But, how do you want to feel?

_MG_2670-2A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with my calendar in front of me scheduling my clients appointments for the upcoming week. Labor Day was in the next day or so, and I knew that scheduling in general had been “off” due to holidays, summer vacations, and well…life.

It’s something that happens to the best of us; we plan to do one thing and often find ourselves heading in a completely different direction. At the time I had found myself running into other women who were complaining that they we’re off of their A game, wanted to get back on track, needed to stop eating and drinking at picnics and bbq’s, and how they just wanted to feel better…

Being in the fitness industry for almost a decade now I can tell you that many peoples concerns when it comes to fitness often come from a place of wanting to look better, achieve some sort of aesthetic, or get in shape for an upcoming event. That’s great, but here’s the thing; we never truly allow ourselves to focus on how we want to feel. As a personal trainer I’ve seen it all, hell, I’ve been it all. I got into the field because I wanted to help others but what hooked me was the ability to change my body…over time I realized that the only real way to change my body and have lasting results was to focus on changing it from the inside out.

…I set my schedule and green tea aside and decided to put together an very uncommon fitness challenge. Lots of trainer do it come fall, but I wanted this one to be different. I wanted it to focus on the individual as a whole, and not just what their body was capable of doing, but their mind as well. So, in a few hours I began drafting what would eventually become my [Meaning Behind Movement] Challenge] for ALL women across the globe. To change the conversation from “How do I want to look?” To “How do I want to feel?” I was and am still blown away by the turn out, the ability for people to “just show up” and the incredible community engagement throughout women of all walks of life.

Yes, there is a large exercise component involved in my fitness challenge but there’s also a key component that we often forget, lose sight of, or overlook because we think “meh, that’s not really that important.” — false, it’s so important (in my opinion, more important than the physical exercises).

We’re close to rounding out our second week of the challenge and on day 7 we have a journal entry that makes us think about how we want to feel, about how we view our bodies, about how we’re going to begin to change the conversation when it comes to fitness, health, and our overall mindset.

For me, fitness originated from a place of wanting and needing change. Growing up, I was always skinny and often made fun because people thought I had an eating disorder, didn’t eat at all, or was trying to be as thin as possible. That was not the case, in fact I always had a hard time putting on weight and was never fully comfortable in my own skin (we all want something we can’t have).

I danced for eight years, began playing sports like field hockey, lacrosse, and track to learn more about my body and how I could get stronger. Throughout that process I not only became stronger on the outside, I felt stronger on the inside.

As life went on and I grew up, I saw my body change countless time through figure competitions, strength training, and rigorous exercise.

Fast forward a few years, I found myself heartbroken, going through a divorce, and feeling hopeless. I didn’t have much to fall back on as I had to leave my business that I had grown from the ground up back in a different country while coming back to the states to rebuild. It was during this time in my life that I knew my exterior alone wouldn’t cut it. It wouldn’t help me feel better. Looking in the mirror and weighing less or weighing more, having more defined muscles, or a prominent six-pack wouldn’t necessarily make me feel better, it would only make me look better, leaving a fleeting feeling as time would pass. It was during that time that I knew I needed to learn how to feel powerful, when I felt powerless. That I wanted to feel confident in my own skin. Confident enough to know that despite what my body looked like on the outside I knew how strong I was within.



  1. Mary Easleysays:

    Wow. Jayel you said a mouth full. Your words always move me. As I was reading your words I was thinking about my life. ( past, present and future) Rhinkubg about were I’ve been., the good, not so good and where I’d hoped to be by now.

    I agree that my body on the outside should not be my motivator and it’s not. At 56 years old I’ve experience being so skinny like you not able to gain weight, while being called out my name,to being very phyiscally fit looking damn good on the outside but still not feeling good on the inside. Too much going on in life from marriage, children and friends. Now I add age, and wearing and tearing of my body to everything else and I still need some work done on me from the inside out.

    Again I thank you for being the jump start that I need. Just praying that this time I achieve what I need for me this time around.

  2. Mitchellsays:

    I’m so impressed with your desire not only to improve yourybut the impact you have on others. Your a fabulous example/role model to others. What you do us amazing, keep helping people and the satisfaction you will get from it will be unmatched.

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