This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Christine Anderson.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
It’s hard to talk about myself, I think it’s has to do with being a personal trainer. Being in the service industry for so long you tend to keep the focus on the person you are training and less on yourself. Keeping my personal life private and not making it about me. So I suppose I’m a person that tends to focus on the person I’m working with and not myself, whether in a work or social setting.
Fitness was introduced to me by my husband, Charles. He literally transformed by body in 2 years and people started asking me questions wherever I went. It became a big deal to me that when people asked me training and nutrition questions I never had a solid answer and this was frustrating to me. Call it being a control freak or having OCD, that’s when I decided to pursue fitness and get my certification in personal training from American Council on Exercise so I wouldn’t feel incompetent when people approached me.
Before you started your fitness career you were a manager for Gianni Versace, at what point did you decide to make a career change and why?
Probably at the point where I really hated wearing heels on marble floors for 10+ hours combined with seeing my health improve and wanting to become more involved with fitness more and more. In college I thought about pursuing fitness but my parents could not see it leading anywhere so what did I do? I pursued fashion yet look where I ended up lol!
You now run a successful training and food business with your husband Charles, how important has his support been when it comes to your success?
His support is the one thing that I count on. We do so much together. Life gets crazy on most days between my training business and food business, so when I get down on myself he is right there to pick me up.
I feel pressure to get things perfectly (there’s no such thing) and to get it done in a timely manner, when this doesn’t happen I feel like I’ve failed. So it’s important to have someone in your corner that can help pick up the pieces and tell you let’s put together TOGETHER.
The two of you also have a beautiful little girl Nohea, how did your pregnancy and becoming a mother impact your fitness lifestyle? Was it hard to get back in shape after giving birth?
Miriam, Nohea is far from being a little girl lol. She’s only 10 yrs old and is my height! I loved being preggers and I love being a mom! I knew my body would not be the same as before the pregnancy and I was okay with that. I gave myself a whole year off from any thoughts of competing again and focused on Nohea. I still made sure to eat well and since I nursed her for a whole year, I could eat a lot of things I normally don’t eat like milkshakes each week which was awesome.
A year after having Nohea it was challenging for me to get back in shape. I was fixated on how it felt pre baby and I gave myself a whole year off so my body didn’t just “bounce” back. Nothing was the same, my body wasn’t the same, and my time management was not the same. I couldn’t just get up and go to the gym. A lot of scheduling between 2 parents had to take place while running a business.
Once I came to the understanding that I just had a baby and nursed for one year, I set up realistic fitness goals that I knew I could accomplish like competing again a year later lol. So it took me around 2 years to get my fitness back to where it was pre baby.
You say on your website that you believe you can help anyone get in the best shape of their life. What are the key components that are required to help someone achieve the best shape of their lives?
Trainers follow these basic components to get clients in shape: cardio, training, nutrition. But I find the MOST IMPORTANT component is the client’s MENTAL COMMITMENT. You can’t teach this, it has to be present in the client’s mind. The best program in the world cannot get your client in shape unless they are mentally ready to do it.
How do you help your clients through adversity and setbacks, and how do you deal with them yourself?
I think letting clients know they are going to have challenges and setbacks, this is part of life and not let it prevent them from getting closer to their goal. Get back on the horse and keep riding towards their goal. It’s so easy to get caught up in the destination, we don’t give the journey enough credit.
The journey has so many teachable moments and it helps shape who we are so we can help others. I know challenges are put in my life for a reason and a lot of times I don’t like being challenged but it is the only way to get better.
You train many competitors, but not everyone has the ambition to compete, how is your approach different for those who just want to get fit without wanting to compete?
I work with a lot of women and the one thing I’ve learned between a competitor client and non competitor client is they both want to be held accountable and pushed beyond what they think they can do. Holding both types of clients to a higher standard demands commitment and discipline. Clients don’t want to be measured or have their body fat checked but they know this method holds me accountable too to make sure I’m adjusting their program every month.
As a mother, wife, athlete, trainer, coach and business owner – how do you balance it all and what do you do to unwind?
I’m starting to get this together. In the beginning I was all over the place and I was stretching myself really thin. In the process I’ve learned I can’t do it all and the brutal truth that I can’t have it all either. I learned to ask for help and this was really hard for me. I always thought asking for help was a sign of weakness but I’ve had many days that I thought I would lose it and I’m being honest.
I have a great group of people that support my businesses and I owe a lot to them, they give me my sanity! Charles is one of them and we’ve been married for 16 years and to think that this is the first year I’ve learned to ask for help lol. Believe me, that was not easy because I’ve been managing without help but with so many businesses you cannot do it alone.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently when it comes to your fitness career?
No, I would not 🙂 some of my decisions were thought out and some were not. Whatever the outcome of those decisions, good and not so good, it taught me a lot about the situation and/or the people I was dealing with at the time. I feel both situations and people have a lot to do with where I am at in my life right now, a life that I feel really good about. Making the best out of less than awesome situations requires a never give up attitude.
Christine, can you share some of your goals?
In general, I just want to be better at whatever I’m doing, whether it’s being a mom or juggling the many businesses I’m involved in. More specifically, I want to see my food business grow to another level by being better at it. Most businesses want to be bigger. For me, I just want to be BETTER.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!