had studied Financial and Actuarial Mathematics in college and was deep in the corporate world trying to climb that ladder. I was in bad routine of work hard, play hard and I was miserable. I stopped and thought about what I really wanted to do and it was simple – I wanted to stay in the gym all day (or at least go at a more sociable hour than 5am).
I decided I wanted to be a personal trainer but I didn’t even know where to begin. I had always loved sport and training but after years of unhealthy dieting and a party lifestyle – you would never know by looking at me. I decided I needed to be my own advertisement.
I was so determined to make big changes in my life and I started documenting it on Instagram. Because I was strong from all my training before, once I tidied up my diet, I started seeing really good results really fast and that caught people’s attention. Especially since I wasn’t following any restrictive dieting. I was showing you could still have a bit of what you want and get to your goals, once you are putting the work in.
Once I was qualified I had a waiting list of people wanting me to train them and straight away I had a busy personal training business. I was so proud of myself for making it a success.
But once again I found myself working crazy hours and questioning ‘is this it?’ I stopped and did some soul searching. I concluded that as much as I loved training people and working for myself, all I really wanted was freedom and happiness. I had no vision of owning my own gym, but when I closed my eyes and let my mind dream – I pictured being on a beach with my laptop.
So from there, I started converting all my business online and creating an online coaching platform. This meant I was able to help a lot more people, all over the world. And the best thing is, I can do it anywhere.
I use my Instagram to show my whole life and it has resulted in lots of people trusting in me to help them with their training but it has also led to working with some great brands. I stopped chasing money a long time ago but I just want enough to enable me to be as free as possible. I don’t know what is ahead for me but at the moment I have freedom and happiness and that’s all I ever wanted!
You’ve teamed up with some incredible brands and even come up with your own turkey burger, where did you get the inspiration from?
Ah, the famous turkey burgers! I don’t think I could have done any of this without the Kerrigan’s Turkey Burgers. I’m not very creative in the kitchen so when I discovered the turkey burgers, they made such a difference for me. They were high protein, easy to prep in bulk and very tasty – hot or cold. People often ask me do I not get sick of them and I always say, that if I was sick of them I wouldn’t eat them because I eat whatever I like!
When Barry Kerrigan asked me to come up with my own recipe, he asked what flavours I like (apparently ‘Nutella’ isn’t a flavour!) and he made lots of different combinations to try. We came up with the smokey Mediterranean flavour and it has been a big hit but I think my own favourite is still the BK Flamer!
We’re actually working on another OH Fitness flavour together but it’s top secret for now!
When you’re eating out, what’s your go-to meal and where do you like to have it?
I’ve recently spent a lot of time in Thailand and I have fallen in love with all aspects of their way of life – especially their food. The ingredients are so fresh and the flavours are never boring. I ate out for all my meals while travelling in Thailand and the weight was falling off me because I never felt like I was dieting or felt the need for a ‘cheat meal’. So when I am at home, I often opt for a Thai takeaway. Although the portion sizes are much bigger than what you get in Thailand!
If I was going all out – I’d get Dominos. I know it’s the worst thing you could put into your body so it rarely happens any more but it used to be a weekly thing!
If you had to choose one food that you cannot live without, what would it be?
Nutella. I have an unhealthy addiction to it! I always say I have huge respect for anyone who has given up smoking because I could never quit Nutella!
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
“Go easier on yourself. And educate yourself. The Special K diet won’t work long term.”
5 quick-fire questions at the end for a little bit of fun!
What is your coffee order?
Americano with Sugar-Free Hazelnut Syrup
If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be?
A carrot (ginger problems)
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My aunty Roisin. She could write a book on her life but sadly she passed away at 49. It’s not the years in your life though – it’s the life in your years and she thought me to really live.
Where is your favourite place on earth?
Oohh a tough one – it’s a tie between Curracloe in Wexford, Alvor in Portugal or Phuket in Thailand. Big fan of Dublin too!
Be sure to check out Siobhan’s website for more details on her amazing programmes and all of her social channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube across all of which she is constantly sharing tonnes of informative content centred around health, fitness & mindfulness.
Keep an eye out for the next instalment of Wonky Meets in 2 weeks time!