Fitspiration Friday

Fitspiration Friday Spotlight:

Ally Hopson

Where do I begin! Ally has been my fitspiration since I met her. I  first met Ally through my gym over 3 years ago where in my eyes she killed every single workout. She exuded such power, strength and confidence both in the gym and out. Needless to say once she graduated and became a coach at the gym it was very clear this was her calling. Everyday I get to see Ally exude the confidence and strength that I was in awe of when we first met and now she shares it with an entire gym, encouraging us all to dig deep and find our own confidence and power.

How has working out and coaching changed your life? 

I have always been an active person. I loved to play sports, I loved to be moving and I certainly loved being considered an “athlete” by others. But playing sports as a kid was less about staying in shape or maintaining my health. I liked the comradery, the friendships built, and the fun in playing the game, but I never considered this to be “working out”, because to me “working out” was going to a gym and doing tons of cardio, which was totally aversive to me. I wasn’t in shape (based on society’s standards) but I could move well enough to excel at my sports and I was considered “big” and “strong” by my coaches. I never really saw this strength as a positive. Rather, I allowed myself to believe that it placed me outside of a box of thinness I so desperately wanted to be in. When I got to college, I rowed for a Division I team, and that’s when everything started to change for me. My body changed quicker than I could realize, and I started accepting the strength and power my body was capable of producing. Strength became confirmation of the control I had over my body and what my body could do. Working out was no longer aversive. It was an outlet that allowed me to relief stress and let go of the negativity that was taking up my headspace and my energy. When my four years of rowing came to an end, I struggled to come up with a plan on how I was going to keep this new journey going.

And then my journey at Fit Body Boot Camp began. A safe space filled with other people striving to better themselves, one small victory at a time. I was offered a coaching position. At first, I accepted the job because I loved the space, I loved the people filling the space, I loved the owner and her mission, and I loved to work out. I couldn’t think of a more perfect job I’d rather do at the time. Believe me I was shocked when I discovered it was way more loaded than that. Being a coach at FBBC allowed me to find ME, to find my voice, and truly understand the passion I had for health and wellness. My passion for working out, my acceptance of my strength and the confidence that working out helped me find immediately translated into my work. I was helping clients find their strengths, grow to love themselves and develop the same passion for fitness that I developed. It was and still is the MOST rewarding experience I’ve ever had. I get to witness clients’ hard work pay off, their constant success, and their confidence radiate brighter each day. It serves as a constant reminder of why I do what I do, and each day I strive to put the same energy into myself that they do every day when they walk through the door. A natural accountability that comes with doing what you love and doing it with the people you love. Working out and coaching have allowed me to feel a sense of control over my body and my life. I value myself more, and because of that I respect my body and space by only opening them up to the things that make me feel whole.

 What is your advice on maintaining confidence and motivation while trying to live a healthy lifestyle?

             It is very easy to lose confidence and motivation when your expectations for something fall short or are hard to reach. Very often, as women, we tend to set goals or strive to attain a standard of beauty that has been socially constructed. With the presence of social media becoming a constant in the lives of many women, it is very easy to compare yourself to others. We overwhelm our own headspace with thoughts like “she is skinnier than me”, “when will I look like that?”, “she always looks so pretty and so put together”, “why doesn’t she have a single stretch mark, dimple, blemish, etc.?” When we compare ourselves to others rather than tracking our own progress, our own accomplishments are devalued. Social media serves as a highlight reel for most people. Very rarely do we see the raw and hard stuff going on in the lives of others on social media. My advice? Learn to celebrate your victories, no matter how small they are. If your values and goals are not in line with someone else’s that’s not your problem. Be true to you. If your Facebook feed or social media feed is flooded with posts that make you question your worth, unfriend the user or hide the posts. Be present in your own body rather than letting your mind take you somewhere where the value of your success is determined by someone else’s. Continue to set goals for yourself. These goals don’t have to be big. Small steps and tangible goals have been life-changing for me. Write them down and when you get to that goal, check it off, give it a gold star and praise yourself for your hard work rather than waiting for others to tell you you’ve done a good job (because sometimes they wont). Some may consider this to be cockiness or vanity. It’s not. Think of a time you showed that same support to someone else. We tend to celebrate the victories of others, but refrain from celebrating our own because we either feel we don’t deserve it or we’re concerned how others will view us for it. You are taking care of you. And you deserve to be proud of yourself for all the effort you put into becoming the best version of yourself.

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Fitspiration Friday

Fitspiration Friday Spotlight

Brooke Daniels a.k.a Brooke Trinity

Brooke is another friend from college who I have stayed in contact with over social media. And can I tell you watching her transformation and her continued transformation has been amazing and so inspirational. As a fitness model and bikini bodybuilder she is living her best life on her own terms, really showcasing that dreams can come true and reminding us all just keep on pushing. 

Once you hit your original goal how important was it for you to keep setting more goals and continue to challenge yourself?

I believe in setting short and long-term goals!
Short term goals align me with my “bigger picture” vision and include daily, weekly and monthly victories! For me, there is no destination because life is a learning process full of setbacks, failures, successes, victories, pain & drama- it’s all about learning how to navigate above and through the chaos!
Specifically over the past couple years, I’ve been trusting & leaning into my faith in God, not feeding into my emotions, practicing self-love & discipline and making sure I’m having fun in the process! If I’m not having fun or learning something from an experience, then I really have to step back and ask myself, “Why am I doing even doing this and is it time well spent?”
My past music & entertainment industry experience has 100% helped me organize, manage & execute my passion projects, as well as smell BS from a mile away (hehe). I’ve taken my project management skills and applied them to create tangible & realistic personal goals! I believe it’s important to acknowledge & believe in your long-term goal and then work backwards to determine what needs to be done daily, monthly, annually, etc to manifest it.
The way I challenge myself is through self-honesty and not being hard on myself. The best growth and self-discovery has come from failed attempts, putting myself in situations outside my comfort zone and knowing that my journey will never be the same as any other human being, so there’s no point in comparing or ridiculing others!

How has your mindset changed since you begin to win competitions and choosing a healthier lifestyle?

Let’s be honest, winning competitions is awesome! It gives you a sense of accomplishment, happiness and success!!! But my happiness and contentment can’t solely come from a competition, show or trophy…it must come from within and remain consistent!
I can honestly say that I’ve had the same excitement and sense of accomplishment placing 16th at a show as when I placed 1st at this year’s Arnold Schwarzenegger competition! If I know I worked hard, had fun, accomplished what I wanted to & executed an amazing routine, then that is enough for me! If I am driven by money, titles & promotions, then I am setting myself up for failure in the long run. Money comes and money goes!!!!
When I decided to pursue bodybuilding and actually go for it, my first thoughts were “Wow, this is really fun, I can be amazing at this and I love the things I’m learning about myself in the process.” I’d NEVER had a feeling like that before in my life and that’s when I had the awakening that this was a part of my purpose driven journey.
I lived a healthy lifestyle before I began bodybuilding, so my transition wasn’t too drastic.
Any human being can create new habits if they want to, it’s simply about making an agreement with yourself & staying committed. My main tricks to success are filtering out negativity, learning your likes & dislikes, surrounding yourself with like-minded souls & making your own opinions about things. I also think becoming a multi-dimensional person can help broaden your experiences, knowledge and help you see things in a different light.
Being kind and patient with yourself is crucial and knowing it’s okay if you stumble and fall a couple times…as long as you brush yourself off and keep pushing forward! 😉
Check out Brooke’s website http://brookietrinity.com

Fitspiration Friday

Fitspiration Friday Spotlight

Chelsea Taylor

Chelsea and I went to college together and have stayed connected through social media. I have been inspired by her and her fitness journey for years. Her dedication and determination even with the new title of mommy is so inspiring and has motivated me to keep at it and find the time for me.

How do you find time for your physical health after having a baby?

When I first had my daughter, Troi, it took me 8 weeks to get back in the gym.  Once I decided I was ready to get back to exercising, I set aside 35 minutes, 3 times a week, to workout.  I’d do 5 minutes of stretch/warmup and 30 minutes of cardio on the Stairmaster, treadmill, or elliptical.  I was just trying to get my stamina back.  Lifting wasn’t even a thought right after pregnancy.  I knew I just needed to get used to my previous level of “pump”.  After all, my daughter was almost 9 lbs at birth so I had my share of heavy lifting at home with her.  Anyway, after eating terribly (cause cravings) during pregnancy, 35 minutes was all I could commit to.  Three times a week, I’d put on my gym clothes and sit around until my husband got home.  As soon as he walked in, I’d hand him the baby and run out of the door.  Literally, if I wasn’t gone within minutes of him coming home, I wouldn’t have made it to the gym. IT.WAS.HARD! It took about four weeks for me to get back in the swing of things.  Then, we bought a house and decided to make our basement a home gym.  Then, there was NO EXCUSE! Just as before, I’d change clothes as soon as I got in from work (cause how terrible would it be to not workout after having on your clothes) and right after putting my daughter to bed, to the basement I went! I literally told myself, “you have no choice but to work out!” With lots of positive self-talk, to the point that exercise is now non-negotiable, I am able to workout 4-5 times a week. I treat exercise like it is a part of my daily life, just like eating and sleeping. When I start to allow the “maybe I’ll miss today” thoughts to creep in, I tell myself that if I can commit 8 hrs. to my students, about an hr to television and God knows how much time to social media, I can commit at least 30 minutes to myself each day!

What keeps you motivated?

Honestly, what keeps me motivated is the progress.  I don’t weigh myself often but I’m very aware of how my body looks in and out of clothes.  I notice the smallest of “gains”.  I pay attention to what I call my “I had a baby pouch” (the lower abdomen) and I notice how it doesn’t hang over my pants as much as it used to.    I notice the little muscles developing in my arms.  They’re small, but I see them.  When I lift, I notice when a weight feels lighter than it used to.  I notice when ten burpees don’t feel like death. I notice it all and each moment of progress keeps me going.  Oh and one other thing, I start envisioning my next workout the day before it happens.  I try to get it in my head early.  With me, it’s mostly mental.  The more mind games I play with myself, the better.  I have to get inside my own head and remember that when I don’t workout, I’m only hurting myself and when I do, I’m one step closer to my goal.

 

Be sure to follow Chelsea’s Fitness page on Instagram @fitforevercl 

Under Construction

So I am not ashamed to say  I have lost my way. As a matter of fact I have been lost for a while now. Because this blog was created to show the transparency of my healthy living journey it is only fair that I remain honest. Lately my posts have been me talking to myself about getting back on track.  Which is all fine to keep me motivated but I wasn’t actually doing the work. So with that said I am currently participating in a 8-week challenge with my gym. This is a very intense challenge that is pushing me physically than ever before but also forcing me to address things beyond the physical. I just completed week 1 and am now in week 2. So I have made the conscious decision to not post any more personal posts until the end of the challenge in June. I want to engross myself fully into this challenge and give it my  all and then I will share my journey with you! 

In the meantime…Monday motivation will still take place as we all could use a dose of motivation on a Monday. Also if you haven’t noticed Fridays will be dedicated to my fitspirations. These are all amazing women who have inspired me on this journey in some way, shape or form and will be my continued source of encouragement throughout this 8 week  process. 

Cheers to be under construction and finding the new or maybe the old me?

~Shannon