A snack break with…Lucy Mountain
11th February 2020
If you’re not already aware of Lucy Mountain then start following her STAT! Formally known as the Fashion Fitness Foodie, this Instagram star went from marketing executive in a gym to hailed leader of ‘nobs’. (That’s the name of her fitness guide and community. It stands for No BS before your mind goes elsewhere!!). She’s all about telling a no BS, and very humourous, message about fitness and nutrition and her followers love it. She now has 318 thousand Insta followers, a nobs Facebook group with nearly 10,000 members and is still as real as they come. We sat down with her to get the lowdown on ‘influencer’ life.
OK, first things first, tell us a bit about your journey from everyday 9-5-er to having your own fitness and nutrition programme (not to mention 315k followers!)
Well, I’ll start by saying I definitely didn’t have myself down as the type of person to own my own business, let alone under the name of ‘nobs’. But alas, here we are! It’s been an interesting journey. In terms of education, my background very much followed the ‘safe’ kind of path which stereotypically makes your parents happy.
You go to school, spend two years at sixth form, get into Uni, try not to ruin your life in the student union bar, and leave with a degree you’ll actually use.
It wasn’t until my final year that I first discovered the gym. Back then, it was all about #cleaneating and your definition of ‘fitness’ was defined by Australian models in $200 bikinis with thigh gaps. These initial few years, although disordered, shapes everything I preach today so, in many ways, I am thankful for every fitness fad I tried.
Educating myself on the misinformation and pitfalls in the fitness industry has allowed me to not only create content and build a platform to provide genuine value to others, it also inspired me to create evidence-based fitness programmes which are built to make my community actually enjoy the gym rather than something to unnecessarily ‘beast’ themselves with.
The risk-averse human inside of me wanted to wait until I launched my first programme before leaving my full-time employment in Marketing and do ‘nobs’ and Instagram full-time. Which is exactly what I did. Two months later I left my job and haven’t looked back.
What made you want to become a Fitness Coach?
Before I qualified as a personal trainer, my previous full-time employment in marketing was actually for a personal training studio. Before working there, my views of what it meant to be a ‘coach’ were fairly negative. I only saw coaches on their phones in sessions, coaches making their clients do high impact work with terrible form and coaches who seemed to only post shirtless selfies as a means to demonstrate their expertise.
Whilst I loved the gym, I very much felt like it wasn’t an industry I wanted to be a part of.
It wasn’t until I started my marketing role in London for a personal training studio that I witnessed first hand what personal training should really be like – empathetic, evidence-based and client-focused. After a couple of years of being around this environment, I knew this was an avenue I wanted to take. So I did.
How did you start to build your following and what was the point where you noticed it all beginning to take off?
I’ve been active on Instagram for a long time. Back when it was super cool and edgy to use Instagram’s own built-in filters. I have been building my account for over 7 years now, and it most certainly wasn’t something which happened overnight. That being said, it was in 2017 when my content on Instagram was really starting to get an increase in traction.
I remember getting a feature in the Daily Mail about my content – and I felt conflicted about whether this was a good or bad thing haha.
This was at the time when I started posting ‘calorie comparison’ infographics – the kind we still see today – but at this point, it was brand new, viral content which hadn’t been seen before. From there, whilst my message has grown and evolved, I’ve been consistently making content to break down myths surrounding health and fitness topics.
The idea of being an influencer sounds quite cool to the everyday person, but what’s the hardest thing about being one?
Being what you’d call an ‘influencer’ is a highly privileged job – there is no denying that.
But you still experience the same kind of issues any other creative experiences. It can be a fairly isolating job which is ironic with it being social media. However, when content creation is a big part of your day to day, being somewhat glued to your laptop is necessary. This is why co-working spaces are a great idea – and connecting with others in the same industry as you, is essential for your own sanity.
Obviously social media is a huge part of your career, but there are also downsides to it. What do you find the best and worst thing about being on the ‘gram every day?
The best thing about social media is that you can connect and join communities which you’d never have previously had access to. You can feel a real sense of belonging.
The worst thing about social media is that it can also be hugely damaging for your mental health if you’re following the wrong accounts. It’s always a good idea to check in with yourself after you’ve had a scroll and ask yourself ‘Do I feel better or worse?’
Social media is fundamentally my job – it’s the bread and butter of what I do. I couldn’t do what I do without it. So I’d say it’s 100% helped rather than hindered.
Where do you get the motivation to keep going?!
It’s my nobs, my community! We have a Facebook group where we chat and talk every single day – and it’s the best thing ever. It’s the thing I’m most proud of – that community.
I’ve been in multiple Facebook groups over the years – both fitness and unrelated and nothing quite compares to the vibe and atmosphere in nobs. They keep me motivated to keep going and trying to make a difference.
What is the main message that you want to get across to your followers and community?
That fitness doesn’t need to be hard, painful or exclusive to those who fit a certain kind of body ideal. It’s 2020, we don’t need stereotypes anymore.
And what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Speak your dreams out loud because the universe is always listening. (And it is.)
Always my favourite question, but what would you tell your 18-year-old-self if you could go back in time?
Dump that Liam guy, stop using that spray-in bleach in your hair and don’t be afraid of lifting weights. You have just as much right to be in the gym as anyone else.
And finally, who inspires you the most and why?
It has to be my Dad – better known as ‘Father Mountain.’ He’s become quite the internet sensation with my community. I definitely inherited my weird sense of humour from him. Cheers Dad.