People don’t care as much as you think they do. Sounds negative but honestly it is meant in a positive way! We get so caught up in caring about what people will think about what we post, upload or say, that we do not always feel confident enough to share our opinions or work. You have to remember, people are busy in their own lives to worry about us so much, so be confident and share!
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Holly Dolke.
With over 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube and many videos with 5+ million views, fitness expert, founder of Pink Dragon, and new mom, Holly Dolke, has not only used exercise and wellness to gain her infamous “Holly Dolke abs,” but she has transformed the lives of her millions of followers around the world physically, mentally and emotionally. Awakening everyone’s inner dragon through her fitness program PINK DRAGON, Holly implements three key principles around the right nutrition, daily movement, and having a strong mindset. She teaches members how to evolve their view of exercise from dreading it to loving it. In a social media world catered to toxic diet culture, Holly helps her community respect food as fuel rather than a chore. Her mission is to reignite people’s confidence in themselves, love the body they live in and build each other up to achieve their dreams.
Holly’s three key principles create the basis of every program and product she offers such as a 3-Day Detox, 30-Day Meal Plan, and her e-book Sweet Treats. She believes that the most important part for people during their health and fitness journey is to recognize their starting point. She created a short quiz that leads visitors to specific recommendations based on their circumstances and goals they want to achieve.
Growing up in Kent County, England, Holly found her passion for fitness while attending college. As a fashion marketing major, she spent her days sitting at a desk — studying, completing assignments, having little to no exercise and her eating habits were far from healthy. After not getting the results she desired from a standard gym setting, she took her health and fitness into her own hands and own home (as many of us have this year, too) she started a YouTube channel — which was on trend in the UK, (especially in food and fitness) and began her home workout videos. Being an introvert, working out from the comfort of her home was the best space and she never expected to gain the following she was building. In mid-2019, her channel took off in a way she never expected with spikes in views and subscribers recognizing her for her flat stomach abs and indoor walking in place videos.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
You are so welcome, thank you for having me. I got into fitness because of low self-confidence in myself. I was at University and felt like I had zero time to exercise.
I was glued to my desk, eating junk food all the time to cope with the stress of exams. I couldn’t fit into my clothes like I used to. So, when the year ended and I went back home, I decided to do something about it. I started walking, then built it up to a run, then I started going to the gym. I felt lucky at the time because when I signed up, I got free Personal Training sessions. I thought with his help I’d melt the fat off my thighs in no time — boy was I wrong! Literally every exercise he made me do involved weights, which made my legs even bigger than when I started. I quickly decided to quit the gym and tried to find the answers by myself. I went through fitness forums, joined Facebook groups, read all the nutrition books I could get my hands on. Finally, I found what works for me and that’s when I fell in love with fitness. Fitness was my escape to focus on myself and gain confidence in my body and my own abilities.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Getting pregnant! I’ve had to balance living in a foreign country with no family, while going through a pandemic, and growing my YouTube channel and business to its biggest numbers over a short amount of time.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
My first ever YouTube video was filmed on a webcam because I couldn’t afford a camera. Quality was so terrible, and I had no mic so you couldn’t hear me. I learned the value of good video quality as I progressed.
I learned that nothing can be perfect. Especially not when you are starting something. There is no such thing as perfection. There’s just a lot of trials and errors. It’s important that you learn from your mistakes and keep moving. That is how you grow.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I have tried a lot of different fitness routines and programs. I tried running, cross training, weights, yoga, Pilates — I tried everything. The trouble was that nothing really worked for me 100%. There wasn’t a fitness program out there that understood the importance of activating the smaller muscles. So, the only thing left for me to do was to create my own fitness routines.
My unique contribution is combining my technique of small muscle activation exercises with HIIT focused moves to lose weight and get you that lean, toned physique. It’s something that works for me and for my 1.2 million YouTube subscribers.
Using my own body weight only for exercise, and actually doing that myself makes me an authority in the fitness world. People still believe to this day that I go to the gym, but I don’t!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, my partner, Aaron. He is the business behind Pink Dragon and my biggest supporter. He is the person who told me to create a YouTube channel and pushed me to continue when I felt like no-one wanted to watch my videos. He encouraged me every step of the way and helped me grow not only my channel, but Pink Dragon to what it is today. We are partners in life, business and now a family with our newborn baby girl.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
Oh yes, I totally agree, it is hard to put that all into practice, especially all at once!
I would say that the 3 main blockages are:
– Peer Pressure: social peer pressure from partners, families and friends. Just to have another drink, or enjoy more of the naughty treats, because YOLO. This can really make it difficult to stick to a healthier lifestyle, because we will want to be agreeable and not miss out on events, and even tell ourselves we will start again on Monday.
– Time: everyone is always rushing, so we grab snacks and food on the go to save ourselves time and end up eating less nutritious foods.
– Self-Sabotage: we are our own worst enemy! We self-sabotage our own success, by not exercising with the excuse of we are too tired, or cannot afford a gym (hello YouTube), or we put ourselves down emotionally
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
1. People don’t care as much as you think they do. Sounds negative but honestly it is meant in a positive way! We get so caught up in caring about what people will think about what we post, upload or say, that we do not always feel confident enough to share our opinions or work. You have to remember, people are busy in their own lives to worry about us so much, so be confident and share!
2. When you feel down, smile! We are in control of our emotions. So, when you feel down, get up, move and smile and it’ll make you feel good!
3. Move every day, even if it’s just a walk.
4. Drink at least 3L of water a day! Hydration is key and there are tons of benefits, so we won’t list them all.
5. Journaling! We all live busy lives, consuming insane amounts of information on a daily basis. There’s social media, work stuff, private life, it never ends. Putting your thoughts onto paper or a note app in your phone before going to bed every night will make your life easier. We constantly keep everything in our heads, and by a simple act of writing whatever comes to your mind and offloading your brain, you will instantly feel lighter.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
Since COVID, I think exercise has really been highlighted as a benefit for so many people recently.
1. Boosts Mental Well Being: Exercise boosts endorphins and makes us feel good about ourselves. I find exercise a great escape from reality and self-care time for my mind, as well as a stress-reliever.
2. Increases Energy: You get a rush of hormones from a good exercise session which gives you a significant energy booster to help fight through fatigue and stay more focused.
3. Body Confidence: Exercises make us feel good, physically and mentally, and this all will increase your confidence.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
- Walking: Anyone can do this!
- Burpees: A tough one, but it works so many muscles in the body and helps burn fat.
- Crunches: I love abs, and found that there are so many varieties of crunch exercises that you can do to help tone those stomach muscles.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
Money Blueprint — it is not fitness related but it was an inspirational read that assisted me in growing my finances within my business.
I highly recommend anyone reading this book, because it makes you more aware of how you regard and spend money.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I was raised in a single-family household with my mum and my nan. My nan was a huge influence and part of my upbringing. She was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her 70’s and I watched her deteriorate over the course of a decade. At the time, I was not into health and fitness, and watched the doctors feed her high sugar, calorie dense diet to make her gain weight, due to fast weight loss, which I now know is the worst thing to do, as it feeds the illness.
I have always held a soft spot for the elderly, and I would love to be able to help more elderly in our community and prevent a disease like Alzheimer’s through health and nutrition. That’s why I am so passionate about helping young females to exercise and get fit, to learn these habits at an early age to prevent diseases.
I’d love to create a movement where I encourage the senior generation to move and eat better and also get the younger generation to keep these habits.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I’ve said it before, but this truly is my life lesson quote! “People don’t care as much as you think they do.” Aaron told me this quote when I first started out on YouTube. I was terrified of people’s opinions, reactions and scared of negative comments appearing. Having Aaron tell me that quote, shifted my perspective so much and made me realise that, yes, this is SO true! People really do not care as much as I think they do, because they are busy! Any negative comments I do get, are lost within the positive comments. I always remember this quote and share it with others too, who start a YouTube channel, and really feel it has helped.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Kris Jenner! She needs to write a new book for entrepreneurs! She is such a businesswoman and a powerhouse, and I would love to meet her for breakfast or lunch to pick her brain on how she created such an empire! I’d love to hear more of her stories, ideas and tips for success and share my business plans with her, and what she would do to make it more successful to help others.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
You are welcome! Thank you so much for having me!