by Ilana Hart August 01, 2021
About: I was born in Guatemala and have been living in the U.S. since age one. I currently live in Maryland, and that’s where my training gym is (in my home). I’m very adventurous, outgoing and easy-going. I love to experience new things, and I always like to challenge myself.
I did not like how I looked or felt
Coming from Hispanic culture, you’re not taught how to eat well or work out, so it was really hard getting into fitness, because health is not a priority.
In high school, especially as females, we start to care more about how we look, and body image issues started when I was about 15. I did not like how I looked or how I felt. When I decided to start working out, at first I would just do lots of cardio. I was following these crazy diets - 1200 calories, low-carb, detox teas, everything. I told myself, look, you have to do this for yourself or you’ll be stuck like this forever.
I started weightlifting, but I was still doing lots of cardio and a bit scared of lifting and getting bulky. I decided to start posting my workout videos on Instagram. Really, I just did it for my own fun and to track my own progress, but I figured if I could help one or two other people, that was a bonus.
When I started college, I got certified as a trainer, and soon after I got my first three clients ever. Business was starting to grow, and then COVID hit, and everything came to a standstill. But then everyone sort of ‘lost it’ during the pandemic. After being at home so long, people wanted to lose weight and get their bodies back. Suddenly I was taking the most clients I ever had.
At that point I was getting more into weightlifting, and started to incorporate that into my clients’ training as well. If you’ve ever heard that lifting weights makes you bulky, and you look manly, it’s completely a myth. If anything, it enhances your feminine shape. You build where you want, and you lose where you want.
It’s actually insane how just a couple weeks of discipline and commitment to a program can completely change your body. It’s something I just can’t encourage enough for women to try.
Detaching your self-worth from the scale
I think the first place to start in loving yourself is detaching your self-worth from the scale. The women I train have insane transformations, even if they don’t lose a single pound. But their body composition shifts insanely because they’re training and getting strong. They’re not focusing on what the scale says, they’re performing to what their body can do, building muscle and shredding fat. Working out for what your body can do and not being so stuck on ‘I want a flat stomach,’ or ‘I want to weigh the same as I did in high school,’ - that’s the key.
There’s nothing wrong if you don’t fit into a size small anymore, as long as you feel good and you look good, that’s all that matters. It's all the non-scale victories. I think that’s the most important thing when it comes to body issues - the scale is the No. 1 thing that triggers every single woman. I hate the scale.
Finding the right balance
The most important thing to me today is balance and living my life. I think just being happy and incorporating fitness into my daily life without feeling deprived and without feeling like I’m starving myself has been super important.
At the beginning I only cared about looking good - that was my top priority. Now I'm more concerned with getting strong, being able to do more pushups and lift more, and having a healthy relationship with food, because no one’s ever going to be 100% on point following a diet. The most important thing is balance - because that’s how you get the long-term results.
It’s not a race, it’s a marathon
I want my trainees to learn what I teach them and be able to incorporate it into their own lives, to be able to gain balance in their lives, and to keep working toward their goals. Even if you had a crazy weekend, the week starts and you just pick right back up.
I used to be so crazy. I would track every single thing I ate. And now I know I can have a donut if I want to because I know I’m working hard at the gym, and because there’s nothing wrong with having a donut. So, balance overall is important.
Believe in yourself & never give up
I was a little discouraged when COVID hit, as my business was just starting to take off. But I never stopped believing that I could continue to help women get stronger and get better. It was a blessing in disguise because it ended up happening the way I always dreamed of. And now I’ve gotten 27 clients in the past 6 weeks. So you just have to believe in yourself, and people will start to believe in you.
Fitness & Wellness Tips:
Whatever you tell yourself, I feel like that’s the energy you bring back out. So, If we’re just a bit nicer to ourselves and we focus on the things we love about ourselves instead of nit picking all the things we don’t like, overall we’d be happier people.
I have combination skin. It wasn’t until I started working out more and sweating, that I suddenly noticed I was getting all these sweat-induced bumps all over my face - a mix of black heads and dirt build up. I never understood what these were until I came across FRÉ.
Now, I don’t use anything but FRÉ, and my skin is the best it’s ever been.
In the mornings, I just clean around my eyes with water, then I put on my PROTECT ME because I usually train first thing. I feel like it works like a primer, so instead of sweat getting trapped in my skin, it just glides off.
After working out, I shower right away and use PURIFY ME to cleanse my face. Twice a week, I use DETOX ME instead, to get extra exfoliation. Then I apply the REVIVE ME serum
In the evening, I wash my face again with PURIFY ME, or sometimes I use CLEANSE ME. Then I apply RECOVER ME, followed by Argan Oil. I also dab on BRIGHTEN ME. I love how my face feels the next morning, with all of those nice oils soaked in.
My absolute favorite FRÉ is PURIFY ME because it lasts such a long time, it’s so gentle. You can go as light or intense as you want, if you want to scrub harder to exfoliate. And I just love the smell of it.
Comments will be approved before showing up.