Ambition Online Fitness Blog

A Great Woman.

Women’s day is coming up!

YAY! The amount  of incredible women I have had the pleasure to know and love, is ASTOUNDING. While we do have a long way to go, I think it’s so wonderful how we live in a world that women can be fierce, strong, power lift, run companies and countries, and I know with my whole soul that women are the future. Our power is in our diverse emotions and in how we handle situations with sympathy and empathy, things that used to be held against us are our strengths. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, godmothers and aunties. We are powerful. And for as long as I can remember I have always been drawn to incredible women and somehow it became my career to encourage women to fall in love with themselves and there is no job I would rather have. Yeah okay maybe it would be cool to be a millionaire but maybe one day. In the interim, I am so blessed to have come across so many incredible souls, so many wonderful women who not only helped me see my true potential and to live my truth, but it becomes a ripple effect felt around the 🌎. 

To every woman I have ever had the immense pleasure of meeting and knowing, thank you. You are amazing. I am so lucky to know so many boss babes who have shaped me to be the woman I am today. To say that I have been blessed with these relationships is a serious understatement. I am who I am, because of you. I am here and flourishing because of your love and support. I feel happiness, contentment and unconditionally loved and indestructible because of you. I love you, I miss you, and I am beyond thankful for every text, voice note, lesson, encouragement, favour, every tear and I am thankful every day for who you are and everything you are.

You have taught me more than you will ever know. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t. 

 

I was fortunate to be born in a family with very strong and independent women. My grandmother, who was born in 1925, in Portugal, dated a black man (which was then very scandalous), and later went through a divorce, and at 65 moved to Canada to start a new life, with her daughter and grand children. She was a chef, and had the best laugh. She always encouraged me to wear mini skirts and show off my body, but also taught me that I am not a force to be messed with. She taught me how to cook and that it’s okay to love your body and how you look. That you can also be a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. 

My mother, who is an only child, moved to Canada in her 20s for a better life, with nothing, and worked her way up to what she and my dad have now. She worked 3 jobs, raising four kids with her mother while my dad was in and out of the city traveling for work. My mom cleaned up after us, gave us a great education, loved us unconditionally, and did absolutely everything for us while we were growing up. She would often stay up all night with me because I would cram for an exam the night before, in pure procrastination style, and in university would stay up weekly and help me. She taught me what hard work means, and how to survive on very little sleep. She taught me how to be a good friend, a hard worker, and a good wife. But most importantly, she and my grandmother taught me how to be a good woman and what that means is different to everyone.

Here is what it means for me. 

I think every woman had the right to choose her career. Be it a stay at home wife or the Prime Minister, she should have the right and feel that should she want to do those things, she can without judgement or discrimination because she’s a woman. I think being a good woman means loving yourself in all of your forms, and loving your body and your mind and knowing and loving its full potential. I think being a good woman is sometimes being vulnerable and owning who you are, including the not so great bits. It’s standing in your power and encouraging others to do the same. 

  I am so proud to be a part of a generation that fights for equality,  to end body shaming, that fights for female empowerment, that can elect women into powerful positions, a generation that fights for what it believes in. There is room at the top for all of us, we ARE the top. Thank you to all the influential women in history who fought for our right to wear bikinis, or burkas,  to vote, to an education, to choose our own religion, to be gay, to be CEO’s, to have a voice. And thank you to the women of today and the future, who are fighting for the women in the world who don’t have this privelige. May we never stop fighting for each other, may we never stop loving each other. It starts with you. Start by realizing your own power, by loving yourself and the wonder and power that is YOU, and then help others see that in themselves. You don’t inspire others by showing how amazing you are. You show them by showing them how amazing THEY are. 

And YOU, my friend,

You. 

Are. 

Amazing. 

Happy women’s day, you GORGEOUS THING YOU!

“Scream so that one day a hundred years from now, another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice”. – jasmin kaur. 

 

 

 

Weird Relationships…

As I mentioned in my last blog, for the last 3 years I have struggled with transitioning from fitness athlete/cover model to life coach.  I am on a spiritual and mental journey now, and my body is coming along for the ride, not the other way around. 

Sometimes you don’t know what your destiny is until you are looking back at it. You see, I had been becoming this person all long and with my faith and sheer determination I always stck to my gt, and followed my passions, even when times were shitty.  

And it happened in a moment. I was sitting at home editing this website, and the feeling of not knowing who I am NOW, at 29, or what I wanted this brand to be was still in the pit of my stomach, and I was listening to Podcasts and studying courses online since I have online clients I am on my computer a lot and have my own schedule right, so I do a lot of learning during the day and study a lot- and I listen to Podcasts a lot. I stumbled upon a Podcast by Brooke Castillo, and she talks about being a life coach. And I swear to you guys it hit me like a train, all of my life I have been training for this job and I had no idea. I sat there, open mouthed with a soapy dish in my hand staring at the window, like, I have been training for this my whole life without knowing.

I studied sciences for my first 2 years in university while I was a lifeguard AND worked at Future shop selling computers. I also started training then because university made me gain weight. (The freshman 15 you know!) anyways, I wanted to get into medicine. I wanted to study medicine since I was very young. I always wanted to be a doctor.  And then I started volunteering in a hospital. GUYS, it was not what I thought. I had been training and working out by this point for a  few months, and like most things I do, I research them extensively. I left Future Shop and started working at a gym, and my love for health and fitness started. I couldn’t study medicine because it didn’t vibe with my values. I am not about prescribing pills and emergency medicine, I wanted PREVENTATIVE medicine. DUH! so I became a trainer, to start. The plan was to look into holistic medicine later in life. (And who knows, I may still)! I switched my studies to world religions and marketing in university, and started my own company at 19. The company took off, and I was helping women all across Winnipeg and dominating the fitness industry and it was great.

You see, even my childhood was preparing me for life coaching. I am the oldest of 4 kids, all of us are completely different from each other, I traveled a lot as a kid and experienced different cultures, all kinds of different people, experienced poverty and wealth, experienced so many different things, then fitness taught me so much about mental strength, and al of these things laid a solid foundation to helping others. I have always had an ability to look at things from an objective point of view, and my personality type is very logical I see things from a different point of view as opposed to emotional (most of the time).

its funny where we find inspiration if we are open to it. More often than not, when you think you’re lost and sad, you’re in the most important period of your life. Every time I was ‘lost’ I was actually being led by God/the universe to my purpose. That was my gut, and I just followed it and now we’re here!

So, 2018! Can you believe it!

This whole last month (Jan 2018) I was sick for about 18 days. It was the sickest I have ever been. And, it was completely my fault. I have been abusing my body since I haven’t had any real motivation to be in shape. You see, my IDEA of ‘shape’ and health was directly reflected from the ‘smallest’ I was. And I KNOW, that for me to get back into the shape I was, is impossible now because I am not willing to do what I did then. That wasn’t healthy and I don’t want to do that. I don’t feel like committing that much time and money and effort RIGHT NOW, to do that. I truly am happy just enjoying my life. BUT, I wasn’t focused on my health. Yes I still train and I do some cardio and eat healthy, but I also drank and still didn’t sleep properly and didn’t make drinking water a priority. Alcohol and I have never had a healthy relationship, but I couldn’t really drink when I competed, so when I stopped three years ago it was a free for all. I didn’t have those years of 19-26 years old to really experiment with my alcohol or learn my limits, so I kind of have been learning them later in life. And basically, my body hates alcohol. My mouth loves it though. So I have been finding my definition of sobriety and it is somewhere in the middle. My limit is basically 3 drinks but once I have had 3 drinks I lose the tiny amount of inhibition I have and stop caring. The struggle right? Well, when my health gave out, that was the very necessary rock floor that I needed to turn my HEALTH around. I have been in my head so much I have ignored the one thing that started me on this journey in the first place.

Change is hard in general, but this one was easy. I knew something was off. I mean, I am an intelligent person, I can do anything I put my mind to. So, why can’t I make the decision to just STOP drinking? well, there are many reasons. 1, like I said, I enjoy it. It’s fun. My friends all drink. 2, Cape town is a WINE HEAVEN, and it 

I won’t call it sobriety just yet, but I will call it working on my relationship. And the same way I have self control with my diet, sometimes I will get out of hand. But I am learning and I am being honest with you, so I will keep you posted! 

Self Control is defined differently to each person.

To me, I am eating healthy Monday to Friday, training every day, and IF I feel like alcohol on the weekend I will, but not every weekend. I wake up every morning and look at Signal Hill, and smile. At least I am in a beautiful city! And waking up NOT hungover, HUGE BONUS!

If you think you may be having issues with self control, be it alcohol or food, here are some points below that I really had to dig deep and reflect on when I was first contemplating making a change.

1)  Hangovers get worse and worse, and you wake up not really knowing what happened the night before, for me more than once a month was when I started realizing it was affecting my life.

2)   I started noticing that I was craving alcohol / food during emotional periods, so I recognized that it was emotional eating and drinking, which can become uncontrollable.

3)  I was WANTING to make changes but felt helpless to them. For example, I would commit to not drinking before going out and then would not be able to limit it to 1. Which is an issue I never had when competing, so I thought and justified my drinking with the fact that I was going through a hard time or whatever. I will say this was the hardest thing to break, because I had to just stop going out for a bit and not have anything at all, but after 1 month it is super easy now.

4)  When going out, if I was bored (which is often because I have the attention span of a goldfish) I would drink to NOT be bored. Spoiler: bad idea. I suggest just being aware of this, handle the boredom and limit your drink to 1 per hour.

5)  Shots- ALWAYS A BAD IDEA!

6)  LASTLY, honestly, live your life. If you are enjoying it and not hurting your BODY or your MENTAL STATE like I was, then you should be okay. If your friends, family and finances aren’t being affected because of your drinking or eating, then you should be ok.

Here’s to embracing change. We are always going to have challenges but if we can embrace those challenges and overcome our difficulties then that is where we’re going to find peace. It’s not what we go through in life, but how we go through life.  I have always and will always encourage others to learn from my mistakes, discuss things openly and help others as many as I can. Cheers to openness! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at Andreasmith_0990@live.com.

 
Wishing you health & happiness,

30 Before 30

I posted on my instagram that I have a 30 before 30 list, and people on my Facebook and Instagram have helped me come up with this list. It is a LOT of stuff and I had so much fun putting it together!

So, 

I thought I’d update you on my 30 before 30 list. I’ve had to change it because some things just weren’t gonna happen so here’s the slightly altered one with comments!

 

 1. No drinking 

  • I’ve been pretty good with this one, except in Durban. Damn Durban! So until Easter weekend I won’t be. I’ve been writing about my drinking experience in my other blogs so you can go a bit deeper there, but since reflecting and deciding if drinking is really serving me, it’s been really nice to be semi sober and find it a lot more fulfilling. I also didn’t find it comfortable at this point in my life either to commit to being completely sober so semi sober it is for now!  But in all honestly, absolutely loving it, a lot more productive, and feeling really on point. The ‘fog’ I had in my brain has lifted. 

2. Learn a new language 

  • I’m getting far in Dutch on Duolingo and I have started with Afrikaans on Mondly, which are GREAT apps! I think once I am done with dutch I will be refreshing my spanish. 

3. Do an 80’s montage with Dan

  • This will take some planning but keen

4. Have a chocolate nemesis from Society Bistro

  • HAve a date with Insta Eats and going to try this bad boy out!

5. Hike by krom river 

  • doing this for sure may combine it with the other hike I have planned below

6. Take 1 pic a day until April 12 starting now- have been! even just random stuff I will take pictures of. 

7.  Jump off Bloukrans bridge (bungee)

  • don’t know if I can do this one… too many expenses for March, SO unless someone wants to sponsor this jump,  I am going to do a Kundalini yoga class every monday instead. 

8. Random acts of kindness 1x per week

  • have been! the under resourced people who live in our area are being treated weekly with different things!

9. Stand up paddle in camps bay

  • booked! 

10.  Paraglide off signal hill

  • also booked 

11.  Take a selfie with a stranger every day for a week 

— Thinking of doing this at the gym starting in March.

12.  Kayaking  – anyone want to do this one with me?

  • booked

13. Hike skeleton gorge / table mountain and swim in the dam on table mountain

— March some time

14. Sunrise yoga session on the beach

  • booked 

15. Learn how to make some South African dishes / cooking class

— I have got 2 dishes planned to learn over Easter weekend from my sister in law!

16. Trail run/ half marathon (if I can before April)

–so I was going to do this but I keep getting sick, so I am going to make it a goal to run 5k a few times, no resting, before my 30th. Which I haven’t done in ages so that will be tough!

17. Paint more because I love it

  • Actually will be helping my Candz paint her house as she’s moving so THAT will be cool! painting a canvas I will do in April.

18. Go Camping — we are going to the farm for Easter weekend in the free state and going to camp there!

19. Go see the penguins on boulders beach

  • Definitely doing that!

20. Write a book

  • started. Honestly, way harder than I thought it would be. I have written MANY e-books, as you can see on the website, but writing a story is different. I have two on the go at the moment, so I will hopefully finish one before the birthday. 

21. Beach picnic and bonfire 

  • Can’t do the fire part because absolutely all of Cape Town will light on fire but beach picnic yes! Doing this for Dan’s birthday!

22. Sand boarding at the Atlantis dunes — unsure if I can actually do this one but would LOVE to. Will see

23. Donate a big bag of clothes to Hope street and work on a capsule closet

  • done

24. Switch from plastic completely to @kurobocharcoal charcoal water system and get others to too!

  • can’t actually do this one because of the drought problem, which I’m sad about but we WILL be recycling our storage water and all that AFTER, still using our charcoal to filter our drinking water! So going to change this one to focusing on creating a plastic recycling system for after the drought issue has passed in cape town, to make it easier for everyone to recycle. hopefully we can get some help for this one too! And this will be way later in the year, but if anyone in JHB or DBN wants a water filtration system and is keen to get rid of plastic FOREVER, please check out Kurobo! 
  • Also, since we cant get rid of our plastic bottles just yet, we are being diligent with our shopping bags, using tote bags, and limiting our waste as much as possible. 

25. Go to silver mine nature reserve – Not sure about this one, may change it

26. Go to blue rock resort and canoe- similar to kayaking so might change this too, but sounds really cool! Anyone wanna come?

27. Binge read 1 book in one day

  • I’ve done this before, many times, but not lately because life has been busy. So, I have Dan Ariely’s A Taste of Irrationality ready to go and Rising Strong by Brene Brown 

28. Try 2 new food dishes I’ve never had — Changing this one to a different skill/thing I have always wanted to do, I am going to start collecting and refurbishing antique furniture, so before my 30th I will do 2 items! 

29. Learn to drive standard (finally) – NOT SURE WHY I am so scared to do this, but I am going to do at least 3 lessons before the birthday. I think im just scared to kill Dan’s car which is like his second wife. 

30. Do a super sexy shoot 

  • May happen after birthday but will happen!

 

Here goes nothin! 🧐

 

 

New Year, Same Me

Boy do I have some updates for you! It’s been 10 months since I last made a blog post, but I am back! Yes, this is Andrea. Dan isn’t the blogging type, ya know?

So where to start? well, from the beginning I think!

I’ve been going through weird transition phases since I stopped competing (my last show was 2014) and OH, MOVED ACROSS THE WORLD to South Africa from Canada. Since then, things have been really crazy.

We then moved after one year in Durban, to Cape Town. I love this city! Even though we are facing a massive drought at the moment, which I will touch on in depth on this blog because I need to process some feelings and I am choosing to do so with writing.

Anyway, I am back on social media, but mostly in blog/vlog/working format.

For the last 3 years, I have struggled with transitioning from fitness athlete and cover model to life coach. And, I didn’t really understand it until recently. I didn’t want to accept that I was OVER the fitness industry/ resenting it, I just knew that I needed a break from it. It’s hard transitioning from one industry to another! But it’s been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I just see myself with more to offer the world than my looks and my body, and damn near killing myself and my soul to get my body into that shape and state. I just don’t see the benefit anymore. I will always love competing for the challenge and the sport that it is but it has changed and I don’t love it.

I am on a spiritual and mental journey now, and my body is coming along for the ride, not the other way around.

2014/2015 was the last year that I was doing shoots and dieting like a fitness model would, and that is when I also started my serious relationship with Dan. As you may or may not know, 2014 was a huge year for Dan and I in our respective careers, we both had magazine covers and were doing well on the fitness stage. We were both great athletes and coaches, and our focus was on the external. We both were cool people, of course, but the focus was very much on the external. And I was living in LA which is a bit of a ‘fake’ place anyway but I won’t get into that. (I still love it though and love SoCal the most! it was just a bit toxic for me based on where I was emotionally then).

It started in 2016 when I started to notice the changes. I was resenting fitness, and my clients that were competing, I wasn’t really excited for them I was more worried. Probably reflecting on what I felt, scared they would go through the same thing I witnessed plenty of people go through. I wanted them to have a plan for after the show, and I was super against (well, still am) against Anabolics and steroids especially for women, and I just kind of was angry at the whole industry. I have had so many former friends and clients start their own businesses and try to replicate what I started, which is a huge compliment, but also scary in the way that people think it’s that easy. As most of them have learned, it really isn’t. I love that people are spreading fitness and health but I just wish that it was from an internal place and not just an external focus.

So that was what I struggled with in 2016, PLUS getting engaged and getting married. Because I am not South African I can’t really work here but thank goodness for my online because it helped me a lot and I also still had my Canadian company in 2016 with my employees who were great and I don’t know how it survived without me being there but it did, and it was a great group of women who empowered each other through friendship and fitness. And I wanted to carry it on here in South Africa but we were living in Durban and I KNEW, that we wouldn’t be living in Durban forever. There as just something about Durban that didn’t resonate with me. The people were the most amazing people I have ever met, and most of my best friends live there, but as a city, it didn’t feel right. It’s a small town with old school mentality that doesn’t work for me. I very much felt a glass ceiling there.

So come 2017, I couldn’t cope and I was in a dark place, to be honest. Dan was also going through his OWN problems and coping in his own way, so that was hard too. I knew that I wanted to carry on helping women and being a coach but I was trying to switch to being more of a HEALTH coach. But I still love competing. so why was I feeling this way? I mean, competing was a large part of my income and as I mentioned I couldn’t work so I needed that. Friends and clients probably noticed this shift as well, but the problem there was nobody knew me from before. They only knew me as this person I just described, which isn’t who I really am.  I wasn’t myself at all, but I didn’t know who ‘myself’ was anymore. I am sure they noticed this, and it resulted in animosity between some friends and clients and as much as you try not to take it personally you always are a little hurt when someone deems you not good enough to be your friend or switching coaches. You get used to it but when it’s friends doing that, that hurts a lot. Especially because there are WAYS of switching coaches, like, I don’t know, honesty and communication. Anyway, I closed down my Canadian business which was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  Especially because I couldn’t afford to go to Canada at the time and it resulted in a lot of struggles between myself and people I used to respect and love at one point, so it really drained me beyond anything I could ever explain. It was like the death of someone, combined with a massive identity crisis. My business was my life, it was how I met my friends, it was my baby, it was more than a job it was my everything, and then it was gone.

Who the F@CK am I now? Am I still a fitness person? Am I still an entrepreneur? Am I still a coach? Am I still a good friend? And now I am in Africa and have no resources and can’t start in a company… what the F do I do?

To tie up loose ends after this ending of the business I had to get a job, and as I mentioned, not likely for me to get anything, I had to work at a nightclub. That’s right kids, a nightclub. The perfect place to be when you’re sad right? HAHAHAH WRONG …. that was a disaster. But, I needed that income to get through the closing down of my business. My goodness, that was a horrible time guys. And I couldn’t handle everything at once, and really felt like I was drowning. In the middle of all of this, we lost one of our really close friends named Danie who passed in a car accident. Dan didn’t take that really well. The anniversary of his passing will be on Valentine’s day. A day that I will never be a huge fan of, other than the love part, but in my world, every day is Valentine’s day so screw that day. Anyway, his girlfriend is a really really close friend of mine and client so in his honour she decided to do a competition that was in Cape Town. Thanks to some very generous people we both were able to come to Cape town and needless to say it changed my life. It was exactly what I needed, and I knew I wanted to live here. Cayleen won her show, an overall and it gave me my confidence as a coach back. I so so so needed that. Even though it was in horribly sad circumstances, Danie’s passing changed my life completely. I will forever be grateful to that experience, and I think Danie had a lot to do with how things played out after his death. He was a great man.

So a very quick 4 weeks later, we packed up our car and drove here with JUST our car full of stuff. We gave most of our things to our friends and just left. (in retrospect, there could have been better ways to deal with our stuff ..but as I mentioned, I was drowning and so was Dan so when people are in survival mode or lost they do stupid things. Just remember that). So we came to Cape Town, and it changed my life. I absolutely adore this place. It healed us both in ways I can’t put into words, and for that I am so thankful. Sometimes you need to follow your gut and go through the dark times, it’s always worth it on the other side of the tunnel trust me. Sometimes the tunnel is two long years of shit sprinkled in between some awesome times, but when you start to see the light, run full speed and trust your gut.  Being in Cape town allowed me to do things I love like walking on the promenade, mountain climbing, markets, climbing rocks by the ocean, incredible food,  and feeling safe (Durban isn’t that safe, not that Cape Town is a safe haven but it’s a lot safer) and we met some really amazing people and friends. People here are more forward thinking, and the Canadian in me needs that. I can go into detail about that another time. So, by the end of 2017, I realized who I had become, and that I was the same person all along, I was just in different phases needed to become who I was meant to be. Sometimes you don’t know what your destiny is until you are looking back at it. You see, I had been becoming this person all along, and with my faith and sheer determination I always stuck to my gut, and followed my passions, even when times were shitty.

And it happened in a moment. I was sitting at home editing this website, and the feeling of not knowing who I am NOW, at 29, or what I wanted this brand to be was still in the pit of my stomach. I got up to do the dishes, and I was listening to Podcasts and studying courses online, so I do a lot of learning during the day. I stumbled upon a Podcast by Brooke Castillo, and she talks about being a life coach and what it means. And I swear to you guys it hit me like a train, all of my life I have been training for this job and I had no idea. I sat there, open mouthed with a soapy dish in my hand staring at the window, like, I really have been training for this my whole life without knowing. It may seem like not a far step from fitness, but it is. It’s a completely different career, and I never thought that I had the knowledge or skills or life experience to be a life coach. I just remember that feeling of ‘I can do this’ so strongly and haven’t looked back since.

I studied sciences for my first 2 years in university while I was a lifeguard AND worked at Future shop selling computers. I also started training then because university made me gain weight. (The freshman 15 you know!) anyways, I wanted to get into medicine. I wanted to study medicine since I was very young. I always wanted to be a doctor. And then I started volunteering in a hospital. Yoooohhh, it was not what I thought it would be. I had been training and working out by this point for a few months, and like most things I do, I research them extensively. I left Future Shop and started working at a gym, and my love for health and fitness started. I couldn’t study medicine because it didn’t vibe with my values. I am not about prescribing pills and emergency medicine, I wanted PREVENTATIVE medicine. DUH! so I became a trainer, to start. The plan was to look into holistic medicine later in life. (And who knows, I may still)! I switched my studies to world religions and marketing, and started my own company. The company took off, and I was helping women all across Winnipeg and dominating the fitness industry and it was a great time. I was very very happy.

You see, even my childhood was preparing me for life coaching. I am the oldest of 4 kids, all of us are completely different from each other, I traveled a lot as a kid and experienced different cultures, all kinds of different people, experienced both poverty and wealth, experienced so many different things, then fitness taught me so much about mental strength, accomplishing every goal I set out to do. Methods I learned all myself, training my brain to be positive and all of these things laid a solid foundation to helping others. I have always had an ability to look at things from an objective point of view, and my personality type is very logical. I see things from a different point of view as opposed to emotional (most of the time). I have always been that friend that gives good advice, (again, most of the time)… and it just made sense. I can’t believe that THIS is what ALL Of those hard times was preparing me for. All the heartache, all the troubles with friends and family, all the experiences with grief and death and moving and having everything and then losing everything, was preparing me to be a life coach. I’ve always wanted to help people, and if helping people cope with their emotions and helping them learn things that I have learned the hard way, be a pillar of strength for someone to teach them the strength they have inside the whole time, and if I  can prevent some heartache if even in just ONE person, that’s the career I want and have always wanted. At 19, when I started my first business, my company motto was ‘educating women from all around the world about the benefits of health and fitness in a positive, female environment”. I had known my purpose from 19, little did I know that I meant MENTAL and PHYSICAL health and strength!

It’s funny where we find inspiration if we are open to it. More often than not, when you think you’re lost and sad, you’re in the most important period of your life. Every time I was ‘lost’ I was actually being led by God/the universe to my purpose. That was my gut, and I just followed it and now were here! My gut knew who I was the whole time, I just couldn’t see it.

So, here we are in 2018! Can you believe it!

Almost this whole last month (Jan 2018) I was sick. It was the sickest I have ever been. And, it was completely my fault. I have been abusing my body since I haven’t had any real motivation to be in shape. You see, my IDEA of ‘shape’ and health was directly reflected from the ‘smallest’ I was. And I KNOW, that for me to get back into the shape I was, is impossible now because I am not willing to do what I did then. That wasn’t healthy and I don’t want to do that. I don’t feel like committing that much time and money and effort RIGHT NOW, to do that. I truly am happy just enjoying my life. BUT, I wasn’t focused on my health. Yes I still train and I do some cardio and eat healthy, but I also drank and still didn’t sleep properly and didn’t make drinking water a priority. Alcohol and I have never had a healthy relationship, but I couldn’t really drink when I competed, so when I stopped three years ago it was a free for all. I didn’t have those years of 19-26 years old to really experiment with my alcohol or learn my limits, so I kind of have been learning them later in life. And basically, my body hates alcohol. My mouth loves it though. So I have been finding my definition of moderation, and it is somewhere in the middle. My limit is basically 3 drinks but once I have had 3 drinks I lose the tiny amount of inhibition I have and stop caring. The struggle right? Well, when my health gave out, that was the very necessary rock floor that I needed to turn my HEALTH around. I have been in my head so much I have ignored the one thing that started me on this journey in the first place.

Change is hard in general, but this one was easy. I knew something was off. I mean, I am an intelligent person, I can do anything I put my mind to. So, why can’t I make the decision to just STOP drinking? well, I can, and I have.

I won’t call it sobriety just yet, but I will call it self-control. And the same way I have self-control with my diet, sometimes I will fail. But I am learning and I am being honest with you, so I will keep you posted!

Self Control is defined differently by each person. To me, I am eating healthy Monday to Friday, training every day, and IF I feel like alcohol on the weekend I will, but NOT every weekend. I wake up every morning and look at Signal Hill, and smile at how beautiful this place is! I want to hike more and actually have a list of things I am doing before my birthday in April- Which I will share with you soon. I just have way more things I need and want to do, and am excited to get to know myself again.

Here’s to new challenges and embracing change. We are always going to have bumps int he road but if we can embrace those challenges and overcome our difficulties then that is where we’re going to find peace. It’s not what we go through in life, but how we go through life.  I have always and will always encourage others to learn from my mistakes, discuss things openly and help others as many as I can. So, here we go, this is 2018.

New year, same me as I always have been, I just didn’t know it.

Women’s Day! — March 8 2017

It’s ……… March 8! We’ve taken a break from the blog because our website was being RE-DONE! Do you like it? we sure do!   As a gift to you beautiful women we are giving several free women’s programs up for downloads…. FOR FREE! Under Products- Women’s Programs (E-books)   below is a rant of mine on women’s rights, read it or don’t but YAY FREE STUFF right?!       I have dedicated my entire life past, present and future to uplifting other women and helping all women lead healthy lives. I am very thankful that I have a partner who has dedicated his life to doing the same thing but with both men and women. Today is International women’s day which is a big deal to me in many ways, and for many reasons. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family and a country that the equality among men and women is PRETTY GOOD. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. I am a feminist and I always have been a feminist and I find it really sad that the word has been tainted. Feminist means that you believe in equality among the sexes. That is all it means, it doesn’t mean that you think you are better than a man and it doesn’t mean that women are The superior gender all it means to me is that I should have all of the same opportunities that a man has. I should feel like I can accomplish anything I want to in this lifetime and the fact that I have boobs and a vagina shouldn’t have any effect on that. I don’t know if it’s because my mom was and is such a powerhouse of a superwoman but she worked three jobs and had four kids and a husband who worked out of town. She handled us on her own basically. And I never felt like one sex over the other was superior. I have two brothers and one sister and all four of us are doing such awesome and very different things. I love the fact that I am a woman! The one thing that I have a little bit of a different view on is the definition of equality. See the thing is I think that yes we women should have all of the same rights as men and we should be paid the same and we should have the same opportunities. It’s sad that we don’t, and super sad the difference between some countries and how women are viewed especially in under-developed countries. Although yes we do deserve all of those things and we are as a population working towards that I hope, the one thing that I have always embraced is that we aren’t the same as men. Women and men are different. Women and men are (on average) not the same!! In Canada we see DIVERSITY as strength. It is what unites us and on this topic I really feel that what makes me different as a woman is my strength. I am strong, I am smart, I am fearless, but I am also sensitive and I am also emotional and I am also maternal. And I don’t think any of those things are debilitating. I think those are my strengths. The same way in which we shouldn’t judge a person by the colour of their skin and the same way in that we shouldn’t not allow someone a job because of their ethnicity I feel that is what women’s rights is all about. I should feel like I can have any job I want and if I want to be a CEO of a company I can and I should be able to. But if I want to be a stay at home mom and wife and mother I should be allowed to do that to you without any discrimination or anyone turning up the nose to me. That is what feminism is. Just because I am a woman that I can’t do the job and although in a lot of situations sometimes a man is better suited for the job and sometimes a woman is better suited for the job but the point is that I should still be able to try and I should still be able to prove myself because sometimes a woman can do the job better than a man you just have to let them try.

An ode to my Dan

Today is my Daniel’s Birthday! Today is the day you were brought into this world. This is not only a special day for you but it’s a very special day to everyone close to you. Although you were born two years after me I still think our souls are related in some way. The people closest to me usually tend to be Pisces which is weird because that is the total polar opposite of me, but I guess that does make sense. I am a bit of an oxymoron in that I’m intensely loving and apathetic at the same time. I try not to be emotional and I come off as a bit standoffish but I really am the biggest softy you will ever meet, expressing my feelings and softness is hard for me. I want to tell you a little bit about the Daniel that very few people know about, and I can’t do that unless I come from a soft place hence the introduction and warning about all of the feels 😂😏 I have only known you for three years but it feels like I have known you for thousands. From what I have heard of his childhood, Daniel has always worn his heart on his sleeve and has been a sensitive and very emotionally intelligent human being, and ambitious. And smart. He was bullied when he was younger and had a tough time like most kids. He, by the age of 24, had accomplished more than a lot of people accomplish in their lifetime. Which I talk about below. And the best thing about him is that he is so humble that a lot of people don’t even know what he has done including myself for a very long time because he just sees himself as another person. Daniel was a swimmer and swam with all of the great names that are in the Olympics now, and used to literally swim faster than them. But when he decided that he was over it, he was over it and he decided to dominate something else. He swam for SA at 3 FINA world cups, 07 Olympic trials, and won 5 gold medals and 1 silver, at the South African games. To name a few. Daniel then decided he was going to be a singer, and because he is good at everything he obviously just went and won everything. He was on TV, he was on SA idols and he was on high school musical touring SA and making all the young 14 year old girls fall in love with him. THEN, deciding that, hey you know what, maybe I want to be a bodybuilder. I mean how hard could that be right? Yeah. Within a few short years he had won his pro card, placed 4th IN THE WORLD at worlds (did you know that he is STILL to this day the HIGHEST ranking fitness model in the country….???? He got fourth place to the three world champions.) I know that he isn’t finished. And I know he will continue to do great things in the fitness industry. The last two years were obviously the two years that we have been together and the fact that Daniel made me a priority and our marriage and beginning our life together a priority above all of these things is just a testament to the kind of man he is. He has dozens of clients that he sees every day, he’s shaped hundreds of lives and he continues to inspire and encourage everyone he comes in contact with. We’ve been very lucky with the sponsorships and support we’re receiving this year so watch this space guys, daniel is definitely going to be doing some amazing things soon. Stay TUNED 🙌 He is the best son and brother (most of the time) and uncle, he is the best friend a person could ask for, and he is the best MAN and husband to me. Daniel is the type of guy who is always in a good mood. At 4 am. Annoyingly. And he’s good looking too so it’s like, not fair you know? He should suck at something or at least be mean. But nope. The only thing he sucks at is multi tasking. (Sorry babe). The accolades and accomplishments I outlined here are just his ON Paper accomplishments. You guys don’t see what he does every day for his loved ones, how he puts his heart and soul into every one of his clients, how he spends every morning cuddling me even though I’m dead to the world until 10 am, spends every evening talking about how much he loves his family and friends. He does NOTHING half assed, and that’s why the last two years have been dedicated to growing himself as a person, getting engaged, married, moving 3 times, starting a hard on your feet 10 hour a day job, all the while being the best husband, coach and friend on the planet. Daniel you are the best person I know and I’m honoured you chose me. I will do everything in my power every day to show you how much you mean to me. I hope you have the best day, and birthday month…. but please let’s just relax this weekend I’m still tired from last weekend 😂😂😭😭 I love you. Happy birthday! You’re 27 today! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️  

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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