At Aflete, we have been interviewing a few personal trainers who also provide their training services online. We wanted to find out how they started, why they started and how they believe it changes their lives and the clients they help. Our first interview in this series is with online PT Tracey McGowan (@behealthyfithappy).
Tracey is a certified personal trainer and GBPF power lifter, who offers her online coaching to thousands of her social media followers.
Hi Tracey, firstly tell me a bit about yourself.
Hi I’m Tracey, a certified personal trainer. My fitness journey has been one hell of a ride, from always being very overweight when I was younger, to developing a severe exercise addiction and orthorexia, to now being strong and healthy. So much has happened between all those stages, but I can’t explain how much stronger it has made me.
So, what initially interested you in becoming a personal trainer?
I fell in love with fitness straight from the word go and always had a thought in the back of my head about becoming a trainer. But it was really after I went through the huge struggles with my eating and exercise that I decided I wanted to become a trainer. I want to show people from across the world that you DON’T have to restrict yourself and kill yourself exercising to be “healthy and fit”, in fact by doing that you are actually UNHEALTHY. I feel like it is becoming an increasing problem in society these days and I want to be a positive influence on people who are falling into those habits.
And from this, what made you decide to start training clients online?
I decided to start training clients online as many girls from my Instagram had reached out to me, asking me to help them with their training and eating, but they came from all over the world! I knew if I started online training, that I could reach anyone, from any country and help them.
So I would be right in saying you use your social media accounts to promote yourself and your business?
I do indeed! My whole journey has been documented on my Instagram (@behealthyfithappy), and I try to post every day if I can. I also use Snapchat too (@traceym949 ) as I think its a fun way to let other people see what you get up to in your daily life!
Your Instagram account is already very popular. What sort of content do you post to engage with your followers?
I tend to post a good variety of some of my meals, topic discussions, snippets of my life and sometimes exercise or recipe videos too!
What has been your highlight as an online PT?
The highlight for me is definitely whenever I receive a super heart felt email from a client telling me how much I’ve changed their life. I’ve had so many girls come to me wanting to get fit and healthy; now they no longer fear foods, don’t feel compelled to exercise every second of everyday and yet their physiques are amazing! It truly inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing!
You motivate and support other girls to become healthier and fitter, but what is your own personal approach to fitness and nutrition?
My personal approach to health and fitness is BALANCE. YES, that word is used all the time and YES people are probably sick of hearing it, but it’s true. I myself powerlift, which is a form of strength training. And it was THAT that truly changed my view on exercise, and caused me to no longer be obsessed over it. I train four times per week and ALWAYS take my rest days. I eat probably 80-90% super nutritious foods and all my fruit and veg, but I never deprive myself of a piece of cake or a chocolate biscuit, because if my body wants it, I’ll have it. Its all about being mindful, if you fancy some chocolate, go have a few squares, just don’t eat five bars in one go!
And finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to start on their own ‘fitness journey’?
My biggest piece of advice to someone starting their own fitness journey is DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING THAT PEOPLE SAY. I see so many people who are just starting out, get sucked in to reading about things like low carb, fasted cardio, macros, clean eating, supplements etc, when the bottom line is: eat to fuel your body and find an activity that you like that keeps you active and mentally happy too! It’s so easy for them to believe anything someone with “ripped abs” says, but the truth is, you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and if that person you admire is really healthy or not.
Thanks Tracey! Keep up the good work!