Fitspiration Friday Spotlight:
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.