TV Host and Wellness and Fitness Architect, Stacey Holland, is covering a variety of health and fitness topics on her new show - LiveFit with Stace. She chats to Celine Abrahams about her journey into sports media and aspirations to change lives. Photo: Supplied

Living Life to the Fullest with Stacey Holland

by | Nov 20, 2020

Stacey Holland wears many hats including TV Presenter, Functional Health, Wellness and Fitness Architect, Businesswoman, Travel Lover and Social Change Agent.

The talented all-rounder has now launched a new lifestyle chat show – LiveFit with Stace – covering a variety of health and fitness topics.

Holland is also the owner of creative firm, SteelVelvet Creative Concepts and golf experiential marketing company, Kairos Golf.

The Zimbabwean-born is a firm believer in living life to the fullest in the fittest and healthiest way possible after undergoing her own lifestyle transformation, losing 23kgs eight years ago.

As a BCom Honours Degree in Strategic Management graduate, Holland ventured into Television after meeting a former eNews Channel (now eNCA) Sports Editor, who afforded her the opportunity to pursue her passion of storytelling.

Holland admits despite her living out her dream, being in the industry has brought along challenging moments, especially being a vocal woman who does not shy away from speaking her mind.

To date, she has risen above to become a formidable force and an inspiration to many young girls.

Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Holland chats about being involved in the SuperSport Lockdown Exercise Show and reveals some of the perks of working in media.

 

Stacey, thank you so much for chatting to us! Please tell us about your fitness and wellness journey and where it all began for you.

Thank you for profiling me! After undergoing my own fitness transformation losing 23kgs in 2012, my profile as an avid fitness enthusiast quickly elevated with premium brands in the luxury, fashion, health and fitness space taking note of my work (and striking good looks) resulting in many successful and ongoing brand collaborations.

It was my very own challenge with weight, eczema, sport injury and a slow thyroid that has served as the impetus for defining a health and wellness brand based on authentic, real-life experience – a voice much needed within the health and wellness space today. The latest of these is the launch of my own brand platform, LiveFit with Stace, a holistic, lifestyle chat show covering a variety of health and fitness topics with celebrities, experts and practitioners.

2020 has been a difficult year with Covid-19. How have you been able to keep your fitness levels on par.

When we were placed in Level 5 Lockdown I wasn’t fazed! I do a lot of work from home and have a small functional home gym and was quite excited about encouraging people to workout from home. Mentally I was quite fit, then I lost my dog to cancer and it hit me hard emotionally, coupled with this both my mom and sister were in hospital so you can imagine how stressful this was.

“I’m usually the one that prepares healthy meals in my home and encourages everyone to train with me, but this time around I was vulnerable and heartbroken.” – TV Host and Wellness and Fitness Instructor, Stacey Holland, speaks on the challenges she faced during Covid-19 Lockdown.

Now normally I’m not an emotional eater, but this time the situation was different. I’m usually the one that prepares healthy meals in my home and encourages everyone to train with me, but this time around I was vulnerable and heartbroken and couldn’t be bothered with cooking at all nevermind cooking healthy nor was I able to train, so my wonderful hubby stepped in and made sure that I was just eating.

We went for walks instead of training and I took some down time. This meant some weight gain (because I didn’t stick to what I usually ate and ate whatever I was fed, LOL) but I was already dealing with immense stress which in and of itself leads to health challenges like weight gain in the tummy region, disturbed sleep, fatigue which affects your ability to train etc.

So, what I really needed to do was just press the pause button because exercise itself is also a stressor and if you aren’t aware of that you could do more damage than good. A few months later I’m starting to feel better emotionally and mentally so I started swimming twice a day. I do a kilometer in the morning and evenings, which is about 1 hour of swimming a day.

I’m starting to add in some kettlebell training, nothing too intense and as I start to feel better and stronger I will adjust my training accordingly. This entire experience helped me better understand what so many of my clients or potentials clients go through.

As a fitness professional it’s important to coach and guide from a place of empathy and understanding. It’s important to preach what I have practiced, and my clients and audience should feel as if I know what they’re going through to some degree. Our lives are always in a state of flux, there are ups and downs, ebbs and flows and so our training and fitness will follow a similar path. What’s important is the ability to adapt. To live fit and that is the reason I created LiveFit with Stace, where I challenge the notion of fitness.

Our lives are always in a state of flux, there are ups and downs, ebbs and flows and so our training and fitness will follow a similar path. What’s important is the ability to adapt. To live fit and that is the reason I created LiveFit with Stace, where I challenge the notion of fitness.

It goes beyond being in a gym, working out of training. Fitness is about being adaptable for your environment, it’s about moving and living, thinking and being emotionally adaptable!

You were involved in the SuperSport Lockdown Exercise Show. How did this idea come about to have a programme during the lockdown period?

The ethos of SuperSport Let’s Play is to encourage children from all walks of life to get outdoors, make new friends and play, however the ability to do so was severely affected due to Covid-19 and the lockdown restrictions.

In addition to this, children are becoming more sedentary due to an increase in daily screen time, less movement throughout the day and the convenience of keeping them occupied through digital media. The team and I came up with an exercise show format that encourages the entire family to exercise together for 20mins. The idea was to get families moving again!

I think Covid has helped us all realise the benefits and privilege of being healthy and keeping fit. Being fit and healthy enhances the functioning of our immune system, it boosts our mental health and functioning, it’s an activity that fosters both relationship building and self-awareness.

“Being fit can go a long way in relieving the mental fog, depression and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of a pandemic like Covid.” – Holland speaks on the benefits on exercising.

Being fit can go a long way in relieving the mental fog, depression and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of a pandemic like Covid. Exercise helps us destress and releases feel good hormones and it’s an excellent distraction and a way to focus the mind.

What has been the response from the public on the show?

A lot of excitement, and dare I say relief, expressed from parents! The feedback has been positive! 

What is your advice to athletes who are hoping to achieve their goals as the year draws to a close?

Structure allows for freedom. We enter into a state of limbo and apathy when we haven’t created a structure that makes sense to us, e.g some people naturally like to and train better in the morning, others in the afternoons or evening. Try and assess metrics like this and adjust to what suits you, where and if possible.

Achieving goals comes down to taking the time to plan a structure that allows you to be the most consistent. What works for someone else may not work for you. That’s why I do not like the concept of ‘balance’ and prefer the concept of harmony.

Harmony for one person may look like complete chaos for another and so the same way each of us had to find the harmony is a year that could be described as completely chaotic. Athletes need to plot their route to success in a way that works for them, their unique situation, their unique disposition, etc. We have moved into the era of personalization!

Let us chat about your career as a TV Host. We know that you graduated with a BCom Honours degree in Strategic Management, how did you venture from corporate into television?

Divine intervention! I attended an event with a friend and a Sports Editor from eNews Channel (now eNCA) was there and we got chatting. I’ve always loved sports and it’s a great general topic, so we got chatting about various sporting topics and he recommended I audition to be a sport anchor! And as they say the rest is history or herstory  I think many people want to get into TV for what they think it gives them – fame, glitz, glamour – and while those things certainly are part of the game, they shouldn’t be the motivating factors. If you want to get into TV ask yourself, what do you have to give? What do you have to say? Because if you get the platform but you have nothing to say, your career in TV won’t last very long.

What is it about presenting and the entertainment industry that continues to drive your passion?

“I have always loved stories and people and people’s stories. I have always loved conversations with diverse groups of people.” – Holland speaks on her passion for storytelling.

I never got into TV for TV sake. I have always loved stories and people and people’s stories. I have always loved conversations with diverse groups of people. I am naturally curious about who, what, why, when and how. TV and presenting just happened to be the best place for me to satisfy the vast nature of my curiosity. It’s the reason I enjoy presenting and interviewing guests more than MC’ing. I thrive on the conversation.

What are some of the challenges you have faced being in the industry?

Self-esteem issues, misogyny and sexism, ageism, inequality. I was in corporate before and career trajectory there is a lot easier to see and navigate.

This industry is tough because the metrics for success and selection are so vague and subjective. You may be the most qualified or have the most experience for a show but if, for whatever strange reason, a producer (or execs) doesn’t want you or like you, there is very little that you can do about it.

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt over the years in your career?

Work on being consistent, work on having something of value to say. Learn about the various aspects related to the industry because there are multiple streams of income you can capitalize on. Have anchors (pun intended) and a support network that involves a mixture of people within the industry that you can trust and those that are very far removed from it to keep you grounded.

What are some of the perks that you enjoy about working in the industry?

Meeting incredibly accomplished and interesting people and having the opportunity to get to the heart of why and how they do what they do!

Attending some pretty epic events and receiving some really, really cool gifts.

What are the highlights of your career so far?

I hate answering this question because I learnt through the work I did before I got into TV that it isn’t always great to meet your heroes, fav celebs and personalities – the experience can often be disappointing. So, when asked this question the tendency is to answer based on these major events and interviews instead my highlights are the many nuggets and stories I have been privileged to hear and learn of through multiple interviews and opportunities that pepper and colour my own stories.

What advice would you give to a young girl who is hoping to become a TV personality one day?

Seek to be interested more than you are interesting. Craft your message and the right platform will come. When you get your opportunity, you have to have something of value to say!

What is your greatest ambition?

To effect real change in people’s lives on a larger scale. How that will end up happening, I don’t quite know yet but I’m on the right path 🙂

 

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