Hey girl, hey. Between running her own business, literally running, being a mom and balancing a full-time career...Stacey has it going on.
GRL Fitness just graduated! Tell us about Operation YOU Academy.
GRL Fitness graduated! We are so happy to now be Operation YOU Academy. Where we believe in the continuous learning and progression of self growth and development through our three foundational pillars: mindset, nutrition and movement.
Is personal training your primary career and why did it interest you?
Personal training for me started over a decade ago when I was in college for policing. I would help classmates in my program as well as paramedic and fire sciences in order to be successful in their respective fitness testing. I became certified shortly after that and haven't quit since. After a successful career within the military, I have recently stepped away and am focused on coaching full-time while also offering mindset and nutrition along with movement coaching.
Being a mom, balancing nutrition, mental health and exercise is important. What tips do you have for moms post-partum?
Food prep saves time and leaves guessing out of the equation.
Rest. Rest. Rest.
Don't beat yourself up if you didn't get the things done. Tomorrow is a new day.
Above all else, remember you are a human.
Mental health is #1 ! Always. Being a mom who knew nothing about babies until I had one was rough, as well as being in a isolated area where help was hard to come by. One thing that has been hard for me to learn is to slow down and let the small things stay small. Those dishes you hate looking at vs spending an hour to just sit and chill, you owe it to yourself to rest. Momming is a full-time sport in it's own. Rest for your mental, emotional and physical self is important now than before. That little person needs you, but YOU need you.
When Harper was a newborn she was easy to cart around for walks/hikes, and she slept or rolled around when I took her into my home gym. If you're trying to get into a routine start small. Add in weekly walks, and don't over due strength training or jogging before your BODY is physically ready. Now that Harper is a toddler she's super busy. We frequent walks/jogs, bike rides and I'm always blasting the music for a dance party. Involve your kids, show them an example even if you are focusing on purposeful movement, strength training or whatever your activity of preference is.
What are your personal fitness goals?
My personal fitness goals are to keep my body strong due to a medical condition involving my back. As well, regain flexibility. I move because I'm grateful that I can - but I also love pushing my body to see how far it can go.
What was the most difficult part about creating your own curriculum?
The most difficult part is condensing the content for each program. I cap 2/3 curriculum programs to two months and even then I am always finding things to add. We really cannot put a cap on learning more about our bodies.
We are now halfway through the year, what would you say was your biggest hurdle?
Leaving the military and going full-time into my business. Leaving a structured and routine life for uncertainty has been a struggle but the benefits have shown to be worth every minute.
You have been in Girl Gang since the beginning, what was your initial objective and what has kept the relationship continue?
My biggest objective was to network and stay connected to my home area while I was gone. I knew I wanted to come back to the area and I didn't want to feel like I was starting from scratch when it came to getting locally involved. Being in a network of other badass women who own and run businesses is so thrilling and empowering to me. Now that I've returned, I am hoping to be more involved not only with the Girl Gang, but within the community as well.
What would be advice to someone starting a business who has a family, side hustle and full-time career?
Don't spread yourself too thin and make sure you're starting it for the right reason.
Blunt answer.. Careers are replaceable. Family isn't.
If you're finding yourself burnt out from the career, side hustle and cant find the time for your family.. Something has to give.
Ask yourself the hard questions. Or just,
Take the leap. You might surprise yourself.
What is one of your biggest accomplishments that you would have never imagined happening 5 years ago?
Leaving my career to be a full-time entrepreneur. But I think I knew deep down I couldn't live my entire life following someone else's agenda. The resistance was real.
Headed toward 2022, what can we expect from Operation YOU Academy?
We have two more curriculum programs coming up within nutrition and movement.
As well, fingers crossed for in-person options when we move!
In all honesty - possibilities are endless and we are rolling with it.
Our Local Girl Gang with CrossFit Athlete Kristine Andali
Who is Kristine Andali?
I have a mentor who asks me this all the time.. my response is always I am strong, capable and in control. Outside of that I am a 27 year old woman who is extremely focused and dedicated to my sport of CrossFit. I have been in this sport for about a decade and have gone through many trials and triumphs. It has helped me grow immensely both as an athlete and an individual. Outside of my sport I have a passion for nutrition and for helping others to become their best selves so they can life a healthier happier life.
What drew you to your fitness journey?
The majority of my child hood I was an elite gymnast so physical activity was always apart of my life. As I moved on from gymnastics and starting training on my own, my older sister had found this type of training called “CrossFit.” She introduced me to it back when I was in highschool and I haven’t stopped since!
What do I feel is important for people to know about what I do?
I think the very first thing people should understand is that CrossFit can be for anybody. I think a lot of people get scared or nervous about it because they see what im doing and think its too much for them. Being an elite athlete in this sport is much different than being someone who is doing classes at the gym. Anything can be modified to your abilities and I think that’s what people don’t see.
Who is one of my female role models?
I have this friend and her name is Raffaella Dobles. She has a husband and 2 little girls. I met her when I was living in LA. Her and I both deal with something called PCOS. Unfortunately, a lot of women deal with this syndrome and it can wreck havoc on your self-esteem. I’ve watched this woman juggle a lot of struggle from her health to her career. She is so incredibly selfless and is constantly looking to help others. Through her struggles she still continues to stand so tall and show up for her self, her family, and anyone she can lend a helping hand to and I admire that so much.
What do you believe are the first steps everyone should take to achieve a healthier lifestyle?
I think the first steps in achieving a healthier lifestyle is to have a simple plan. Pick a couple things to start out with that are sustainable and realistic for you. A few examples would be:
- FOCUSING ON GETTING MORE QUALITY SLEEP
- CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU EAT.
- INCORPORATE SOME MINDFULNESS WORK ONCE A WEEK (MEDITATION, YOGA, JOURNALING)
Then build from there. Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself by going from 0-100.
What is something you would tell every woman that is afraid to get started on something new?
The best advice I can give to you on this is to just take the leap and go for it. Just like starting on living a healthier life, start small. Take one step at a time but just take that first step. It’s important to take risks in life and it’s also important to fail, because that’s where we learn and grow. Taking that first step and moving forward even just a little bit is better than staying in one place.
What does girl gang mean to you?
Girl Gang means coming together as strong and beautiful woman empowering and supporting each other in all we do.
What are your goals for the next year?
My personal goals in the next year are to get back out on the competition floor and gain more experience and grow as an athlete. Outside of that I have some business ideas that I would love to see flourishing by this time next year. Stay tuned ;)
What's one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I think one thing people might be surprised to know is that I love riding street bikes (crotch rockets).. I’ve got a need for speed, but maybe that’s not as surprising as I thought. Haha!
FOLLOW KRISTINE ON INSTAGRAM AT KRISTINEANDALI