Be grateful. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you list all of the things that you are grateful for in your life. Having a positive mindset every day can be difficult. Keeping a gratitude journal can help ensure your head stays in a good place.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison Jackson.
Allison Jackson is the founder of Allison Jackson Fitness. She is an NASM-certified personal trainer, Precision Nutrition-certified coach and ANBF pro masters figure competitor. She has a crystal-clear picture of what it takes to get to your ideal weight and stay there.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
A born and raised Jersey Girl, I was always interested in sports and fitness. I played field hockey in high school and college. But I can distinctly remember during my teens, reading my dad’s Muscle & Fitness magazines, and imagining what it would be like to transform my body through weight training. I would frequently use his weight bench in our unfinished basement.
In college, I taught fitness classes and was a personal trainer. I had always thought I would pursue a career in fitness, but then ended up in corporate communications. Not long after entering the working world, I got married and had two kids. While I still worked out regularly, it was more about just trying to get my pre-baby body back. I’ve run marathons, completed triathlons, did a Tough Mudder and other obstacle-course competitions, but I could never seem to get my body to where I felt good about how I looked. It wasn’t until I started competing in natural bodybuilding in 2012, also known as figure competitions. Not only did it completely transform my body, it’s transformed my confidence and helped launch my business, Allison Jackson Fitness.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Since I started my online fitness/nutrition business, I’ve been really embracing public speaking. Even with the pandemic, I made it my mission to do 20 speaking events in 2020. I actually surpassed that goal! The main takeaway is: don’t assume you won’t reach a goal because of any given obstacle. In addition, I’ve found a new passion — public speaking!
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I remember launching a new program on a Facebook Live and providing the incorrect price. I couldn’t believe I had done that! But I’m a woman of my word and stuck to the price I had publicly announced. Surprisingly, I actually doubled the number of people who signed up. I guess the price was right!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
As a coach, I strongly believe in the value of coaches. Whether it’s a business, career, marathon, financial — there’s a coach for any goal you’re working towards and they will fast-track your success. I was lucky enough to find a coach that helped me elevate my business and really look at things differently.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
My daily mantra is: “Inspire people to live healthier lives.” I think about that no matter what I’m doing, whether it’s my own nutrition and workouts or creating programs for others. My goal is help people understand and prioritize their health. Healthy is wealthy. Without good health, all the money in the world doesn’t matter.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Track your food. This means grabbing a free app like MyFitnessPal and consciously logging your food. This will give you a clear understanding of how much or how little you are consuming and what that food is made up of (protein, carbs, fat, sodium, fiber).
- Get 10k steps. Get some daily movement whether it’s walking, biking, yoga, dance, weight training, or something else. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you enjoy it and look forward to doing it each day.
- Be mindful. Whether you meditate or consciously try to be more mindful or present (such as not multi-tasking while eating or talking to others), these efforts will help your stress levels.Studies have shown that regular meditation physically alters your brain matter in a good way.
- Be grateful. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you list all of the things that you are grateful for in your life. Having a positive mindset every day can be difficult. Keeping a gratitude journal can help ensure your head stays in a good place.
- Get enough sleep. Rest and recovery are just as important as a good workout or a healthy meal. For our bodies and minds to operate best, getting a minimum of 7- 9 hours of sleep each night is essential. Having a routine to wind down before bed can help you with falling asleep. A bedroom that is dark and cool without electronics, like your phone or tablet, can often help you to stay asleep.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Educating women on the importance of prioritizing their health to be a good a role model for their children. In addition, ensuring that health and gym classes in schools also focus on the importance of good nutrition. While movement is critical, nutrition is so vital and frequently misunderstood due to all of the “diets-of-the-week” and quick fixes.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- When it comes to changing your body, nutrition is 80% of the equation.
- You don’t need to kill yourself with workouts to change your body. (See #1)
- Meditating for 10 minutes each day will do wonders for your ability to manage stress.
- Sleep is more important than you think when it comes to your overall health and wellbeing.
- Gratitude and self-care top the list when it comes to having a positive mindset and outlook.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
I would say mental health is the dearest to me because I think it’s so prevalent, so disregarded, so misunderstood and so dangerous. If we could help those with mental illness, it would solve so many problems in the world today, including addictions to food, alcohol and drugs.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
I’m on Instagram and Facebook @allisonjacksonfitness
Thank you for these fantastic insights!