This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Andrea Calhoun.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I am motivated, driven and with a huge heart. I considered myself as a warrior simply because of my past. Overcoming adversity.
When I was growing up I considered my life simple and never really realized anything I did growing up affected my health, or lifestyle. The majority of my life was spent eating whatever I wanted.
At the age of 19, I had an epiphany and health scare. I gained a lot of weight. At 4’11 I was 30 pounds overweight. Depression set in for me and for a period of time I felt as if there was no way out of my situation.
Coming from a place where all I ate was fried food, McDonalds, and of course my favorite Shipley donuts I thought this was the life. I walked into a gym one day and got a personal trainer. After my weight loss journey my trainer inspired me to want to become a personal trainer. I have been a personal training for about 6 years now. Seeing my client’s faces after weigh in day is the best feeling in the world.
Where does your motivation come from?
Being that I was overweight before with horrible eating habits I promised myself I wouldn't do it again. My motivation also comes from my clients if I am helping them to be successful in their fitness goals I must do my part as well.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
I had become obsessed with the gym at one point in my life, so I had to find balance.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Self-care is important, if you don't take care of yourself no one else will. Also you want to be healthy not just for yourself but if you have or want kids one day.
You have to set a good example.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
Some of the biggest misconceptions is that women think lifting weights would make them manly.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
I think it has a lot to do with body image and quick fixes. A lot of people look for instant gratification. They do not want to put in the work to actual meet their fitness goals, so they go on fad diets. This could also be the craziness that happens on social media, which can be a negative impact on the mind, if people are constantly comparing themselves to others.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
I have learned that everything happens with time, and consistency, and that we must fuel our bodies with the correct nutritional foods.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
It's honestly been a huge struggle so I just constantly remind myself that I have a purpose, and that's to help people along the way. If I am not in balance how can I expect to give something the attention it needs 100 percent? I always set time for everything I have to do. So I balance my clients, my workouts and spending time with family.
How do you stay productive?
I have to write all my goals down. I am very driven, but sometimes I put too much on my plate and get to the point I get nothing done 100 percent. Now what I do is write a list out and check off as I go.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
I train for high intensity, which keeps my heart rate going for a certain amount of time. This burns fat faster vs steady state training. Cardio is normally 25 mins sprints or the stairmaster intervals.
For weights I do 4-5 sets on each exercise, 15-25 reps. This helps build leaner and nice muscles, incorporating supersets.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
To focus on one thing at a time, and be patience.
What are your biggest goals for this year?
Place top five at the Olympia, get into law school.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!