Steph Claire Smith prefers a body positive approach with her diet and exercise routine

"Prioritise your health and happiness before your aesthetics"

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / January 24 2024

You may know Steph Claire Smith as a model, influencer and one half of wellness app Kic

But the 30 year old and her business partner Laura Henshaw have devoted their platform to making a difference in industries that have traditionally fostered toxic and harmful behaviours as far as people's bodies are concerned. 

The pair's shared history with disordered eating and body image problems bonded them and became the catalyst for their app Kic, which provides people with feel good workout routines, recipes and mindfulness exercises. 

In fact, Smith's emphatic desire for feeling good about her body has resulted in a holistic approach to food, fitness and self love in her day-to-day life.

Obviously she's a walking testimonial for Kic's exercise routines and healthy recipes, but there's more to her than in-app workout and cooking videos. Keep reading, this is how she eats well, strengthens her body and boosts her overall wellbeing on the daily. 

She works out to feel strong, not to get skinny

As a young model in New York, Smith was pressured by modelling agents to eat less and only do cardio in order to slim down to an Australian size four to six.

The experience left her with disordered eating habits and a distorted view of working out.

Over the years she's developed a healthier attitude towards food and exercise and now helps others who've had similar experiences make better choices and rethink misconceptions about strength training.

"F*** the agents from NYC that made me feel like putting on muscle was a bad thing. That I should steer clear of strength training as it made me look 'bulky'," she said recently via Instagram. "Nothing feels as good as feeling strong in my books."

"Getting back into weight training one to two times a week this year with our gym program has been so incredibly empowering - and I am so happy to be ending the year feeling STRONG," she continued.

Her exercise rules are rules to live by

The 30 year old has spent the last 10 years rewriting the book on health, wellness and fitness, and in that time she's learned a few things she thinks everyone should know...

1/ If it feels like a punishment, you need to rethink your WHY.
2/ If you’re not finding movement enjoyable, you probably haven’t found the type you like yet. Broaden your view of what defines a workout.
3/ You don’t need to spend an hour in the gym for it to 'count'
4/ Everyone has their own insecurities working out in public, they’re more concerned about themselves than they are what you look like.
5/ Incorporating strength training is not only important for your long term health, it’s [also] so empowering.
6/ Whenever we’re sick or injured, we miss movement, so don’t take the days you’re able for granted.
7/ When we move our bodies, we sleep better & we’re more energized and when we sleep better & are more energized, life’s a whole lot better isn’t it.
8/ It’s not about how many minutes, or how many days, or how many sweat droplets… every bit of movement will benefit you.

She doesn't demonise food

In September of 2023, Smith shared a very personal message on Instagram where she spoke about her rocky relationship with food.  

"I used to demonize foods to the point where I couldn’t be around them without binging," she said in the post.

"Unfortunately this would lead me down a pretty shocking path of feeling immense guilt, feelings of worthlessness and disappointment. I’d be so upset with myself for having 'no control'," she continued. "Often unfortunately the guilt would hit so hard that it would lead me to purging, which never ever ever felt right, and always left me feeling even worse about myself."

"I demonized foods because I was obsessed with looking skinny. I was obsessed with trying different 'tips and tricks' I’d seen online, and processed foods like chocolate, always came up as a ‘no go’ food group," Smith explained. "Chocolate brings me SO MUCH JOY. So so much. And it took time of course, but I am now at a point where I can have open packets in my household, and not binge on it. And chocolate's just one example."

"The point of this post is just to send love to anyone who can relate to my story. Please know that you absolutely can mend your relationship with food, there is help out there and you are not alone in feeling the way that you do," she advised. "Let’s remember that food is not just fuel for energy, it’s fuel for joy too. The old quote ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ IS SOOOO WRONG."

"Prioritize your health and happiness before your aesthetics," Smith told her Instagram followers.

Want more pearls of wisdom? This is Steph Claire Smith's advice for eating healthy while you're travelling

Main image credit: @stephclairesmith

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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