In December, I went back to the gym after leaving in March because of the pandemic. A little background, I've been going to Lifetime for years. The gym is almost a second home to me. More than just for my physical health, the gym is really for my mental health. Working out helps me with my anxiety and just makes me feel happy. When I went back, I felt lost. My previous trainer had left and the people I worked out with had left too. I knew I wanted to workout with a small group again to keep me motivated.
I decided to try Morgan's Strength/Conditioning small group training. I instantly connected with Morgan. She has an upbeat personality to make the workouts fun, but also keeps you focused. I felt challenged, but she also knew where I was coming from, so I didn't feel pressured to get right back to how I used to work out. What I love about Morgan, is she wanted to get know me. She wanted to know what was I struggling with and where did I want to go. We came up with fitness/personal goals for myself that were attainable and realistic.
When I decided to start my monthly Wellness Wednesday series, I knew I had to interview Morgan. I'm always curious to see how trainers perceive wellness. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Morgan on this very topic. Read on to find more about Morgan.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you decide to become a personal trainer?
I started gymnastics when I was 7 years old and even though I didn’t realize it then, I fell in love with seeing what my body could do. As I got older, I realized I also loved helping others see what they could accomplish. I graduated with a degree in exercise science from Auburn and had no idea what I wanted to do.
I decided to step out of my Alabama bubble and move to Dublin, Ireland and started my first job as a personal trainer. After about a month of working there I decide there was nothing else I would rather do. I worked there for about a year before I moved back to Atlanta. It took me a while to find a place as much as I loved the gym in Ireland.I eventually found Lifetime and the rest is history. My favorite part about being a fitness professional is developing personal relationships with my clients and helping them move their body and be proud of that they can do with it!
2. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me is creating healthy habits that make you physically/mentally healthier and happier. Wellness shouldn’t reflect how you look, but how you feel. I’m a big believer in finding a balance of fitness that fits into your lifestyle.
3. What’s your advice for someone who wants to start working out, but doesn’t know where to start?
My best advice would to be find some sort of accountability partner, whether it’s a new friend at the gym, a class, a friend, or a personal trainer— having somebody to hold you accountable and take your health journey with you is super important.
My second bit of advice would be to make attainable goals and do whatever type of exercising you enjoy. Start with a goal of getting to the gym 2-3 days a week, and after you make that a habit add in a fourth. Pick something you enjoy doing, if you don’t like it, you won’t stick to it.
My last piece of advice would be to avoid having a number on the scale that you want to be.
Your body has probably changed since you were at the whatever weight you have in mind and it’s going to change as you gain muscle as well.
Focus on how you feel!
4. What does a typical day of meals look like for you? What’s your favorite thing to eat?
A typical day of meals for me is starting my breakfast at 5am with a Dave’s killer bagel with some almond butter and strawberries, eggs on the side, an almond milk latte, and a multi vitamin. Since I’m on the go for the first half of my day I usually have a protein bar to snack on around 8 or 9, then grab the almond butter shake with vanilla vegan protein and strawberries from the lifetime cafe after my 10am class.
I usually have a late lunch around 2pm which could be leftovers, a turkey sandwich on Dave’s killer bread, or the chicken gyro bowl from the cafe. Dinner is usually a meal from Hello Fresh, I love it because it keeps dinner creative. Tonight is coconut curry chicken.
If I am craving a dessert, I usually have dark chocolate pudding or halo top.
I focus on having a source of fat, carbs, and protein in every meal. My favorite thing to eat is a mellow mushroom pizza! We go there once a month and it is quite the treat.
5. What’s your go-to workout?
My favorite workout of the week is Monday. I hit some heavy squats and deadlifts, add in some box jumps and my favorite exercise- Bulgarian split squats.
Monday is my favorite session of the week because it makes me feel strong and powerful!
6. How do you relieve stress and anxiety?
I relieve stress and anxiety by going on run/walk or snuggling with my dogs and watching something that makes me laugh.