5 Minutes with Sydney Tollett, AKA @syd_healthynfit

In the ‘5 Minutes’ series, you’ll meet the raddest health and fitness ladies on the internet. Get ready for a serious dose of inspiration from empowering women I admire around the globe.

Name: Sydney Tollett
Age: 18
City: Fayetteville, AR
Day Job: College, Majoring in Dietetics

What’s something people don’t know about you?

I’m organized in most areas of my life except for my room. It’s basically never clean, but somehow I always still manage to find everything I need.

What keeps you motivated on days you’re feeling blah?

I think what keeps me motivated when I can’t do it myself is the support I have around me. I know if I push through the off days, I’ll come out even stronger and more thankful for the lifestyle I’ve chosen.

Your go-to healthy snack obsession… and guilty pleasure.

Healthy Snack: Rice cake with peanut butter and apple slices with cinnamon.

Guilty Pleasure: If I have to just pick one… ice cream!

Most random thing in your gym bag.

Dry shampoo? I really don’t take much to the gym with me!

Your favorite and least favorite workout moves.

Favorite: Squats — for the bootayyyy duh.

Least Favorite: Pull-ups — my arms have always been the weakest part of my body so they’re really hard for me.

Tell me something (anything!) 100% honest.

I’ve had to overcome many eating habits/disorders to get to the healthy place I am today.

Most embarrassingly awesome workout jam on your playlist.

J Beibs, Love Yourself.  Or anything Fetty Wap.

Love Sydney as much as I do? Keep up with her here:

Instagram: @syd_healthynfit
Blog: syd-healthynfit.weebly.com
YouTube: syd_healthynfit 
 

5 Minutes with Kayla Itsines

I’ve interviewed Kayla Itsines a few times (most recently for Teen Vogue when I worked there), but I’m most proud of the first. While running my online magazine, Love Twenty, in college, I noticed this amazingly fit Australian girl popping up on my feed. She had a big following, but it was no where near it is today at 4.6 million. I reached out to set up an interview — the first in the United States! — and Kayla and I went back and forth with questions online. Now remember: this is in early 2014 before she even had a full PR team and her very own #KaylasArmy. Crazy, right?

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to continue running a full-on magazine of my own once I started working full-time and the website is no longer up, but I wanted to re-publish this interview because it’s still so good. This lady knows her stuff, and she has since the very beginning. And the part I love about her most is that she hasn’t changed. She hadn’t even reached a million followers yet when I interviewed her, and now she grows thousands upon thousands by the day — everyone knows her name. If there’s anyone completely deserving of their success, it’s this #girlboss.

What’s the #1 mistake you see women make when they’re trying to get fit?

Girls so often fluctuate between taking their health seriously and not doing anything at all. Nothing is worse for your body than constantly putting it through changes like this. This frequently is the cause of bloating, rapid weight gain or weight loss, emotional eating, and disappointment.

You have an amazing stomach. What are your tips for getting those abs?

My biggest tip is “be consistent.” As I said above, nothing is worse than changing your training or eating patterns all the time. If you act consistently, your body is able to change progressively and healthily. Changing all the time to attain a quick fix basically just stresses your body out and more often than not sends you backwards.

Do you have advice for someone who wants to quit eating junk food and jump into a healthier lifestyle?

I could write about this question for ages! There are so many little tips or foods you can use to help curb cravings for sugar or bad food. I think the biggest mistake women make is that they try to change overnight and they cut a lot of carbs out. My recommendation here is to keep carbs in — just exchange bad, sugary ones for healthy and high-fiber carbohydrates. This will keep you full, help curb carb cravings, and will give you lots more longterm energy. I’m not saying you’ll forget about chocolate, but it will soon leave the front of your mind when your abs start showing. 😛

What are your favorite exercises?

To be honest, I don’t have a favorite — I have a small group of favorites. These include skipping, ab exercises on a decline bench, and challenging jump exercises such as tall box jumps.

What’s your go-to snack?

I love fruit like there’s no tomorrow. My yiayia and papou (grandma and grandpa) grow their own figs and they taste amazing.

If a woman only has minimal time to work out, what type of workout would you suggest?

This is actually what I base my entire training principal around — getting workouts done fast. All of my workouts are 28 minutes plus rest time. Any high intensity, circuit training from my Bikini Body Training Guide will definitely get your heart pumping and can be completed in under 30 minutes. They are designed to burn fat, fast.

What do you think of “cheat meals”? Is one big, unhealthy meal worth it, or would women be better off giving themselves smaller treats more often?

I’ve touched on this a few times on social media and inside my health eating guidelines. I believe that one single meal outside of your eating regime per week is enough. There isn’t any huge physical benefit to this, but in terms of living your life, enjoying time with family and friends, and being able to relax, I think this can be paramount for some people’s lifestyles. Typically during the week, I create small, healthy treats like protein balls, but these still actually fit within my regime.

What are the things you absolutely need in your gym bag at all times?

Without a doubt at all, I always have headphones with good bass for my iPhone, a drink bottle with lemon/lime and ice, and my sweat towel.

What do you recommend eating before and after an intense workout?

I typically work out in the middle of the day, so I have a small snack prior to my workout. I don’t usually have big meals beforehand because this can make me sick. Afterward is always lunchtime for me, so I definitely have a big meal here and it’s usually some form of sushi or wrap — those are my favorites.

What’s the best piece of fitness advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Worry about the future, don’t worry about the now. You will get there, but something that will always come in between you now and you later is time.” My boyfriend, Tobi, actually said this to me after an operation I had for endometriosis. I was so ill and fatigued I couldn’t even sit up out of bed. I was so upset after going from working out a lot during the week to barely being able to roll over in bed. Not long after, I was well and truly back into it. I think sometimes people just want to rush everything in today’s society — whether it’s weight loss, growing up, or driving from A to B. Perhaps we all need to slow down and learn to experience change as it comes. It’s the change that happens over time that changes you as a person, not the difference between you before and after. The process and experience for me is greater than finishing first.

 

 

5 Minutes with Megan Lawing, AKA North Carolina Yoga Girl

In the ‘5 Minutes’ series, you’ll meet the raddest health and fitness ladies on the internet. Get ready for a serious dose of inspiration from empowering women I admire around the globe.

Name: Megan Lawing
Age: 27
City: Lincolnton, NC
Day Job: Stay-at-home mommy/yoga model

What’s something people don’t know about you?

I’m married to someone 10 years older than me!

What keeps you motivated on days you’re feeling blah?

My sister makes me do yoga even if I don’t want to. Not that she joins me — she just makes me get up and going!

Your go-to healthy snack obsession… and unhealthy guilty pleasure.

Any fruit, especially watermelon or açai bowls. And chocolate. Definitely chocolate. Butterfingers, Reese’s, Snickers… OK, I’ve gotta stop.

Most random thing in your gym bag.

I actually don’t have a gym bag — I always work out from home. But there’s always a set of yoga clothes in my car!

Your favorite and least favorite workout moves.

My favorite is handstands. They build up strength in so many areas, plus they’re fun! My least favorite is ANY kind of hip opening stretches/workouts. My hips apparently hate me and those stretches are incredibly painful.

Tell me something (anything!) 100% honest.

I have a phobia of spiders, and no one better use that against me!

Most embarrassingly awesome workout jam on your playlist.

Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.”

Love Megan as much as I do? Keep up with her here:

Instagram: @northcarolina_yogagirln
YouTube: North Carolina Yoga Girl
Facebook: North Carolina Yoga Girl


 

5 Minutes with Jera of @WorkoutBean

In the ‘5 Minutes’ series, you’ll meet the raddest health and fitness ladies on the internet. Get ready for a serious dose of inspiration from empowering women I admire around the globe.

Name: Jera Foster-Fell
Age: 26
City: NYC and Boston
Day Job: Graphic Designer

What’s something people don’t know about you?

If you want to make me instantly cry, make me talk about the ending of the movie Homeward Bound. Oh, my, god. Instant waterfalls coming from my eyes. It’s a total tearjerker, but the fact that it involves dogs just puts me over the edge. Most people do know that I’m an avid dog lover though, especially when it comes to my dog Thatcher, also lovingly known as Spicy Grandpa.

What keeps you motivated on days you’re feeling blah?

Motivational quotes and sayings have the tendency of being a little corny, but one that resonates with me a lot is ‘Wow, I really regret that workout,’ – said no one ever. I remember seeing this one for the first time and was like whoa. This is so simple, and so true! I try to remember this on days when I really don’t feel like going to the gym, because the feeling of finishing a workout always makes it worth it.

Your go-to healthy snack obsession… and unhealthy guilty pleasure.

My healthy snack obsession is a chocolate protein, peanut butter, banana smoothie. I have one every morning, and I could probably continue to have one every morning for the rest of my life and be pretty satisfied with that decision. My unhealthy guilty pleasure is a toss up between pasta pesto and a Dark Chocolate Double Caramel Magnum Ice Cream Bar. Combine those into a dinner dessert combo and I am on cloud nine for the evening… and then definitely back in the gym the next morning. 🙂

Most random thing in your gym bag.

I’d have to go with a lacrosse ball. I try to use one almost daily for myofascial release, which is a form of self massage that targets muscle tightness and trigger points. It’s a more intense version of a foam roller!

Your favorite and least favorite workout moves.

My favorite workout moves are definitely any variation of a squat. I love working on the booty area! My least favorite move, without any hesitation, is the dreaded burpee. I hate burpess with an absolute passion. I know in my heart that it’s a great exercise because it works so many parts of the body at once, but I just can’t get past how much I hate doing them.

Tell me something (anything!) 100% honest.

I am so insanely excited about what’s to come in 2016. I really feel like this is MY year. I’m ready to pursue more of a career in fitness. I’m getting NASM certified, and hopefully becoming a spin instructor. This is so different from anything I’ve done before, but I know it’s the right direction for me because I feel so excited and passionate about it.

Most embarrassingly awesome workout jam on your playlist.

Oh this is an easy one! Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando.” I like to play this at the end of each workout. I love listening to EDM and hip hop during my workout, but let me tell ya — when Bailando comes on after I’ve completed that final rep, nothing else can instantly put me in a better mood!

Love Jera as much as I do? Keep up with her here:

Instagram: @workoutbean
Snapchat: workoutbean
Website: workoutbean.com, coming soon

A photo posted by Jera (@workoutbean) on


A photo posted by Jera (@workoutbean) on

 

5 Minutes with Abbie of @Corporate_Sneakers

In the ‘5 Minutes’ series, you’ll meet the raddest health and fitness ladies on the internet. Get ready for a serious dose of inspiration from empowering women I admire around the globe.

Name: Abbie
Age: 26
City: Orlando, FL
Day Job: Developing Executive Presentations
What’s something people don’t know about you?

I was accepted into several MFA writing programs during my senior year of college but decided to take my life a different route. I may still go back someday!

What keeps you motivated on days you’re feeling blah?

I work out at 6 a.m., so that doesn’t leave a lot of time to talk myself out of exercising. But on mornings when I find it particularly hard to get out of bed, I tell myself this: “The days you want to the least are the days you need to the most.” If I can push through those tough days, I can do anything!

Your go-to healthy snack obsession… and unhealthy guilty pleasure.

My go-to healthy snack is chocolate “nice cream” — just unsweetened cocoa powder and frozen banana blended together. My absolute favorite guilty pleasure is a no-brainer: My mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Most random thing in your gym bag.

There are about seven or eight pens at the bottom of my gym bag. I write out my workout the night before and then always throw the pen in my bag along with my notebook because I’m worried I won’t have one in there if I need it the next day. And now I just have a bunch of pens at the bottom of my bag.

Your favorite and least favorite workout moves.

My favorite exercise is probably burpees — it’s a full-body exercise that gets your heart rate up, and there are so many variations that make the move feel different each time! I do burpees in almost every workout. My least favorite exercise is long-distance running. At this time, I have no desire to run a half-marathon (or anything longer). For me, long distance running lacks the mental challenge; I find it unengaging and monotonous.

Tell me something (anything!) 100% honest.

I’ve learned that you don’t need to exercise every single day or eat clean 100% of the time in order to see results. As long as your healthy choices outweigh the bad ones — exercising consistently, diversifying your workouts, and primarily eating a balanced diet of wholesome, real foods — there’s absolutely room for indulgence from time to time. Life wouldn’t be the same without it! Being healthy isn’t being perfect. It’s about creating balance, however that looks for you.

Most embarrassingly awesome workout jam on your playlist.

This is seriously embarrassing… “C’est La Vie” by Bewitched.

Love Abbie as much as I do? Keep up with her here:

Facebook: Corporate Sneakers
Instagram: @corporate_sneakers
Spotify Playlist: Corporate Sneakers
Pinterest: Corporate Sneakers
Website: CorporateSneakersFitness.com