So I wanted to turn the tables and let you badasses ask me some questions! Thank you for all your kickass responses. I picked just 10 questions for now, so I apologize if I did not get to yours, but I will do another round in the near future!
1) What do you eat on the daily to give you energy and keep you full?
Such a great question! 2 and a half years ago, I made the switch to stop eating meat. This was for a variety of reasons, but primarily due to the severe environmental impact eating meat has on our planet, as well as the treatment of animals. When I first cut out meat, I really struggled. I had just become a SoulCycle instructor, and I was absolutely STARVING all the time from working out so much.
I lived in NYC at the time, and I didn’t really cook in the city because no one does (ok, honestly, I still don’t really cook, but just try blaming that on Vancouver- I have no excuses!).
Unfortunately, I was just replacing the energy meat gave me with straight carbs. That was not the right thing to do. Not only did I feel bloated (and I actually gained weight), I would crash mid day and struggled with energy. I even contemplated going back to eating meat occasionally.
It wasn’t until I made a proper and HEALTHY switch to my diet that I noticed a big difference! I had to cut out just reaching for straight carbs, and instead turned to foods that provide an alternative source of protein. My meals consist of a ton of nuts, beans, lentils, quinoa, avocadoes, salads, hummus, egg whites, and dark leafy vegetables. Before classes, I usually eat a banana, or a cookie/power bar if I’m really needing a kick of energy.
It’s been such a positive transformation since I committed to finding foods that actually provide the same type of protein that our bodies get from meat. And most cities have so many vegetarian options, that it’s so easy to cut out meat and still feel full and satisfied! I eat burgers, pizza, ect and find that the plant based meals taste even better!
I also had my blood work done last year and found out I was severely low on iron. After I followed a doctor’s recommendation that I take iron pills, I also noticed a huge surge with energy level! (please note: do not just take iron pills without a doctor’s approval)
2) How do you find time to make such meaningful connections with so many people?
Ah, I actually wish I could do more! When I first started at Soul, the thing that drew me in was how I truly felt the instructors cared about the riders (at least the ones I fell in love with did!)
It had a profound impact on my life, since I was going through such a hard time when I first discovered SoulCycle. I felt like I had found a community of people who really cared! It’s not as though I expected everyone to be my best friend, but it was so amazing to walk into an environment of familiar faces and positive energy.
I hope to be able to do that for other people, so I make the effort to reach out to people and check in. Finding out people’s favourite music, what they are going through, their backgrounds and what drives them in life helps me both celebrate and motivate my riders. What it all boils down to is that without meaningful relationships in your life, it all feels a bit empty.
What you do for yourself is gone when you are gone, but all the acts of kindness you do for others remain as your legacy.
3) I exercise a lot, but I’m not improving…. what’s going on?
I think you need to define in your mind what “improving” is? If it’s strictly weight loss, a lot of that has to do with a consistent diet, consistent exercise and of course switching up your routines.
Your body gets used to the same workout so I can’t stress this enough…cross training is KEY! (for more tips, click here )
If you are referring to improving as in keeping the beat in SoulCycle class and improving your speed, resistance training and cardio, then that comes down to REPETITION. I want to say I’ve now taught around 1300 SoulCycle classes, and have probably ridden in HUNDREDS more. I grew up dancing and became a professional dancer, I am a certified yoga instructor and I am always working out. And every class is STILL a kick in my ass!
It is never supposed to be easy, and that’s what makes it worth it. You don’t need to judge yourself or be on someone else’s timeline. The fact that we always have somewhere to strive towards is something that can motivate you, rather than discourage you!
4) What is your process for getting ready to teach a class?
Oh man, I’m particular about this!
First, each playlist gets a LOT of attention. I will spend around 1 to 3 hours on each one. I check out all the DJ sites, iTunes, Soundcloud. I’ll check in to see if there are any celebrations in class (birthdays etc.) or milestone rides. Once I’m fully satisfied with my playlist (which is NEVER, I am never fully happy with them, haha) I get my outfit ready… listen to some pump up jams (aka my tunes), reflect on something I’ve watched or read that’s inspiring to me. I make sure I’ve drunk a ton of water, and feel physically fit and able, and then I go into the room and give my all!
5) Who is your favourite sister?
(I wonder who wrote this question) ISABEL DIB, YOU ARE! LOVE YOU SO MUCH
6) What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was little, my dream job was to be a vet. Tragically, I discovered that I am a) bad at math b) terrible in science c) hate needles d) hate blood e) prefer to be half naked at work. SO my dream was sadly abandoned due to lacking every skill required.
7) What advice do you have for people who want to model/go into the commercial scene but are only 5’6?
Thankfully, there are TONS of kinds of modelling. Of course, to be a runway model (which clearly I’m not even close to) you need to be a certain height and aesthetic.
But there are other kinds of modelling, which include fit modelling, fitness models, and commercial/ print models. Height does not matter nearly as much in these cases! !
My suggestions include to get some beautiful but natural prints of you done by a great local photographer (you will need to pay for these in most cases) as well as digital shots (extremely natural, typically in a bikini). Most modelling agencies have open calls which can be found on their websites. Go to see as MANY people as you can, and do not take no as an answer! (i.e. don’t give up, but don’t do anything illegal like stalk modelling agents…say no to jail time).
You will also want to have a strong understanding of how to be on camera in both still life and while being filmed. So I highly recommend attending commercial acting workshops. Once you have an agent, you will go to a million castings/auditions, and you will want to feel as prepared as possible!
You will hear a million No’s on your journey, so do not let that discourage you! It’s all apart of the process.
8) How often do you do laundry, and how do you make your work out gear not smell/fall apart?
Ugh, the worst, right?
Honestly, I do laundry almost every day (every second day if I’m lazy).
A few tricks…
1) do NOT put your work out clothes in the dryer! Hang dry them, as it ruins them quicker if you throw them in the dryer.
2) If you keep your clothes in a small bag or hamper until you wash them, they are more likely to start to smell faster. Keep them air drying until you can wash them.
3) Put them in the freezer! Sounds funny, but it works. Have them in a zip lock bag, put them in occasionally and then wash them after. The cold air helps to destroy the odor.
4) Wash in COLD water, with a detergent that has baking soda.
5) Use a scented laundry booster to help keep those pesky smells at bay!
6) Get rid of it. If it’s past its lifeline, it’s time to go. Donate, or responsibly recycle your old workout gear.
9) What’s your morning/night routine?
This really depends on the day. But a typical day, I wake up at either 5 or 6 am. I am so used to it now, I wake up before my alarm. I find it does not work for me to wake up slowly, I need to immediately get my ass up and moving.
I’ll have a big glass of water, my clothes are already prepped and my bag is packed. The less I have to do in the morning, the better.
Evenings, I have usually finished a class. I get home, eat (typical meal: pasta made out of beans with sauce, lentils, quinoa, huge salads, Virtuous pie pizza or Greek food). Once I’ve gotten my playlist done, my boyfriend and I will hang out. I always give my face a good cleansing before bed, have my bags ready and packed for the morning. And MOST importantly, I try to ensure I get at least 7 hours of sleep!
10) How are you always filled with so much energy?
Haha I am DEFINITELY not! I feel like I’m either running on super speed, or I am CRASHED on my couch. I am obviously extremely active, and typically do 2 to 3 intense work outs per day. But I very much value my rest time, my alone time, and my down time.
I find I can give way more of myself, if I’m giving back to myself.
That means filling myself up with inspirational reading material or podcasts, spending time with my family and boyfriend, having great conversations with friends or just being alone.
Photos by Ben Owens