Active Women

Maths Fanatic To Gym Enthusiast | Siobhan O’Hagan

Siobhan O’Hagan



When have you been bold, made a change and what were the results?


I feel any time I’ve gone against the ‘norms’ of society I’ve had the most amazing experiences. I have a Bachelor of Science in Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, but I quit my well-paid job to become a personal trainer. I just felt there was more to life than sitting at the same desk for the next 40 years. I stopped chasing money and started chasing happiness. I feel under no pressure to stay in one place, country or career now. Step outside the boundaries, that’s where all the fun is.

What motivated you to change your lifestyle?


I wasn’t happy with my job, my life, my figure. I was eating and drinking loads all weekend because ‘I deserved it’ after a tough week of work. When I decided that I wanted to change career, I realised I needed to lead the lifestyle that I would want my clients to lead. I had to be my own advertisement. I started documenting my journey on Instagram. Once I gathered some followers and support, I realised that there was no turning back!


Do you feel the sports industry has gender equality?


I think that no matter how much we campaign for equality, people will be more interested in male sports. In Ireland, we play Gaelic football and neither the male or females are paid to play at the highest level so technically they are equal but unfortunately the attendance is always less than half at the ladies football matches.

However, in terms of bodybuilding, I think it is actually quite a balanced sport. Although some people may look at it and say it is a beauty contest, it is actually both genders that have to get spray tanned and get on stage in small swim suits to show off their muscles!


Do you have a cheat day?


When I’m not on prep I would usually have a cheat meal which would involve pizza – I love pizza! But I try to keep my cheat meal for when I want to be social with family and friends. While on prep, it is a little more structured and we call it a refeed meal. This means we are giving my body a little break from the dieting and resetting my leptin levels by increasing carbs for one day. It also helps for adherence.


What is your go-to guilty-pleasure?


Pizza, Nutella, salt & vinegar Pringles and a G&T!!

Did anyone or anything, in particular, inspire you to make a difference?


I could write forever on my aunt Roisin who lived a life completely different to everyone else. She was one of the bravest and inspiring people I’ve ever met. She ran a boat trip business in Portugal but she could have been the CEO of a top company. She lived in the moment and impacted everyone around her with her positive mental attitude. I learnt so much during the summers I spent in the Algarve working with her. Unfortunately last summer she lost her battle with Cancer but I really do feel she epitomises the saying ‘It’s the life in your years, not the years in your life’. She inspires me every day to chase happiness and enjoy the journey because life can be so short.


If you could compare yourself to an inspirational woman, who would it be and why?


I honestly don’t base myself on anyone else but I love Beyonce for her attitude, her talent and her work ethic. One of my favourite quotes is “You have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce”


How do you balance your social life, family and training?


Not very well! Since the start of the year I have been so busy with work that I just like to crash on the couch at the weekends! But before the January madness I would go out for drinks with my friends every couple of weeks. In between that I would often go out for meals but I would always plan in advance what I am going to have so that I don’t go too off track but still be able to enjoy myself.


With training, I always get it done as early in the day as possible. I’ve always been an early riser so it isn’t too much of a struggle for me. I love when you get home from a day’s work and you can just chill because you got your workout done first thing!


If you could have one advice/quote for all the women in the world what would it be?


Aim high, don’t settle. Believe you can and you’re half way there.


How do you unwind/switch off?


I like to meet friends for coffee. I don’t really watch television but if I want some light entertainment I will catch up with all my favourite people on snapchat.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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