TSC: Who are you? Name? Age? Where do you live? Married/kids? Occupation?
AG: My name is Alyssa, I'm 27, and I've been in NYC for 4 years. I'm a multi-passionate person pursuing several interests of mine. I'm an actor which is what landed me in NYC. I very quickly discovered that normal "survival" jobs weren't fulfilling for me. I wanted to spend my time doing something I truly cared about. Food and fitness have always been a huge interest of mine and I knew I wanted to work in the wellness industry. So I now work as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, kid's cooking teacher and private chef.
I recently invented a way to fuse all of my passions and skills, including my performing and creative side, by developing a Healthy Cooking Show on my YouTube channel. This has been an extremely rewarding endeavor because it feels like the perfect fit for me and everything I love to do.
TSC: When did fitness first become a part of your life? Have you always been an athlete? Did you start working out as an adult? Did you workout earlier in life and start up again? If so, what and why?
AG: Well, I won the Presidential Physical Fitness Award in the 1st grade. But besides that, my extra curricular activities were mostly focused on theatre. In high school, I started lifting weights with my dad under the supervision of a strength and conditioning coach. That was the first time I experienced how empowering it felt to be strong. I continued a strength training routine in college in addition to several dance classes each day (I was a BFA Musical Theatre Major). As I entered my professional career as an actor, it was super important to remain healthy and in shape for my profession.
TSC: What is your current workout routine? How many days a week/hours a day do you workout? What types of workouts do you do? All one type or switch it up?
AG: Currently, my workout routine isn't completely regimented. I aim to do about 4 strength training workouts each week. One of my biggest challenges is to stick to a regular program when all of my jobs make my schedule very sporadic. Every single day of the week is different and I could be working up to 4 different jobs in one day. That makes it very challenging to stick to a routine training schedule. 4 workouts per week is the most realistic for me to maintain. These are the struggles of an entrepreneur's life-finding time for yourself! But it is super important to do so. During my strength training sessions, I work mostly with kettlebells, barbells, cable machines, bands, and plenty of body weight exercises in addition to mobility work. I also love taking group classes at several studios around the city. The group fitness environment is really motivating and I love the sense of community.
TSC: How do your prioritize fitness and wellness in your (busy) life?
AG: Funny, I was just talking about this! It is my biggest challenge. I am so fortunate that I work in a field that I am passionate about by helping others to live their best, healthiest lives. It is crucial that I do the same for myself which is hard to find time to do. However, I find that it works best for me if I prioritize my workouts by writing them down in my calendar. I block off an hour in my day and it is like making an appointment with myself. I show up for myself just as I would for a client- on time, prepared, and focused. If I don't schedule this appointment with myself, I am much more likely to skip my workout because I am too busy or tired. There is also so much pressure in NYC to "hustle" and sometimes my priority isn't to keep pushing, but to listen to my body and give myself permission to rest.
TSC: Why is working out/fitness important to you and your lifestyle?
AG: Being strong and fit gives me confidence. Reaching a goal or becoming stronger than you ever imagined you could gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment. I remember doing my first set of unassisted pull ups and feeling invincible. That feeling is like nothing else. It fuels my motivation in everything I do. It empowers me to reach more goals and chase more dreams.
TSC: What other aspects of healthy living do your incorporate in your life? Wellness? Sleep routines? Meal prep? Favorite healthy places to eat out/recipes readers should try?
AG: I love to eat. I love food. Everything from fine dining to food trucks. I love it all. So it was natural for me to become involved in nutrition which is a huge priority in my life. I don't adhere to any specific diet, but am an advocate for eating real whole foods such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, eggs and fruit. I love my job cooking privately for clients because I know I am making such a huge difference in their lives. I cook according to the client's needs whether it is meal prep, serving family dinners or cooking for a Whole30 program. I've been able to reach an even wider audience, educating them about nutrition and showing them super simple healthy recipes through my YouTube channel and that has been equally rewarding. My goal is to help people realize that eating nutritiously doesn't have to be a chore (or taste boring)! It is actually very simple to incorporate DELICIOUS nutritious food into your diet.
I'm also a heavy sleeper. I don't function well without enough sleep, so it is also a huge priority in my life. I need a minimum of 7 hours, but preferably 8 (or more!). I love going to bed early.
TSC: If you could share one thing with readers of The Sweat Chronicles what would it be?
AG: If you have a passion, pursue it. Don't wait for the "perfect" time, because there may not be one. Life is too short to be involved in anything that makes you unhappy. Find what fulfills you and brings you joy. And just DO IT!
I never felt prepared or qualified or ready to make my cooking show, yet it has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. What started as an idea in my head is now a real thing that affects real people. Nothing has brought me the sense of joy that working on this passion project has. It can be a scary thing to try something new and put yourself out there, but trust that your energy and enthusiasm for what you do will shine through.