Updated: Mar 7
Once we saw Mrs Dixon's Instagram page and caught a glimpse of her phenomenal physical transformation, we had no choice but to get in contact with her to find out more about her inspirational journey in both entrepreneurship and leading a healthier lifestyle. In this insightful interview we find out how and why she started her hair company Delectable Hair, why she embarked on her life changing healthy eating and exercise regime and why she wants to help and support women everywhere + much more.
Rachel, you came to the UK for love but in the process and due to in part being homesick began to neglect your physical health. What was the deciding factor which led you to start to make a positive change to both your physical health and your diet?
I think what led me to change my diet and my overall health was when I realised my dress size kept on increasing. I started becoming breathless going up the stairs and my back started hurting because of the extra weight I was carrying. The funny thing is, I had no idea it was my weight until I saw a picture of myself at an event I attended. It broke my heart and it was at that moment that I knew that I had to do something about it.
Your Instagram is home to some amazing healthy food meal ideas and juices. How easy or difficult was it for you to start implementing healthy eating into your day to day and what steps did you take to begin the process?
It was extremely hard to implement a healthy routine as I am a self confessed food addict (laughs) that suffers from bingeing. I would eat for comfort and not to fuel my body. When I realised how much my body does for me I realised it was my duty to treat it right by eating wholesome foods. That change of mindset alone was a game changer. With that being said; I took a simple step of cutting down my portions,removing processed foods, red meats and dairy which lead me to where I am now; fully plant based.
You also document and share your fitness journey and your overall weight loss. How did you decide what exercise regimen would work for you and what different types of exercise did you see the best results from?
When I started I was focused on all cardio which did help drop my weight. However, what began to happen was that my body was not shaping the way I wanted it to so I decided to reduce the cardio workouts and instead began incorporating weight training into my workouts. This consisted of at home work outs using resistance bands, light weights, using my own body weight and kettle bells.
In the midst of undergoing a fitness and health overhaul you're also the founder of your own business Delectable Hair UK. Tell us more about that...
My first love has always been hair. I have been doing hair for 7 years and I love it. Doing hair was a hobby for me and a way to cut down costs in uni and before I knew it; everyone wanted my services, through word of mouth the quality of my work spread and in time it became my 9-5.
The hair business is a booming one so in your own opinion, what makes your brand different?
What makes me different is I am self taught. I am so passionate about hair to the point where I used to make my wigs first on my teddy bear (laughs) then on a dummy like everyone else. I then progressed onto using a sewing machine. For me, it really isn't about the money or the potential theme it can bring. It is simply about the joy I derive from creating pieces and making women look beautiful at the same time.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business and what has been the trials and errors you have faced thus far?
My motivation was my environment. My home country of Zambia is a developing country and everything is/was expensive for me being a student. I wanted to look nice and have all the nice clothes but did not want it to cost me my morals. Launching businesses was the only way for me to grown and little did I know that it was my calling. Along the way I faced so many trials from being duped by hair vendors I trusted to not being acknowledged for my work in certain articles in the paper or magazines; to clients not paying in full. However, my biggest trial was the fact that by moving to the UK, it would evidently mean me starting again as no-one in the UK knew about Delectable Hair and I would have to start again.
No matter who we are, we all come up against setbacks from time to time. What challenges have you faced whether it be in your personal and professional life and what steps have you taken to overcoming them?
I have faced so many challenges but one that I really think changed me and has brought a sense of growth and enlightenment is my marriage. When my husband and I got married we had to be apart for a whole year. We were literally married on Thursday and he had to return to the UK a day later! The entire visa process was horrendous. It was a mental struggle as here I was so in love with my best friend; a man I had prayed for but I couldn't be with him. We were denied the VISA multiple times but my faith is God and my knowing that he was working for my good worked. It was only a matter of time.
You could have kept your tips and workouts to yourself but have instead been creating meal plans for friends and women who have reached out to you and you have been helping them to realise major and life changing differences in their lives. How important has it been for you to help other women along the way?
It is so important for me to pay it forward. To me, every woman is my sister. All I want for every woman is for her to thrive, flourish, love herself and ooze confidence where ever she goes. More importantly I want women to realise the importance of taking care of their body, mind and soul. Not for a man, nor to fit into societies standards but to do it for themselves.
With plans to launch your own e-book with meal plans + much more, what else do you have in the pipeline?
Apart from my e-books and website launch at the top of the year I am hoping to start a YouTube channel that will help me to reach the masses, publish a cookbook that shows how foods from my country can be made in a healthy way and lastly; just putting this out into the universe - To win British Bake Off (laughs) or some sort of cooking competition.
In the beginning stages it's so easy to get excited when you start to see changes in your body, hair, skin etc but in the moments where you've lacked motivation or struggled, what have you turned to, to get yourself motivated and on track again?
When you change your diet/lifestyle everything about you glows. You feel more energetic, your clothes fit better and then you suddenly get comfortable and lose track. For me what keeps me on track is remembering why I started this journey in the first place. My 'before' pictures also show how far I have come and remind me that I may have achieved a great deal this far but I have more goals to smash! #WeHaveGoals
Many people still feel that following a healthy lifestyle has to break the bank. For any women who don't feel they're able to make a positive change to their diet or exercise, what small changes can you recommend that will still give them improvements?
That is one of the excuses everyone tells me, listen being healthy will not break the bank I have saved so much ever since I changed the way I eat. The smallest improvements one can make is to control your portions and cut out the mindless eating. You know that kind of eating that comes when we are watching our shows or simply bored and alone will change your relationship with food. Walk at least 30 mins a day and try as much as possible to cut out refined sugars and sodas.
What words of wisdom can you give to other women who are wishing to start their own life changing journey to optimum health?
DO IT!!! it's the best decision I have ever made. It will serve as a great example for not only our daughters but everyone else around us.
W | Interview by Sasha Shantel @SashaShantel_