Women In Wellness: Fabiana Ford On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Spiritual life: align your mind and your body in the same mindset, because without alignment there will always be cognitive dissonance and a constant struggle to succeed.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Fabiana Ford.
Fabi Ford moved to Los Angeles just 15 days before Covid hit in 2020. Since then she has started her own personal fitness brand, comprised of personal training, semi-personal online classes and her own Brazilian-inspired fitness clothing line. She’s taking the world by storm and it’s only been 24 months.
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?
Thank you for having me! Well, I don’t believe my story is that different than a lot of young adults out there. After finishing law school, I promptly decided that I didn’t want to pursue a career in law and decided to move to the US to find something better! So many times, people start down a path that their parents wanted or that they thought they wanted and spend years wanting to do something different. I was scared and anxious about the next steps but decided better now than in 5 years when I was miserable. So, I took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles. Luckily, I had a good friend who came before me and he was able to connect me to my first friends and a great Brazilian network.
I wouldn’t say that work was the only reason I moved away from Brazil. Of course there was a boy, I realized that the relationship wasn’t heading in the right direction (or any direction for that matter) and decided to end it. But the area I was living in, the person I was becoming, slowly, over time, wasn’t the person I imagined to be as a young woman with big dreams and aspirations. So I decided to change. With all the intention that I could set forth, I moved here looking for a new career, new relationships, new opportunities, all because I knew I was ready to flourish!
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?
After months doing traditional personal training at a gym, I found my method of working was not sustainable. I was merely exchanging time for money and the only way to make more money was to wake up earlier, but I was already waking up at 4:30 am. I always had something in my head that spoke to me about doing some kind of online program. You hear it all the time to use the Internet to scale your business. After seeing my husband in front of his computer in online meetings all day, I thought that going online could escalate my business, and I wouldn’t be tied to one location. So, I started to build a business around serving people who needed my help, regardless of their location. The lesson is: believe in your intuition, believe in yourself and work hard until you get there! I could not be happier with my online workout family! The potential for the business is growing and proving this is the new way to build a business in the fitness industry.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh there are so many! The good part is that I am a fast learner! And I’ve been fortunate enough to have a very talented mentor throughout the process of rooting my business. But something so easy to do when you are first starting a personal trainer career (and I fell on that) is to allow others to dictate your time based on their schedules. At first, that seems like the right thing to do. I was desperate for clients, I needed the work and the money. But I quickly realized that I was doing a disservice to my clients by allowing them to pull me in all different directions throughout the day. I was super stressed and wasn’t focused on them. When I noticed that it wasn’t working, I decided to protect my schedule. I have time slots that work for me and my business and multiple alternative offerings for services if that doesn’t work.
One thing I would impress upon a new business owner, especially when your product is a service, is to be mindful of managing your schedule. I’m still waking up most mornings at 5:00 AM and getting all my “busy-work” done before I do classes and attend my mentor training and kick off the rest of my day. But I set boundaries so I can also enjoy life and not just work, work, work based on my client’s desires.
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?
Humbly, every day, I pray that it is… And I feel that is working everytime I receive feedback from my clients. My husband grew up in Indiana and while we were traveling back home to see his family, I noticed some things that really helped me understand what “Health and Wellness” means to the majority of Americans. I was starving, usually I eat about 5–6 times a day, and we were on the road. I asked him to pull over and find something for us to eat. As we searched all we found was fast-food burger places, Chinese Food, Mexican Food, etc. When he finally got fed up, he said “Here is the healthiest restaurant we have: Subway”. For one, Subway is not “healthy” and this is when I realized the health expectations of typical Americans are way different than what I preach to my clients and my followers. On top of working my clients out, I am constantly reshaping their mentality about what it means to truly be healthy.
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.
● Discipline: doing it even when it’s hard to get out of bed. A healthy disciplined routine will take you where you want to be.
● Spiritual life: align your mind and your body in the same mindset, because without alignment there will always be cognitive dissonance and a constant struggle to succeed.
● Gluten free: substitute normal products for gluten free options. Why not? Do you really notice the difference? Try it, you will feel so much better.
● Eat less sugar: Sugar is one of the most addicting and treacherous additives to so many foods. It doesn’t break down easily and it provides little to no substance in your diet. When you eat sugars it may also trick your body into the wrong state, producing insulin spikes that can lead to Type II Diabetes and other diseases.
● Exercise regularly: exercising will increase your endorphins and serotonin rates, which give you more energy and self confidence!
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would challenge everyone to cut out “added sugars” from their diets. Don’t get me wrong, I eat a good amount of fruit and other things that have natural, healthy sugars in it. But when it comes to added sugars, people just don’t realize the impact it has on their bodies.
The main problem is added sugars are extra calories with no extra nutrition. They are empty calories that can lead to weight gain, high triglycerides, heart disease risk, unhealthy teeth, high blood pressure, liver disease and more. What you need to be careful of is the many names in which added sugar presents itself in the grocery store. I bet there are more than 50 different names, but the most common are corn syrup, high fructose, dextrose, barley malt syrup,
glucose, lactose, maltose. For example, a single 12-ounce can of soda has 39 grams, or about 9 teaspoons of sugar, close to a day’s worth by any measure. I would suggest that you start with small changes, and observe how your body reacts. I’m sure you will feel way more energized and happier!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- You will work more than 8 hours a day — I may have decided I wasn’t ready but I’m so glad I didn’t know this one. — You will work out more than 3 times a day — This seems like a lot, but it’s very energizing to be leading such powerful women toward their goals.
- You will have to eat healthier — Being a model of what you promote is super important. Of course there is a pressure to look and feel good in all industries, but it is even more important when your industry is healthy living. — You will need to study more about nutritional facts — There’s always more to learn and I’m enjoying the journey. — You will fall in love with the profession — It feels good to be in love with my work again and I’m happy I didn’t settle for less.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
That’s a great question, those are all very important topics for our society to embrace! One that is particularly dear to my heart is mental health. There is such a stigma on mental health and really for no reason except that everyone’s ego is involved. I hired a therapist from Brazil and I talk to him an hour a week. Some days it’s about heavy matters, sometimes it’s not but it’s so important to talk to someone about how I’ve been feeling. And honestly, even though I have a very understanding husband and supportive friends, it’s not enough to really move the needle when it comes to making great suggestions and helping me get out of my own head about things. I believe that physical health and choosing the right things to put into our bodies is directly related to positive mental health as well. My clients that are working hard each day to lose weight or build muscle are transforming their confidence and mental clarity with every workout. I love seeing them glow after a great sweat!
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Well, I’ve just gotten onto TikTok, I know I’m late to the game but it’s so cool! It is way easier to make videos than Instagram. But I would say that Instagram is still my go-to for communicating with people directly.
Facebook: Fabiana Ford
Thank you for these fantastic insights!
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