On career bucket lists
When I started out in the industry I knew I wanted to inspire other girls and women to live a healthier lifestyle, but at the age of 22, I was still learning who I was and what I was most passionate about. Did I want to focus on training? Nutrition? Competing? Modelling? Once I started treating myself as a business and a brand, I realised I wanted my focus more on encouraging women to find what worked for their lifestyle and help other women develop their own brand in the health and nutrition world. I absolutely love my job and life! It’s sometimes hard to say that out loud to people because we live in a world where ‘everyone hates Mondays’. A year ago I was in that group. Nowadays I can work from wherever I want – in my PJs at home, at the beach or at a fun coffee shop downtown.
On daring to live your dream
You have to really sit down and think about what’s more important to you. Is it having the creative freedom and flexibility to do work you love? Would you do what you love if it could possibly result in a temporary dip in your bank account? Or are you going to stay where you aren’t truly happy and in a place that drains you each day? It’s a choice. Once I realised that my job was sucking the life out of me, in and out of the office, I knew I needed to make a change even though I was scared. Two quotes my business partner, Ander Wilson, and I always preach to our girls is to “Start before you’re ready” and “Start small, fail small”. If you fail, it’s just a small fail (and trust me you will fail), learn from it, and start it again!
On fitting in workouts
It really depends on the type of week I’m having. I truly believe in listening to your body. If it’s been a crazy, hectic week and I haven’t caught up on sleep, I’m sleeping that extra 30 minutes or going to bed 30 minutes earlier before I fit in a workout. If I’m doing pretty well on sleep, then I tell myself, “All you need is 10 to 15 minutes!” If it’s early in the morning I will do what I call my breakfast workout – push-ups and jumping jacks while my coffee is brewing and jump squats while my oatmeal is cooking. If I have an extra 30 to 40 minutes for a full workout I’ll hit the gym or outside for one of my #aabikinibody workouts.
When I look in the mirror I see a strong, passionate, still-rough-on-the-edges entrepreneur. My top tip for feeling great is to set mental goals each week for yourself. If you know that the scale isn’t your friend, then throw it away. Ask your best friends or significant other to write their three favourite things about you. Tape that to your mirror and start reading it to yourself each morning. Shy about asking others? Write down three favourite things yourself and read them every morning! Start encouraging other women to love themselves. Sooner or later, that positivity will start to sink in. You’ll be used to saying things like, “Great job!”, “You’re beautiful!”, “I love your legs!” and “You should be proud of yourself!” That makes it much easier to speak the same words to yourself. Join a workout group or accountability team. Having that support system is amazing and every woman needs someone to vent to and receive encouragement from!
On workout motivation
Energy and empowerment motivate me. Working out not only helps you create a physique that you feel good in, but it gives you energy to accomplish other things in life! I want to go on vacation with my future children and be able to keep up with them. I want to be able to conquer a workout and then three work meetings all in one day, which also comes back to empowerment. I’ve seen what not working out or putting your health and fitness on the backburner can do to you. I don’t want that feeling. I don’t want to lose that freedom.
My approach to food is much healthier and realistic than it was in the past. If I have a photo shoot coming up, I don’t ever do anything drastic. I will decrease my carbs just a little, increase the intensity of my workouts and focus on getting enough water and sleep. In the past my diet was more focused on my outward appearance and had nothing to do with how I felt on the inside, my energy level, what my organs and brain needed, etc. I would have days where I felt weak and dizzy, but since I still had a six-pack, I didn’t care. I finally crashed. I’ve found a happy balance with everything, which has resulted in more energy, happier social life, and just an overall positive outlook on life. My diet staples are lean ground beef tacos, Greek yoghurt with walnuts and fruit, and spicy egg white omelettes.
On cheat meals
I honestly believe that you can have your cake and eat it too; my favourite treats would have to be ice cream, pizza, cheeseburgers, and margaritas! In the past I would limit myself to one cheat meal but that didn’t work for me as I would want treats even more and would want to binge on the weekend. In my #aabikinibody program, we help women get off the harmful, restrictive binge cycle and find a balance with eating. It’s freeing.
On fitness myths
One misconception to me is that you have to go big or go home. I don’t agree with that. Making small changes here and there can really add up. I’ve witnessed hundreds of women change their physiques by doing the minimum. I think if more women knew that, they would get started or keep going!
I achieve it by setting smart and realistic goals and expectations for myself that work with my lifestyle. Just because I see someone running every single morning doesn’t mean they are more dedicated than I am. Just because I have biceps doesn’t mean I am in better shape than you. I try not to compare myself to others and make sure that the goals I set for myself align with the lifestyle I want. I love weekends and going out to eat. Therefore, I know I need to get my workouts in during the week. I love eating dinner with my husband, so I know I need to have my work finished for the day by 5pm. I love ice cream more than you can imagine. That means I make sure I get the proper amount of fruit and vegies in each week so I can enjoy my ice cream freely.
NEXT: Meet cover model Sara Fennell>