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International Women's Day 2020

Woman Crush Week: Day 4

On day 4 of WCW on A Stranger In Accra, I cover Scola Dondo. Read to find out more!

Scola Dondo

Scola Dondo is a Zimbabwean personal trainer, youtuber and T.V presenter, based in the UK. Her motto is ‘stay healthy and luscious’. These 2 words represent who she truly is.

I remember seeing Scola’s videos for the first time about 6 years ago, when I hit that fitness phase of my life. I had been focused on fitness for quite some time by then, but I never saw anyone that looked like me. Everyone was the opposite: white, skinny, blonde hair and blue eyes…You get it. To me, that single image was what fitness meant and as a result, I strived to look like them and failed horribly. I did all I could, from eating less (to come to think of it, I was starving myself) to over-exercising. That was a toxic situation!

At the time, it didn’t click that my genetics and ethnicity influenced how I looked and because I failed to look like the perfect picture of fitness, I spiraled. I basically lost hope and hated the way looked. Insecurities basically ruled my life. Sad, right?

In the midst of my insecurities, I found Scola’s Youtube channel and my life changed. She not only looked like me, but was candid about her struggles with self-image, mental health and confidence. I related to all she spoke about and finally felt like I found what I’d been looking for! I then started watching her videos and following her workouts which range from afrobeat dance to high intensity interval training (HIIT) and felt better than I ever did before!

She’s not the generic face of fitness and that’s what makes her special and inspirational to me. She proves that being fit and healthy is not one profile and that people of all shapes and sizes can live healthy lives.

“I just want women, men and everyone in between to know that no matter what they look like, they can be considered fit. I’ve seen women twice my age and twice my size run right past me with ease. I’ve seen girls half my size lift double the weight I could ever even dream of lifting.”

Scola Dondo

In a world, where trends influence the desired body type, it’s impossible to be perfect in society’s eyes, causing many to feel insecure and downright ugly in their bodies.

Scola however, preaches body positivity in the sense that one must love themselves no matter what they look like. You can lose or gain all the weight in the world but if you don’t love yourself, all the effort you’ve put in is basically useless. You can’t fix your physical self without fixing your mental. You’ll always find something new to pick on and basically be unhappy if you don’t combine the two. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth. Even I struggled to accept this truth, but I’m working on it day by day, year after year. It’s a process, but it’s worth it.

“Confidence isn’t about size, looks, style or whatever. Confidence is about you and the inside. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, It’s about inside!”

Scola Dondo

In 2016, Scola announced that she was diagnosed with Hypothyrodism, a thyroid condition that makes it difficult to lose weight and easy to gain. It also causes one to be moody, depressed, anxious and fatigued among many other side effects. It’s a roller coaster, but Scola has championed through it in the most inspirational way!

She has been candid about her diagnosis and living with it, and has inspired many across the globe to take their health seriously. She lets her viewers know that no matter what you struggle with, you should always try to be the healthiest version of yourself and if you fail, try again and again and again. NEVER GIVE UP!

I’ve watched Scola fight this condition by trying out different healthy habits and fitness challenges. I’ve watched her disappear off Youtube for some time and come back smiling and ready to change lives. I’ve basically watched her go through some the high and low motions of her life and there’s one thing I can say for sure: This woman is RESILIENT and it’s inspiring to me.

“Giving up is not an option. Giving up has not crossed my mind AT ALL.  Sure I’ll take a day off or have a mini break but I’ll never give up on my health and that’s why despite not having made it to my goal yet, I know I will make it eventually. “

Scola Dondo

From Scola, you can all learn quite a number of things: you must love yourself no matter what, you should aim to be the healthiest version of yourself (mentally and physically) and no matter what life throws at you, you can always bounce back stronger than ever!

Scola’s resilience and positivity through the ups and downs of life is inspiring, her stance on self love and appreciation is life changing and her workout videos are downright amazing! That is why she is my Woman Crush today!

Get to know more about Scola:

Thank you for reading!

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