Read time: 4 min
Mala is a plant based boxer, who is based in London. She has a very positive outlook on life and inspires others with her journey.
We interviewed Mala to find out about her deciding to go professional with boxing and discover more about her lifestyle.
What is your morning routine?
So everyday I train at 11am or 9am on a Friday. I get up at 7am every day, I come down to my kitchen, I make up oats with flax seeds, chia seeds, frozen berries and almond milk, have that with black coffee, post social media content, have a shower and then go to the gym. I try to keep the same routine, otherwise the day just slips away.
Has this always been your routine? How has your routine changed over time?
I’ve always trained in the morning, got up early seized the day, my biggest change has been being very conscientious about my nutrition in the morning. I make sure that I get up earlier and get my carbs in, I have seen a dramatic change in my output because of this. It has also reduced my cravings; I find that I don’t crave as much because I have more wholesome meals.
Do you incorporate any meditation into your morning routine, if so how and when?
I don’t, but this is something I’ve spoken to my coach about, as I’ve really wanted to this year, because it would be really good to train my mind as well as my body. I would definitely like to up my meditation, that kind of sports psychology, it’s something that a lot of people leave out, but I think it’s really important to have a strong mind when doing exercise. When I get in the ring, if your minds not right, if you can’t control your nerves, it completely changes the outcome, even if you are in the right physical state.
What is a positive daily habit you try to incorporate into your lifestyle?
Be kind to people, I like to bring positive energy, my area of strength is to always be quite positive and happy. Not fake positive. It’s important to always listen to people and to be empathetic.
What particular food/drink do you have every morning and why?
So, generally in my diet I’m always having spinach, because you know your hitting good amounts of iron and protein. I always seem to manage to have chickpeas in my meals as well!
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
When I wake up, I take my phone off do not disturb, as I put my phone on do not disturb overnight. I normally browse my phone between 5-10 minutes before I get up.
When you feel anxious, unfocused or overwhelmed - what do you do to get yourself back on track?
I probably would exercise, even if it means just going for a walk or a run. I’ve only experienced anxiety over lockdown, I was experiencing this because of suddenly not working. It’s not that I always have the impulse or motivation to train, I think sometimes people think I’m just a fitness nut!
I always shower before I train, which motivates me. I try to set the bar not too high and not put pressure on myself, because then when you start going you feel like you want to exercise more, sometimes when you set the bar too high, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
In the last three years what new behaviour or habits has most improved your life and why?
My dedication to boxing, I was always going boxing, but I never thought I was going to go professional with it, but when I decided to go professional with it, it changed my life. I also made a commitment last September to use Instagram as a marketing tool and that I feel, has changed everything. I have made so many great connections, working with different companies. Also drawing, that would be my third one, and to continue doing this lockdown skill I have developed.
What is your most gifted book/the read that has greatly influenced your life?
Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice by Matthew Syed
I would say there hasn't been one specific book that has influenced me, but I read a book called Bounce, where they talk about talent versus experience and hours practice. It basically talks about how there’s no such thing as talent, it’s just about someone who’s presented with opportunities and who has the time to practice that discipline.
For example, if you took two kids and gave one kid all the opportunities in the world, who didn’t have to think about working versus someone who didn’t have these opportunities, it would lead to the other one having the time to train and have talent.
Is there anyone who influenced you to do boxing?
Not really, I just do me, if it makes me happy, I don’t need that validation from someone else. I want to live life on my own terms. I think it’s really easy to think success is marked on traditional values, like getting married and having kids, because we are brought up that way, but there are loads of ways to measure success. I feel like we only have one life, and I don’t want to get to 40 and have the regret of not trying stuff when I was younger.