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Amy Rencken Testimonial

This testimonial is so eloquently written, so heartfelt and inspiring, that I sincerely hope you take the time to read it! Without further ado …. my dear friend Miss Amy.   untitled-design-2   “So , I’m not entirely sure how to write this , and to be dead honest I’m nervous with each letter I begin typing. But regardless of general self-conscious hoopla I feel honoured to be able to be writing on my journey. Ironically,  I had a lovely conversation with an inspiring women last night who told me that when I feel I’m failing my goals , I need to remember im able to do it because ive got the opportuntiy  – something I feel is a true statement with Drea, but I’ll get to that. So I’m going to tell you My story and hopefully it motivates you by knowing you’re not alone in this.     * SPOILER ALERT * I’m not a fitness model or model  or athlete.  I’m an ambiverted, neurotic, big hearted,  hard working average Joe or Jane or whatever.  I’m also nowhere near my goal , but I’ve made massive strives towards it , and those strives only truly were significant when my journey started with Drea.     When I met Drea I was weighing a lovely 110 kgs.  But there was a before at 120 and my heaviest at 130 4 years back.  What I can tell you is its been no easy ride and unfortunately I’m not a rugby player .  I’ve spent my last 7 years completing 4 degrees ,and am currently an emerging industrial Psychologist finishing my masters year . So I’ve basically been a broke student whose primary goal was defeating the naysayers who said I wouldn’t even finish high school and don’t have the aptitude to go far …….lol. But with that came major sacrifices.  Not just socially as you develop but also physically . I didn’t even realize I’d hit 135kgs at a busting age of 21. Being big your whole life you begin blocking off comments ,epecially when your focus is elsewhere . But at that stage while I often gave up easily with diets , I was incredibly self conscious. I had a few horrid comments made and after the 100th crash diet I gave 101 a shot . Lost 40 in 4 months.  I was starved,  saggy , and sad. The problem with crash diets like that is you will loose,  for now.  Then you gain it back , and you also gain an  intolerance to foods , as well as you begin yoyoing like nuts . It messes with your mental state and I ended up gaining it all back.  My attitude towards myself and food was dismal . But I kept trying and kept failing miserably.  After being in a not so great situation once I moved to Durban I didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing . I was doing every trick , maybe I was cursed or something ?     After my year here I was massive , well massively broken . I felt my outside and who I was wasn’t the same and whilst I prided myself on my confidence and boasted that being bigger was OK,  I was accidentally flawed in my own opinion . Although being you,  in any shape and form is of utmost importance it should never be used as an excuse to hold yourself back from your full potential. That’s what I began realizing – I wasn’t a ‘whole self ‘.  I wasnt comfortable being me , and who I was was controted through assumptions of my size . A few months before I met Drea I realised that , and I realised  I was 24 and I couldn’t walk up to the gate of my flat without being out of breath.  I was missing a chunk of life and I lost my vibrance . But I was also petrified.  I realised nutrition was one aspect , but I needed to do exercise. I realised crash dieting  didn’t work and decided to gift myself by doing it right .     But here’s the thing , and a note to those people who think their opinions about others matter- all the words add up , you’re not the only person who has said something and you’re damaging someone’s integrity . What comments you may ponder? Those self professing nonsense comments you say all the time . By the way , here’s a few :
  • – You’ll never become a good psychologist because you don’t look like you have a balanced life
  • – You’ll always have relationship issues because you’ll be too self conscious
  • – You’re OK looking but you’d be beautiful if you were skinny
  • –  You’re a great person but I don’t want to date you because you’re fat
  • –  OMG,  Amy is huge she can’t sit there she’ll break that chair
  • –  Don’t worry about wearing your gym clothes to class because then others will know you were there at least
  • –  Look at the way she wiggles , how embarrassing
  • –  OMG she’s a hippo, I mean she’s got a nice face but pity about the rest
  • –  I don’t remember you , OH wait you’re FAT AMY
  • –  No way SHE could achieve THAT she’s just a fat girl
  • –  Check the handbag
  • –  Amy you’re not comforting without being big
  • –  You don’t mean much because you’re big
  • –   Don’t do /say/eat/wear that
  • –   check fatty eat
  • –   etc.etc.
Yes yes humans are nasty , duh , but lordy lord I’m a lot more then my appearance,  and I seriously don’t want to hear your impression of a motivational speaker on how to live my life . You don’t know me , please hold tight on those herbal life banners before I loose my fat ass all up in this business.  Those comments make people like myself who you assume are confident fear the gym and not even bother.  My identity is way more then what I look like. But it harms you eg. I refuse showing my knees in public and would rather drown in my own sweat on a hot Durban day then air out those bad boys. But I was scared so I started at home . Yep , those Gillian Michael’s dvds are gold. I tried everyday,  I pushed myself . Sadly I couldn’t handle 10 minutes , but then I could and much more . I started eating holistically and tried balancing and not missing meals etc. I caught myself by surprise when I could run up to the gate and back without panting . I then met Chris and his passion for gym rubbed off on me .   When I started I knew nothing more then I had confidence to walk in now . I think the heads I turned were mainly genuine concern for my health or equipment . And while I did the norm and googled it didn’t necessarily help. I knew I needed help but I was scared again . I was and still am categorised as lazy . People assume that because you’re big it’s because you don’t make the effort and give up easily . Often I’ve experienced  shouting authoritative types which in general I don’t gel with . My size has nothing to do with my commitment , I’m actually incredibly diligent and hardworking  ( Please refer to my work experience , academics etc.) I’ve built myself up from someone who was a plain moron to a semi-moron . But because of my appearance  people assume it’s fair not only to say things,  but to equally shame you during coaching.  I also didn’t want to jump on another crash diet and be in the same place a year later.  So I needed a guru . Someone who both challenged me intellectually and physically , someone who wouldn’t give up but who understood that sometimes I’m up late writing my thesis and I’m exhausted, that I’m a student and can’t afford the norm , and that due to the nature of masters our time is of serious essence and it’s one which doesn’t really conform to a schedule . Often factors which lead to failure.   So just before I met Drea I had already lost 10kgs , so I was 110 and keen . I was booting out two sessions a day , one fasted cardio and the other weights. But no shock I had little to show for it. I wasn’t making much progress and a winner trip to Miami was insight, on top of finishing off my second honours degree . It was then that a friend at the time asked if I was interested in signing on with Drea . That’s where it really started.   If you’ve met Drea , or even if you haven’t she’s an inspiring women . She’ll challenge the hell out of you with a cheeky grin and banter. I remember our first meeting and hearing her opinion of other diets and general appearance related things,  and it  really sparked my fancy. She didn’t talk immediate results but long term investments . She spoke from the heart and had no intention to sell something . She spoke from an educated stand point and enjoyed the rebuttal instead of hastily avoiding it .  I remember our first session I was late and her remark was ” It’s fine , you aren’t delaying my workout but yours “. In the very beginning I couldn’t even do a box jump. But that’s when I truly saw what Dan and Drea stood for . Instead of shouting at me or making me feel small and ashamed they narrowed down to what was holding me back . I didn’t feel like a noob,  but instead challenged to one day be able to . And trust me when I did I pranched my fat ass straight up to them to boast that I could jump with both legs on a step.   But 2016 happened (it happened to us all) , I got accepted into Masters and began another journey as an emerging industrial Psychologist which BTW is my life long dream . One I’ve had to fight tooth and nail for . My focus shifted again, I had to prioritize and this year was tough . My finances weren’t great,  my social life wasn’t grand,  I think I’ve broken a few too many times.  But for the first time I had a coach and a friend who incidentally showed me the truth.  The one coach who wasn’t there to sell me on the latest gym merch but one who truly encapsulated the balance of life. Drea taught me the fun health  side,  encouraged my progress even though I wasn’t  a client anymore . I regret the day I couldn’t continue on the program but look forward to 2017 and going straight back on it . If you speak to me I’ll refer you straight to her because even though I’m not in the gym daily I’ve successfully kept the weight off that I lost with Drea. I’ve finally after a year been able to control my portions and understand nutrients without completing discarding a food group . I’ve finally been able to eat food , not feel guilty, and not gain like crazy , and most importantly I’ve found my love for weight lifting . For the first time I’ve got control.   Although my drinking habits could use some work , I walk into 2017 25kgs lighter, a non-smoker , walking into an amazing job with a company Im proud of be apart of . I walk in understanding that LIFE does happen and you may not have time to be in the gym 24/7 but when you can you make it count . I walk in with my focus set on consistency and reaching my full potential .  I walk in empowered through Drea and her love and light . So yeah I’ve still got some shedding to do , but one that isn’t wreckless.  Drea gives you more then a plan , she gives you your confidence . Like I said in the beginning , she gives you the ability to do it right .   So here’s to you , the reader – it’s not about being skinny, it’s not about loosing weight , it’s not about fitting a one dimensional aesthetic check box of ‘beauty’,  it’s about finding your own essence of beauty,  by finding your lust for life. Something which is unique to the GRG/Ambition Online brand.  The absolute consolidation between goals,  ability,  the body and the mind . So do yourself a favour , throw the pills out boo , throw out the fear to eat. Take a year and learn you !! For me although my body has changed I’ve had to learn how to look good in this skin and feel it, and I’ll have to do it again in my next few steps . But your health is not a goal.  Its a journey to soak in the essence of your beauty. That two second smirk scrubbed in sweat where you maxed your rep count, it’s that second of feeling two steps closer to you then you’ll ever feel before, it’s YOUR POWER   Give yourself a shot , do it properly .Your life will thank you.   Your presence will realize later”

One Life!

I am not nor have ever been interested in money or fame. I’ve always been interested in helping others, and going on adventures. You know you’re living your dream job if you could do it all for free, you would.
I have always been (almost) 100% clear on my Vision… My goals have always been clear. And, I’ve surrounded myself with people who remind of my capabilities when I feel low.
I’ve had a lot of less than perfect things happen and obstacles come in my way but my life is a direct result of the decisions I have made… and how I handled the ninja stars thrown at me. I’m not LUCKY. I’m not. I work really, really hard. Not everyone would like the life I have, to always be on your phone and giving yourself and your time to others, always traveling, I can imagine some people would hate that.
I do what I do because I love it. Anyone who knows me can testify to this. The over 100 testimonials I have prove this.
The point? You should too. You should love your job so much that you would do it for free. If I told you that in 5 years from now you will be doing the exact same thing you’re doing right now… Would you be happy? If the answer is no, you should start making changes! One decision and one change at a time.
One life ✌️
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HASHTAG FITCOUPLE

SOOOO You wanna date a fitness model, huh?   When it comes to dating a fitness athlete, I don’t think that people know what they are getting into.
Granted, relationships are hard no matter WHAT industry you’re in, I know this, but THIS issue is close to my heart because well…. I’m in it.
I am one, and dating one.
I think that because the nature of the industry is to make yourself look as glamorous and healthy as possible at all times, and to basically sell yourself from a very superficial stand point, and attempt to make yourself look as famous/lean/perfect and almost completely photo shopped at all times, it’s quite deceiving. It seems like such a glamorous thing and it seems super cool, I understand that, but like most things in life there’s a dark side. Much like every other sport, take ballet for example… You do not see the dark side because we never talk about it. You don’t see the bandaged ballet feet and fractures, dedicating years to perfecting skills, dieting to be thin, stuff like that. You will never understand unless you’re in it and I think this applies to many other things. Dating any elite athlete from any sport or sporting background requires an understanding that YOU, the partner, will not always be first priority.
 You might not even be second or fifth in line of importance. Some days you might not even go through their mind more than twice. They might only have 1-2 hours a week for you, they might even need to take several weeks to focus on something. You need to be OK with that. Dating anyone who is passionate or invested in ANY sport or even schooling, achieving a dream, or growing a business, it takes fully understanding that THEIR world does not revolve around you. I would say that someone in the peak of their career or studying to the extent that I’m describing, that maybe you shouldn’t BE in a relationship, but I can’t say that because I DID do that.  I have had boyfriends even throughout some of the busiest times of my life. I think if you can establish ahead of time that you ARE going to be busy and lay out your terms in advance, then I think it’s a little easier for your partner to decide if they want to be involved in that kind of lifestyle or not. But the problem is that in the beginning of relationships, especially if you don’t know yourself that well, you think you are OK with being second, or third, on someone’s list… but then it gets harder, and you change your mind. And of course, people do change once you get to know them too. There’s a lot of factors obviously that coming to play for situations like these but I think it’s super important that if you are looking to date someone that is very busy and focussing on something almost 100% of the time, then you need to think about what that’s going to be like. So that’s why I am writing this.
In bodybuilding there are so many things that need to be done leading up to a competition that consume so much time, and they all are imperative. Every meal counts. Every cardio session counts, and every MINUTE of cardio counts. Every weights session counts, and if my performance or my diet or my workouts are negatively impacted by my partner, it won’t work. Yes, once in a while, but if it becomes a constant thing, it won’t work. Meal timing, meal preparation and cardio, weights and then for women we have to prepare for photo shoots, outfits, bikinis, shoes, we have to organize hair and make up and nails and tanning. Possibly bed tanning, some people even get their teeth whitened, botox, laser, physiotherapy, sports massages, blood tests, meal prepping for an hour every second night, getting our eyebrows and absolutely every hair on our body completely wax off or shaved off and I think that to date someone in the industry is hard especially if you don’t understand  it, or at least try to understand, it’s going to cause a lot of problems for you both. It’s like that in ANY industry and any job at an elite or demanding. There’s no way. Most people in any career or running a business etc. will dedicate 8-15 hours a day to their cause or career. Bodybuilding is EVERY moment that you are awake. It’s on your mind/a pre-requisite from the minute you wake up, to the minute you go to sleep, AND even while you sleep your body is repairing itself. It’s ALWAYS working. If you’re not eating, you’re thinking about eating. If you’re not training, you’re planning when next to train. If you’re not grocery shopping, you probably need something. If you aren’t on social media or active on social media, you should be because you need to continue to keep the hype (this is for some people, not for all, but for some athletes with contracts and stuff you need to keep your following high and post often).
Trust. It’s also very difficult dating someone with a very large following on social media because the trust just has to be there already. You need to go into the relationship with an innate trust that is just there already, if you carry baggage from previous relationships, like being cheated on or whatever it may be, and you carry those issues into your new relationship 1 )That’s not fair in ANY relationship or situation, and 2) it won’t work well, or very long, because fighting about people liking your photos is actually ridiculous and exhausting. I know because I have been there, I am crazy from time to time, but I have ALSO been on the receiving end of the accusations. Someone I don’t even know and haven’t met likes my photo and I’m getting in trouble? Hells to the no. I don’t have time for that. I mean, I do now, but during prep time, no.  Building trust from day one is super important. Daniel and I actually had an advantage when we first started dating because we started with long-distance, and in order to be in a long-distance relationship, you have to kind of just have this inherent trust in someone. And I have been in very hurtful situations and betrayed by exes before, so it was very hard for me.  It’s not just trust, but just knowing that no matter what happens that you will be OK regardless of what the other person does, or doesn’t do. You WILL be okay regardless, you cannot control someone else actions. Establish your ground rules, let them establish theirs, and then try to not get worked up about things that the other person cannot control. Someone else acting a certain way, for example. You cannot control how someone acts to your partner, but you can establish YOUR ground rules and where YOUR lines are in how they are to react to the other persons actions, and you need to just trust that your partner will handle them as best they can. This is important, because sometimes people will handle things different to how YOU would handle things. As long as its handled, it shouldn’t matter. So, for example, if you are the type of person that will curve ANY opposite sex person messaging you in your inbox, then thats just how you are. You cannot expect everyone to curve people in the same way as you. Just trust that your partner IS doing their best, in their own way, to let people know that they are in a committed relationship, and if they aren’t, then thats a problem.
It’s even harder if you’re dating a fitness coach who gets progress pictures daily of half naked people. I think if I wasn’t a coach myself, it would be very difficult for me to be dating someone who is. We athletes get judged mainly by our appearance. Mainly. But on the whole, it’s got all kinds of people in it. It is very hard to understand but I think that’s because there is such a diverse amount of TYPES of people in it. For example there ARE girls who are in the industry just for attention and praise, and there ARE guys in the industry who do this just so they can look good and sleep around with a bunch of girls, of course there are,  but there are also people in the industry who are completely misunderstood because they are nice people. They are deep individuals who are incredibly intelligent, and there are people who work very hard and who care about the well-being of others, and people who are in the industry just to help other people get into fitness, and lead healthier lives. So it really depends on who you’re dating and the kind of person YOU are. But it really does take a special kind of person to be with someone in this industry, and if you are not in the industry and you are dating someone who is a model or in otherwise then I take my hat off to you because I can understand how difficult it is.
So you’re not dating yet, but you want to be;
A good place to start is to get to know the person. Get to really know who they are and what their values are. Get to understand how they work, their reasons for doing things, why they do what they do when they do, then make a decision from there. If you already know that you’re the type of person who needs attention, 1) why? Figure that out first.  2) decide to change OR decide to just focus on yourself while letting your partner work on him or herself, and just take things extremely show until there’s more time to work on things. 3) Decide to wait for someone that fits your needs, and your requirements.
So, what about the athlete? How does the athlete contribute to the relationship? Of course I am not just saying that the partner must understand the athlete and dote on them, no.
As the athlete, YOU should understand that you need to go out of your way to make your partner feel loved and special and important. Little things matter. It’s the little things that matter ALWAYS.  Like a quick voice note or text message in the morning saying that you’re thinking about them.  THIS is just as important as UNDERSTANDING the athlete, THE ATHLETE needs to go out of their way and work just as hard. It’s not 50/50 in relationships, its 100/100. BOTH of you need to be working hard, and equally as hard. Try to understand that your partner is already sacrificing a lot. They maybe help you make your meals, leave you along when you need to be left alone, they understand that you need to be on social media all the time, they understand that you need to gym every day instead of going to a movie or dinner.  Try to put yourself in their shoes sometimes.  Show them how much you appreciate their understanding. Be thankful when they do things for you. Do the little things that make them happy, even if it means skipping your cheat meal and moving it to the date that is your anniversary, do that. Do little things for them! Be interested in their lives also. Set reminders on your phone to remember little things, like their family members birthdays, send flowers or something every so often, do something. Because even though you’re busy, THEY need to feel special. You need to remember that THEY are used to coming second or third or 15th to chicken breasts, so a small reminder that you appreciate them will go a long long LONG way.
You kind of need to reassure each other ahead of time before things start becoming a problem. So for example, Daniel and I we show each other progress pics from clients all the time. And I observed how he looked at these progress pictures and it was always from the coaches point of view.  I think I speak for all PROFESSIONAL online coaches when I say that None of us look at bodies in a sexual way anymore at all. I could literally be looking at the hottest man on earth and immediately I would be looking at his body and just thinking of all the improvements he could make. I would immediately think ‘oh he’s an ectomorph, cool’  or I would be thinking ‘weird he leans/limps to the left so maybe he hurt himself or he has a weak point’ or ‘he must have an injury’ etc etc. Same with women, and I think most professional male coaches could (and probably do) receive thong or even half naked selfie’s from their clients but if you’re not in the industry you are still sensitive to nudity and things like that. Nudity doesn’t phase us. I really wish more people understood that boobs and abs and bums… all of it. Nudity really doesn’t phase some of us in this industry anymore, so there’s nothing to worry about in that department. Dan could literally receive and has received half naked photos from clients/ friends of ours being like ‘help how do I lose 5 pounds or my stomach’ and we sit there and go ‘cmmmmmmm,……  well maybe she should think about adding in some cardio or cutting down on the dairy, and no more tequila on weekends’. And then that’s it. End of discussion.  No fight, no comments, because this is something we established from day one that this is going to happen in our relationship. So, its a no-fight zone.
You DONT have to pick between a career and your partner. You DONT have to sacrifice success for a family. You DONT. But you do need to UNDERSTAND the relationship you’re getting into, and you need to look at it from both angles always. Put yourself in their shoes, and ask them to put themselves in yours sometimes. Some months you will have to put somethings on hold, sometimes your partner will need to put things on hold, but it can work, and it has to be a two way street. It’s going to be HARD. For both of you. Really, it is.
Daniel and I made so many sacrifices for each other to the point that I don’t think a lot of our family members or some friends even LIKE the sacrifices we had to make,  but we did it for each other and I would never ever take back the sacrifices that I made and the things that I put on hold to make my relationship work. But could I maybe be in a different place in the industry or even in my life? Probably. But I made that judgement call, and I have no regrets.
Relationships are hard and I am by no means a relationship expert. All I know for certain is that I am in one and we are happy 95.3% of the time. I know that I am a fitness model and an online coach and so is my fiancé, and I know how hard we have to work at making everything work. It was so incredibly hard.
But I can tell you, it was worth it.
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Photography

I’m BACK BISHES!     So anyway. It’s been a few months but I have lots of content….. so get ready!     Photography. If I had to guess, I would say that I have been in front of the camera thousands of times… For real. Since young I have never been shy of cameras. I have done many many photoshoots with many top photographers and I can say with certainty that it is a hard job. I really appreciate you, photographers, for your skills and your art. Photographers are misunderstood I feel, because it’s hard to see the work that goes into everything. Much like graphic designers, or even my job as an online coach, our jobs are very behind the scenes. Photographers take pictures for say one hour, but spend 10 hours on those photos editing. You dont see that. So, I can relate, when people don’t understand your profession. People cancelling, or asking for TFP -free photos- (Which is fine if you’re a beginner photographer or looking for a particular look for your portfolio and dont mind doing it, but most people who are very busy wont have the time) People don’t see the hours you spend on your computer or your phone, emailing back and forth sorting out a shoot, sorting make up artists and venues and everything. It takes ages and now with everyone acting like photographers because of cell phones and filters, it definitely has become harder I feel for photographers since it’s unappreciated a little bit. A good photographer is an artist in every sense of the word. You can’t fake creativity and you cant just “buy” or “practice getting” an eye for art or photography, you either have it or you don’t. Ten people could photograph the same model, the same flower or the same chair and it will come out ten different ways. And that alone is what really fascinates me about it all. So, after being in front of the lens for so long, I think im going to work on some things behind the lens. By no means am I saying I want to be a photographer, but I have such an appreciation for it that I want to learn more about it. A hobby, if you will. I’m excited to share more about that!   IMG_8160

Definitions

I saw this on Facebook the other day and it has been ringing in my head ever since. Nothing much else to say about it so I will just leave it here.  

to pin

“I will never be a well behaved woman.
I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.
I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.
I would rather live in a hammock on a beach for six months, and write like my soul means it.
I would rather be horribly broke at times, than married to a job because a mortgage payment has my ass on a hook.
I would rather own moments, than investments.
I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at ‘Wives’ Night.”
I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.
I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.
I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.
I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.
I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.
I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.
I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.
I would rather take the chicken bus, than spend useless money in safe gated communities. Sit beside a goat, listen to raggaeton and eat green mango with sugar in a plastic bag sold from the woman who harasses the bus each time it stops.
I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.
I do not need to own a piece of earth with some wood on top of it—to feel successful. No one truly owns the land, anyway—we just think we do.
My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.
I would rather sprawl my single ass out like a lioness each morning and enjoy each corner of my empty bed.
I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.
I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.
Stocks are for people who get boners from money.
Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.
I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.
Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!
I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.
If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.
Seek, see, love, do.”
by: Janne Robinson

Why I don’t feel like a fitness model anymore (or want to be called one)

It seems the industry drastically changed.  

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I remember when I started, the women around me were incredibly kind and inspiring.
Chady Dunmore, Claire Rae, and my local friends like Tannis Miller etc, A bunch of women who spoke to me when I reached out, became friends, and they inspire me to this day. So kind, cool, so amazing. True definitions of just chill amazing people- who realized that we are just fitness people working towards the same goal- inspiring others.
When I speak to athletes now it’s all about putting down other people… How many likes or followers do you have. Sponsorships (aka product in exchange for selling your soul with provocative photos to promote their product) …
I saw a guy I met a few years ago at an expo and he was so incredibly kind that I still remember vividly, thinking how nice he was. He was in South Africa recently and I saw him.. He was so cocky,rude and pretentious. I was so disappointed. This is one example of hundreds. What the hell happened to you guys. Seriously how do even have the audacity to think what you’re doing makes you famous. Insta famous isn’t a thing. People don’t pay you, you pose for hundreds of filtered/severely edited photos and people ‘like’ them. You exercise and eat healthy. Why should I admire you when you aren’t even a nice person? Because you have a nice body and sponsors and rip off other people’s diet plans and sell them as your own? Lol. No.
There are some good fitness models out there still don’t get me Wrong but the good ones are few and far between.
I just don’t feel like it’s the same anymore. It’s just so degrading. I follow fitness pages that are supposed to be motivating but all I see are ass implants and giant close ups of butts covered in “sweat” aka glycerine and water sprayed on your butt to look like sweat.
So you eat healthy. Ok cool. I’m not going to treat you like an astronaut though.
The actual term fitness model has lost all meaning.
Its about wanting attention and being extremely narcissistic and selling yourself. Its about chicken and broccoli and “gains”…
Dieting.
I did that already. I did that for eight+  long years. I missed birthdays. I didn’t do festivals. I was busy. I missed weddings. I did it already bro.
When I wake up my first thought isn’t food anymore or to do morning cardio. It’s usually work and sometimes food.
 I don’t have dreams about food (as often) I dream about Armin Van Buuren coming to South Africa again and then how he gives me free tickets to his show and we hang out.
I feel responsible for more chicken deaths than KFC.
I ate fish and broccoli FOR BREAKFAsT. A lot.
I hate fish. Forced myself.
I hadn’t had cake in what felt like years.
Then. I learned my body more and was able to eat a bit less crazy.
Then I studied IIFYM more.
Studied sports science. Still am.
Then…
I fucking AGED. I don’t know when it happened or who allowed this to happen but I woke up one day at 27 like..
Who the hell let this happen. I was 20 and then I blinked.  And just like that my priorities changed.  I’m focused on studying and adulting.
I chose a life I enjoy fully. I loved life then but priorities change.
 I don’t feel like a fitness model anymore because I’m a fitness expert now. I truly feel I’ve mastered my balance and I’m not actively shooting or competing but I could easily if I wanted to. And I’m going to soon.
Everyone is a fitness model now. I’m focused on being an awesome coach to people all over the world and learning more every day. How many likes or followers or “finding good lighting” and making my friends take pictures of me all day isn’t what I’m about and isn’t what I EVER was about.
So don’t call me a fitness model. That term has lost all meaning and quite frankly respect from me.
Do I regret it? Absolutely not.
Will I do it all again? Like compete?
Hell yeah. More than likely.
But for now… I’m just going to enjoy my training and eating healthy, and that’s that.

I AM.. body positive

I AM
What does it mean to be body positive?
Someone said to me that body positivity is basically fat girls loving themselves and justifying their decision to be overweight. And I have also heard that because I have what most girls would consider a “perfect body” that it’s easy for me to be body positive.
Hahaha. Ok.
Maybe for some.  But definitely not for me.
But just because I have a “fit” body means I can’t be a body positive advocate?
Pardon my French but fuck that.
I have cellulite most of the time. In fact for me to lose it I have to train really hard for an extended period of time. And actually I’m quite naturally curvy. My natural shape is an hourglass. But, just because that’s what is in style now the Kim K body doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with body issues. Maybe I wanted to be a tall slim type or something else. YOU Don’t know.
I think every woman should love the body she has and be confident that it’s all considered beautiful. No matter what your body type you too can be a body positive advocate. Just because you’re incredibly muscular or thin and have what society deems a perfect body, you have the right to call yourself beautiful. Don’t be ashamed because you have a gorgeous body. AND…. Don’t be ashamed because you don’t feel like you have a perfect body. There’s no such thing as a perfect body and I think that’s what body positivity is about. There’s no such thing. We’re all beautiful to someone and we should all focus on being beautiful to ourselves. Be proud Of what you put IN or ON your body and take care of yourself.
I think THAT is what we should all aspire to!
I eat healthy most of the time and train at least 5 days a week. I still have cellulite and big thighs but guess what. I’m strong AF! For me to get to a photo shoot weight I will have to diet hard for four weeks. It’s hard and I get cranky but that’s what I’ll have to do. I don’t want to live that way so I don’t. I choose life, happiness and healthiness. It’s not healthy to be in a calorie deficit all the time. Nor do I think it’s healthy to track calories or macros all the time.
Live your life.
Love yourself.
Treat your body right, and encourage others to do the same, and to do what’s best for them. Respect other people’s decisions and encourage each other to love themselves.
You don’t have to justify how you choose to live to anyone.
Body positivity crew HOLLA!
Sending positive vibes✌️
🦄I encourage you to create your best life through food, fitness and fun adventures!
Create a life with NO limits. 🚀
Need help❔ I’m here. Andreasmith_0990@icloud.com

Birds of a feather..

birds of a feather
Who you spend time with is who you become. And getting yourself in close proximity with people that are positive, people you admire, people who are succeeding, even if you have to work for someone for free, ask them to hang out on weekends, go for coffee and bounce ideas off of them,  it is important to just get IN the environment and INVOLVED with people who are successful or people you admire.
Success to you may be different to others. I admire some women in my life because they are the most incredible mothers and wives, and that is something I admire. When I am at that place in my life, great mothers and nurturers are whom I will seek solace and advice from.  Find these people you admire, and get involved! Speak to them on Facebook, let them KNOW that they inspire you or motivate you. Their habits, their outlook on life, it will alI rub off on you… you will begin to think like they think and you will start see where the awesome opportunities for positive change are in your own life are.
You don’t like your friends and you don’t think they are your TRUE friends…why are they still in your life? Your managers? Boss? Co-workers? Don’t like them either? Well then, do you really expect your life and career to be any different from doing the same thing and being in the same situations? You keep messing with boring, unmotivated, negative, evil, and dysfunctional people and expecting positive results. We all know the definition of insanity, don’t we? Doing the same thing the same way repeatedly and expecting different results…? Well.
We have been raised in a generation of people who come up with EVERY EXCUSE in the book for EVERY single thing that is going wrong in their life.  Excuses, to be honest, only sound legit or valid to the person making them up.
For me, life is a continuous, learning journey full of highs, lows and in-betweens. I often find myself asking “Who am I becoming?”  When we spend large amounts of time with people (or things, or ideas), we should wonder about who we are becoming in this process. For me, it’s important to grow, to learn, to be kind, to be more compassionate.  My fitness/health, my career, my clients, my personal relationships, and my spiritual relationship with God, are what is most important to me. It is necessary to find people who think the same way YOU do.
Look around the room when you are out on weekends with your friends, or who you hang out with the most. With who you converse with the most. If you are the smartest one in the room, you are in the WRONG room.
If nothing around you changes, change the things that are AROUND YOU.
Sending positive vibes✌️
🦄I encourage you to create your best life through food, fitness and fun adventures!
Create a life with NO limits. 🚀
Need help❔ I’m here. Andreasmith_0990@icloud.com

Valentine’s Day is in TWO WEEKS!

SUPER LOVEY DOVEY POST ALERT!

From DanDrea
All love-haters, avert your gaze. Please ask siri to beatbox for you, and then carry on with your day.
It’s TWO weeks to valentines day, and I am excited.
 
Am I doing anything special? Not really. Not big honeymoon planned- we’re actually going to a yoga, surf and Stand Up Paddleboard retreat! no time for hanky panky there!
We weren’t even together last valentines day. So we spent it just like every other day, and skyped in the evening.
Every valentine’s day before that was pretty much the same. It REALLY is another day in the year. Its not special. To me, every day should feel like valentines day. BUT…. its nice to celebrate being in love and having a day dedicated to it. Although really and truly, if you are in a super loving relationship, you won’t feel like you need it. I know i don’t feel like I need it. We show each other in every action that we can and in as many words per day as we can that we love each other, so there really is no need.
 This post, is basically how I view relationships (in a nutshell) but please don’t judge me entirely on it, because I feel there are many facets and ways to love someone, and there are many different circumstances. This is just a small snippet.
I personally think there are many loves of your life.
Actually, I think that some the biggest loves you’ll have are your friends. I can think back to some friendships I had in elementary, and high school, and I can honestly say I truly loved those people with EVERY ounce of my being, because you don’t expect to get hurt with friendships. And thats why, when a friend hurts you, it hurts in a different way.
One day, I will share in great great detail how Dan and I met. It’s a long long long story, and actually one that I wrote up for him COMPLETE WITH PHOTOS… for Valentines day last year in 2015 🙂 We had been speaking for just under a year and I thought, you know what, I need to document this. Whatever happens, I need to write down this insane story of ours. And one day when I have had three glasses of wine and I’m blogging, I will definitely do that for you guys!
But for now, I am just going to talk a bit about relationships and some conversations I have had recently.
Relationships, are choices. Life is a long series choices. Duh, right?
but if you treated the person that you are choosing to spend your life with, and THEY are choosing to spend their life with YOU, treat them like such.
Think about the following statement: Of ALL of the guys and girls in the world that you know and out of EVERYONE you have met and gotten to know, THIS one person, this amazing individual (obviously they’re amazing, THEYRE DATING YOU, you fox you!) has agreed to spend AN INDEFINITE amount of time with you. Think about that. You may not be engaged, you may not even be talking about forever, but they have decided that right now, for this period of your life, however short or long, YOU are who they want to be their partner. THINK ABOUT THAT! Think about how amazing that is, and treat that person as such. Wow, you chose me.
Sometimes, as you do, I would hear people say something like “I love you more and more everyday” on tv or about their partner, and i felt that that was always just a statement you say about someone. Kind of like “I have never had more energy in my life and if I can do it, you can do it” when people talk about losing weight. Its like “THE THING” to say right. hahaha. (I get back to this point later)
I also didn’t think it was possible to love my partner more than I do, and I guess I had never been with someone that made me feel that way.  To me, its not so much loving them more and more every day but being more and more sure about how much you love them every day- maybe thats just me. The feeling of being so sure and CHOOSING them every day, is the feeling that makes me feel so happy and in love. every day we do things for each other and every day I’m reminded and reassured that this person loves me as much as I love them.
Do I want to kill him some moments in the day? yes. Sometimes that feeling lasts a good 7 hours.  But they are few and far between. I remember being in relationships that really didn’t feel like that. Constant fighting. And as much as you want to justify the fighting, there really isn’t a good reason. Are there bad periods? yes. But those are circumstantial. Do you have kids? have you been together for years? if so, a few bad months is probably normal. But you don’t have kids, its only been a short amount of time, you don’t share finances, what are you fighting about every day? sorry but it WONT WORK.
I think people need to understand also, that nobody is perfect. (haha DRE YOURE AN IDIOT THAT IS OBVIOUS)
oh really is it? When we’re raised in a generation that believes EVERYONE is special, YOU deserve the best, YOU ARE the best, how can you not think you deserve the best?
Look, yes you do deserve the best. You are perfect in your own way. But I have news for you… there are some serious shitty sides to you. There are some really serious shitty sides to me. Im super messy and I actually have sever ADHD so when you talk to me, it looks like I won’t be paying attention but I am. And there are more shitty sides to me, but I should probably talk to my therapist about those first…
Anyways. My point is, I think people need to pick and choose people who’s demons play well with theirs. And, you need to be fairly certain that you have worked on YOUR issues first before you start pointing out everyone else’s. Work on yourself FIRST!
Dan is patient, and I need that. I am calm in crisis’ and emergency situations, and Dan needs that.
 Everyone has shit. If YOUR person’s “SHIT” is that they have communication issues, and you can’t handle that, then you need to know that and pick up on that. Try to work on it. If you think it can’t be fixed, leave. If you’re not expressing how you feel to your partner after several months of being together, it probably won’t work. Boundaries and communication has to be set early on, in my opinion.
Back to the demons— If your person is a wealthy powerful person and thats what you want, but they aren’t the most loyal, then you need to evaluate if thats what you want. A lot of women put up with that and turn a blind eye (I would not. But I know a lot of people who do, AND THATS FINE! )
 Im not saying you should put up with things you don’t want, but I also think there needs to be a little bit of a “less” expectation than what people are expecting … MAYBE THATS JUST ME, but when I sincerely look at my friends and my guy friends, and even (especially) myself, I’m like, I would totally not date you. Your demons just do not play well with mine, and I think we would kill each other.
Nobody is perfect. NOBODY. Once you get to know and love someone (hence why I think dating is so important) you can evaluate after a while what is important to you, and what isn’t. It took me a lot of failed relationships to learn
A) what I needed to improve about myself, but
B) what I will never put up with in a partner.
To me, a perfect relationship is two perfectly imperfect people coming together. You have to be two WHOLE people …WHOLE. Like, Dan is my world, but he’s not MY ENTIRE WORLD. You feel? I WANT him in my life, I don’t NEED him. Thats the difference. Like, I WANT pizza, I don’t need pizza. But hot damn, do I love pizza A LOT.
Like, a lot. And I love him a LOT more than pizza!
Also, can I just rant for a second? Whats with this whole thing about people posting their gifts/actions from their partners on instagram. Why? Can I ask why? like, all the time? I can understand he bought you a car or something crazy, you post that shit girl. Thats awesome. But every time he gives you flowers? Is he really not giving you anything to the point you have to post every time he does something nice? like, have you never received flowers before? does he literally only buy you flowers three times a year?  are you posting that for your followers, or for yourself?
Oh he did something cute for you this morning? wow that must really not happen often. That should happen OFTEN.
I see people post EVERY single time their partner does something cute or amazing. Do I love it? actually, I do, yes. But I feel theres always an ulterior motive or something not right with that. Why? are you posting this for me or for validation for yourself? or are you trying to rub it in someones face? IF I posted every time me and my partner did something cute for each other I would have exactly 2 followers.  My mom and my best friend. And actually I think my mom would unfollow me so, I would maybe have 1 follower. .I would be posting minimum 3 times a day about how he did this or that, how I did this, etc.
 Be in love and post what you feel is cute and amazing, but if you’re posting ALL THE TIME, like too much,  maybe think about the motive for that. Ask your real blunt friends if you’re posting too much. If so, maybe identify the reason for that, and address that. I know from experience there are many reasons. Insecurities, you want everyone to know you’re still together, possibly just missing them, wanting everyone to know how great you are…. If your relationship revolves around what other people think thats not a good thing. MOTIVE, people. Get to the root of the issue. Why are you looking for validation for your relationship on social media all the time? Figure that one out. I think posting your partner is great and makes them feel loved, but theres a line folks.
I don’t need flowers (Although I like them) but I have received many big expensive gifts before, without love. Actions without sentiment and feelings are empty. People say actions are louder than words, but I think you need both. Actions and words equals no doubts. No fears.
But, anyway. in the end, its not so much that I love him more and more every day, even though it feels that way. It’s me learning something new about him, appreciating him more, appreciating something he does, and CHOOSING to love him every day. Its a decision I make with every action, every fight I avoid, every boundary I have set, and every little thing I do for him. And, I say this as a major believer in equal rights, I do this because I get so much more in return. True love to me, is loving someone full heartedly and KNOWING that they feel the same back. It’s not 50/50, its 100/100.  Theres nothing but kindness, and happiness. I feel safe. Theres no doubt. Theres just love.
Love
I wish you and yours a very happy Valentines Day, and if you haven’t found your love yet, YOU WILL! For now, CELEBRATE with your friends!
Work on yourself and becoming your BEST self, and you absolutely will find someone as amazing as you undoubtedly are!
 ———————————
Keep an eye out for our FITCOUPLE program, coming out in the next few days! 😉
A bit about the fit couple program:
  One of the best things about being in a great relationship is being with someone who pushes you to being a better YOU! This program is great for any couple wanting to get fit TOGETHER! FIT COUPLE GOALS! Includes: -6 weeks of workouts, three different phases (so workouts change every two weeks) that you can do with your partner. (Gym workouts, or at home workouts) -6 weeks of nutrition with a separate nutrition program for males and females-SIMILAR ingredients so that you can meal prep together! -Recipes and different nutrition tips -Cardio recommendations -Supplementation recommendations   Recommended for women and men wanting to lose body fat and gain lean muscle mass, of average (Normal/Overweight) height and weight.
Note: I do not determine what you consider to be average! I personally think this program would be suitable to any woman or man who is not extremely under or overweight for their height! If you are I suggest a custom program. If you are unsure of where you would fit on the scale, check/look up a BMI scale online where you are on the BMI scale. This program would be fine for anyone between Normal weight and Overweight on the BMI categories.

Tanya Théberge Bikinis

Théberge bikinis are the best, I’m not going to dance around it the absolute moral and point of this post is how incredible this talented artist is, how much she’s influenced me on a professional and personal level, and how much she inspires me. She’s an entrepreneur, artist, mom, designer, and incredible friend.
Personally, I have lost count of how many bikinis that I have gotten from her, but I have loved every single one. If I have an idea or design that won’t work for my look/body she’ll tell me. If it’s ugly or not the right vibe for me, she’ll tell me. And I appreciate that a lot. Honesty is everything!
There’s a difference between a regular looking suit and a piece of art.
There’s a difference between your typical blinged out bikini suit, and a decorated Théberge suit full of Swarovski crystals. There’s nothing wrong with the other suits but when I’ve spent thousands of hours, tears AND dollars to get my posing routine and body to get it looking a certain way for this important day, I want my suit on point as well. I go big or I go home! If the suit isn’t 100% perfect, she won’t send it out on stage. She won’t put her name on something that isn’t 100% amazing. Thats the quality that I want in my suits!
Even before she started with her clothing line, I told her 8 years ago that when I get married, she’s making my wedding dress. We’ve already talked about it as I’m sure she already knows what I want before I will even know what I want! She just is that great at reading people. She’s so enthusiastic about every bikini and piece that she has hand made for me, it makes the experience that much better. And that’s just working with her. Getting to know her is a different kind of privilege and quite frankly,  has been a blessing!
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Sometimes when I’m around parents and children, especially lately, it kind of scares me out of the idea of kids because all I really hear is how your life as you know it is over as soon as you have kids. I’ve always wanted to do an insane amount of crazy things with my life & also with my partner and I just get scared at the idea that life stops when you have kids. All your big dreams, done. That’s just what you hear you know. Everyone’s lives just become focused on the children. You either pick the big career the big titles  the big jobs, Orrrrrrrrr the kids. Which is fair I mean that’s what you wanna do then mad respect to you. Of course this isn’t the case for everyone, I am well aware!! But I can imagine it’s difficult to balance that!
Tanya is the first person that I’ve met with a baby and a teenager.. and she is absolutely killing it. She’s dominating life. Accomplishing huge goals, creating art, and is such an amazing mom. And it’s different because I’ve known Tanya for years, I understand her art I’ve seen her grow. Becoming a designer from Canada seemed impossible but I always knew she would do it. Undoubtedly. I’ve been a loyal fan since day 1. There are many many moms out there accomplishing their dreams don’t get me wrong but Tanya is the first one I got to know personally and witness over a period of 8 years. She’s the first person to ever make me feel like I could still live all of my dreams and have a family too.
Tanya is not just talented but smart, intuitive, empathetic, but also tough when I need it.  I’m fired up and motivated every time we speak, and that’s a gift to have and a rare quality so I feel blessed to know her!
If you haven’t, you need to check out her work. These bikinis are not just for competitions. I have rocked these suits for photo shoots, in Vegas, and just for an awesome beach bikini.
Her instagram is @Thebergebikini, and you NEED to check her out!
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