A Declaration of Strength
Editor’s Note: The following was written by USANA Fitness Ambassador, Erin Oprea.
I’ve been honored to partner with USANA as a fitness ambassador since the beginning of 2017. Right from the beginning, my experience with the products was incredible. But I’ll be honest—I was totally surprised by how welcoming the people taking these products were. They’re known as the USANA family, and trust me—it’s a pretty tight-knit group.
While this warm welcome had a lot to do with the healthy lifestyles led by USANA customers and Associates, it was obvious there was something more behind the scenes.
After attending USANA events and interacting with customers and the Home Office staff, I really started to get it: there’s a bond within the USANA family. It’s the common drive to live the healthiest life possible, and that fuels this community of people to support and encourage one another. This feeling is infectious, which brings me to my point.
I’ve witnessed the strength of The Healthiest Family on Earth, and now I want to share my own definition of strength. I think many people take a look at who I am on the outside—Erin, the celebrity personal trainer—and quickly forget about what’s on the inside. It’s unfortunate, because that inner drive is what really defines my strength.
Let me elaborate.
A Picture of Strength
As you read the word “strong,” what image comes to mind? Is it a body builder or some famous athlete with bulging biceps and chiseled abs? If so, you’re technically correct. Those people are most likely physically strong—and that’s great. (To be honest, it drives me a little crazy when I meet with female clients who are afraid to “bulk up” or put on too much muscle. Anyway, back to the point…)
What if you were to associate other images with strength? If we look beyond physical appearance, we can redefine the stereotypical definition of a “strong” individual.
I’m a big believer in keeping fun at the forefront of every workout…or even in every day-to-day activity. And it’s almost impossible to incorporate fun into your life if you aren’t mentally strong.
Before you work on your mental state, remember sometimes you have to take a step back and focus on simple tactics to keep a fresh perspective in mind. This could include trying out a beginner’s yoga class, taking a peaceful walk through a new neighborhood, or even sitting with yourself for a quick meditation session.
If you aren’t sure of the best way to meditate, don’t worry. Everyone has their own way to unwind and find their inner peace. Even if it’s sitting in a quiet room to take some deep breaths and acknowledge the emotions and feelings you’re experiencing—just remember to practice mindfulness. Once you have that down, you can feel good about yourself and focus on how to throw some lighthearted fun into the mix.
Silence the Haters
I’ve shared this story on my own website, but I really think it’s something people should be aware of. I’m a wife and a mother, but I’m also very focused on my career as a personal trainer. This means making time to get my workout in whenever possible.
A while back while I was attending my son’s soccer game I decided it was a good opportunity to get a quick cardio workout in. It’s the whole reason I keep a jump rope with me at all times. There are plenty of chances to get in a good workout.
I jumped on the sidelines while I enjoyed cheering on my son at his game—hopefully showing him that I too can stay active while supporting him as well. It wasn’t a big deal to me. Apparently, other people disagreed.
Another parent at the game decided it was appropriate to take a picture of me during my jump rope session simply to scold me on social media for seeking attention when I should have been focused on the kids.
Here’s where I want you to think about strength.
Do I need to care about the opinion of this individual? The answer is no. I don’t have time for bullies, and neither should you. It sounds great to put someone like this in their place by telling them off, but that’s not the point. Feeding into their negativity only perpetuates it. I chose to stay strong and remember that I’m proud of my children, and they’re proud of me. We’re a healthy, happy family. And sometimes people can’t see that for what it is.
Forget Appearance. Remember How You Feel
Okay, so we’ve covered the importance of having fun—being mentally strong—along with the idea of maintaining self confidence. So the last topic I want to discuss covers both of those points.
The gym, and the world of fitness in general, can be a scary place. Many people don’t feel they’re in as good of shape as they need to be. They’re scared to face the meat heads in the gym in order to get a good workout in. Please don’t let this fear deter you from staying healthy!
Appearance is just that—someone’s ideas (or even your own) of how you look. But remember what I mentioned about the importance of who you are on the inside? Keep that in mind when you’re working on your fitness routine. If you’re in the gym, or if you’re taking a morning or afternoon stroll through the neighborhood, you’re putting in the work. Stop worrying about appearance or what people think. You’re the only person who defines whether you’re happy or not. You define your own strength.
I hope that makes sense. If you take anything from my advice, just remember that taking care of yourself and your loved ones has to be addressed before you even think about getting physically fit. One doesn’t require the other in order to happen, but who cares about a hot body if you aren’t “hot” on the inside?
This brings me back to my initial point. Seeing the joy that resonates through the USANA family ensures me they’re doing something right. With health and wellness at the forefront of everything they do, they’re able to spread that vision throughout thousands and thousands of families around the world. I only hope to be even a small part of that.
What about you? What’s your definition of strength? Please share in the comments what actions you take to achieve overall strength.
I can’t wait to hear and learn from every one of you.
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