Small Changes Build Big Habits – Interview with Megan Anderson

Megan Anderson

Megan is a personal trainer, devote mother, loyal wife, and amazing podcast guest. She shares her experience of some tragic events in her life, and how she decided to turn to making health and wellness a priority. This lead her to who she is today.

Her philosophy of making small changes that compound into sustainable results will make you think about your own personal health.

Want to listen to her interview?

Check out Megan on Instagram (@lifestridefitnesstraining) and visit her website www.lifestridefitnesstraining.com.

Lastly, don't forget to leave a review for this show on whichever podcast player you use, and make sure you subscribe for more health and fitness content.

Episode Transcript

John: Welcome everyone to another episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast. This episode I'll be talking to Megan Anderson who teaches how small decisions and changes can lead to big outcomes and sustainable results. She shares her experience of some tragic events in life and how she decided to turn to improve in her health and wellbeing, which ultimately led her to where she is today. Welcome to the show, Megan Anderson.

John: Yeah, of course. So let's go ahead and just get started with a little intro. If you want to go ahead and tell everyone a little bit about yourself, what you do, a little bit of background, just go ahead and kind of take that as an open-ended question.

Megan: Okay, sure. My name is Megan Anderson. I go by meg. I am by day accounts payable, accounts receivable clerk and office manager for a family-owned appliance company. But by evening I am a personal trainer. I am National Association of Sports Medicine when just Nazism, I'm certified. I'm also specialized in women's fitness and in fitness nutrition as well. I do, you know, accounts payable, accounts receivable by day. And then by night I train people on the side. That's me in a nutshell. I'm also a wife to a wonderful husband and I am a mom to a little girl who turns three in October.

John: That's gotta be incredible. So a little three year old habits.

Megan: Yes, yes. And she is, she's an amazing and amazing kids. Like I just, I couldn't ask for a better kid.

John: Yeah. And I've only recently got to know a little bit more about being a parent. My wife and I are, we have one, she's about almost 10 months now, so we're not quite up to, you know, three-year-old. I can imagine all of the adventures you guys have together.

Megan: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. Every day is something new. Every day she blows us away by just how much she knows and how much she's learned. She's been in full time daycare since 18 months. My mom watched her before then, but then she got shingles and so I told her, I was like, Hey, I said she hasn't had chicken pox yet, so let's go ahead and put her in full time care. But she is at a Christian preschool, which they just have gone. It's the first place we ever went to and it's been the best place. I didn't have to hop from place to place to place and feeling that safety and security pretty much from day one. It has just been a real big blessing and she's learned so much and advanced so much. So it's been, it's been really fun to watch and see her grow.

John: That's really awesome. And, and how long did you say she's been in, been in that location?

Megan: She's been in preschool since 18 months, so it's been probably a year and a half pretty much. I think that she's been in preschool and she walked in, I thought she was going to have a meltdown. Nope. She walked in like a champ and just was like, bye mom. See you later. I was like, these are strangers. You don't know them. She didn't care. She slipped by mom.

John: Well I imagine she gets that from somewhere. Would that, would that be you or your husband that she gets that more from?

Megan: It's probably my husband. He is as funny as it is, I'm a personal trainer, which may be somewhat of a people person, but he is very much more outgoing than I am. I'm very much a introvert, which again is funny being a personal trainer and being an introvert at the same time. But he definitely has more of the outgoing personality and will just talk to anyone. It's where I'm more of a, yeah, let me see who you are first. So

John: Yeah, I'm kind of the same way as you. I, I'm, I'm more of an introvert, which is kind of weird for being a podcast host and I actually was pretty nervous to start this, but I, as I did the, you know, first and second one and now, now this one, it's, it's really starting to become more of a, I don't know, it, it's fun and it Kinda like bring a personal trainer. I'd, I would imagine that even though you can be somewhat of an introvert, it's pretty easy to get out there and talk about something you like and help people, you know, if that's what you're passionate about.

Megan: Exactly. It's a passion with health. And fitness. It became my passion project and a lot of people have asked me, they're like, well, is this something that you're going to eventually quit your job and do full time? And always my answer is no. And they always ask me why you're so passionate about it. And I was like, well, it's because I don't have to depend on income from it for it to drive my passion. If I had to worry about it being an income and having to worry about that to pay the bills, I think that would put a lot less of the joy in doing what I do and a lot more pressure on it to where that would become my focus in do I need to drive sales? Do I need to, you know, do all of these things to bring income. When really the whole reason I got into this was just to help people,

John: Right? If you enjoy something enough, there's a point where if you're doing it just to be able to make ends meet or pay the bills, it kinda takes away from, from wanting to do that. Like I remember in college I would hate studying for tests. I would hate, I mean some of the subject matter was kind of fun, but I mean I hate all that. But then now I actually want to go back and read my textbooks. This is, I'm not preparing for a test.

Megan: No, I, I completely agree. I do that same thing with my my book from my personal training study. I go to it all the time because I actually like to reread what I've already studied and I like to re like just learn everything that I had already learned because I want to keep it fresh in my brain because it's something that I'm passionate about.

John: No. Do you also go through any other sort of learning like locations, right? So you have those textbooks, but do you use any other resources to try to kind of keep yourself up to date or you know, fresh on the mind that, that kind of content?

Megan: I do. I have some different resources that I use. One, his name is Alan Aragon. He puts on he, he does a lot of these studies in depth studies and science backed studies on different fitness and nutrition things. And so I use his he puts out these articles once a month and I just get all kinds of information and it was, it's $10 a month for me to subscribe to it. But the wealth of information and knowing that it is scientifically backed and he has the resources showing where he's done all of this research has just been, it's been really beneficial because everybody on the Internet is a professional. Everybody has can, can sit there and say, oh, well I know this and I know that. But if I can see where the information is coming from and the science backed behind it, I'm a little bit more prone to read and trust that information rather than just go by what I found on Google.

John: Right. Yeah. There's, there's a lot of stuff out there that's on Google, whether it's forums or blog posts that people really put their own twist on things, which that's actually, I'm glad you mentioned that because that's one of the reasons why I started doing this is because I wanted to talk to people and learn more about their experiences, but then also hear them speak about certain philosophies that they have or like certain, whether it's training or nutrition. There's just so many people out there who will say things and that doesn't have any backing behind it. So I really liked the fact that you do that.

Megan: Right and I mean there are so many things out there that, I mean when I first, I can say when I first really started looking at health and even my health right out of high school, I worked for a in Texas, a popular weight loss clinic and they guaranteed weight loss results. I was there for probably a little over a year or two years, maybe two years. I found that the Diet itself was great. They had a nutritionist that backed this diet and the Diet for all intensive purposes was great, but they were guaranteeing, and I put that in air quotes, the clients weight loss based on if they took their supplements, if they took their, you know, different pills. And I had such a hard time with that because I honestly don't believe you should have to take all of these things to start to become healthy.

Megan: I think a lot of it should just be what you eat as far as whole foods and you know, moving your body. But I had, it was really pulling on my mind because I just felt like they were doing their clients a little bit of a disservice and a lot of them would get really frustrated because supplements are expensive and especially when you're going to a place that is a weight loss clinic and that's their business. It was really disheartening to see some of their customers just be so sad and some of their clients be so sad because they couldn't afford all of this other stuff. They were spending all this money on food, but they couldn't afford the other stuff and they felt like they weren't going to make their goals. The inside working of it was you had to meet, I think it was $6,000 worth of sales a week. And I was just like, I don't agree with any of this that skyrocket me into my own. Look, I don't have to take supplements. I don't have to drink these certain drinks or you know, take these certain shakes. I'm just gonna focus on what I'm fueling my body with.

John: Yeah. That's really something that's kind of starting to be more prevalent now. Again, I'm, well I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna ask what company or what group that was. Cause there's, there's so many out there and it, well quite honestly it's not really relevant to the discussion, but the principles that they were sharing that it's like take this and this is going to happen. It's, there's a supplement line that actually comes to my mind. It's a run everything labs, Dean Dana, Lynn Balian and Rob Bailey have that supplement line and on their bottle it straight up says, and I don't have the quote, but you know somebody's going to correct me. It basically says our supplements aren't magic. You still have to put in the work. So they are very transparent about their stuff being just supplemental, which is where the word comes from. Right? I, I have friends that don't, they, they kinda bag on me for, hey, you know, you don't need to take those supplements to have anything happen. Right. But for me, I, I know that. Right. But I take them because of certain things that I've read that and studies that I've read that this is going to do a certain thing. Right. It's not going to be a miracle. I wouldn't waste my money on that if I wasn't actually doing the work. So I think that's pretty cool that that's something that you kind of drew away from, from that experience.

Megan: Right. And I use there, there are certain supplements that I have used in the past, things that have enhanced my workout, whether it be a pre workout or a protein shake because I need to get a little extra protein into my body. And I'm not getting it through whole foods necessarily. But again, it's a supplement. It's not, I'm not only taking pills and drinking weight-loss shakes and you know, there's just so many out there. There's so many diet fads out there that are pushing that and it's just, it becomes where I see all the time in mom groups that I'm a part of where people are like, okay, well what do I need to drink to just lose 10 pounds in, you know, five days. And I'm like, that's not how this was supposed to work. Your body isn't suppose to do that. It's just a crazy way that culture has started to really push on people. And social media hasn't been a friend to those who are wanting to lose weight and, and get healthy. With the comparison of, you know, everybody's altered selfies and altered pictures and we've just come into a time where getting back to just being healthy and having a healthy mindset and everything that encompasses health, it's just harder and harder to do.

John: Right. And Instagram and social media, you're right, they, they don't really do, you know, a world of good for a lot of people. There are, there are some, right? Like I've got your account pulled up here cause I like to do that with my guests. I just, I have that way I can kind of see face to face. It's not like I'm just talking to a computer screen, but it's like your, I don't see anything on there that's saying, oh well you know, this is how I look because I did this. It's, I mean you're, you're showing the work and by default you're showing here's right. You have a very good way of presenting it. Whereas some people they just put, whether it's an edited picture or things like that, but then you get the other end of the spectrum that are kind of more in lines with the honesty that you're portraying is they'll actually show a side by side picture of themselves edited and unedited so that people can actually see what the real life version looks like of, you know, all those edited pictures that are up.

Megan: Yeah. And I, and I've seen that trend a lot, which I like it. I just haven't done it myself. And I love those people who are really honest and who are just like, look, it's not a cakewalk. It's not easy. We didn't get this way overnight. So we cannot expect to get the results overnight either.

John: Yeah. And it's, it's, yeah, it's not going to happen overnight. It's got to take those healthy habits. But I, you know, this is actually going to segue very well into something we'll talk about, but I want to kind of look at how your experience was when you were working with a trainer and what kind of brought you to want to be one yourself.

Megan: Yeah. So one of my best friends, her name is Megan as well, we grew up together and she battled some pretty significant weight issues, PR, pretty much all her young adult life. And then she and her husband had to move away and she became a personal trainer and I had lost touch with her and all of a sudden I saw a picture of her and I was like, Whoa, what happened to you? You look fantastic. Not that you didn't before, but you look phenomenal. You know, what have you done? And then she said, I'm actually a personal trainer and I work out and I eat really healthy. And she had become a vegetarian, but by no means does vegetarian, thoroughly mean healthy for some people. But she just really focused on being healthy. And, and I told her, I was like, well, hey. I said, you know, I really am looking to get back to being healthy myself.

Megan: What do you charge? And she told me and I was like, Hey, you know, this is an investment in myself. So I started with her and it was just amazing. Like it was just a really good feeling. And now, now let me tell you, she's an online trainer and that that's kind of where my realm of training is now is online. I do train a couple of clients, one on one, but my, my business is online. I'll get back to that in a second. But she, I worked out with her for, I mean months on months, probably a good year. And she would send me workouts and I would send her check-ins and we would just bounce back and forth. And she, she told me one day, she goes, you know, she goes, you would just really be awesome as a trainer. And I told her, Nah, it's not for me.

Megan: It's not for me. I couldn't do it. I had a lot of self doubt for a really long time. And she goes, no, I really think that you would be awesome at it. I had some issues happen with my health and I had we had talked about, I, I lost a couple of pregnancies and I just, I, I got right back on the wagon with health and fitness after my second loss and I just had picked myself up by the bootstraps and I said, you know what, I'm going to continue to be healthy. I'm going to work as hard as I can just to be the healthiest version of me without not without going overboard. Then I became pregnant. It had was a viable pregnancy and I told her, which is crazy again after my daughter was three months old, I told her, you know what, I'm going to do it. And I signed up for the personal study, took my exam in a few months later and became a personal trainer.

John: Wow, that's incredible. And, and yeah, I do remember we talked a little bit earlier about the pregnancy difficulties that you had had. How long did you say it was that you had been trying before you finally were able to have a successful pregnancy that made it to term

Megan: 10 years? Is it 10 year journey? So about six years into our marriage we got pregnant and then about seven weeks later, and it's really crazy because both of my losses happened pretty much exactly the same day each time. And I had gone in, saw a heartbeat, was so happy and it was like the doctor says it was almost like I left that day and it was my, my pregnancy ended. And so it was like I saw and heard the heartbeat and then it stopped. And it happened the same, the same time, both pregnancies. The first one was really devastating and really hard and because I just did not expect it. And then there was also some really rough instances in the hospital when the loss actually occurred. And so there was just a lot of emotional trauma that happened with that, with any loss. There's emotional trauma, there was just some, some physical trauma that happened as well at the hospital that my doctor was upset about.

Megan: And there was a whole lot going on. And then within 12 months we got pregnant again and I had another miscarriage. And that one, I hate to say it was easier because it's still wasn't easy, but it was one of those things where I said, you know what, I have gotten pregnant twice and some women never even get that opportunity. So I have to be grateful that I was at least able to become pregnant without medication, without needles, without core moans, that all of that stuff, I was able to get pregnant twice. So there is hope that it will happen again. I said, you know what, I'm just going to get as healthy as possible. I followed a program off of bodybuilding.com at that time and got in the best shape of my life and stayed there. And so I found out I would, which was very shocking that I was pregnant with my daughter.

John: That's really incredible. I have never been through anything like that. Well, you know, myself, we're a close relative, right? Cause I wouldn't specifically have that happen, but it just is so amazing. How not only did you get through it the first time and the second time. Granted there's probably mountains of feelings and emotions and transformations that have happened within that time that you know, only someone that has been through that can understand. But it, it kind of makes me think that if it took 10 years for that to happen, that's such an incredible amount of time and you persevered through that. It kind of astonishes me that some people try to find shortcuts for fitness. Like I know that it's not the same thing, but they want to take a pill and lose weight or something like that. And it just goes to show with how I feel like your perspective on life because of what you've been through really makes you have a valuable perspective in relating to others and training others in, well, not just fitness really, but with in life too, just because of your experience.

Megan: Thank you. I try. I try to, I'm, I'm very empathetic. I'm an impasse by nature is sometimes to a fault. Before I had Megan as my trainer, I would go to some gyms and I had some pretty not so great trainers myself and that also kind of shaped my idea of who I wanted to be as a trainer to other people because I knew how bad that I was being treated as someone who is trying to lose weight and really wanting to be there and I saw how badly I wanted it, but also how badly I was being treated at the gym and in. So it really just made me focus on how I wanted to be to some somebody else. And this is not to say that all trainers at the gym are that way. Just the few experiences that I had just completely shaped what I wanted to do as far as me being a personal trainer and helping people.

John: No, I liked the fact that you pointed out that not all trainers are like that. Right? There's not like a stereotypical, I mean I guess stereotype that it spans across everyone, that there's certain ones that do kind of live by that same philosophy, whereas others might not. So I think it's really relevant to say that people who are looking for a personal trainer should really kind of be aware of that, right? Because you could have one person that you know works very well with the individual and has their interest at heart or another one that just simply wants to give them a reason to come back just so that they can continue selling sessions. I think that that perspective is something that people have to kind of look out for because not everyone's bad, but there's also not, you know, 100% of the people that are good either. So I think there's kind of an awareness that we had there.

Megan: Right. And then incorporate gems a lot of times, unfortunately they are pushed to sell a lot. And so that, that can be hard for a trainer too, because if that's their job again and it can kind of pull back from they're wanting help people on their passion for helping people and put more of a, I gotta get money, I gotta make a commission. And again, not every trainer is like that. But for those who are looking for a personal trainer, I can tell you this, don't be afraid to break up with your trainer if it's not a good fit and it's not working, find somebody else, move on to the next one. Don't give up on your fitness journey just because one person may not be the right fit for you.

John: Right. And I think that also kind of goes to say, not just the trainer, right? But also the program. If you write something up yourself or if you've got a certain thing that you want to try, like whether it's Keto or a Vegan or being a vegetarian for reasons other than ethical ones, right? Because there's always that that option too. But if you're just wanting to try something just because you want to see how it impacts your health, by all means, if it doesn't work, then stop. Like think it's a very valid point.

Megan: Yes. I mean, if you're going to the gym every day and you're feeling like you will walk out of a million pounds heavier from soreness or whatever, and that's just not what you want to do. I all means find some something else, fine. You know, not saying that you're not going to have to put in hard work, but if you're feeling like you're getting raked over the coals every single time by your trainer, and if it's not an enjoying thing for you, then maybe it's time to move on. Maybe it's time to find something else that'll better suit you.

John: And I think that ties in really well with being able to just kind of let things go that you don't, you know, don't make you feel happy or they don't have, they don't show results for you. Going into this next kind of topic, what would you say about balance in life? Right. I think we talked a little bit earlier balancing life, family fitness and everything. Sometimes you have to say no to certain things that don't work right? But how do you focus on the things, all the things that you want to say yes to the do bring you have? Yeah.

Megan: Yeah. That's been, it's not easy and every day is new. I, as I said, I'm, I'm a full time working mom and I also have my side business. Now luckily I have my husband puts in a lot of effort too. He is a great dad. He is hands on 100% there's not a single thing that happens that he won't get in and, and take care of a lot alongside with me. So it's definitely a partnership. But as far as it's, I'm a scheduler so I like to have my day like planned out as far as scheduling goes and I also like to do the least enjoyable thing first, get that out of the way and then I can focus on other things throughout the day. Now as far as like balancing it all, what my typical schedule looks like Monday through Friday is I'm up and out the door by five 45 and that's including my daughter cause she goes to preschool starting at six and I have an hour commute to work and then I work from seven to four and then I have an hour commute home.

Megan: And depending on what day it is, I, I normally will pick up my daughter from school, bring her home, do dinner, read some books. My husband won't, we'll take over bed time. Normally if I have a client and if I don't have a client, I am there for bedtime, bath time, all of that stuff too. And then on the weekends I generally try to keep open. I did ask, my husband when I became a trainer was like, okay so if I train clients, because I train out of my home, I have a garage gym and I told him, I said if I train clients at home, I don't want you to feel like I'm not being there for our family. So let's have you know, an honest communication about it because I don't want you to feel like I'm not there or I'm being absent. And he said if you can leave Friday, Saturday and Sunday open for family, the rest of the days we can handle, we'll get through it, we'll make it work Friday, Saturday and Sunday all theirs.

John: That's really awesome. So you, you really set aside that time cause the, the week might be hectic, but as long as you have those two or three days for the weekend, then it kinda sounds like it works out. And I actually really want to, I don't know what the word is, a Kudos or something, but the way you described your communication, I think that's incredible. I think that more people just in general, whether it's in relationships or outside relationships, should that communication. Because when you're, when you're that clear with what expectations are, then you can really schedule things and be more efficient. And I, well I could go on forever about it, but I just really liked the way that you, you had said that. That was a really cool

Megan: Thanks. Yeah, we were a partnership and so we've, and our marriage has not always been easy. We've been through some really tough times. But what's always gotten us through is that we can communicate and if there's times where we get heated, we will walk away, take some time, both. And let's just take some time to reflect and then come back and say, okay, let's talk about this smartly. Let's talk about this. You know, we're a team, so how can we both work on this and both see our flaws or see what's going on and how can we both, you know, work to be a better team. So to be honest, he is, he's a lot of help in that department, so

John: That's awesome. It's good to have somebody that supports you. I just to kind of share too from my end is I schedule these calls, you know, once or twice a week. And right now my wife giving dinner to our daughter and you know, when I'm done I'll go and help clean up and you know, help with bath time if that's needed. So it kind of seems like there's a lot of similarities there is that you guys operate as a pretty, pretty good team and I just, I don't know, that's why it caught my eye because we're, we're kind of improving on that and trying to be better at it, but it's, it works the best. And I don't think that it was, there's ever been a happier time except for when we are cooperating as a team.

Megan: Yes. When expectations aren't verbalized and not communicated, then that other person doesn't know what you're expecting and that a person is held to a standard of expecting this to get done. And when you fall through or you don't follow through on your expectations or what you need to get done and you didn't know about it, that's unfair. And so I tried really hard, not place expectations and just be like, look, let's have an open conversation and what do you need from me? What do I need from you? And let's, you know, let's try to meet each other's needs as best we can. And that's worked really well for us.

John: That's really cool. And I just, while you're saying that, I just kind of pictured someone talking to themselves like as if they're kind of coming to an agreement with themselves. So I, I kind of want to tie that back in cause it's a really cool connection I think that we can make here is when you're talking to yourself, right about, well I'm going to achieve this goal or I'm going to do this, it would you kind of think that it's reasonable to say that we should kind of follow the same pattern of you know, being honest with ourselves in terms of expectations, what's realistic, what things we can accomplish and really how another trainer or even a another friend could help us reach those. Is that kind of same concept we could tie in?

Megan: Absolutely. Because and then a lot of it just goes on and fewer overall encompassing health per yourself and talking to yourself saying, okay these are goals that I have. For me, I consider myself an everyday person trainer. I don't have any specific thing that I am trying to get my, my clients to accomplish. Like if they're competing, I don't have any of those clients. I would say that would be out of my realm of practice. I would probably try to recommend someone else to be their trainer as I just try to help the everyday person and also give them realistic expectations. And I've done that for myself too because becoming a mom is, as much as it was amazing, I had a really difficult delivery and it was a really long time before I could be physically active again. I'm going to get back there. I just need to take this time. I need to let my body heal. I need to be realistic about this and allow myself the time to heal so that I can be stronger. I can get myself back to being active because so many times moms just think they need to have their baby and they need it back, be back in the gym and you know, two days and that's just not realistic.

John: Yeah, I don't think that that that's realistic at all. Just like you said, I remember when when our daughter was born that my wife had wanted to kind of get up and just go right back into fitness. But she also realized that there's an importance of, you know, being with your child for, you know you know, this first segment of time, right? And then kind of working back into it because the gym is going to be there when you get back. Right. It's, it's the, the moments that we have to know that the gym isn't the most important, while health is really important, it's just something that's going to be there when we get back. Right? So having to take care of yourself first, whether that's mentally or physically. I think that's kind of important overall to be able to make everything better.

Megan: Absolutely. And again, mentally talking to yourself, just being nice to ourselves. I try to think of it this way. I try to think of what I want to speak the way that I'm speaking to myself. Would I want to speak to them, my daughter that way or what? I want her to speak to herself that way. And that's been a really big thing with my transformation of myself. Since having my daughter, I am very careful about the things I say. Even though she's, you know, almost three, I'm very careful about everything I say around her. I don't, I try really hard not to speak negatively about myself and we all have those things that we want to improve in ourselves. But I try really hard to not let her see that I'm putting myself down or thinking negatively about myself. I just try to think what would I want her to say to herself if she was in my, to try to tie it back and say, okay, you're strong. You are strong. Sure you want to be stronger, but you're strong. So be nice yourself. You know, you, you have an amazing personality, you have an amazing smile and you are a really strong, sure there's some marriage. Do you want us to fix? But you'll get there. It's not, it's not going to happen overnight, but you'll get there. It'll happen.

John: That's really cool. And that's actually the advice that I'm going to be taking very much to heart as I continue to raise my daughter with, with my wife. Cause that's, that's something that I feel like is just generally good is that power of positivity and optimism. It just, it just grows you as a person a lot and it helps everybody else around you as well. And it makes things easier, honestly. Like I don't think that if you, if you didn't have the level of positivity that you had when you were going through the challenges that you went through with your earlier pregnancies, I don't think that you would've been able to develop as a person as much as you had

Megan: On. Thank you. It's everybody who has that journey, who has to go through that and everyone has their own journey and in grieving process and needing healing and the more positive you can be, the better is sometimes it's not easy. It, there were days when it was really hard for me to even get out of bed, but I focused on my faith and I focused on, look, I'm not meant this. Life isn't meant to be unhappy so I can let what has happened defined me and make me a wreck and a miserable human being and nobody's going to want to be around me or let her find me and it really take this opportunity to let it improve who I am as a person and improve my outlook on life.

John: I'm really glad that you brought that up because I had actually forgot that we spoke about that earlier about not letting something define you rather letting it refine you. And I think there's a key difference there. Just like in any choice that we make, if we don't wake up to go to the gym in the morning or if we happen to miss a workout or eat something that isn't directly going to help us, I don't think that those are choices that we need to get down on ourselves with. It's, you know, letting them refine us and say, look, I've, I've done this, I've learned from it and now I'm going to use that as energy or power to be able to launch me into the next step of, you know, that progress.

Megan: And a lot of that I use words, you know, health and food too because like you said, you know, oh well I ate this, or, or, oh I really, you know, I blew it. I had a piece of cake. I did this. And I tell my clients all the time, first of all, I'm not a nutritionist and I won't write exactly what you need to eat. I'll tell you, eat whole foods. Eat lean protein. You know, I, I can do your macros for you. I won't tell you what to eat, but I also am not going to tell you to restrict yourself. If you, if your daughter's having a birthday party and she wants you to have a bite of her cupcake with her, eat that, bite a cupcake or have a piece of pie or you know, it's thanksgiving. Don't count your calories on Thanksgiving Day. Have a good time. Enjoy your family. You know, it just, I don't even want to say be mindful, but because it's, it's a special occasion. My whole philosophy on that is just life. It was meant to be enjoyed. Be Smart, live the 80 20 rule. Be, you know, health conscious 80% of the time and 20% of the time let loose, have fun, enjoy good food.

John: Yeah, I completely agree with that. And it's funny you bring up Thanksgiving, I don't remember the result of it, but I think one year I had measured everything and calculated exactly, but not to written, not to like limit myself. Right. I think it was some large amount of like eight or 9,000 calories and like one meal and it was just, it was ridiculous. But I didn't do it to restrict myself. Right. It's, it's one day a year and doing that isn't going to destroy what you're working on. So I think you're right. You know, if you want to have the slice of cake or the cupcake, do that. Just don't eat one for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and you're going to be fine.

Megan: Exactly. Exactly. And sometimes it's hard to get people past that mental break or they've become so consumed with the mental of eating. And I just, when people come to me, I'm like, look, I want you to be happy and I want you to start making little changes. And that way you can, you know, start becoming happy. Because most of the time when people start to see a trainer, most of the time that I've, I've met with people, if they're unhappy with their weight, they're unhappy with the way they look. They're not happy with their strength. And so I'm just like, my main goal is to help you learn to be happy. And so let's not focus so much restriction, but let's focus good, healthy habits that we can incorporate.

John: Yeah, I think it's the, the small steps, those small changes that build up over time, similar to investing, which I really don't know much about, so I can't speak to it other than the fact that those little small contributions over time are going to have the biggest payoff and it's going to be sustainable. So I guess I would ask, what if you could leave one message to the audience right? To the fitness world or whether it's fitness-related or just life in general? What kind of piece of advice or what message would you want to share?

Megan: Nothing is that big of a deal. I mean there are some things that are, are, are great big deals. But I think when it comes to living a healthy, balanced lifestyle, the choices we make, little little small choices towards our health, fitness add up over time. Just kind of like what you were saying with investing, when it comes to everything that we consume our minds with and focus our minds on, a lot of them are not that big of a deal. So if we can just get up and move a little bit more and choose to eat a little bit healthier overall, our health is going to improve. I mean that's what I would say is just taking one day at a time and living life one step at a time instead of trying to be so restrictive is, is going to be best for you in the long run.

John: Yeah, I think that's a very well put statement that it's really gonna make the biggest difference. You're right. The small changes are going to build big habits and not everything is a big deal. I think that you hit the nail right on the head. So we're going to come to a close kind of wrap things up a little bit.

Megan: I, I didn't tell, I guess I didn't tell everybody what my company name is. I probably should have, my company's name is lifestride fitness and I, I came up with that name because I help people meet them in their current stride of life because no two sides of life are the same. So I personally don't feel like anybody's fitness should be like anybody else's either. I think it should most and just as unique as the person coming to you for training.

John: That's awesome. Yeah. I like how you, you'd put that name together. I thought it was very meaningful rather than trying to kind of put somebody in a place where they, you know, you think they should be or they think they should be. You Kinda, you meet them where they're at and say, look, here's, here's where you are. Just being honest and this is what we need to do to keep you going. So I'll, I'll put that in the show notes. I'll go ahead and put your Instagram handle there. You also have a website too with that, right?

Megan: I do. It's www.lightstridefitnesstraining.com it's kind of long, but it's, it's the whole name of my company.com. And one other thing is I can say that most people who come to me for personal training, I start everyone off with bounce some stability. A lot of people think they just need to go to the gym and start hitting every single machine or lifting as heavy as they can. So I really focus on starting them with bounce, bounce and stability because it's amazing when you're trying to stand on one foot and you're not even doing anything. How much people don't realize they're not as stable as they think they are. If anybody wants any advice on where to start? I would say balance and stability. Even though it sounds boring, it is going to help you out in the long run. If you just start there.

John: That's really, I'm really, you said that I'm going to actually

Megan: Start implementing that more cause I know we did talk about that with being balanced and focusing on that balance and stability. So that's something I'll be implementing more as well. But I'll go ahead and put your website in the Instagram handle in the show notes as well. And then yeah, we can follow up in a few weeks or few months. We can kind of keep track on Instagram or wherever and we'll see how you're doing and if anybody has questions, I mean they can reach out to you. Yeah, absolutely. I'd be happy to take any anybody's questions and I often, if if they want to go on Instagram, I try to put as much free information out there as possible to I try to give as much value as I can to those who are looking for advice because I mean we're all in this together so, you know, whatever I can do to help, I would love to.

John: Perfect. Well thank you. Yeah, we are all in this together and I like that you put a lot of free stuff out there because really that's what brings a lot of value to people. So I appreciate your time on here and thanks for coming on the show.

Megan: Absolutely. Have a good evening.

John: All right, you too.

John: Thank you everyone for listening in. Check out the show notes for Megan Instagram and website information. Don't pretty get to subscribe if you haven't already. And lastly, please, please share this podcast with your friends and family. I hope to reach anyone possible and add value to their lives. Thanks again and tune in next week for another episode.

Do What You Love – Interview with Sydona Tregoning

Sydona Tregoning

Sydona is a competitor who started young, and over the past few years has been growing tremendously as a personal trainer. She shares those experiences and what drove her to focus less on competing and more on something she loves: helping others reach their goals.

Discover reasons why you should do what you love and become independent when it comes to setting your goals. Listen through for a chance to win one of Sydona's most popular health and wellness guides.

Want to listen to her interview?

Check out Sydona on Instagram (@sydona_t) and visit her website www.sydonatregoning.com.

Lastly, don't forget to leave a review for this show on whichever podcast player you use, and make sure you subscribe for more health and fitness content.

Episode Transcript:

Welcome back to another episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast. Today's guest is a competitor who started young and began training and has experienced a lot of growth in the past few years. This episode we're also giving something away, so listen through to find out how you can win. And let's welcome today's guest Sedona. Tregonning. Good. Afternoon. Sedona, I'm glad to have you here on the show. How has your day been so far?Hi, I have a good day. It was a little rain here, but I made it through.That's good. Now, now where are you at again?So I'm from Connecticut. I've always been in Connecticut actually pretty much my whole lifenow. You've been there your whole life. What's the time there, right? It's you're about three hours time difference from here.Yeah, it's seven o'clock here.Well I appreciate you taking the time out this evening to come onto the show. I just want to go ahead and start actually with a introduction about yourself. So if you want to go and just introduce yourself, share with the audience a little bit about what you do, uh, whether it's non fitness fitness-related and we'll just kind of go from there.Okay. So, um, I pretty much started out as a runner and I just saw how my body changed and everything and I saw Instagram was just getting popular and I saw the fitness models and I kind of wanted it to look like that. That was like my goal body at the time. So I just kind of starved myself. But then I also found a coach and I decided actually I really wanted to do a competition and she kind of helped me with nutrition and I died for that and I competed at a regional show, um, actually the powerhouse show. And then after that I went on to nationals and I definitely was not ready for that. I was 17 at that time. The first year I was 16 that when I was 17 I hired a different coach that time. But it was just, I did not have the best luck with coaches that didn't really work out.The prep was kind of miserable. Like my show day, she cut my water and like my legs were camping, everything. And so from then on, like I didn't even finish the second day of the show, I decided I didn't want to compete. But I still love the sport. So I decided to be a coach when I was 17 I was a trainer at a gym and then I worked for my NAZA certification, my high school senior year of high school. And then ever since then I've just done the online stuff and I've just been building my social media to Kinda build a client base and build a name for myself. Cause eventually I want to own a gym. It's Kinda like the main goal.That's really cool. So when you want to own a gym that's you're looking more like an in person training, less of a franchise gym but more of like your own facility where maybe you know, you coach others perhaps coach, what kind of thoughts do you have on, you know, on that future gym?Definitely want to do something that's like a personal training studio because I know there's not a whole lot of money in just a regular gym. My passion is definitely in person training. So I would still take on, you know, international clients. Um, cause I find that super cool to be able to connect with people around the world. But I definitely love to do hands on stuff.I don't think I've ever really thought about having an a gym in person. I think it'd be fun to do that. I that that'd be really interesting to see how that ends up panning out. So with your competitions though, you said the second one you had an experience where you really ended up not wanting to continue competing. Like it wasn't so much for you and you wanted to focus more on training. Can you go a little bit more into those feelings you had during that second competition? Kind of the feelings you had and why you made the decision that maybe competing wasn't quite for you?I mean, I'm just going to be honest. I started lifting, you know, after I got past that, that competition lean phase, I started lifting because I love the girls with like the bigger butts and like the, the hips and the shape and everything. So after I did that first competition, that's kind of was my main goal. Um, and so I wasn't really in the mindset to dye it in the first place and get super lean again because I liked getting stronger and having the curves. And when I was doing the cardio and everything, I just could not let, like I was basically dead every day. So I definitely did like that part of it. Also, I don't want people to judge my body, especially when there's not a specific rubric. And it's so like, it's all about, I don't know, everyone has their own opinion and it's so subjective. And so I didn't want someone to tell me, Oh, you're in first place because like I just like the way this person looks this day or whatever. So yeah. So that's why I kinda just let that go a little bit. And I loved being able to transform people's lives. I'm definitely a helper. Being able to help other people on their journey is what I like more than actually doing it myself and putting myself through hell.Yeah, definitely want to do something you enjoy rather than torture. So I didn't know. I guess I've never really asked the question before, but when you say that you know, you don't want people to judge you when there's no real specific rubric. I hadn't really thought about that. So for, for judging in a competition, I mean, are they looking for certain aspects or certain criteria, but it's more open ended? How does that work with the judging?I don't even know. I mean, for example, when I was at nationals, one girl who won her class was, I mean it wasn't just me. A lot of people believed that she didn't deserve to win or class come to find out like she was went to the gym that was sponsoring the show type of thing. So there's that kind of stuff. There's also some judges just really like the lean hard looks and some like the softer looks. So there's no, like I was saying like there's no specific rubric. It's always changing depending on the judge.Okay, that makes sense. So it's, it's kind of here's some guidelines, but then it is ultimately up to the individual judge, perhaps even a little bit of a popularity contest if there's this, you know, certain gym sponsoring the event unfortunately. Right. That wouldn't ideally be the case. Is that Kinda what, what happens?I mean there's like, like nothing's ever fair. It's like any sport, you know, like it's also, it also is hard for me, I should say that, that I was the youngest, which is why for right now I wouldn't even think of competing until I'm like six years older because you don't have that muscle maturity. So it's harder for a younger person as well.Right. That's true. It seems like there's a lot of different kind of age ranges and if I feel like the younger generations are starting to, or I guess as we go on in generations that younger people are starting to get more into it sooner. So having done those competitions and not wanting to really focus on competing anymore, do you feel like you'll never really go back into competitions or would you perhaps go into a different division that might be a different look that you prefer?So I would actually go into the newer division that they just brought over, the wellness division, which is girls who are probably like figure size legs, like thick legs, but a smaller waist and a little bit of a smaller upper body. So like a bikini type of build for an upper body. And that would be obviously like a little bit less lean. I mean Kevi so that's the type of look that I like that I've always loved. It still is a little bit lean for me, but I'm so competitive that it's something that definitely interests me. Yeah,that's awesome. So that'll be interesting to see. Cause I've only heard a little bit about that division and I don't know, I think it'll be interesting to see how that kind of grows over time and the interest that's, cause I'm not, I'm sure that you're not the only one that feels that way because even when I look at, you know, competitors, it's, it's sometimes just not as aesthetically pleasing, for lack of a better way to put it when everything is just so fat free. Like it just, there's a certain point where it just becomes a little bit less enjoyable and it's more about just the fact that it's hard to get there. So I don't know. I think it'll be interesting to get to that point.Yeah. It will definitely be more enjoyable than trying to die for figure bikini or anything like that. Yeah,it'll definitely be more enjoyable. Yeah. So we've talked a little bit about your competition history and a little bit about yourself. I'd like to kind of transition over to fitness playing an important role in our lives. So when it comes to fitness in your life, what experiences have you had or want to share that you've been able to use fitness kind of as a tool or, or how has it benefited you in your life? Sowhen I was in my junior year, I was homeschooled and didn't really have a lot of friends or anything like that. So I was just really home most of the day my parents were at work and everything, but parents are basically my only friends and we had like a little gym set up in our basement so my parents would always work out down there and I decided one day I'm not going to just run, I'm going to try and pick up the dumbbells and I kind of just fell in love with it. I started watching people on Youtube and that really gave me something to like look forward to and work towards rather than like going out and having that, the friends and everything, I was able to isolate myself but not so much to where I'm not doing anything with my life. Like I'm isolated, but I'm working towards this goal. So that was really cool. I don't know how I would have made it through being alone without that.So it really helped you kind of have an outlet for those feelings that you went through, whether that was, you know, being alone now, did you really socialize at the gym much or was it more just kind of a, this is a healthy activity that's focusing you on something else other than what you're going through?Oh No. Yeah. I'm never a socializer. No, definitely a hermit. Introvert. Yeah. I just definitely don't socialize. But there is something about being around people without like having to say anything. Just having people around you is, makes you feel okay.Yeah, that's true. I guess I didn't really think about that cause I mean I, people don't really go to the gym to be social butterflies and introduce themselves to people. So I guess, yeah, I mean even when I went today, right, I didn't say a single word to anybody except for maybe the front desk staff. Right. But I just went in, I did my warmup. We did weightlifting's and cardio at the end and yeah, I guess that's true. It's like I don't really socialize but being there around people. Yeah. I mean I kind of, it adds that variety to the day that normally could have been just monotonous or boring.Oh, exactly. Like today I just, I hurt my neck at the gym, but at least I was around people for an hour and now I'm just sitting at home, I'm able to relax.So what, uh, just on a little side note, when you're not doing fitness related stuff, right? Cause it's not like you're in the gym for 10 hours a day. Uh, what kind of stuff do you do? Just, you know, as in leisure time?I mean, I do, I used to be super into art before I wanted to be a tattoo artist before I really got into lifting, or actually it was tattoo artists that I wanted to be a pro boxer and then I want to be a personal trainer. But yeah, I was always into art. And so I kind of just, I do it so every so often when I'm bored and it's kind of like therapeutic, but yeah, that and just self care, like stretching and everything like that.It's fun to get to know people and, and not just fitness related aspects, right? Like when you become a trainer, uh, I shouldn't say become right when you start expanding even further into your online training, which you already do. And then, you know, in person training, I think that's kind of a, a key point to be able to have clients relate to their trainers on some sort of a level to where they gain that trust. Cause it's, it's hard for me to take somebody's advice and say, okay, I'm going to go do that unless I know that they're either extremely qualified or I can relate to them and trust them. So I, I think that's fun to be able to get to know that. And art definitely isn't one of my strong suits.Yeah. No, I, uh, I'm not the best, but it is very fun.So, so is that just, I know that's totally a rant, but is that more of like you'd be like paints or watercolors or I mean like I know nothing, right, but what kind ofI just do the cheapest, easiest to clean paint, which is acrylic pretty much do that and maybe draw a little bit, but yeah, I just, I don't like cleaned up. That's the worst part about art is the cleanup.Am I right there with you? And honestly I think tying this back into fitness meal prep is like that double edged sword where it's like great to have everything done but at the same time cleanup is horrid but then you only have to do it once a week. So I think I kind of, that's fun. A nice little side rant there. Let's talk a little bit more than about training. Um, cause you are, you know, you have competed and you are a trainer. Uh, I guess this is going to kind of go on a couple of different directions, but what would you say as a trainer is really the thing that Kinda most sets you apart from others?I would definitely say my age and I think my experience in it, because I've kind of went from competing to more of like power building, kind of wanting to do a power lifting me and then now more just a certain body type that I'm trying to achieve. And it's kind of like, right, how do I want to look this way? How do I like make those steps to look this certain way that I want to look? So it's a lot of trial and error. I also, I've been training people even though I'm 19, I've been training people for three years now and I've also been able to work with pretty amazing people. Like Gordon is that powerhouse Gordon in fall study who's amazing. So definitely those things I'm always learning. Oh he's openminded and everything. [inaudible]so now, now Gordon Falsetti he's, if I remember right, is he someone who worked with John Meadows? Is that also okay? Yeah. Yeah cause we, we had made that connection earlier and I thought that was really cool cause I've actually watched a lot of, um, a lot of his youtube content. Good stuff too. I mean, those are the kinds of people that you kinda look up to, but then add your own twist. Right? I mean, you're 19 started training three years ago and I mean that's just phenomenal. I mean, I, I'm sitting here at 28 I've trained a couple people, you know, in leisure kind of training. It hasn't really been something I've pursued officially. And by the time you're, when you know where I'm at in age, I mean, you'll have over a decade of that experience. So that's really powerful. Do you by chance, remember, like the first client or the first couple of clients you had when you started?Oh my gosh. One just popped up. Yes. Candace, I don't know if she still follows me, so I don't know if she'll hear this, but Candice was my first Bikini Client, I think it was 16 or 17 and she was an online client. I wasn't in LLC or anything like that, but I think she found me through Instagram. She was like, Oh my God, can you help me? Blah, blah, blah, and your age. She was like 16 at the time too. But yeah, I coached her and she actually came in first. Then I think she took the overall or something, but I know she wanted her classes, so that was pretty cool. So I was like my first competition client and I learned so much more since then, which is crazy. But yeah, she was. And then of course my neighbors and my mother and all of them, they're definitely my first family members and friends.Yeah, they're, they're usually a good place to start. And I'm actually kind of, I'm kind of pleased that you were able to answer that with one of your first clients that it just popped into your head. But it's also kind of interesting too with the how, I mean you, you mentioned like your family members or you knew your mom because you have these people who are competing, right. But then you have the under of the end of the spectrum where I'm assuming, right. You can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think your mom's goal was to compete. Right. But she still want to training.Well, that's the whole thing I've had to also work with. There was these two ladies at wow that I trained in person that were like six years old, like 300 pounds, and they couldn't really sit up on on their own. Like I've had clients like that. I've had marathon runners, I've had like my mom who has arthritis. So I've been able to work with a lot of people. Of course I love bodybuilding the most, but I have a really good understanding of what different people need for different goals.And that's really powerful because a lot of times people will specialize, which is great, don't get me wrong. But being able to adapt I think is really powerful. So the fact that you can do that is something that really speaks to where you're going now, do you have a favorite type of client? I mean, I don't know if that's a good question to ask, but like somebody who wants to compete or maybe like a certain age group, like what would be your ideal client?My deal. Okay. So one of my clients right now, the, for example, my client, Ricky, or oh tailored too. So a lot of my clients are females that come to me and they want the same thing I want where it's a small waist, a like that hourglass figure with like the big button everything. So those are my favorite because I know exactly how to train them, especially when I train them in person. I'm like the queen of leg days and like training glutes. So putting people through like leg workouts, like absolute favorite but mostly just like people who want to work on like hypertrophy, any type of hypertrophy and like being able to push someone and do like force reps and stuff. I love that.Then when you can actually pinpoint who you're like most excited to work about or work with, that's fine cause I can see you get excited about it and it's a lot of what it sounds like a lot of things that people would have in common with you because that's what you have the most experience with. Yet you're still able to go out and branch off into other types. So I actually wanted to ask, this came to mind is something that maybe you can help others in the audience too? Because for me personally, right now, I guess what I'm struggling with is I used to work out early in the morning for about three months or so. I'd wake up at like four o'clock and workout and it was great and I loved it. But I'm struggling to get back into the habit of it. So if you were to have a client that say is just struggling with having something becoming a habit, whether it's, you know, meal prepping or uh, just maybe weighing themselves if they just don't ever do that, but if there's something that you could recommend to somebody who's like struggling with a certain part of their fitness, what would you really recommend to have them?I don't know, help them overcome that struggle.So there's two things. It's first I would say, is there something that is actually holding you back? Like is it because it takes time out of your day so you can't like prep your food? Or is it because you can't wear makeup or whatever? Because all of those things can be fixed. So I would say fix that. Stop making excuses and fix it. Find a way to fix it. Or if it's just a lack of motivation, I can't stress enough. And I try and tell people, people who know me know how organized I am. And I think it goes to show like when you set alarms and you set things on your calendar and you, when you think of something in your head that you have to do and you just do it right away, you don't think twice you build habits. And I think just building the habit of like, okay, I know as soon as my alarm goes off, I'm going to wake up. And when you, when your alarm goes off, I don't care how tired you are, you gotta build the habit of, okay, it's, it's on. I'm, I'm up. Like there's no, you know, second thought type of thing.I like how you brought that back to the alarm thing because I mean that's a real struggle. I set my alarm this morning and I remember turning it off and then I remember being miserable for like the next hour while it continued to go off and I'm like, shut up and yeah, but I, yeah, I can right there with you on that. So again, like you said, set alarms, you know, if it's lacking motivation, just find, find what's holding you back. Right. Find something that can get you excited. If there's things in the way, try to, you know, try to clear those up first. Yeah. You mentioned calendar too, which by the way, I'm just going to point this out that I've got in the next like three weeks. I want to say about seven or eight appointments for these podcast shows. And like just today, I think I'm starting to lose my mind a little bit because it's all just piling up. But that calendar makes it powerful because then you know that it's there, the time is blocked off. There's nothing that was going to get in the way of, you know, outside of a, you know, a tragic something or other that happens. Right. But there was nothing that I was going to let happen to prevent this. Right. So I think that's powerful and that's going to help me. Thank you for that.Yeah, no problem. I'll scream at you. We'll set that as your alarm.Yeah, I know, right. I'll just, I'll record this on here and every time I wake up it's just your, your voice. Yeah. So that's, yeah. Good. Good point to make. So with training then, right, because you do online and you also do a little bit in person and wanting to do more in person. What would be kind of a, a strategy is in terms of exercising and actual workouts that you would suggest to somebody who's just getting started and whether their goal is to compete or something like that. It's just kind of an open, what would be your strategy for having someone training like a weekly split or kind of exercises to start with?So I would say stay off of Instagram and don't follow any girls that have a million followers because of their fit workout plans. Not trying to throw shade, but because people when they first start, they start because they see these girls on Instagram or these people on Instagram usually, and then they think they have to do change the workouts every time. And do these like Pi workouts, these hit workouts. When you go to the gym, you should create a workout plan for one week, make a split for yourself, write out the workouts or hire a coach to literally, actually, I'm speaking of me, you can have me do that. But anyways, have someone write out your workouts for the week and then follow those for like a month and then do it again and then follow those for a month and make it so easy for yourself that you can't fail.And also don't feel you have to go six days a week, go like four days a week, do two upper body days, two lower body days, throw in maybe a tiny bit of cardio like don't try and make it so hard for yourself. That's definitely the one thing I would say. And with my clients when I first worked with them, it's always formed. And you can't do anything unless you have your form. Absolutely. Perfect. And that's why a lot of people used to get pissed at me because they'd be like, alright, this is our second session and we're still working on squats. But it's like, okay, but I'm not going to have you hurt yourselves just so we can try and rush things, you know?Yeah, that makes sense. And along with that form ride, without hurting yourself, it's, it's almost like you're going to be able to gain, and again, I can't say almost because it's, there's science behind it, but having that form is more effective when you're trying to grow because if you just throw on heavy weights, not only are you recruiting the wrong muscle groups and not the ones that you're wanting to, um, unless you're, you know, doing the Olympic lifts or things like that where you know, you kind of want to overload a little differently. That perfect form is going to help you avoid injury and also increased growth.Yeah, exactly. That's the most important to learn first.Well, I liked that you, that you're bringing that up. And now I also wanted to ask too, because you said make it so easy for yourself that you can't fail. And I think I've kind of subconsciously done that myself this past while because for me it was a struggle, right? I, I w I want to get up in the morning and I haven't been and that's just something that I'm working on, but in the meantime it limits my ability to go. And so I'm actually doing a very simple thing right now and it's just each day I go to the gym, I pick one muscle, one exercise, and I just do volume training. So I'll do 10 sets of 10 reps of that one exercise and I don't have to think about anything. I just do it the next time I go, I increased the weight and it just keeps it simple when it, especially when I only have, you know, 25 30 minutes to work out. I like that you kind of brought up that simplicity, right? If you make it so complex it's kind of almost daunting and you don't want to do it anymore.Yeah,I mean it goes to show too. Like I posted a before and after and I looked so different within three months and at the beginning of those three months I was training six days a week and I was doing like eight exercises like each one and just stressing about like macros and everything, all this up, making extra extravagant meals and then now I've just been keeping my workouts pretty much exactly the same. Just increasing intensity every time. Maybe changing up the way like adding a band or something, but just going hard. A F only going five days a week, sometimes four and I'm just like eating simple simple things like rice and just meat and my body looks completely different and it's so much easier. Like I was making my life so hard and people try and like do all this research and come up with like the newest dot, like diet fad and everything. But in reality just eat whole foods. Train hard, makes sure that your form is good and your intensity up there and you're fine. Yeah. And it's, that couldn't be more true. Right. I think in, you're probably happier too, regardless of the progress you've made with your physical appearance, you're probably just a lot happierfor sure. I mean, I, before it was like I dreaded my rest day cause I was like, I don't know what to do. Like I, I need it cause I'm the type of person, I can't just sit there and watch Netflix. I feel like I'm not productive and I get anxious. I need to do something. So like I would get so anxious to not be able to go to the gym. But now, now that I have two or three Rusty's, I'm forced to find something to do with myself and be productive and like clean my house or something that I normally wouldn't do at the gym. So it's really forced me to be okay with not being obsessed with the gym and that is amazing. I've never had that.Yeah. And when you're able to be more productive, it, it's kind of works both ways, right? When you're happy and you have success in the gym and you know you're able to be more productive outside of the gym. But then doing that also makes you able to, they kind of bounce back off of each other. Right? You can do more now you and you and I are completely opposite actually in that sense that I can actually go through and just binge watch the crap out on Netflix. But I limit myself. Right. I, I could do that. I don't do it often. Right. But I like to be more productive, whether it's cleaning up the house or whatever. So what about nutrition? Right? So that's, that's Kinda your take on training with nutrition. Do you, what kind of approach do you take, whether it's with macros or a meal prepping or intuitive eating, what's, what's your take on that?So I eat five meals a day. Four out of the five are completely from whole foods like rice, pasta, you know, ground Turkey, beef, bison, all of that. And then my last meal I'll have like oatmeal and then I'll have like my peanut butter. That's not all natural like woopty do. Um, we'll have your Oreo maybe if I'm feeling crazy. So I pretty much do that. I mean it is macros, but I make a meal plan for myself out of my macros and I never really like, sometimes I'll adjust some things like I'll do sweet potato instead of rice, but I'm so used to counting that I never really even track it anymore.So you kind of know how your body feels and you can you kind of get a sense for what you need and rather than just tracking?Oh exactly. I can maintain my weight without tracking. Like I am at the point where I know for example, like if I go for a walk or something, I'll eat like 200 extra calories cause I feel it. I feel like I'm lacking that extra, you know, something. So I really just eat to how I feel. And right now I'm not even trying to bulk or cut, I'm just trying to eat when I'm hungry. And yeah, I kind of found that balance.So what about people who are just getting started? Right? Like if I'm, I have no idea what meal prepping is or anything about macros. Uh, if you give me a set of macros and calories, what if I just don't want to track? Like do you recommend anything for people who just aren't really wanting to take that on or are you kind of just adamant about, hey, you need to track because this is how you're going to start understanding yourself?Well, where you could do, for example, you don't necessarily have to track, but it is so important to be aware of what's in foods. If you don't want to track, I would tell someone buy like rice, Turkey and coconut oil and then I would say, okay, make sure that you're having like each meal I would split the macros up into five meals, make sure each meal you're having like say five grams of fat. Like make sure it's like 15 to 20 grams of protein and let's say it's like 30 grams of carbs. So then just look at the food label and kind of like adjust your servings to that. So at least you're aware, but you're not obsessing over what you're eating. It's just, okay, let me pair these foods together to make sure it's a whole meal.That makes sense. And I think that kind of echoes to what you were saying earlier about keeping it simple, right? Where if it gets too complex, you're just gonna throw it out the window and say, you know, screw it. But if you keep it simple with just, you know, Turkey rice, coconut oil or even, you know, pick some different, you know, food groups. But keeping it simple, I think like you were saying is definitely something that helps. And that's, I think that's kind of what most people really should do, especially if they're not wanting to count. Just find something simple that's the right, you know, whatever the coach tells you and just stick to it.Yeah, I mean, and with all my clients with the meal plans, I send them a whole food list. So it's kind of like when I say rice, they know how to swap it out for potatoes or they know how to swap it out for pasta. But I give them a list of foods that they can use to swap.That makes sense. So it's like, hey, here's this meal that you've scheduled me to have and not really feeling it, so I'm going to switch out, you know, some chicken for a different type of protein or some other alternatives. So that's really smart. Do you, do you have like a list of that that you provide to people or is that just something kind of a one on one coaching thing that you'd customize for the person?The closest thing I have to that is the Food Bible that I have on my website and it kind of just gives a list of like low carb foods, proteins, carbs, fats, bulking foods, that type of thing. It doesn't obviously won't be like, Oh, you're this size, so eat this, serving of that. But it gives you an idea of different types of foods.Yeah, I think I do remember seeing that on your website. So I thought, I actually just came to my mind and I don't really know how well this is going to work cause it's the first time that I'm really thinking of it for a podcast, but I'm kind of wanting to do a little giveaway involved here and you know, I'll just, I'll buy that off your site and maybe we can just give this away to one of the the listeners.Yeah, that'd be cool. And do it.Um, so I don't, I don't know exactly what to do. I mean we could have somebody, I dunno, maybe they can leave a review and maybe for somebody who reviews it this month, we can, you know, send that out to them or something like that.Yeah, let's do a review. Let's do that.Cool. So let's, let's go ahead and do that then. So for all of you wonderful listeners out there, I'll remind you at the end of this episode, but go ahead and leave a review and for let's say, how about just by the end of August, right? We'll just go ahead and have anybody who posts a review. We'll pick a one of the winners and I will send that Food Bible out.Yeah, sounds good.I can't believe how awesome this time has just gone by. So quickly. I guess I would want to ask you to kind of share with the listeners what would be like your main message for the audience, right? Whether it's specifically related to fitness or just life in general. What would be kind of something that you want to impress on everybody's minds? Like what would be the one thing you do?Okay, so you asked me this before and I really thought about it this time. So I was prepared and that is be so like independent with yourself and so okay with being by yourself that you never have to depend on anyone else. So just like you never have to have toxic people in your life because you know that you're fine without them. And that's definitely a huge thing that I've had to learn. And that goes with fitness. Like people as people don't support your fitness goals. It's just like, okay, but you, you don't feel like you need to have them in your life. So that's okay. And you can do what makes you happy as long as you're not hurting someone.I don't know if I could really even say it any other way. Maybe just be in defendant. Right. So you don't have to depend on others. Cause I think you're right about that, that toxic people just aren't any good at all. Right. I mean there's certain people who perhaps if they're family members or you know, close friends that they have moments, right? Where they could be having a negative influence on your life, but you know, there's people out there, right? Whether it's Instagram comments or just other people, wherever it might be that they just aren't a good influence. So that's a really good thing I think that everyone could apply is just don't let that negative negativity get in. Right. Don't listen to it. Cause you are who you are and people don't know you more than they see.Yeah. I mean people, especially people my age like 1920 they're just too afraid to cut people off. And I know firsthand how controlling people can be because people are psychopaths. But yeah, it's definitely a smart thing to know.Thank you so much. I really appreciated this. Um, that's a really great message to share and I, I think there's going to be a lot of people who are, uh, gonna learn from this episode really because of the uniqueness that you bring. Um, both as a, you know, a competitor or a trainer or just as someone in the fitness community. Uh, it really like how you were able to share that you didn't really want to stay in competing, right. That you tried it, you found it wasn't for you and you didn't stay in it for the pressure of anybody else and you're just, you know, taking your own path. So I just want to say thank you for being here and for sharing that. And I would just invite everybody, uh, to reach out to you. Um, right. You have a website, Instagram, right? You wanna go ahead and share how people can reach out to you if they want to get in touch.Yeah, so it's just my Instagram is my name. Um, and then it's under, uh, underscored t. So it's s y, d o n, a, underscore t and then my website link is in the bio.Okay, perfect. And is there, I know you recommended the Food Bible, um, any other programs or anything on your site that you kind of recommend people go check out first if they're just seeing your stuff for the first time?If anyone's looking to just start or if they want to switch things up? Definitely the one time program set up is always good. But yeah, that and then like you said, the Food Bible definitely.Okay. Sweet. So I'll, I'll actually go ahead and get those from you and put them in the show notes so people can see those. Um, along with your Instagram and your website. I think it'd be a good thing to hear, you know, what happens over the next few months and when you end up doing that wellness division. So we should definitely touch base and if we do another episode, then you know, if people can listen.Oh definitely. Or even if there's something I can share about coaching, just do some informational stuff. I don't know if anyone's interested, but yeah, that'd be fun.Yeah, we'll definitely schedule it. Again, thanks for being on the show.Sounds good.[inaudible]thanks for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed this episode wherever you might be listening to that, go ahead and subscribe if you're not already. Also, if you want to enter to win that Food Bible from her website, go ahead and leave a review. The more honest it is, the better because it helps me deliver quality content to your headphones. Again, don't forget to subscribe and thank you for listening. We'll see you on the next episode.

Empowered to Be Your Best Self – Interview with Eliannah Linehan

Eliannah Linehan

This incredible episode will run you through Eliannah Linehan's experience of how she got started with fitness in her youth, which lead up to being a two-time American Ninja Warrior competitor. Her experience has brought her to obtain her personal training certification and enter into her first bikini competition. Learn how to truly believe in yourself.

Listening to this episode will leave you wanting to achieve more in your life, and believe in yourself more than you ever have before. You absolutely can achieve what you set your mind to.

Want to listen to her interview?

Check out Eliannah on Instagram (@eliannah) and visit her website www.AcroCafe.com.

If you're curious about her coach for the upcoming competition visit https://bestfitbody.com, and check out their podcast too!

Lastly, don't forget to leave a review for this show on whichever podcast player you use, and make sure you subscribe for more health and fitness content.

Episode Transcript:

Introduction

Welcome everyone to the first episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast, I'm super excited for this episode, which we'll get to shortly. I just want to take a moment to explain a little bit about the show before jumping in with our guest. Since this is our first episode, my goal with this podcast is to share the stories and experiences of personal trainers, competitors and other inspiring members of the fitness community.

My hope is that no matter what your level of health and fitness, maybe you will take away at least one thing that will impact your life for the better. Don't forget to subscribe. If you haven't already, please remember to leave a review on iTunes or whichever podcast player you use. It helps me make sure I'm producing what best suits your needs.

Today's guest has experiences ranging from being an aerialist to a two time American Ninja Warrior competitors. She'll share insight on how to be empowered to be your best self in life and how fitness directly influences that goal. Let's welcome to the show. Eliannah Linehan.

John: Eliannah, welcome to the show. How's your week been?

Eliannah: I've had a pretty long week. I'm doing some weekend coverage for my engineering job. So I've been fitting in a lot, beautiful weather and, you know, it's it's shaping up to be a good weekend, even with work. How about you?

John: Good. Yeah, really good. I remember that we had talked briefly about both being in the engineering field officially. Right, So that's kind of a cool, common thread. Do you have to work on the weekends a lot or no.

Eliannah: Usually I get to selfishly enjoy my weekends in New Hampshire, hiking and doing all kinds of stuff. So this is a special a special occasion for me, but yeah, it's a lot to balance engineering, you know, it can be pretty demanding. I'm sure you can relate to that. Having to put out fires every once in a while.

John: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely something that I can relate to. Why don't you go ahead and give me a little bit of an intro to yourself, who you are and what you do. Then we'll get into some more of the fitness related stuff.

Eliannah: My name's Eliannah Linehan. I mostly go by Ellie. Eliannah just because everyone can find me easily on the Internet with that first name. So I tend to give people at my background. I've been kind of a fitness lover my whole life. I grew up as a gymnast, and I think that's gonna be like part of my identity forever. A lot of people who do gymnastics, you know, years beyond it. It's just something you always, you know, I could gymnastics and it's something everyone can relate to. I'm sure, like other sports are like that, too. So that was kind of my childhood. And then going into college, I went for engineering and I couldn't do gymnastics anymore. So I did a little diving, graduated from college, started in the real world, kind of certain was searching for hobbies and everything. And that's when I got into circus. So circus for many can mean a lot of things. For me I do aerials. So what you might see in Cirque du Soleil. So aerial silks, aerial rope, aerial straps and then from there I also got into hand balancing, which has some connections through gymnastics and yoga. Then it's a discipline of circus. So the circus is something like I think a lot of people can can relate to because it's like something they've always wanted to learn to do. So I have a lot of fun teaching. I've coached that quite a bit, and I performed in some shows from there. I applied for the show American Ninja Warrior. It was kind of off a whim. I saw a lot of people on this show. Like Casey Catanzaro was one of the stars of the show. Former gymnast. Now she's about my size. I'm five foot one and I was like, You know, I thought I could do that like I'm pretty fit. I have, like, kind of a similar skill set is to the people on the show and totally out of the blue. I like, got a call back that I was gonna be doing it. I was really shocked. I had so much fun. I competed in season seven and again in season eight, and I made a lot of friends through Ninja Warrior. You meet all kinds of crazy athletes. My first season I did fairly well. I want to see the third obstacle in Pittsburgh. And then my second year, I was right on the bubble for the top, the top 30 to make it to finals. But I just missed it by a hair in Philadelphia. And so Yep. So I've trained. I've trained a lot of ninja style obstacles or some ninja jams. I've coached ninja classes. I don't compete on the show anymore, but I still do like local competitions. I'm actually running one of ah, Thea mud runs tomorrow that goes on. Have you ever done like a spark in race? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Ee done. Uh, well, soas faras like running. I did. Ragging are a lot. Um, I think they're not so much obstacles, but I've done a lot of those. And then I did do a warrior dash several years ago, So those are fun, and I wanted to a spartan race. Maybe, You know, I'll have to do that as a follow up to the show. Yeah. Oh, my God. It's just you know now it's just something I make sure to do, like every summer, because it's it just It's just so much fun. It's kind of like that crossover for like, everyone can be a Ninja and like I love it cause I don't I never competed to be on TV. I just really like the idea of the obstacles. So that's like it's a continued like threat in my life, but it's a lot of fun. And what if you can climb a rope? You're pretty fit than translates really well into into the obstacles. So, yeah, so I'll kind of go trump incentive present days. So now you know I still do circus, but I just Fitness is just this passion in my life is just something E just comes. I could come back to it again and again. It's just the one thing, I guess. It's just kind of who I am, part of my identity. So this past year or past couple years, I you know, I was getting really strong from doing these hobbies, and I was like, You know, I want to take it to the next level. I want to, you know, have a conditioning routine I do every day or you Not every day, but a few a few days a week. No. 45 days a week. So I added that maybe two years ago, so I was not just athletic. I was training and then I started adding weight. So I was like, in the in the actual Jim on top of that, you know, get I got married about a year ago, so that was, like, a secondary motivation just to be in my best shape. And then over this last year, I decided to go for my personal training certification because people are constantly asking me, you know, how doe I get strong like you. How do I do the things you do? How are you able to do Well, you know how able to physically do this, Can you give me conditioning tips? And I want to help people and share the things that I, you know, really excite me and I just wanted to do and it really honest, like a non this way with integrity, not just give out, you know, random advice. So that's what that's why I did it. And so did that in this spring. And now, after I got my certification, I'm gonna catch you up. Just today I decided I wanted to kind of go through my own personal transformation so I could relate more to people whom I asked me for help because I've been fairly lucky. I haven't really needed to make drastic changes just to be healthy. So I decided to do a bodybuilding competition. I guess me views, like three months ago now and starting to work with the coach and religious dialing in my nutrition and my workout plan with the coach. So I could kind of experience what it's like to change my habits and and see changes to my body so I could kind of help from a first hand experience. And I think if you're gonna be a coach, I think you know, I wouldn't trust the coach that wouldn't work with coach themselves, right? Right. It's like, Well, you know, is it really? I think everyone should have a coach. Not even if you are a coach, you should have a coach. So that's kind of my most recent endeavors. Is that competition? And I'm doing that in about two weeks. So That's the really long, really long version of everything. That's e I mean, that's that is wonderful. So you covered everything. We can end the show. Not right. I know. I was like, Oh, I should give bullet points and then I just Yeah, no, that's actually perfect, because there are a couple of questions that I actually thought of as you're going through those so I might have misunderstood this. But you said you don't compete so much in American Ninja Warrior now, But I think you said something about Ninja Jams. Did I get I? I don't think it's the word jams, but, um So review said events. Maybe I just missed you. Yeah. So there's local. There's, um this is a total like nerd nerd scene, but there's organizations that you can compete in. The one I compete in is the n N L. The National Ninja League. So they have competitions at Jim's, which are very getting really popular. There's, like three within 20 minutes of my house, and I live in New Hampshire, you know, it's not like a big city kind of area, so you can qualify for nationals in this league, and I've done that for the last three years. I think I was like, top six or top 10 this year in Hartford. So it's It's a way to compete like it's for. You don't have to necessarily have a Hollywood story to to do it like you do on ah, NBC. You have to be casted for that. It's not just skills, so it's It's a fun way to stay involved in Not necessarily, you know, be on television or anything, but you get to compete in. It's a lot of fun. Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I had to ask because I didn't know if it was like, not an industry, anything but like, yeah, just some jargon That was like I was unaware of. But that's really cool. So it kind of sense to me I've seen events like that. For example, there's a on Expo here in Phoenix. I want to say it's like the second week in August. It's called the Europa Fit Expo. It was very simple Little L A Fit Expo or the Olympia or the Arnold in Ohio, but they have events there, and I think those are actually events where you can qualify to be able to go on to American Ninja Warrior. I think they've got some CrossFit events there, too. Yeah, it's there. It's like getting really popular. People are. I don't know how realistic it is to be an Olympics sport, but it certainly is getting a lot of attention and a lot more people involved. So it's It's fun. I think everyone, everyone should get out there and try it once because I think everyone watches the show and they're like, Yeah, I could do that So, you know, Go go and see. It's It's a lot of fun. Yeah, that And that's something to really say. You know? You think everybody should try it, right? Well, I for one, have not. I would be interested, right? So is it It's that I can't get that were so like for me. I've been doing body building essentially my whole life, and I've done some running. But it's just not something that I've been as passionate about. Yeah, I wouldn't want to get started right in working towards, you know, American one Ninja warrior type event too, right? Maybe like something in a local gym. What would kind of be the first thing you'd say that someone like myself would need to go and try this first train. Yeah. Yeah, Well, I'll tell you. When I when I started, it was season seven, and it was all right. I mean, it was established, but it was not. It was right after it kind of got really popular. Um, and there weren't ninja gyms. They're really there. Weren't many. So the best way to start is to rock climb. I I used to be a really avid rock climber. Now I go, It's It's not my main focus right now, But rock climbing is a really great way to build, um, strength for American Ninja Warrior, cause there's most of it. You're hanging and swinging and it's just body weight. You need to be able like strength of body weight ratio is really the huge, huge component of it. Calisthenics? Yeah, exactly. So that's why you know, there's like, almost a formula for, like, people who do well, not There's exceptions like you'll see, you're like in a NASCAR driver and like that, doesn't it? But a lot of people there rock climbers, um, park or athletes, gymnast, pole vaulters and Yeah, so those, like the big the big one. So I think I think Rocklin was the best way to get started and then, you know, really just getting in a gym because there's certain things you're only going to get good at by drying like the Warped Wall is a good like, there's no other time in life where you're sprinting up a wall. Really? Maybe movie Parker, but yeah, So I think rock climbing is a great way to get started. That's so that's really cool, because I used to do that. Some my brother was more than I and I was. But there was a gym back when I was, I think, like 16 or 17 I'd go and there was, Ah, it was a mountainside that it actually had a rock wall in there that would auto belay you. And I would basically do that for my workout, just climbing until I couldn't. That's that's an interesting connection. Now, I just realized that you said ninja gyms earlier, not injured jams. Oh, yeah, it's fun, but I don't know what you mean. Yeah, when I figured, maybe that's just what they call it, right? No. Yeah, there. It's wild like I can't believe that there's as money. You know, there's enough people wanting to do it that there's there's so many now because we remember when we used to drive. My husband used to train with me a lot for the ninja stuff, and we would drive like, an hour and 1/2 on a Saturday night. And that was like, the only place to go. Um, but now, yeah, there's, like, three of my town. I'll have to look up some local ones because I know this is the first time I've heard of it. I used to work with the guy. I think his goal was either to be on it or maybe his his fiancee's goal or something. What? We talked about it at one wait. Um, but yeah, I hadn't. I went rock climbing with him once, right? But we just got a ninja gyms. That's interesting. Yeah. Yeah, into the bucket list. Yeah, e Just start that right. Uh, you got a pretty good one going with all the things that you've got. Yeah. Yeah, I like I took a lot of on my bucket list. I have e I think that's yeah. Just checking them off one by one. Yeah, that's well, that's Ah. So actually, while we're on that right, So you're you're competing this this bodybuilding competition, right? And I'm imagining that. Well, I guess I should ask, What level is that? Is that like a figure bikini, Which s O I I did not know what I should do when I started, which is one of the reasons why I, um, got in contact with the coach. Um, I work with a woman from team vestment body named Jules and she, you know, we talked a lot because I'm so developed in my upper body from doing so many intensive things, like like ninja and aerials and handstands. So I've really big shoulders, and I have a love hate thing with it. So we decided on bikini just cause I'm still relatively small overall, and that's something I learned a lot about just talking to her and and going to watch shows there's different categories. So you can have yet to pick the one that kind of suits your body type. So that's what I'm doing. We'll see how it goes, right? Yeah. And that's why I asked you because usually there's there's a progression that's and now I'm a totally screw this up for what most people definition is but basically bikini figure physique and then bodybuilding. Each one essentially goes up in musculature, that there's different routines or types of, you know, apparel for each one. But that's kind of the progression that I see it as so that I think became makes sense for most people who are starting. They've already been doing that specific sport for Oh, yeah, yeah, and and because, you know, preparing for this show has really helped me, like, balance out, you know, more, getting more strength in my lower body, which is one of my goals kind of in the beginning of the year was just gets stronger legs because it's like, you know, I work so hard in my upper body and I want to be, you know, strong. I want to be balanced, uniquely fit, kind of overall. So, um, it's it's kind of been helpful, too, to have a routine where I'm doing, actually hitting every muscle group every week s o. So you bring that up? Have you looked a lot into the end of the ideology behind CrossFit and what its whole fitness thought processes I've done. CrossFit I did for a month once. I can't say that I'm really an expert. I know. They focus on functional fitness. I don't know if you have more to say about it. I'm not striking. Elaborate? No, you're fine. Does not bring it up. I don't really use CrossFit is my training technique or method? I mostly do weight lifting, conditioning, that kind of stuff. But I did talk to a guy about seven or eight months ago when we started going to the gym and we would occasionally do a crossfit workout that he would have the workout of the day. And it was interesting. He had me sign up for this website called Beyond the Whiteboard. And you've heard of that before? You know, one of my good friends does it. So I've heard some of these terms. I drive dropping on her classes. Like when I visit Philadelphia every few months. But I'm still listening. I'm not going to jump in. Yeah, no, you're You're fine. So beyond the white board, right? I go on there, I create my account and I'm kind of curious. It talks about how it gives you basically a fitness score based off of the different accomplishments that you have right, and it takes each work out, whether it's a certain amount that you're lifting or a certain speed, that you're doing things and it's all about our output. But ultimately it talks about you said Functional Fitness, being all around balanced in everything you do. So I could even we compare myself to this other guy who was more speed based, where I was more strength based, and our fitness scores could essentially be closer because it takes everything into account, really tells you have balanced. You are. So that's what that made me think of when you brought that. Yeah, wanted to balance upper and lower body strength and being equally fit, kind all around. Yeah, yeah, I think it's It's, I mean when I feel like when you you kind of I mean not a peek, But I feel like I've gotten really strong when I over body and it's like, Well, you know, I I where can I work? And I do more work to be kind of better overall and it's I like finding those opportunities. You know whether it's movie adding more flexibility, um, to my routine or, you know, just looking for ways to constantly improve. I think I think fitness is dynamic and it's one of the fun. Things is kind of shifting, shifting those goals and and, um, focusing on different things. Strategy. A lot of people use kind of going through phases of fitness where they're building strength, you know, building stability, leaning out, building muscles. So right. And it's all it's kind of about those cycles, right? And I like how you gonna do that hand balancing that you have within your kind of repertoire of experience. And that kind of is an analogy for all of fitness in general, like even myself, who doesn't have the sort of American Ninja Warrior aspect or hand balancing aerialist that, honestly, aerialist sounds really far out of my realm of possibility at this moment. Never say never, ever, ever, right, even with me, right where I'm trying to either increase muscle mass, decrease fat, transform my body in certain ways. It's all about balance and trying to work through each of those phases. So it's Yeah, I really like that message. Yeah, Yeah, and it's it's ever was really cool. I think when you you know, you've been building for a while, Maybe. You know, for me, it's not like drastic but building strength and then, you know, adding a lot of more cardio getting leaner, like I find I'm able to do skills that I wasn't able to do before because now I have kind of that same amount of muscle, but a little less mass to move around. So so it can kind of unlock like certain plateaus going through those faces. So the word comes to mind. Circumstantial plateaus, so to speak, is almost like self inflicted, right? Because people say, Oh, I can't I can't lose more weight or I can't get stronger Right? But you're kind of putting that limit on yourself where if you just kind of take a step back and re program, then you can push through that. It's just that your body has to go through that Evan flow. Yeah, yeah, it's like almost approaching it from a different angle like, Well, I've been kind of grunt like pushing this immovable wall for the last six months. Maybe I should try a different strategy and see how my body reacts to it. Um, because, yeah, I think that would be really frustrated if and I I have this theory. It's, you know, I say it a lot when I teach handstands. It should feel hard, but not impossible. If it feels impossible, then you're probably doing it wrong. Um, and I say that you know it because you should struggle. But, you know, if the struggles to great, then like, you know, we need to use different tools, um, or maybe, like progress it down so you can actually do it. And that just generic advice heart difficult, but not impossible. Is Is the wreck level challenge in my mind? Yeah. No, that makes sense to even from a safety entry standpoint, I'm not going to go try and lift, you know, 607 £100 on a bench press if I'm only doing, you know, one or 200 a day before, it's not right. Not realistic. So I have to ask. And I was gonna ask who kind of like inspired you with the whole American Ninja Warrior aspect of done. But you already had mentioned Casey Casey scans are Oh, yeah, she I think so many people. So many women applied to that show after they saw her run. I think it was, Ah, I want to say it was 20 14 that she finished city finals. It was so inspired. I think it's just like people suddenly had this limitation. Just kind of like erased like, Well, you know, not only she woman. She's feisty, tall, You know, she's She's not an intimidating human being, I guess, Um, and to see her do it, so many women I know that started that season who are now very famous on the show. They're inspired by her cause it just broke this glass ceiling of what's possible. Um, and you know, all these people couldn't have done it before they saw her do it. But just seeing someone do it made it seem possible for so many people. So there's a lot of there's so many strong women on the show now it's it's it's incredible, and they they could be with the men. They're like on the same. A lot of them are the same thing. Seymour better than the guys. So, yeah, that's really cool heights. It's almost that's a very psychological aspect to it. Is there something about the world record for, like the 100 meter dash or something like that was above a certain time for a very long time? And then finally someone broke it, and then the record just kept getting broken and broken because people could see that it could be done. And then more people try it right, and they, like you, said so many people could have done it before, but they didn't really see it right, so they couldn't really believe that they could do it until they saw someone else overcome that, right? It's almost like they gave themselves permission. They're like, Yeah, I can I can believe in myself now e. I know it's possible, which is It's awesome. Yeah, she's an inspiration. She's Yeah, she's doing all kinds of different stuff now. She's a wrestler now, so it's very cool. There's there's a lotta, inspiring people out there, so I know a lot. A lot of young girls are very. They're inspired by the show and I see them competing. I I spent six months winter coaching, Ah, kids ninja class, just kind of just for fun. And it was It was great. You know, I I love seeing the little little kids. Little girls. Little boys kind of go from the very first ninja class Thio. You know, six months later, they're doing all the obstacles and telling me how they're like, This is how you should do it, giving me advice like I'll take it. I'm listening. Sure. I love it. So that and that's cool. That's really I didn't I didn't know that. We haven't talked about that before with Yeah, it was Yeah, Yeah, I thought, you know, volunteering. It's I try to make it part of my life. Um, you know, it's sometimes it comes in waves. You know, I've done Ah, I think it's an important aspect to give back and do some service. And so, with those with the kids classes, I'm picturing just everything scaled down is a kind of the same obstacles. Er it is. It's like many, um, everything is a little bit smaller, but some of these kids will like that. They're just built for it because they're they're, um they're fearless, and then their body strength to weight ratio is just perfect for, uh, just hanging and swinging. Like I've seen some incredible things. Like I seen, I think, a four year old just kind of hanging from one arm on a on like a ring. I was like your four. Like, how is that physically possible? Remember their five. But, you know, it's a These kids were strong and fearless, and I love seeing kids get into sports early cause, like, I guess that was a gymnast. And I think you just you're so much more. You don't have those little feet. You're confident when your kid and and doing those things young when you're older, like it won't seem like a big deal, you won't be intimidated by them. So I think I think sport kids get into some sports. Young is really beneficial for their their confidence overall. Yeah, I definitely agree with that and talking about fitness impacting their confidence, right? What? What would say? Some of the would you say the major benefits, I guess that you've seen in your life that fitness has brought to you outside of your actual fitness progression. Oh, yeah, I You know, I've been thinking a lot about this recently because, um, you know, I've always been active, but over the last three months, I've had this really exact routine, and I it's and I've been tracking kind of everything. So it's really easy to Coralie the effects on my life from the effects of my fitness because I know exactly what everything is. And, you know, I just find that when you when your physical self, when you're taking care of your physical body, um, you have more energy. Well, this is all say I I have more energy. Um, I have this just more confidence. No, I I don't even know the reason. It's just just more confidence because I know I feel good about like the physical state that I'm in. I have more creative energy. Strangely, even though I'm spending more time in the gym, I'm able to accomplish so much more because I have so much more energy to pour out to everybody else and all like the work that I do for me, it's like a multiplication factor of what I'm able to help If I put my I'm sorry with the energy, and it's like almost like I get a multiple out. It's not like taking away from from sort of everything I'm able to do in a day. So I just noticed that, you know, at work, I just accomplishing more. I'm more focused. So that's a lot. It's a long list, but I just think I think, you know, starting with your physical, the state of your physical self, you're going to see benefits in your mind and in your spirit, kind of as it like a pyramid, almost like building on top of itself. So, yeah, I think there's, I think there's some science behind that, and again, I don't know too much about it and and and I'll ask you a little bit more about this later. But the actual science behind what your body experiences through physical output, it has to do with your your endorphins and certain chemicals in your body, right? And so when people I think they even prescribe activity as kind of, ah, aid for depression because it helps kind of alleviate, I don't want to butcher it right, but there's a tie there, but I've seen this. I've seen this diagram before, talking about all the the chemicals in your brain, the positive effects from exercise. I'd love to find that diagram team right now, but yeah, I think definitely the endorphin. Just for exercise. You leave a run. We believe the gym in a better mood, which is a much better way to start. Start the day, right. But then also, there's, you know, from being around other people, you get the sense of belonging in a sense of community, which has a lot of positive effects on mental health. In general, I think that's a huge part, um, of of fitness or people, cause I think for a lot of us, it's part of our identity. And we also have a strong community amongst the people that we, uh do you are fitness with Whether that's our yoga class are lifting partners or, you know, our soccer team. Whatever it is, I think you're right. And I think that Graff would be a really good thing to find. And maybe I can kind of post that, but yeah, but no one that I saw was kind of just compared, um, people just emotional sense of well being before, you know, whether it was the gym or yoga versus after. All right, and it's in all areas. They tend to be happier, feel better, which, you know, makes sense apart from maybe wanting to die because of what you just put yourself through. But, uh, is the relief that laughter You just lie on the ground? Yeah. You feel good, right? When I was wearing and I don't go to the gym, I feel terrible. And then I go at lunch or whatever, and it's fine. But when I go in the morning, it kind of sets up my whole day for rain. Better. So I gotta ask which he said not too long ago that you got your certification for training, right? Yeah, I went through, um, Nazem. Okay. Yeah. So, um, they're, uh I'll ask What? What are you certified through? Um, an organization. So I am actually certified? Yes. Um, I think I'm gonna let it lapse here in the next couple of months because I really don't train people. I only got my certification because I wanted to experience it, and I wanted to kind of just challenge myself in another way, but it's through a non accredited organization. I don't even know for learning. Yeah, I totally get it. And, you know, one of the reasons I got the certification was because realistically, I think it's a way to commit yourself to learning all the components because, you know, you know, this is my test date, so I'm going to read this book, you know, cover to cover, make my no cards take the quiz, isn't really learn it. I think you know, you could have the book on your shelf and say, Yeah, well, definitely learned that someday. But I think I think having a date on the calendar, a test. Ah, you know, maybe it's a five. Kate, you know, it gives you motivation to actually do the things you say you're going to do. So I can definitely really to that. But yeah, I did. I did like the O P. T model that Nazem top, because they really the one thing I really agree with is that everything should really start with that stability phase building, um, neuro muscular efficiency. Because I think the way people move is has a huge effect on the results they get because they you see people and they're like, Well, I'm lifting, but you know, nothing's happening and it's like, Well, if you left, but you're not really, you know, making a mind body connection and moving correctly. You could do it all day and you're not going to see the results that somebody who's doing everything with proper form is going to see. That's a very very point it makes me think of, Ah, a couple of things. One is Jeff Nippert is a guy on YouTube who scientifically presents all of his information, and he bases everything off of science and his He recommends a subscription to this monthly online magazine called Mass. And it's all about science based information. They basically take articles about it Is that you get m A S s, um I think it's like monthly applied sports science or something. I should look it up because then I don't sound like you said being from the Northeast. Oh, right, yeah. So there's It's a monthly applications and strength sport. Really cool. I subscribe to that and really, just because I want to learn more, right? And just like the training he wanted to challenge yourself. Yeah, I've honestly been looking for something like that, so I'm definitely gonna check it out because, like I've been looking for, like, scientific articles, not be stupid wealth, like a million, Like Buzzfeed Not to say they don't, Some of them are, you know, informative, I guess. But, you know, I've been looking to read more scientific journals because, you know, you want the real information and not that, you know, 10 10 ways, toe, You know, six weeks? Yeah, in six weeks. Or, like, you know, work out like this celebrity, and yes. Oh, that's awesome. I'm definitely gonna check that out. Yeah, I would check it out. And then just for everybody listening, I'll put the link in the show. Notes. I'm not AA affiliate or anything, but I will go and put that there. It's really cool. I want to say it's, like, 25 or 30 bucks a month. And like, this last issue came out. Volume three, issue seven. And it's about 77 pages. This last one and they go through, at least, you know, 5 to 10 articles. So, um, that's really cool. I think you might like that, cause something you really have kind of touched on is that you want to be able to from what I understand. Really understand the content you're giving people, right? So somebody asks you How do you You run faster. Like, how did you accomplish being able to complete that, right. You want to be able to really tell somebody and not just tell them you lesson move more, right, Right. Yeah. And it's like, in some ways, a lot. Some of my earlier. So, you know, I had coaches, and and I also I'm a little bit lucky, so, you know, finding out Like what? What about what I was doing was actually moving the needle. Um, And what lessons should I pass on to people for me, like one of the biggest game changers is learning about nutrition. Because if your athletic like you're you know, you're just gonna enjoy moving and you're gonna it's not That's not the hard part. I think I think nutrition is really what takes it over the top for people who just, you know, if they like to move, I think learning a little bit more about nutrition can really turn. Really Take them to the next level. Yeah, I agree with that in, like, come back to that balance aspect of fitness, right where it's you may focus on one thing, but you may reach a sort of self imposed plateau. If you try something else, you can push yourself in that direction, right? And then come back and see something different. Once you get back to what you were used to like. I would be really interested to see when you go and compete, you know, in this next show or maybe even one after that. If you choose to keep doing it, What, you're what the impact would be on your hand balancing right or you're Yes, I've already noticed. So I I I still trained those things not as not as many days a week, just because the number of workouts and doing But I've already noticed in effect on that because I'm a little bit a little bit lighter. Um, and I've been doing, um just a really systematic lifting routine where I'm hitting all my muscle groups. I'm doing a lot of good shoulder exercises and, like I've already noticed, ah, lot more stability in my shoulders. And just I think being slightly slightly leaner has helped me unlock some things that I couldn't do before. Um, so I heard you notice that which is cool, because it wasn't my intention for this to make me a better Hamilton, sir, but we're a better aerialist, but it's it's kind of an unintended side effect of taking a different approach. So so that's been really cool for me and and then, just like the consistent cardio I think no one likes. Well, a lot of you'll don't like cardio, but I think just adding consistent cardio can can improve a lot of things for people. And I've seen some of that just a little more Endurance is is always nice, right? And I agree with that. It's interesting that you mentioned you have more strengthen your shoulders and you being slightly leaner has had some effects on that to you. It would be interested. So how was your flexibility? Did you notice any change in that when you went over the lifting? I think I do need to stretch like, a little bit more just cause, um when you But I've been pretty smart about, like stretching when I left because I already know kind of the effects of of doing a lot of strengthening exercises and not stretching because I've had really tight shoulders, um, in the past, from from doing like a lot of climbing and pulling and not opening my shoulders. So so yeah, definitely, like doing a bunch of like exercises and then having like, tight, tight hamstrings, that's that's a real thing. Um, so I tried to stretch a little before and then stretch after when I lived just because it's important to me that I'm not that I'm still very mobile, so I can do the things I enjoy that I couldn't have said it better that it's really it's really true when it comes down to it, like for me. I know that I don't have as much flexibility as I would like right and so I do a lot of weight lifting. I used to do yoga many years ago and I should get more of the practice of doing that or at least like you said stretching before and after. But I know that if I go in start implementing that flexibility training, then it'll have positive effects on my weight lifting. It's just a matter of putting the time into to do that right, so tying that back into kind of life in general with having to I have certain fitness aspects that can complement what you're currently working on. How do you How do you recommend someone that has so many things going on with life, whether it's work or recently getting married? I know you were married about a year ago. Yeah. How do you keep your fitness progress on track while having all this whirlwind of life changes coming around? Yeah. Um, well say, I think all fitness schools should come from a place where your intrinsically motivated. I think it's different for each person for me, like I like to have something on the calendar and it changes, you know, in phases of my life. It's not always and I love the freedom to kind of make thes pivots toe what? Like what's most exciting for me. So, you know, right now I have a competition in two weeks, so that's on the calendar. I'll have a circus performance, you know, sometimes on the calendar. And that's and that's a motivating me toe. Get out there in train. I think for some people that you know, if you're not motivated by sort of like a race or a competition or a performance. Maybe it's just you want to commit to a daily or weekly practice, and that's something you check off the box, like on your calendar. But I think I think you start with something that's intrinsically motivating. You know where it's something you physically want to be able to d'oh. And there's some time component to it, whether it's like you want an unbroken chain of I went to yoga every day or, you know, every week or like I have a five K in three weeks. And then from there, I think balancing it with life, I think you need to have it. So either you know, you wake up and do it, Um, in the morning, I love working out. I love doing lifting or conditioning in the morning or like your class. You're booked in a class right after work, and that's where you're headed. Um, and you don't let yourself, you know, go home and sit on the couch in between. I think it's, I think, that prioritizing it on your calendar. So it's This is what you're doing at this time versus getting to it when you get to it, I think I think that's how you make it happen. You know, make sure it's motivating and make sure it's blocked off in your calendar. And then, you know, when life gets in the way, like you travel for work like you just forgive yourself, you know? You know, I was, And I think, you know, don't let that derail you just jump right in where you left off and, um and yeah, that's that's that's my approach. That's really, really cool with the whole Don't derail yourself, right? Would you forgive yourself when you when you miss it? Because you can book it in the calendar, book a class, right? But things happen. And I found that personally to happen that if I miss a day and I get down on myself about it impacts my ability to meet those goals the rest of the week s Oh, that's really key. And I think that positivity has a lot to do with where people can really take that, you know, in intrinsic motivation and convert that into, you know, this is something that I'm going to do. If I fail, it's okay. I'll forgive myself and not forget it right now. Continue to do that. Yeah, I love this phrase. Like I do yoga. I try to do it, you know, weekly will be great, but like, you know, bi weekly just really for the mental aspect to the meditative aspect and something that I've heard in classes is like Do what serves you. And if you make that decision maybe like you didn't sleep last night like your your child kept you up all night. You have a crazy deadline. Like, maybe what serves you most is not going to the gym today and adding, like physical stress to your emotional stress. And I think, you know, recognizing that you made the best decision you could for yourself and then just turning the page to a fresh day, it's It's fine, you know, I think that's key. That the whole it's fine, right? It's people get down on themselves when they say, you know, I cheated. I had a lot of food or, you know, I didn't make it today because of this. In the end, you, for every little bit of activity that you do is gonna help you live longer and we see it one day at the gym isn't going to be drastic, right? I mean, unless you're, you know, 234 weeks out from a competition and every little bit counts. I mean, even then it's not as drastic, right? But, I mean, I just think that it's fine, right? If you miss it, it's okay. You just have to keep going. So what would be with all these different things that you've done from being an aerialist to hand balancing an American ninja warrior and now competing in a competition? What would be something that you would say kind of ties all those things together in sort of like a contiguous, you know, grouping of activities. Yeah, I think the theme for me, I think I've just I've always liked being the strongest that I could be. So that's the theme with all of these is just kind of pursuing that physical strength and physical challenge. Um, I I like to push boundaries. Um, and I like the idea of doing something that, like no one's been able to do before. So I'd like to be kind of on that inventive front. And, you know, I like to think that I'm kind of on that boundary of, you know what's what's possible and what's not yet possible. Yeah, I guess that the thing, The story that I kind of tell myself I've heard before. You know, if you look back at your childhood and you remember the first time you felt powerful, um, that's supposed to be like one of your purpose is in life. Very, very, um, very deep. And so mind like mine is kind of silly and maybe almost too literal. But when I was in, I think I was in second grade. Me hasn't start May 4th grade. I set like the pull up record in my elementary school for, like, girls and boys. And I didn't I didn't realize I was that strong. And then that, like the whole gym class, is kind of like, wow, like, that was crazy. And I was like, Oh, wow, Look, I can do this. So I think, you know, that's always been like empowering for me and just like one of my gifts. And I love to kind of push that and then also, you know, share share that with other people who are excited about it and just kind of pushing, pushing boundaries and seeing you know how far we can take different things in different sports. But that's a really interesting correlation. I honestly can't say that I've had an experience that I can remember. That's ah, you know, back from when I was younger, with fitness, but being able to set that record and having people support you. And then you kind of come to the realization that wow, this is, you know, something that I'm good at. I could I could see myself enjoying this right, And you feel that sense of accomplishment. I think that nowadays something that really helps people in general when it comes to fitness, specifically is when they have somebody that's kind of cheering them on right. And they accomplished something. And even though it may not be huge per se, it's, you know, they have that feeling of Oh, I actually can do this right? And that's kind of motivation to push further. Yeah, and I love being that I love being in that role. Um, for other people, I think I see myself, you know, really, as a coach, um, more than a teacher if that makes sense, because I think I fiercely believe in other people's abilities to do things like, I think I can see it before they can. And like, I, I just remember coaching this one girl, my coach gymnastics in college and I was coaching this girl to do a back flip on the trampoline, and I could see that she could do it. But she didn't. She was. She was scared, and I just told her I was like, You know, I'm here, you can do it, just do it And she looked at me and she said, Really only, yes, you definitely can. And then she just went and did it easily. And I was like, See, like all you really need sometimes is someone else to believe in your ability. Um, and I think it's a really It's a really unique position to be ableto help somebody get over those hurdles. So that's that's actually a really good Segway into what I wanted to talk to you about next cause that whole seeing yourself as a coach rather than simply a teacher, there's There's a very big difference in my mind because a teacher I can sit in a classroom and they can spout out all this information. And then, you know, I'll take an exam later on. But a coach they're actually sitting there, right? Whether it's on the field or on the court. Where there, with you there coaching you. They're showing you how to do it, right? It's a very different, almost more of like a mentor, like a personal relationship. So, yeah, I want to ask, kind of to share with so that I understand where you're coming from and also to share with the audience is what future plans do you have more is like a fitness professional, right? I mean, you have your engineering career. I also imagine you're incidentally, but, uh, what kind of plans do you have for yourself within the fitness industry, you know, whether it's a coach or otherwise. Yeah, so So I've done coaching in the past, but, um, I'd really like to to be able to share, um more with more people. So I started. I started kind of a side company, Um, recently Ah, for coaching. I named it Acro Cafe. The reason being the acro just because that theme of movement that is like that I love and then cafe cause I am coffee is like a one of my favorite things in life. So Acro Cafe, Yes, so within that I want to provide, um, I want to start by providing physical fitness coaching because I think that's really the foundation of our overall wellness. I'd like to start with providing some simple challenges strength, training challenges and then expand that into a more holistic coaching program with nutrition as well. And really, just have it be something that's really meant to to improve your your life overall. So not just fitness and nutrition, but also, you know, a place to share the best life practices like Here's what I'm Here's what I'm reading, You know, here's here's like my favorite recipe kind of thing. So, like a community, really, that's just trying to be their their best self. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, you know, in their careers. So I plan to start with just a simple like strength group challenge and and then I'll probably share and evoke on him balancing and then from there, you know, that's kind of the grand vision is to have a B holistic ah, holistic wellness community that's really empowering people to be their best Selves from the ground up rooted in physical fitness. Because I do think that's kind of the first component of, like, a healthy body, mind and soul. So, yeah, that's awesome. That's I like the name, too. So is that already website that you have set up then? Yeah, So it's brand new. So when people go on, it will likely be just the landing page now with just some information, but that's where it's going to live. Acro cafe dot com Um, and also I feel like it's kind of representative of that feeling of like when you're in a cafe, just the the bustle of people sharing ideas. And, um, that's that's That's the vision. My husband helped me come up with that name, and it's kind of stacks, so that's awesome. I really like it. I'm actually looking at it right now, is we're speaking, Ironically enough, the the templates that they have on here have to do with engineering. So that's that. Yeah, it's fresh. I think I've played with I know that you're, um you shared some really cool information with me when we ah, when we chatted about earlier. I have to say we listen to a lot of Gary V this week, um, on your recommendation. So I know you're in the online world, so I have, you know, I'm excited to get everything moving and and really just share some positive information and really in power. Yeah, and that's that's great. I want I want to ask a little bit more about where you're headed with that, but I would just as a reminder to everybody that Gary V is phenomenal, even just not related to business. But life in general, it's It's incredible, right? And I listen to probably four or five hours a week of his podcasts, and I'd highly recommend that. But, um, as faras your message right there where you're wanting to really give more of a holistic wellness community, a place to share best life practices, right? It's more of a overall solution, right, whether it could be stress reduction or how to integrate fitness with your life or, you know, balancing all these things that you have to do as you know, an adult as people are coming from. You know, these younger, less need to be responsible age and more of a I've got things to take care of now, and I've got a child, Right. So as you set that up, that's I'd love to kind of watch that and be a part of that growing right and just see how that happens. Because I really like what you're sharing here. And I feel like you definitely have a lot to offer through that. And the name is just phenomenal, right? Because even even just having it be, you know, cafe kind of makes it seem war of, like, a homely like community where people gonna relate. Yeah, that's that's idea. Yeah. I'd love Thio. Yeah, if we can keep in touch because I could not believe just that we were both engineers with, um, you know, fitness as this, you know, side passion. I suppose so. I think we have a lot in common in, and I really kind of loved everything you've shared with me so far. So we create to keep in contact. Yeah, that would be awesome. And we'll go. We'll go a little longer to, um not not only like you, because I also want to talk a little bit too. Where? So you've got your coaching right that you're wanting to do. Obviously, you are getting ready for your competition here. And you have a coach yourself. You know, having said that, everyone should have a coach even if you're a coach. So if people want to reach out to you right now, are you mainly available through whether it's instagram, uh, email through your website? How do you How do you want people? Um, it's you can definitely, you know, message me on instagram My handles. Eliana, Um, I think my emails also on there. So you can d m me or shoot me an email. Perfect. And I'll put those in the notes to It's a metal. I have a long name, and it used to be longer. Believe it or not, Yeah, you're you're fine. But then you did say you go by Ellie, right? So people are Yeah. L a first? Yep. A little bit easier, But I'll put those in the show notes too, so people can see those now, The e book you mentioned right about hand balancing. That's something that really caught my attention. Yeah, I think it's, I think it's just something I need to put out into the world. I actually have started writing in the past, but I think it's it's just one. I think almost everyone I meet like Oh, could you teach me do a handstand like, Yeah, I mean, e can I can? Yeah, if you do, you have Ah, Do you have an hour? Like anytime I I love to teach it. I think that will be one of the first things that I have on my website. So if you wanna learn about him balancing that will be that will be out there. So I I like I will actually be someone who consumes that material is that's not something I've ever really considered. But I always remember going to like the Renaissance Festival and seeing people do you know these different things. And it was always just cool. I thought it was a fun thing to do. And I've always wanted Thio. I think everyone Yeah, I mean everyone, it's it's pretty accessible, to be honest, and I think it's just a fun skill toe toe toe learn. So, yeah, that'd be really cool. Is there anything else that you kind of wanna say is ah, last message to everyone, you know, whether it's something you haven't touched on or just something that you want to really just kind of instill in, You know, the fitness community of what you would say to everyone who's listening. Yeah, I thought about this a little bit. And, you know, at first I was gonna I was gonna say a message like, You know how important physical fitness is and how it's the foundation of I think I said this earlier. Your your mental and emotional health, Um, your minds and your and your soul. But I think people who are in the physical fitness community already they really already know that. So I think what I would say to people who are passionate about fitness um, it's just a really simple statement is yes, you can, because I think you know, the sky's the limit. And if there's some crazy goal, you have to be on American Ninja Warrior to run a marathon. Whatever it is like, Yes, you definitely can. There's no reason that you're not able to do anything you set your mind to, so that would be my simple statement. Yes, you can. That's perfect. Probably going to consider that as part of the title. I don't know. I've still got a name this episode because there's so much good stuff here. But that's great. So the sky's the limit, right? You can I? I think that's something that I can definitely apply more in my life. So, yeah, next time I need to overcome a little challenging obstacle. I'll just think back to this spot. Yeah, yes, you know I can. And I hope that's what everyone does, right. And my whole purpose of really doing this show is to try to get things like this out there so that people can really feel more of part of a community, right? They get to know you as a person, right? And then you share your message. So I think that's that's perfect. So that's great. And I appreciate your time to This has been Really, This has been really enjoyable for me. I think you know those kind of random us even kind of crossing virtual path. So I've really enjoyed it. I just want to congratulate you on starting your podcasts. I listen to podcasts like, way too much constantly. So I was really excited to do This is the first, my first cloud cast. I listened to many, but my first time being part of one. So this has been really exciting, and I've really enjoyed getting to know you, so it's very cool. Good luck in your future podcast endeavors. I hope it. I hope it gets really big and reaches a lot of people because I think you have a really positive message. Thank you. I really do appreciate that. We'll make sure to touch base, maybe do a follow up episode. Ah, and you know, after your competition, couple months down the road or something. Yeah. Maybe you could come out here and in the hearts of Arizona. We could do a live I have on my bucket list is, uh, to go back and see the Grand Canyon. So that would be great. Let me Very cool. Well, great. Thanks. Thanks for coming on. Come back next time. So thank you. Thanks. Thanks for listening to this episode of the John Barker Fitness podcast with Eliana Linnehan. I had such an amazing time getting to know her and sharing her story. I highly recommend following her on Instagram at Eliana. Now open up your podcast player or head over to iTunes and lever of you for the show. Your honest feedback is a huge help for my future episodes. Make sure your subscribed and check in every week for a new episode. Thanks again.

The Best Smart Bathroom Scales for 2019 that Monitor Body Fat to Help Weight Loss

Whether you’re someone who believes focusing on the number on the scale is harmful, or you think that tracking your weight religiously is the way to go, having a smart scale will change the way you look at your own personal fitness.

I decided to try out some scales myself, and ended up with the RENPHO Smart Heart Rate Body Fat Scale. Choose between white or black, and it’s sleek design will complement whichever room you decide to make it’s new home.

The biggest of the 2 metrics I keep track of, besides weight of course, is the body fat percentage and the BMI. These two offer some great insights as to how my progress is going when it comes to fitness.

The scale has an internal memory and syncs automatically to your phone via bluetooth. My wife and I use it and the scale can differentiate between the two of us when synchronizing data.

The best thing about Amazon is that if you have Prime, you can often find a free return policy attached to items. I never had to return this one because I fell in love, but I’d highly recommend you order it and try it out for yourself.

BBQ Grill Mats Non Stick Review

A few weeks ago I decided to buy some non-stick mats for grilling. I love my Traeger, but sometimes I want to grill smaller pieces that risk slipping through the grates. These are the ones I decided to try:

BBQ Grill Mats Non-Stick for Under Outdoor Gas Grill (4050cm 3-Piece Set) – Thick, Heat Resistant Fiberglass Mat – Easy to Clean – Reduce Spills, Stuck-On Foods and Clean Up

I figured having a few on hand wouldn’t hurt, especially for the price. They arrived quickly as usual with Amazon Prime. They’re large, so they fit perfectly inside my Traeger. Not to mention, they work great for Pizza in the oven.

This really made grilling a lot easier. I actually used this with my Traeger pellet grill. I usually run into problems with small pieces of chicken or vegetables not being able to be grilled because they would fall through the grate. This lets me grill or smoke small pieces. It’s pretty easy to clean too. I did notice a little bit of fraying on the edges of the mats, but they don’t make it non functional. I’d recommend these if you’re looking for additional grilling tools.

Benefits of CBD and CBD Bio Naturals Review

CBD Hemp Oil is one of the most up-and-coming things in fitness and general health these days.

Better known as CBD, it is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

One of the biggest reasons I use CBD oil is to relieve pain. Not only can some be taken orally, but it can also be used topically. I like to mix it with some lotion to apply to problem areas.

I’ve been using CBD from Bio Naturals for several weeks now and have noticed a huge difference. I tend to get heel pain from difference activities I do, but since I started using CBD oil the pain is much more bearable and in some cases non existent. I would highly recommend trying some for yourself.

It also works as a great stress reliever as well. I have a high stress job, and on days when I take CBD oil I notice a huge difference in my mood and the way I interact with others.

Let me know what you think in the comments about your experience with CBD oil!

Stop Reacting, Be Proactive

The principles here can, and probably will, apply to many facets of your life. What brings this topic to mind is a recent train of thoughts I’ve had about health in general. While health insurance may make things more affordable, it by no means makes them cheap. Deductibles and premiums tear at your wallet as you react to various health concerns that may arise at any given moment. No, I won’t be analyzing financial impacts of health, but the principle is the same. When we fail to be proactive with our health, we are then forced into a reactive mode. This ultimately drives us to make decisions we may have otherwise not had to make. Let’s just take a small peek at pills. As we age, it’s more common to see people take medication for things ranging from heart issues to muscular issues to mental and skeletal issues to name a few. I’m not here to say everything is preventable, but I am a firm believer that we can control our general direction of health over time. Notwithstanding things that may be genetic or hereditary, we can vastly influence how our body responds to the issues it will experience over time. So what choices can you be proactive about? Eat Healthy. This doesn’t mean avoid anything greasy or sweet or delicious. It simply means enjoy it in moderation. I’m a sucker for Panda Express. It’s arguably one of the least healthy and least authentic forms of Chinese cuisine. I like it though. Do I eat it every day? No. Do I eat it even every month? Nope. I’m fairly sure I only eat Panda Express two to three times per year. Be Active. A few more steps each hour can go a long way. (No pun intended). Staying active and moving is not only good for your heart but it’s also good for your joints. Don’t push past your limits, but make sure you’re continuing to progress in your level of activity. Sleep! This is really important. When you sleep your body recovers. You give your entire system the rest it needs to take the next day head on. Not to mention all the extremely great mental benefits from a good night sleep! No matter what you do, make sure you’re proactive about your health and leas reactive. Pay attention to family history and start making smart choices that will influence your health for the good in both short term and long term.

When Should I Take Creatine Monohydrate?

You might be thinking that most research related to creatine would be around whether or not it works. Actually, there’s a lot more research going on about how you should (or should not) be taking it. It’s all about optimal effectiveness!

Here’s the main thing: If you want it to work, consistent daily use is key.

“Creatine is not readily assimilated into muscle, as many people would think”, says Darryn Willoughby, Ph.D., in the video “How to Get More Out of Your Supps.” “Instead, it takes a while for creatine to saturate the muscle.”

With this in mind, it’s probably most effective when you take it for several weeks on a consistent basis. This will allow you to see the results you’re looking for in the gym. This also brings up the point of creatine in pre workouts. Chances are that creatine you’re taking before you hit the gym isn’t enough to really do any good.

**15% off on creatine at Run Everything Labs w/ code “results”**

One thing to consider is a five day loading phase typically seen with creatine usage. It may help accelerate the process, but not by much. Oh, and by the way, it may also increase the likelihood of some stomach discomfort, bloating, and other temporary side effects.

Now, what about the time of day you should be taking creatine? There are several good articles out there, like “Before, After, or Whenever: The Best Time to Take Creatine” by Adam Bornstein. These three groups of “taking time” have been the topic of many research studies. The differences? Minor ones. That being said, just take it whenever. The important thing is being consistent and just taking it every day.

While there may be some researches who say there are slight advantages to taking it at specific times, the timing is less significant when your creatine reserves are more full (meaning you’ve been taking it a while).

How To Take Creatine Monohydrate

Let’s just assume for a moment that you’ve never taken it before. The basic recommendation is 3-5 grams per day. Don’t miss a day, and don’t bother with any “loading phases”. Just add it to what you’re already doing and see what happens!

To learn more about different ingredients commonly found in supplements, check out the Supplements Simplified series.

How to Pick a Personal Trainer

How many of you have picked out a new car or even something as simple as a case for your cell phone? These types of decisions can involve a lot of thought, and it should be the same way when you pick a personal trainer to work with.

There is a fairly easy breakdown of things you should consider when finding one to work with.

Goal Oriented

A personal trainer or online coach should always keep your goals in mind. This is vitally important from the moment they start creating your program through every progress check in. Be cautious of those who give you boiler plate workouts or nutrition plans. Every person is different, and so should their training programs be. Ask your trainer how he/she can specifically help you with your goals, and be open and honest when answering question they might have.

Knowledgeable

Don’t expect your trainer to be an expert all things fitness. Unless you’re wanting to pay thousands for a PhD level professor to teach you (which in my opinion would be highly ineffective as a trainer) give a little slack. You should, however, expect them to be able to answer questions you have in ways that you can understand. The whole goal of this is to be able to apply what’s taught to you in your personal fitness. As a trainer myself, I will coach clients while continuously reading and learning to improve my ability to help.

Flexible

Everything becomes increasingly difficult when you’re tied down to a strict schedule from either side of the trainer-client relationship. If you’re receiving training in-person it’s important to come to an agreement that works for both of you. Online Coaching is a much more flexible format where you can receive your training program and have it on demand. At the same time you can plan your workout times around your own schedule. This is why I prefer to do the majority of my coaching online while having at least a couple in-person sessions in the beginning when possible.

Realistic

You shouldn’t expect to lose 50lbs in one week, and your trainer shouldn’t promise you that type of progress either. Ask directly about realistic results and understand that even if they say you will lose 1lb each week that results also depend on you. I’ve had many clients who get their programming and fail to perform. Don’t expect to eat anything and everything, work out once every two weeks, and see any progress at all. The best situation is when the trainer and the client put in equal amounts of work. It’s a very mutual relationship that can reap realistic results when trust exists.

Conclusion

The absolute most important thing when selecting a personal trainer or online coach is to find someone you can connect with. Keep the relationship focused on your training, but if your personalities don’t clash you’ll get better results. Find someone flexible with schedule and programming who is knowledgeable and realistic when it comes to your goals.

For a free consultation just enter your email below and book a time for a brief call.

New Year, New You: Starting With Mindset

Mindset is about dedicating oneself to a goal and understanding what it requires to accomplish it.

Avoid Resolution Regret

Research shows that about 55% of people will have
abandoned their new year’s resolutions within the first six
months of the new year. The problem is that we often set
goals that we aren’t invested in or that are too difficult to
maintain. Take a moment to reflect on your achievements in 2018. Now, consider what you would like to achieve in 2019.

Start With the Why Chain

Dig a little deeper into “why” you want to set a specific goal.
This will allow you to get in touch with your intrinsic
motivator (your why or your “IT” that keeps you going when
the times get tough).

  • “Why Chain” Exercise:
    • Ask yourself these series of questions (at least 3 whys)
      • Which goal is most important to you?
      • WHY is this goal important to you?
      • WHY is that important to you?
      • Lastly, WHY is that important to you?

Weekly Tips To Stay On Track

Now that you know what the goal is and why it’s important to
you, here are some simple strategies to help create a positive
and productive mindset throughout the year:

  • Week 1: Write it down. You are 43% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down

  • Week 2: Break it down. When you break down your goal into smaller steps you create an action plan.

  • Week 3: Share it. Sharing your goal with someone creates accountability and you commit to it.

  • Week 4: Visualize it. Set your intention for the day and visualize success on daily tasks.

  • Week 5: Check in. Set periodic reassessments to check-in and reevaluate your goals and progress.