AND, SO IT BEGINS
I had the pleasure of spending time and getting to know this very wise soul and free spirit known as Gillian Mandich. Gillian is the first in a series of professional women I will be profiling on the blog which will give you an in-depth look into the personal lives of entrepreneurs and community leaders.
It was a true privilege to sit down over organic green tea and get a glimpse into who she really is, what she likes and why she is soo passionate about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
This yogi was full of wisdom way beyond her young years. I met her outside Leslie’s Clothing store and was greeted with a warm smile and big hug that exuberant warmth and excitement. I was a bit nervous at first but the moment you meet Gillian she makes you feel so at home and comfortable. Her positive energy radiates through her making you want to jump on her bandwagon, which I did! She is a true embodiment of what she preaches. She may also be the kindest and most sincere person I have ever met. I felt selfish after leaving this interview because the personal growth and life lessons I take home with me will forever positively impact my life. Sometimes people come into your life at a certain time for a specific purpose and I believe that my interview with Gillian was exactly that! It was a very grounding holistic experience, one that I needed.
MEET GILLIAN MANDICH!
WHERE YOU’VE SEEN GILLIAN:
- Host and Community Producer for the TV show “Gillian Mandich: Cooking Adventures”
- Mandich Mondays on Rogers TV
- Co-host of the health/fitness podcast and TV show “The Holistic Health Diary”;
- Creator, producer and host of Health Science Radio on CHRW 94.9FM;
- Guest Host on the Home Shopping Network (HSN);
- The Social on CTV ;
- City Line ;
- CTV Toronto ;
- Blogger for the Huffington Post ;
- Movati Athletic Commercials
- Reviewer and sits on the Advisory Board at Examine.com;
- Recently named one of the Top 20 Under 40 by Business London Magazine;
- Western University professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences
CURRENT CITY: London, Ontario
- PhD Candidate, Western University in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Health Promotion;
- Masters of Science, Western University in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Child and Youth Health;
- Bachelors of Health Science, Western University in the Faculty of Health Science, Specialization in Health Promotion (with honours).
What led you to become interested in health science, nutrition and fitness?
Health and wellness has always been a big part of my life since I was a child. I always worked out and enjoyed a healthy lifestyle. My mother is an incredible influence in my life. When I was a child she took me to my first raw food cooking class, she always encouraged leading a healthy lifestyle which I am grateful for. Today she even grows wheatgrass at home. It’s my mother that I have to thank for being such a great mentor and personal support in my life journey.
How did you get started in the health and fitness industry?
I was a personal trainer in my undergraduate for a few months but my first real break was when I entered into a nationwide fitness modelling competition to be the next cover model for Oxygen magazine. I had done some fitness modelling competitions at the time and when I saw this opportunity I decided I had nothing to loose and everything to gain – so I entered it!
What happened with the Oxygen fitness Modeling Competition?
I ended up winning the competition, but turned it down instead offered to write a nutritional article on the health benefits of pumpkin. It ended up being a 6 page spread and was my first article that was ever published in a magazine! It was an incredible opportunity and experience for me.
Why did you turn down the Oxygen fitness modeling opportunity?
I felt that it didn’t align with my image of being a holistic health promoter – my personal mission is to educate people about evidence-based health information so they can lead a happy, healthy life.
When I did fitness modelling competitions I started to realize that after the competition and all the hard work of dieting, exercising, having to restrict myself was over I wasn’t happy. I felt there was a disconnect between how I felt and how I looked (I looked fit, but the day I won the model search I was so depleted that couldn’t even do a push-up). It wasn’t healthy, and I thought about my sisters (Gillian has 6 siblings) and if they saw the article/fitness spread I wouldn’t want them to go and emulate it!
What did you learn from this experience?
It was an incredible opportunity to learn about myself and get clearer on what a good fit for me. I now know how important that I live health and fitness in my body everyday – I want to be authentic and real with everything that I say and do, and this experience gave me the clarity to realize this.
What was your first major career break?
I decided with my good friend Angie Peters about 2 years ago to start a podcast entitled “The Holistic Health Diary.” That night I went home and looked up the number 1 podcast on iTunes for health, nutrition and fitness, which was The Rich Roll Podcast by Rich Roll. I listened and studied every single one of his podcasts. I decided that I wanted to start the podcast series off with an interview with Rich Roll.
Gillian did interview Rich Roll and she even wrote an article on one of the worlds fittest man in Chatelaine magazine. You can find the article by clicking this link: How to transform your body from one of the world’s fittest men
Why did you decide to Start off your podcast with the number 1 health and fitness podcaster at the time?
If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best and that was what I was going to do! During the podcast I had the opportunity to learn and grow from incredible people and it opened my life up to many new and exciting opportunities. This catapulted my life to where I am now professionally.
What is something that is often misconstrued about you that you want people to know?
Things don’t come easily for me, they aren’t just handed to me. Sometimes with social media the tendency is for people to only see the shiny parts and moments. I wake up every morning at 4 am. I always show up and I work really hard for everything that I have and that I have accomplished. No great successes come without great failures, and I believe a failure is only a failure if you don’t learn from it and so I make every opportunity a learning opportunity. I am driven by my passion, and I always showing up, get creative, and try hard.
How do you stay motivated ?
Movement is my creative outlet, it liberates my body and my mind. Recently I have made a conscious effort to spend more time alone, hiking, meditating, taking baths, and doing things like yoga to take care of myself and my health. Each of us are on own our own path in life and we can’t follow other people’s paths and expect to be happy. We have to follow our own bliss. Spending conscious time alone is an investment in myself, and you have to love and value yourself first before you can put that energy into others and activities.
When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change. And as you move forward allow yourself to be good enough. Dr. Alice Domar
How do you deal with rejection?
At first I took it very personally and it was something that I struggled with. I had to learn and grow as a person to realize that it’s not personal. There are many factors outside our control, and/or our lives that we may be unaware of that result in people rejecting our requests that we make of them. For me I would rather have tried and gotten 9 rejections and 1 yes then never have tried at all. You never know unless you ask, and I believe in daring greatly.
How do you get the confidence to reach out and take on new opportunities with extraordinary and intimidating people?
I see people as people. I have a strong confidence in myself and I believe that in life we can accomplish anything that we set our minds to. All it takes is hard work, good intentions, a passion for helping others, and lots of love.
What is it about yoga that makes you love it soo much?
Yoga is where I found my breath. Your breath is what leads your life and yoga is about the connection between your breath, mind and body. Connection to my breath and movement are non-negotiable in my life.
My takeaway from this interview with Gillian Mandich
I want to be her bestie. lol. No, seriously!! She makes you feel comfortable and happy when in her presence. You truly believe in yourself and that you can accomplish anything. She also makes you feel like you should take every opportunity in life, even the ones you thought weren’t possible.
She taught me that nothing is impossible, she is a solution oriented person meaning that if there is a roadblock she finds a solution to make it happen.
Another great life lesson was that Gillian talks about coming from “a place of service,” that is everything she does is in service to others because she genuinely cares about the welfare of people and the community. If you come from a place of service than you know that your intention is always positive and pure.
Thank you Gillian for the incredible day and experience!
Model: Gillian Mandich
Hair & Makeup: Studio H
Photography & Styling: Kayla Logan PR
Clothing Provided By: Leslie’s Clothing
Jewelry: Hen jewelry and Carrie Schultz jewelry
Brands worn in first outfit: Maison Scotch Cardigan, Mink Pink tee-shirt and Reebok shoes.
Second Outfit: Bodi tee-shirt, Gentle Fawn kimono, AG Jeans, Melissa Shoes.
Kayla Logan PR