Sinclair really didn't like exercising when she started. She just knew that in order to feel better, get to a healthier weight and be the best version of herself, something had to change. She had to show up for herself.
Over the next few months, her outlook on exercise and nutrition seemed to change. She learned how to make good, nourishing dishes for herself (in her dorm, no less) and she wasn't just showing up to train with me. She was also training at the Northwestern gym and in her dorm room. And she was LIKING IT!
I think is it so freaking cool that Sinclair has learned the importance of taking care of herself now so that, when she graduates from college, she'll know how to apply these skills to life outside of school.
Oh, and by the way: Sinclair lost an impressive 60 pounds over the course of about a year. How? By showing up for herself, that's how.
What were your initial goals when you started training?
Initially, training had a lot to do with understanding that I was at a pretty critical point in my health - that if I didn't start listening and taking care of my body, mind, and spirit as one cohesive system, I might not ever be able to. Training at first was just about getting back into my body, feeling like there was power and strength inside of me that I deserved to access and grow from.
Have your goals changed as you've gotten to know more about strength training?
For me, the underlying goal is always rooted in self care. It's very cool to be able to measure my success by other concrete means (deadlifting my body weight was a super exciting one) but at the end of the day, if I didn't walk into the gym with the intention to honor my body and my abilities, I don't think if I would be able to maintain these awesome habits. Sometimes, just feeling the sweat on my neck and the callouses on my hands is enough to remind me that taking care of myself matters.
What have you learned since you started? Anything surprising?
Honestly, that I really love getting stronger! Getting back to a healthy weight was a much less daunting goal for me when the focus was on gaining strength. Like many young women, I had been taught to equate the word "loss" with health, assuming that the smaller you are, the more worth you have. My relationship with my body became so much healthier when I allowed decided to focus on gaining instead of losing.
What do you enjoy most about training?
It keeps me accountable. As a student, it can be pretty hard to prioritize exercise during stressful weeks so I really appreciate knowing that Izzy is going to honor how I'm feeling but then not let me settle. I'm always better for it. Plus, Izzy always finds way to remind me how much joy there is in the work that we do, even on days when it feels like I should be hibernating.
What will you be working on for the rest of 2016?
Having become vegan a few months ago, I'm very excited to commit to meal prep once the school year starts so that I am fueling myself the best that I can during long days. I'm also really hoping that by the end of 2016 I will be close to being able to do an unassisted pull up and I'd love to eventually deadlift the weight I was when I was at my heaviest.
How would you describe your philosophy on working out and nutrition now?
It's all connected. The moment I decide to pay attention to my physical needs, my nutritional, emotional, and spiritual needs become so much important.
What advice would you have for your past self on your first day of training?
Don't be afraid to take up space. Asking for help is a sign of strength.