Idala Ogufere is the go-to fat-burning, body-transforming FlexiMum Coach, she left her career as Chartered Accountant to serve and add value to young mums, grooming them spirit, soul, and body to live and maintain a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
This dream was birthed after a near-death experience with eclampsia. Doctors say she’s a walking miracle, but it was for a greater call to help young mums see the importance of healthy living. Idala gives tips on her FlexiMums Facebook Community and Instagram page @IdalaOgufere showing how she shed her 30kg baby fat and stays toned after two boys.
Have you always been a fitness enthusiast?
Not exactly. Although I used to do lots of yoga stretches with my dad (I didn’t know it was yoga then, I just loved exploring my flexibility), my dad has always been the fitness enthusiast.
I started taking fitness seriously after I gave birth to my first son (who’ll be 5 years old in June), but I would just workout and not eat right or I would starve myself, now I know better.
When did you start taking fitness seriously?
It was after the birth of my second son. His birth was very seamless even though he weighed 3.73kg. I was discharged two days later but when I got home, settling in was tough because I’d developed severe headaches and swollen feet. I thought it was just the normal postpartum stress but the headache became intense. My mum pleaded that I should see the doctor and so I went to the hospital to find that my blood pressure (BP) was outrageous!
Here I was with BP reading 180/100, I’ve never had high BP before, so this was strange and ridiculous to me. I was tensed and had to be monitored for a while with ice packs in my head but there was no improvement. Eventually, they had to rush me to the ICU to stabilize my BP and I had seizures during the process.
Honestly, how I survived that saga, is still a miracle. God kept me for this purpose, to preach the gospel of healthy living to all young mums I come across. It’s much more than work for me, it’s my ministry!
So I take it your experience is why your ‘ministry’ is targeted at young mums?
Yes, because obviously as a young mum I know and feel the pain of other mums. This feeling inspired my first business @MyBabyStoreNG which helps young busy moms to shop for their kids. I’ve always been endeared to the challenges young mums face.
After my second son and a near-death experience with eclampsia, which was majorly due to my obesity, I felt the calling to enlighten more mums about it. There have been maternal deaths caused by eclampsia although it’s a small percentage, many women and even young ladies need to be aware of this deadly eclampsia.
Choosing young mums/ladies was very deliberate as many in this category, haven’t “hung their boots” yet with regards to child-bearing. It’s thus important for them to embrace fitness and good nutrition so that they live healthy lives.I'm impacting more people and that deserves all my time -Idala Ogufere Click To Tweet
Now I’m interested in this business, MybabystoreNG. Is it still up and running?
Before I answer this let me give a brief story about how I started MyBabyStoreNG. About a year after I had my first son, I had no clue what to do. I loved shopping for my son and I kept putting up pictures of cute baby outfits I saw in the market, people liked it and boom! I saw a business opportunity.
MyBabyStoreNG was birthed yet it still didn’t fulfill my desire to help young mums so I decided to help them work on their bodies through Wholly Groomed Academy. These mums that I had sold baby items to wanted to know how l lost so much weight in less than a year. I got more attention as a Fitness Coach and I began to impact them positively.
I thought I could handle both businesses together, but it was impressed in my heart to hold off activities in MyBabyStoreNG. This was because it was becoming burdensome for only me to handle both as a sole proprietor. I still have great dreams for MyBabyStoreNG, she’s my first baby, but now Wholly Groomed Academy has taken the lead. I’m impacting more people and that for me is very fulfilling and deserves all my time.
My target was busy mums because it was a relief for someone they trusted to help with shopping for their kids. They just gave me a list of what they wanted and I shopped it. More like a Personalised BabyShopper. My dream is to create a Made In Nigeria Showroom where all items are locally sourced and produced here in Nigeria for Nigerians with our cartoon-inspired stories!
How easy/difficult was it to actually get MybabystoreNG properly functioning according to its purpose?
It was easy when I started at first because I just loved helping mums shop for their kids’ outfits. It became very challenging at a point because I didn’t have enough stock to meet up customer’s demands. I was acting as a middleman and I couldn’t control their stock.
As we began to grow, it became increasingly challenging. Then my dream to create my own line of Made In Nigeria Kiddies Line was birthed, it’s still in my dream box. I haven’t given up on it. When the time is right, it’ll manifest.
Ok, let’s get back to workouts. Other #MotherlandMoguls might want to know the importance of a fit body, why is it important?
I always say, man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body. These three elements need to be taken care of effectively to achieve wholeness. Most of us went to school to feed our mind (the soul, seat of our intellect). Some feed their spirit, to connect with God and very few actually take care of the body that drives this whole being.
We strain it, not feeding it with the right nutrition to fuel our burning dreams and passions. Although the body gives stress signals, we ignore until it can’t take it anymore and we become ill and then start a curative process. All these can be avoided by being preventive, simply feed your body right and become more productive in all other areas. If all these are in order, a great body image would ensue!
In your own opinion is it really all about body shape or one just has to be fit and eat healthily?
It’s not about the shape at all. In fact, I tell my clients all the time, it’s a lot deeper than that. Like I always say, a sustainable healthy lifestyle starts inside out, beginning with your mind before it translates to the external.
If you don’t get this part right, you could be losing weight for the wrong reasons. The goal is to be fit, healthy and create the body your 90-year-old self will be grateful for.
Imagine how our forefathers used to live longer? They ate more fresh organic veggies and walked long distances to the farm, which was actually their secret to longer life expectancy. So in this our generation of quick-fixes and fast-foods, you know why many die young.
What elements go into a good first workout?
Take it slow… your body is adapting to a new lifestyle, so you need to start at your pace, not someone else’s.
No two bodies are the same, neither is a metabolism. So for a good first workout, you’re required to start at your pace, then increase momentum, weekly or monthly depending on your energy level.
A typical first workout will start with stretching for about 5-10minutes. We follow it with warm ups, then strength training or intense cardio sessions, depending on the client’s needs.
How do you keep your fitness training knowledge up to date?
Oh, this! I’m a voracious reader, I learn something new every day with regards to my field. I also read up mails from my fitness mentors.
With social media, it’s easier to follow my favourites and stay updated with new routines that can be adapted to fit my client’s preferences.
How do you encourage your clients who are on the verge of giving up to keep pushing?
The mind is the most powerful tool ever, that’s my favourite place to start from. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Remembering why you started in the first place is also key.
Don’t do it for the wrong reasons (to get back at an ex, etc), do it for your active 90-year-old self, free from diabetes, arthritis and other diseases.
I see you studied Chartered Accountancy and Business Administration. Are you still following any of these career paths or are you a full-time FlexiMum Coach?
I apply my accounting and business admin knowledge in my business, I’ve always been an administrative person. I had a brief internship at Diamond Bank in Nigeria but I knew it wasn’t for me, I’m very fulfilled serving and coaching mums to live a healthy lifestyle.I have sooo much to offer my world, but I'm taking it a step at a time - Idala Ogufere Click To Tweet
Are you considering to expand Fleximums or the store to be bigger than they are today or probably provide more services for young mums? How?
Oh yes, definitely! I have sooo much to offer my world, but I’m taking it a step at a time, daily improving, researching and creating. I’m currently building a team to work with to achieve this dream.
FlexiMums is just a part of the idea, Wholly Groomed Academy is the main project now, we’re raising a generation of mums who are not just strong in body, but also in spirit and soul. I believe we’re first of all Spirit, have a Soul and live in a Body, so as I get to understand the uniqueness of my niche, I evolve too and so does my brand.
As much as I’m inspired by my niche, I’m much more grounded in my source, God as He leads me, I follow, doing business by the spirit.
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