Our Breakthrough Spotlight member for January is Heather Giovannelli! Heather shares about how developing confidence in the gym carries over outside the gym, the power of focusing on what you can do rather than how you look, and the importance of prioritizing self-care!
BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you, Heather, for being our Spotlight member this month. It’s been a few months now since you have been training with us. How were you feeling before you started? What made you want to jump in and start training and doing something new?
HEATHER: I am always on this path of trying to improve upon myself, and one of the biggest things is - I have tried yoga and tried all these things - and I always end up hurting myself. And also wanting to have a second baby and really kind of strengthen my muscles for that and ready myself for something like that, I guess. With Coach Chana being my friend, I was always watching her and how, you know, she always is working on herself, too…
HEATHER: So, I finally got the courage to ask her about training! And getting here has been amazing because the little improvements - my whole thought was about strength and muscle control, right. It’s been way more than that! Confidence came with it…
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh! That’s exciting!
HEATHER: It been really great! It has been wonderful! My goal wasn’t to lose weight but to transform my body and the transformation definitely came quicker than I even imagined.
BREAKTHROUGH: Wow! That is great!
HEATHER: That is pretty amazing!
BREAKTHROUGH: What were some of things that surprised you?
HEATHER: The little things?
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, the little things.
HEATHER: Outside of the gym, a little thing was I remember going with my son to Target and he wanted to get something down below on a shelf, and I had just kneeled down to get it and I popped back up when I got it. I was like whoa! I didn’t have to put my hand on a shelf to assist myself to get back up! Ha, ha! There wasn’t like a grunt to get back up!
BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, ha!
HEATHER: I just popped right up, and I remember standing straight up and thinking oh my gosh, that felt really good! I didn’t have any strain doing that. That was one of the things. Another thing was just feeling stronger. Taking in groceries, I can get more bags. I can get my big water bottle that was delivered from the front and put it in myself, you know! Those everyday things that I would have had to have my husband, “Can you please go get the water bottle?” You know stuff like that.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah. Awesome.
HEATHER: Yeah, and just being able to feel better in my clothes. Not necessarily smaller clothes, but they fit better – like they are supposed to. Right? Ha, ha!
HEATHER: That’s always really nice too! And then inside the gym, I always want to see improvement immediately – that immediate satisfaction….
HEATHER: But I really, really enjoy the small improvements. Every time I come back – you know it’s only twice a week – but every time I come back, I feel stronger doing something I didn’t feel strong on the day prior.
BREAKTHROUGH: That is so great!
HEATHER: Like the whole chin up and hanging from the pull up bar and that sort of thing… I was working with Caleb last time and I hung longer than I ever did prior. It just feels so good. It’s like, you are just hanging, but it really is a great accomplishment - for me!
BREAKTHROUGH: For anyone!
HEATHER: Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: No, it is! Hangs are hard. Anything that is progressing toward doing a pull up. That is a big feat of strength. That is a major goal for a lot of people, so to be able to hang on a bar is where it starts. It was so great a couple months ago when you were looking around and you saw people doing chin ups and you said, “I want that on my next program. I want to be working toward that.”
HEATHER: Yeah! it is awesome. It is so funny! It really is sneaky. Funny because when I go home and my husband is like, how was your workout? “Good! I hung for like 30 seconds.” And he is like - that is awesome! That is actually very hard to do! He understands the work that it takes.
BREAKTHROUGH: It’s really nice to have a supportive person in your life who understands. And I think it is really great that you come home and tell your husband about the stuff you did, especially this time of year when so much focus seems to go to how we look. I think it is so wonderful that you are coming home and talking about the things you are doing! This is what training is! It’s about this expression of what you are physically capable of and pushing those boundaries and seeing what is possible. That is so much more inspiring to me rather than well, I’ve got to look like…
HEATHER: Well, no, that is definitely not it at all.
BREAKTHROUGH: It’s boring. And It’s stressful, because if your focus is solely on how you look it’s so easy to feel like it’s never good enough.
HEATHER: Yeah. And you are already defeated. You go in completely in this negative mind frame. And that is not at all the goal for me. Number one is strength for me. And I am definitely feeling way stronger!
BREAKTHROUGH: You are definitely strong! It is so exciting! And then hiking! You just did our Adventure Team and it was so great to have you be a part of that.
HEATHER: That was fun! It was wonderful! And it was a beautiful day.
BREAKTHROUGH: ….and the training was fun!
HEATHER: Yeah, and I was so excited because I saw that being outdoors in nature, putting what we learn here to the actual task was so much fun. And being able to enjoy the beauty around us outdoors was fantastic. I love hiking so much already and being able to combine the two things that I love was really great.
BREAKTHROUGH: Strength and hiking?
HEATHER: Yeah. It was really great. If we hadn’t done the training, I would have been really overexerted from that hike, I think.
BREAKTHROUGH: But you felt fine the next day, right?
HEATHER: Oh yeah! No soreness! Which was really surprising. I thought I was going to feel sore because I was actually running back at the end. Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, ha! Yeah, you guys were fast!
HEATHER: I was going up the last hill thinking - I have got to get this over with. Sprinting up the hill! That was something that I wouldn’t have been able to have done before. It was really great!
BREAKTHROUGH: That was awesome.
HEATHER: Breath control! That was huge! Huge! I have been really bad at that.
BREAKTHROUGH: The whole Team really had good results with that, myself included! So, we always like to know your “why”. I know you have kind of shared a little bit about that – I am guessing when you talked about joining and wanting to prepare yourself for another pregnancy, but is there anything else that is a motivation for you?
HEATHER: Just confidence in myself and acceptance of myself. I think a lot of people do it for other people. I do it for me. And this is the first time I have actually really wholeheartedly done something for me. A why is making myself happy. And that is hard, especially when you have kids and you are married, and you have family and you are always trying to…
BREAKTHROUGH: And you own your own business.
HEATHER: Yeah! You are always doing something for someone else. So, this time around I decided that I am going to do it for me! Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Especially for people like you who do so much to take care of others, there is something so powerful and so important in saying – this is for me and my own value and not just what I can do for others. I came to this earth to create some cool stuff. I’m allowed to take care of me!
HEATHER: You have to, you know! If you don’t, then what is the point?
HEATHER: …Because then you are going to crumble and then there is nothing left.
BREAKTHROUGH: And we can’t have that. The world needs your magic!
HEATHER: Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, this was awesome. Thank you so much for sharing!
HEATHER: Thank you!