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 Gianna Kawicki.
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?
Describe myself hmmm... I'm a very driven, outgoing, and motivated person. I have been told my energy brings happiness to others and motivates them to further themselves. I'm 5'8 tall and weigh 144 lbs. I've always been healthy and active, but I really got involved in fitness last year. It is my stress relief and my happy place. I love what I do.
Where does your motivation come from?
I'm motivated by my fans, friends, and family. I think the biggest compliment I receive is how inspiring I am or how people love seeing my posts, stories, and pictures. To have another girl or woman tell you that it empowers them, truly makes my day.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
Starting a career in the fitness industry is tough. There are millions of people out there trying to succeed. I believe my personality and drive is what set me aside. The biggest hurdles I faced were really getting out into the world at first. Keeping a well maintained and positive thought is really important. You won't always succeed but you can't ever give up.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
I believe in the concept that we are what we eat and how we live. Self-care is so important. It allows our bodies to achieve full potential. Being healthy and happy means so much more than the physical appearance. It is an all around wellness and balance.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception about women and weightlifting is that they'll become bulky. This isn't true!!! Weight training is a vital part that I believe everyone should incorporate into their routine. Women and men are built differently. If your goal is to become bulky then that is what can happen, but you would have to train a completely different way and incorporate certain supplements. Weight training helps build muscle strength, maintain healthy joints and supports general health.
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?
Society now has pushed so many diets and fads over the years, that young women think skinny is sexy. Depriving your body of essential nutrients is so bad for you. Unfortunately social media, celebrities, and television all push this. Losing weight the right way is important. A healthy balanced diet with fats, proteins, carbs, and water... lots of water is essential. I believe educating society on nutritional habits is so important.
The obesity rate is drastically high, but people don't realize anorexia, and eating disorders also top the lists. Having a career as a nurse allows me to teach my patients about a proper balanced diet.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
I believe everyone's body has a certain point where it feels comfortable. In my past I would tend to try to become very skinny or lose fat. But over the years I learned my body doesn't like that and won't stay like that unless I take some extensive measures. It became a chore and who wants to feel like they are constantly trying to work on something but it never feels complete?
This allowed me to become happy with myself. I learned that genetics play a huge part in how your muscles and body look, as well as just your build. I learned to accept myself and love myself and fitness, instead of trying to be super skinny because I thought that's what society wanted. Skinny is not sexy! It's 2017 people!!!
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
My life can be hectic at times, between travel, working 16 hour shifts with my patients, or going to the gym and focusing on fitness. I balance everything by staying organized. I also believe in taking time for yourself and doing what makes you happy. Sometimes a day at the beach, after all I am lucky to live 5 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, or just cuddling up on the couch, readings a book, or watching a movie.
How do you stay productive?
I don't think I've ever had an issue to stay motivated or productive. Believe it or not I have a dream board and a journal. I post pictures and write goals in both. I see these everyday and it keeps me going.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
I'm currently off season and just maintaining my body. My current diet and routine aren't as vigorous. I try to go to the gym 3-5 times a week. I always incorporate 20-30 minutes of cardio daily, usually fasting cardio.
I balance my meals with essential fats, proteins, veggies, and carbs. I believe a healthy diet is the building block for a healthy body. If you are deprived then you won't reach your goals. I also believe adequate sleep and water play a huge part.
As for my supplements, I use my Bucked Up pre workout before the gym. During my workouts I believe it is essential to take amino acids and drink lots of water. And post workout I always go with a great protein shake and then a balanced meal.
I never skip meals and eating about 4-5 meals a day is essential for me to feel my best. I usually have a weekly schedule for what days I'll be working out what body parts. I always rotate and try to incorporate new exercises.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
If I could choose one thing to tell my younger self, it would have to be live life for yourself and stop caring so much about what others think. I started living this way when I turned 20 and it has made life so much more enjoyable. Do things for you, be happy, and live your life.
What are your biggest life goals?
I'd love to further both my fitness career and medical career. I think I might apply to med school! As far as fitness goes, I would love to continue inspiring people. I hope to continue traveling, meeting new people, having new experiences, and maybe even opening a gym!
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!