Suzi is a 31-year-old wife, fitness instructor, fair-weather runner, cupcake connoisseur, and crazy cat lady. She is the writer behind Confessions of a Fitness Instructor where she shares her life (both healthy, and not so healthy) as a fitness instructor who also happens to have Fibromyalgia. Her blog tagline is, “being fit isn’t about being perfect,” because she believes you can be healthy and fit and still occasionally scarf down a bowl of ice cream the size of your head.
How do you define FitFluential?
To me being FitFluential means you actively work to inspire others to live a healthy life, and by doing so help to motivate them to follow and achieve their goals. To be FitFluential you don’t have to be a certain size, or do a certain workout, as long as you are actively pursuing your own path to health you can be FitFluential.
What is your main motivation to be fit?
Before I started exercising regularly, I suffered from intense joint and muscle pain thanks to my Fibromyalgia. I discovered that when I exercised at first the pain was worse, but then it lessened. And while the muscle and joint pain never goes away completely, it is much more manageable than when I don’t exercise at all. I still get bad flare-ups from time to time, but overall I am so much better than I use to be.
That’s why I decided to become a fitness instructor. I figured the only way I could be sure I would exercise is if I made it my job (otherwise I would come up with excuses not to do it), so as much as being a fitness instructor is about helping others, it’s also about helping myself.
FitFluential believes the keys to balance are Eat, Sleep, Move and Enjoy. What is your favorite way to enjoy life?
I like to keep things pretty low-key. After teaching classes all week, my favorite way to enjoy life are by spending the weekends relaxing with my husband. He works early morning shifts, and of course I’m out every evening teaching classes so we don’t see much of each other during the workweek. Having the chance to hang out with him is what relaxes me and allows me to enjoy life regardless of what whether we are on vacation in Walt Disney World or just hanging out watching TV.
What is your regular fitness routine?
I am guessing by now that you’ve got the idea that I teach fitness classes… In a typical week I will teach a number of Zumba (Zumba, Zumba Toning and Zumba Gold) classes, yoga, and a few other formats.
I also enjoy running races, right now I’m also training for my first half marathon which I’ll be running this October with Team in Training so I’m also getting a couple runs in each week to prepare for that, and earlier this year I participated in my first mud run which was super fun!
What advice do you have for someone at the beginning of their fitness journey?
I always tell new people to start with one or two classes per week, and to slowly build up their fitness base so they don’t burn out after only a few weeks and stop coming completely. Most people listen to me, but there are always those who think they can handle going from no exercise to exercising an hour every day. They will hang in there for three or four weeks and then they disappear because they’ve burned themselves out.
Find something you enjoy and stick with it. We all started somewhere so don’t expect your beginning to look like someone else’s middle or end. And don’t expect your body to be ready to work as hard as someone who has been regularly exercising for a while.
What is one popular healthy food you can’t stand?
Almond butter. It’s nasty. I love almonds, almond extract and almond flour, but almond butter is not my friend. Give me good old peanut butter any day!