Our Kind Of Girl Monique Craft Shares Her 5 Biggest Life Lessons | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Our Kind Of Girl Monique Craft Shares Her 5 Biggest Life Lessons

A Central Coast girl, Monique Craft grew up with dreams of surfing on the women’s world tour. She competed throughout her teens but took a break from the waves to focus on her studies. Graduating high school with the marks to get into medicine, she instead launched a successful fitness business, running it for six years before moving to Sydney last year to become a founding Barry’s Bootcamp trainer. Craft has been open and honest about a battle with PTSD triggered by anxiety in 2017, making it her mission to break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues. “It’s not weak to speak, especially for men,” Craft tells MH. “There’s true strength in vulnerability.”

1. Train and Gain

Craft stumbled into the fitness industry after starting a bootcamp initiative to raise money for charity with some friends. After raising $22,000, her training business, Bodycraft Health and Fitness, subsequently exploded. Now she’s taken that passion and drive to Barry’s. “I think everyone should be doing some weight training,” Craft says. “I’m also an ex-sprinter turned long-distance runner, so running is a huge passion of mine. Barry’s is half treadmill, half weights so to combine the two is awesome.” She also loves the character-building component of exercise. “I love seeing progression and performance, pushing our limits and building resilience.”

2. Ride Life’s Waves

Craft finds refuge from anxiety and stress in the ocean. “Surfing is more than just movement for me, it’s my meditation,” says the surfer of 13 years. “The ocean is my happy place. I love its ability to calm, challenge and excite me at the same time.” Craft also usesyoga to keep her feeling focused and balanced. “When you’re exercising, you release endorphins, it makes you feel better,” she says. “It really helps my anxiety.”

3. Her Kind Of Guy 

“Abs are great, but a good attitude is better,” Craft says. “I’m attracted to someone who loves life and makes the most of it, who wants to help those around them do that too.” In the gym, she advocates a holistic approach to weight training. “Don’t just do upper body training, hit your lower body as well,” she says. Currently single, the former athlete isn’t looking for someone to share walks along the beach with – she’d rather race you. “Let’s run it or hit the surf then finish with good food and wine.”

4. Eat Smart

Craft has taken the strict, macro/ kilojoule-counting approach to food in the past and knows it doesn’t end well. “When I was first getting into fitness, I became quite obsessed with it, but it just leads to bingeing,” she says. “For women, it’s really quite a mental game and I’m sure it’s the same for men.” These days she prefers to treat food as fuel. “I just try to eat as much natural, healthy produce as I can from the land and just fuel myself,” she says. “If I restrict, that’s when I binge.”

5. Aspire to Inspire

A burgeoning social media influencer, Craft wants to use her platform to inspire others to tap into the benefits of health and wellness. She travels the country delivering mental health programs to girls in high schools as a presenter for Beautiful Minds. She’s also dabbled in modelling, works with agencies and brands on campaigns, hosts workouts for corporate groups and is an ambassador for @aussiebodies, @underarmourau, @powerliving and @pccboards. “My daily goal is to inspire as many people as I can to live a healthy, happy life and leave a positive mark on this world.”

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