Anjuli Mack shows off her toned body during a visit to the Gold Coast. SUPPLIED/22052724
New Zealander Anjuli Mack wants to inspire women on their weightloss and fitness journey.
The first thing you notice about Anjuli Mack is her irrepressibility. She talks a mile a minute bouncing from subject to subject, barely stopping for breath, during her 30-minute conversation at the Cook Islands News office.
Mack loves the
Cook Islands. It’s her third time visiting the place, this time it’s for her
“I honestly think
it’s the people that keep me coming back. Everyone is so friendly and open,
they all remember your name, they treat you as someone, they’re so caring. But
who wouldn’t want to be here, the beaches are amazing,” Mack says.
“I’m eating fresh
fish here, I’m going paddle-boarding, I’m just loving life. It is better than
you could ever imagine.”
accounting and violin at Auckland University, but it was a bumpy journey into
the world of fitness and weightloss.
“When I first lost
weight, I shared my photos, it went viral. I had so many women reaching out to
me. I realised there were a lot of women out there who were lost, and I wanted
to do something about it,” Mack says.
Fit with Anjuli about three years ago, an online fitness coaching programme, reaching
women all over the world.
feeling confident in your own skin, and I know that can be difficult, because I
certainly wasn’t that confident when I started out my journey. It isn’t just
what shows up on the scales.
Mack says when she
started her journey, she had no idea what she was doing.
“I didn’t know what
I should eat, how much I should work out. I thought I had to run all the time,
and cut out all these foods that I love.
“For me, it was
definitely understanding about moderation. You can eat foods you love – so I’m
not going to eat my whole loaf of bread, but I can have my toast in the
morning. It was about getting over the myths of the fitness industry.”
“For instance, yes
running is good for cardiovascular fitness, but if you don’t like running,
you’re not going to stick with it. What worked for me was weight training,
because I could see it translate into simple things such as being able to pick
up all the groceries by myself.”
Mack reckons she spent several years of her life “flipflopping” between various diets.
It was going to
the gym, and meeting other women in the fitness industry that led to her
becoming involved with World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF) contests. She’s
competed in five so far.
“It’s about so
much more than stepping out in a bikini. I just loved getting on stage, and I
loved meeting all these people backstage. It’s been really inspiring.
“Ever since I was
a kid, I was busking on the streets, or walking on stage to play the violin, so
I had experience. The way I see it, the moment you step on stage it’s a celebration
of what you’ve achieved. Anyone who competes in those things is incredible.”
From there, she
built a social media brand, reaching more than 39,000 followers on Instagram,
but she admits social media can have toxic effects if used the wrong way.
“There were a lot
of people promoting quick-fixes, and products that I don’t think they really
believed in. When I choose who to follow online, I ask if they’re actually
doing something to help people, and whether they’re genuine,” Mack says.
is more inspirational for me than just appreciating someone for the way they
Mack says she
wished she had a coach starting out.
easier to layer out your habits when you have someone alongside you. But you
need to start small. Things like water, sleep, steps are really helpful at the
start, and from there, I would really encourage weight training,” she says.
“But stop looking
for a quick fix. Anyone who is telling you that you can get better in a few
days or a few weeks is not selling you something genuine, and it’s not true.”
She says it’s
important not to get too caught up in being “perfect” on social media.
“Comparison is the
thief of all joy. Social media makes it super easy to compare yourself. But
you’re comparing yourself to one perfect photo out of hundreds that they don’t
put up. Honestly, if it’s starting to make you feel depressed, take some time out
away from it,” Mack says.
“Social media is a
really powerful tool but it can really set people back if they invest too much
She admits she’s a
workaholic – getting up about 4.30am to start her workouts – and that Covid-19
interrupted her fitness habits. But she brushes it off. She has a goal of
expanding her fitness coaching to reach even more women.
comes from progress. Whether it’s being a better coach, a better wife, a better
friend or family member. It’s okay to be happy where you are, and to still want