Women In Wellness: Emily Eckstein Of Xplor Technologies On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Wanda Malhotra

Wanda Malhotra
Authority Magazine

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Always be networking. The fitness world is small and amazing! Always be open to meeting new people in the fitness world, you never know where it’s going to take you — perhaps for your career or for making new friends. The fitness community is powerful.

Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Eckstein, Global Partnerships Manager, TrueCoach by Xplor Technologies.

Emily Eckstein is the Global Partnerships Manager for TrueCoach, Xplor Technologies’ leading personal trainer software platform. Emily lives and breathes all things fitness — she is a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, Nike Community Coach, mindset coach, soon to be health coach, and the founder of the Fit Food Junkies podcast. A passionate, life-long fitness guru, Emily lives her life by overcoming obstacles — with improving your mindset as her signature approach.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Growing up I had scoliosis and had to wear a back brace at a very young age. Determined not to allow this obstacle to deter me, I was soon able to hurdle over this challenge by excelling in track and field, dance and cheer. The day I no longer needed the back brace was a pivotal moment of profound gratitude, as I rediscovered the appreciation I had for moving my body.

My passion for fitness ignited at the age of 10, a flame that only intensified over the years. Recognizing the transformative power of a strong mindset early on fueled my dedication to coaching, and allowed me to feel the profound impact of integrating mindset into fitness. My clients have shared stories of overcoming eating disorders, battling depression and anxiety, navigating life crises, and more through fitness. It’s a testament to the belief that fitness goes beyond the superficial — it’s a journey of feeling good in both mind and body.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

My slogan for Fit Food Junkies is “addicted to health.” It stems from a personal transformation rooted in my past struggles with an unhealthy obsession with fitness. College was a challenging period marked by over-exercising and an unhealthy relationship with food, exacerbated by the pervasive influence of athletes, fitness influencers, and toxic social media trends.

As a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Major, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a social media fitness creator, I found myself immersed in a culture that could easily lead to detrimental habits. Recognizing the need for change, I decided that it was time to foster a healthier mind-body connection and shift the narrative away from an unhealthy obsession with fitness.

This pivotal journey, one I believe many can relate to, now forms the foundation for how I approach training clients who are dealing with body dysmorphia, eating disorders, or self-image issues. It became an opportunity for me to redefine “my why,” reconnect with a positive fitness mindset, and establish a healthy relationship with health and wellness. Through this process, I not only built confidence but also strengthened my connection with my mind and body, fueling a positive and healthy addiction to well-being and propelling my career in fitness.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

A past mistake was pouring all my energy into physical fitness while neglecting my mental well-being. There was a time when my fixation on eating perfectly and excessive workouts led to an unhealthy relationship with both food and exercise.

Here’s my crucial advice: delve into your “why.” Elevate fitness beyond the purely physical; make it an integral part of your identity. True fitness encompasses both the physical and the mental. When it’s limited to the physical realm alone, the joy and anticipation of the exercise journey may wane. Expand your perspective on fitness, discover its broader meaning, and uncover what it truly feels like for you. What is your “why”?

Embrace the fusion of physical and mental well-being to make the most of the journey toward movement and the exhilarating experience of feeling good through exercise.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

A couple of years ago I was hit by an 18-wheeler on the highway. It was a miracle no one else got injured and that I was transported with minimal injuries. When this kind of life-changing experience happens to you, everything changes. Your perspective changes.

I underwent a profound shift in mindset, learning to appreciate my body like never before. The gratitude I have for life and for my body has never been greater, especially after this near-death experience.

Integrating my mental trauma into my fitness journey became a transformative healing process for my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the accident. This journey propelled my passion for my podcast even further, centering around mental fitness. My mission is to inspire people to unite their mind and body, release the burdens they carry, leverage the therapeutic powers of fitness, and foster a deep appreciation for what their bodies can achieve.

Fitness, in my view, extends far beyond physicality. It’s a holistic approach. Mental fitness and mental health are my utmost passions. Through these therapeutic methods of movement, I aspire to impact more lives and encourage individuals to embrace the profound interconnectedness of mind and body.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

  • Walk every day. This is a hidden secret and the easiest way towards fat loss. Walking is the best way to shed belly fat and decrease cortisol (your stress hormone). Walking helps you move your body throughout the work day and allows you to take a second to reset and be in nature if possible.
  • Practice gratitude. Think of three things you are grateful for each morning, and it will entirely shift your perception for the day.
  • Drink water! A lot of times you are not hungry, just thirsty! Plus, there are so many benefits of drinking water, like keeping you full for longer, staying hydrated, energizing muscles, keeping your skin healthy, lubricating your joints, helping to enhance energy, and so much more.
  • Be accountable. Need motivation to exercise? Grab an accountability buddy to either go to the gym with, take walks with, or move with. Or maybe this accountability partner is just for you to check in with to keep you on track. Hire a virtual coach (for example, find a personal trainer on TrueCoach) and/or an in-person coach to hold you accountable. Create a habit/movement calendar to help you stay on track. Be accountable, but DON’T be so hard on yourself! If you miss a day or you’re not on your “A” game IT IS OKAY! It’s all about consistency and not every day will be perfect.
  • Change the conversation. I always encourage my clients to replace the verbiage “working out” with “moving your body.” Think about the “after-effect” — moving your body will make you feel like a new person. Don’t put such a burden on the gym and exercises you hate. It’s all about moving and doing what makes your mind and body feel good! For example: if you hate running, know that no one is making you run. Discover exercises that make you feel good such as walking, yoga, Pilates, dancing, lifting, cycling, boxing, barre etc. See how you feel after each movement and perhaps try a new type of exercise each week!

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The Mindset Movement.

Did you know that many times you have to shift mental weight first to shed physical weight? Often, the things weighing us down extend beyond the realm of exercise. Whether through journaling, talking to a friend, consulting a therapist or life coach, or practicing meditation — find your release. For me, the most potent form of mental catharsis is MOVING MY BODY. In my classes, I emphasize the importance of not tying exercise to deserving certain foods or losing weight. It’s about feeling good on the inside out and letting something go to feel more confident and to feel like your best self.

The Mindset Movement transcends conventional fitness. I encourage my clients to consider something weighing them down mentally, something they need to release. By incorporating this into movement, a transformative mindset shift occurs. Gradually, the burdensome mental weight begins to dissipate, translating into the powerful shedding of physical weight. This is the essence of what I term “Fitness Therapy.”

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  • Always be networking. The fitness world is small and amazing! Always be open to meeting new people in the fitness world, you never know where it’s going to take you — perhaps for your career or for making new friends. The fitness community is powerful.
  • Find mentors. Try to find a mentor you look up to! Reaching out to fitness professionals is the best way to learn from their experience and begin to explore what kind of fitness career path feels the best to you.
  • Get certifications and experience. Get your certifications to teach group fitness, coach personal training, or both as soon as possible! This can be a side hustle or full time. You can get experience on the side and eventually who knows, maybe you can be working at your dream job! I got my NASM certifications at the age of 18 (Group fitness and PT) and eventually got many more certs such as LES MILLS BODY PUMP, Schwinn Cycling, Mat Pilates, and almost will have my ISSA Health Coach cert. I began teaching at smaller gyms and now coach at my dream teaching gym, Equinox and coach virtually through TrueCoach on the side.
  • Slow down. I have learned the power in slowing down and resting. Don’t forget about recovery! I am always on the go and it is a work in progress, but I have learned the hard way that it is important to slow down and rest — listen to your body.
  • Plan your workouts. Plan your workouts for you and your clients in advance, almost like a calendar meeting, so they become a priority and you make them happen!

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health is dearest to me — movement is medicine.

Fitness has become my ultimate therapy. It serves as a conduit for emotions, providing a space for me to vent and release the burdens weighing me down, both mentally and physically. My passion lies in the realm of fitness therapy, where I aspire to inspire individuals to prioritize their mental and physical well-being, seamlessly integrating mental health into their fitness journey. I firmly believe that the true potency of well-being unfolds when mental and physical health converge — they are symbiotic forces, exponentially more impactful when united.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

Visit the TrueCoach by Xplor website and tune into the Fit Food Junkies podcast on Apple podcasts and Spotify. Connect with me on Instagram @fitfoodjunkies for fitness motivation and content.

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at CrunchyMamaBox.com.

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Wanda Malhotra
Authority Magazine

Wellness Entrepreneur, Lifestyle Journalist, and CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living.