Lillian Ahenkan aka Flex Mami on Thinking Differently - Women's Health

Lillian Ahenkan aka Flex Mami on Thinking Differently

Meet the DJ, TV presenter, podcaster, entrepreneur, professional opinion haver and now... author. - by Tara Ali

by | Sep 16, 2021

Called “one of the most charismatic Australians of the internet”, Lillian Ahenkan (@flex.mami) is your go-to woman for good energy, colourful suits and real talk, and her new book helps you work out who you are, what you want and how to get it.

“I have a thing about women having agency. You’re allowed to be an active participant in your own life, and change things for yourself,” she says.

Check out her juiciest advice. 

1. Own your power

“There’s a distinction between being a passive participant in your life and someone who’s constantly evaluating, someone who gets to change their circumstances and improve their life. You can change how you want to see things. It’s all you! So if you can take more time to figure out what [you want] and start moving towards creating metrics of success that work for you, then your life could be so much better.”

2. Use positive reinforcement

“Instead of waiting until the end of the journey, find ways to highlight all the small things you’ve done well along the way. These celebrations act like a productivity fuel, giving you the juice you need to enthusiastically continue. You don’t need to throw yourself a party every time you tick something off the to-do list but pausing to give yourself some mental props is more than enough.”

3. Don’t try to be “That Girl”

“There’s this trend on TikTok called the ‘That Girl’. We all want to be That Girl, who wakes up at 6am, goes for a run and meditates, only eats wholefoods and kills everybody with kindness… But that’s not how you operate at your best [by pretending to be someone else]. When you put on a character of yourself because you want to be perceived as more well-rounded, it only serves to dissatisfy you.”

If I could manifest one thing, it would be…

“Some discipline. I really do value discipline. People who get up and do the thing because it needs to be done. It’s so hard to be a self-mastered person when you can’t even do the bare minimum. Some days I’m like, ‘Water – did I drink it? Mmm, I’m not sure…’”

When I’m tapped out on social media…

“I read fantasy or fiction books that aren’t rooted in my reality. I find that really, really good. It takes discipline to say, ‘I’m going to escape into the land of books with intention because I can, and then I’m going to go to sleep.’”

The app that’s changed my life

“Hands down, TikTok. It’s an amplification and celebration of average people. TikTok gives regular people space on the internet to hold the narrative for themselves as opposed to only the most exceptional, the most privileged or most capable.”

Ahenkan’s The Success Experiment (Pantera, $32.99) is on sale now.

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?