This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Jelena Abbou.
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?
I was always active and started lifting weights in high school and also learning about nutrition. I became a personal trainer 16 years ago and started competing 13 years ago. I fell in love with sport and the healthy lifestyle.
Where does your motivation come from?
The desire to have influence and be a positive role model for other women.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion – what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
Sacrifices like not being able to socialize as much as getting ready for competition and people who wouldn’t understand this lifestyle. However, by surrounding yourself with like-minded people that support you, many of these stumbling blocks are removed.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
If you want to be your best and serve your friends and family then you must prioritize self-care. You can not give what you do not have. Must love and care for yourself if you want to be your best for others.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception about women lifting weights is they will become “bulky”. Most often I hear women say I wanna tone up but don’t wanna get huge.
Ladies! News flash! Weights don’t make you bulky. Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realizing the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
There’s lot of info out there, and lot of young girls following super models and IG “stars” where most people are “fake”. And everyone’s looking for a magic pill, tea or butt implant. Starvation doesn’t work, it’s not healthy, super models and not real role models, read and learn. I don’t like calling it a diet. It’s lifestyle and journey, find what works for you and get the body you want. Be happy and healthy.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
It’s important to learn from those people who have been able to produce the results you desire. It’s not as complicated as it appears if you follow the right people.
How important have the people around you been when it comes to your success?
I have found that if you surround yourself with the right people it can challenge you to be better and inspire you when things get tough!!
Name 3 things people don’t know about you.
- I am an amazing cook. I have a way of making healthy food taste great!
- I have been on 11 covers of leading fitness magazines.
- I dream of having my own cooking channel.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
I cycle my carbs and strategically allow for cheat meals.
How do you stay productive?
I plan my days the night before and review my plan in the morning while enjoying my coffee. I also block off 2 hours in the morning to complete the most important items.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Worry less & enjoy more!
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
My diet consists of high quality protein ( like grass fed meats, chicken and eggs, wild caught fish), vegetables and high fats. Every few days I have carbs or save those for my cheat meals. Supplements are fish oil, multivitamin D & E.
I just developed a new online course which specifically outlines what I do to stay in shape. It’s not easy but totally worth it and what I really do to look my best for important days.
What are your biggest life goals for the year?
Well after publishing my book in 2016, I created an online video course that has launched. I am excited about developing more courses to help women all over the world looking and feeling better. I have spent so many years mastering this process of weight loss, that so many women struggle with and now I am able to help by inspiring and providing practical advice.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?