You will never reach perfection, so do your best and get it done. By delaying, you are missing out on the opportunity to help others!
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashley Rice and Jocelyn Gaddie, co-founders of The Lavender Lifestyle and TLL Fit.
Sisters, best friends, coaches, and most importantly, moms! Both Ashley and Jocelyn are NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches, also holding a B.S. in Health and Fitness Management. The Lavender Sisters created TLL Fit to help busy moms step into their power and become who they were always meant to be, inside and out!
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?
JG- A little over four years ago Ash and I had each given birth. We actually had the same due date, but ended up giving birth 12 days apart. We were at Ashley’s house with our 3 month old babies and wearing our baggy sweatpants and sweatshirts. While we were drinking wine and eating dinner, one of us made the comment that we had gotten so far away from looking and feeling like ourselves. We laughed, mostly to keep from crying. We were mentally drained, sleep deprived, and not showing up as our best for our kids, for our husbands, or for ourselves.
We decided right then and there that we were done feeling out of control of our lives. We even snapped a picture so we could always remember how we felt in that moment, tired, vulnerable, and stretched to our limits. We made a decision to make a change and not look back. We knew this was the beginning of our journey, but we had no idea how much things were about to change!
We started by making small changes to our nutrition and fitness. We committed to exercising 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week. We started feeling more energetic and more confident, which motivated us to keep going. We adopted structure in our lives and began planning ahead. These minor changes gave us the energy we needed to show up as better moms, wives, friends, women!
We learned so much and shared what we learned on IG. Slowly, busy moms just like us, started reaching out for guidance on their quest to get healthy. These women wanted accountability, nutritional guidance, and a workout program. They were tired of fad diets and trying methods that don’t work or aren’t sustainable.
This is how TLL Fit was born. We made it our mission to help as many women as we can reach to improve their energy levels, hormones, metabolism, and confidence. It goes beyond a physical transformation. Our passion is to help our clients and community members get healthy from the inside out and to find a lifestyle that is sustainable and truly enjoyable.
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?
AR- I would have to say an interesting story was running into a client the other day at the store. This client is working with one of our coaches in our 1:1 program, but I had never personally met her or worked with her. She recognized me and was so excited to chat. We stood there in the store chatting for a good 25 minutes. I felt an instant connection with her and left feeling so energetic and fulfilled, like I had just run into an old friend! That experience confirmed for me how important it is to plug into a community for support. It can feel isolating when you are working toward goals and friends and family don’t always understand. When you have a community of like-minded women cheering you on, you can accomplish anything!
JG- Ha, I was going to tell a similar story! Recently I ran into an IG follower on the playground when I was with my kids. We were instant BFFs and we had only just met. It really showed me the importance of fostering a supportive community of women!
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?
JG- I think the biggest mistake Ash and I made starting out was trying to come across a certain way for our audience on IG. We were afraid to show up as our authentic selves because we didn’t think that’s what people wanted to see. It is much easier to hide pieces of yourself as protection from feeling rejected. We spent a lot of time showing up as people we thought our audience wanted to see. It wasn’t until we started letting our guard down, showing up on stories without makeup and filters, and showing the chaos of our lives, that people really started responding. It has been really refreshing!
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?
AR– Oh my goodness absolutely!! First of all, I couldn’t do this without my sister. We are complete opposites. Her strengths are all the things that make me uncomfortable and vice versa! So 100% her. But also we decided in July of 2021 to hire a business coach. Kendall Strampall has helped us create systems for our business so that we can scale and reach more women. She has also given us confidence in what we can offer. She has been an amazing sounding board for our ideas and has really helped us bring them to life. We are forever grateful to her!!
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?
JG- While Ash and I love helping women get into the best shape of their lives, it is much bigger than that. After becoming moms, Ash and I lost ourselves in motherhood. Finding the courage to make time for ourselves and make our health and fitness a priority changed everything for us. It gave us confidence and allowed us to pour into our loved ones and communities in ways we didn’t have the capacity for before. Our mission is to build women up. We want to give them the tools to make their health and wellness a priority so they too can show up as their best selves!
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.
- Eat more protein- Increasing your protein intake can boost metabolism significantly, helping to burn calories and fat throughout the day. Adequate protein in the diet can also reduce appetite and balance out weight-regulating hormones.
- Limit simple sugars and refined carbohydrates- When foods contain simple sugars and refined carbs, this means the food has been stripped of all bran, fiber and nutrients. Examples would be white bread, pasta, pastries, cookies, pizza, and so on. These foods digest quickly and lead to unhealthy spikes in blood sugar. These spikes may then lead to highs and lows in energy and mood, as well as an increase in stored body fat. The drastic increase in blood sugar leads to a surge of insulin, resulting in further cravings for sugary foods. Instead of choosing food packed with processed sugars and carbohydrates, reach for fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, or whole wheats and grains.
- Incorporate resistance training- Resistance training, or working out with weights, leads to an increase in lean tissue, which requires an increased demand for energy expenditure. In simple terms, this means an increase in calories burned. This is true during exercise AND at rest! Additionally, resistance training increases the amount of oxygen the body requires in order to recover; this is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption — or EPOC. This concept increases the net caloric expenditure after a workout, which basically means that resistance training allows you to burn calories for the rest of the day, after you are done exercising. Not only that, but intense resistance training creates a favorable hormonal environment for building muscle and burning fat.
- Rest and recover- Taking rest days is crucial for progress to happen, as rest is essential for muscle repair and growth. As you exercise, you are creating microscopic tears in the muscle tissue, and rest allows these tears to heal stronger and better than before. Don’t forget, rest increases energy and allows you to show up and give your all each workout, which leads to better results. In addition to taking rest days, it is crucial that you get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can alter ghrelin and leptin levels — the hormones that regulate appetite — leading to increased appetite.
- Cut down on stress- Chronic stress can heavily impact your overall health as well as your ability to lose weight. This can be caused by a combination of increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as incorporating unhealthy stress-induced habits. Chronically high levels of cortisol can lead to fat deposits around the midsection as well as decreased metabolism, and is also to blame for increased cravings for sugary foods. Not to mention, coping mechanisms for stress often include emotional eating, exercising less, skipping meals, skimping on sleep, and reaching for convenient foods versus healthy alternatives.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
AR- If we could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, it would be to eliminate diet culture and all the misinformation floating around. It has been so ingrained in our society that in order to reach your health and fitness goals, you have to limit calories and restrict foods. This type of culture values body aesthetics ove true health and well-being. I would love more than anything to cut out the misinformation that is rampant on social media and online, and lift up those who are teaching self-love and what it means to get to a place of true health and wellness!!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
AR- I wish someone had told me that there will never be a perfect time to start your business, so you just need to start. Also that done is better than perfect. You will never reach perfection, so do your best and get it done. By delaying, you are missing out on the opportunity to help others! Oh and probably the most important, Joc and I have grown so much in our faith this year. Our business really took off when God became our number one. Taking time to study and pray is everything!
JG- For sure! Also establishing a work/life balance is a constant work in progress. It’s important to recognize when you need to pull back and enjoy family! So that brings me to my last thing, don’t be afraid to delegate. You only have so many hours in a day!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
AR- Sustainability all the way!! This is a huge part of why we created TLL Fit and something we are so passionate about. If you go all in on a new diet and workout program, but it isn’t sustainable for more than a few weeks, what’s the point? You will eventually be right back to where you started.
No matter what you are doing in life, it’s important to set a pace that challenges you, but is sustainable. A great way to go about this is to set a threshold you need to reach as minimum, and then set an upper boundary that you won’t surpass. In a busy season, aim to reach the minimum threshold. When you have more time, reach for the upper end of the threshold, without surpassing that upper boundary. For example, I aim to hit at least three, 30 minute workout sessions in a busy week, but never do more than six, 30 minute workout sessions in a week. This keeps me balanced and helps me to avoid burnout. In other words, it’s sustainable!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
We are most active on Instagram @the_lavender_lifestyle
We also have a website www.thelavenderlifestyle.com
Thank you for these fantastic insights!