Monica: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Minna! You’ve had quite a past with your own health struggles, can you share more about how that motivated you towards what you do now?
Minna: My biggest motivation in coaching and helping others live healthier and more fulfilled lives comes from my own history of struggling with everything from an eating disorder to my autoimmune disease.
When I was going through the heights of my eating disorder, a part of what prolonged my road to recovery was that no one was talking about these uncomfortable issues on things like social media. For mental health issues in particular, there can be such a feeling of isolation and lack of hope when you’re going through such things. I wanted to be a source of encouragement and blunt realness. Seeing how sharing my struggles and stories through the ups and downs of life helps my community feel understood and empowered? That is what I love most and what continues to drive me to create the work that I do.
Monica: I love how you’ve turned your own experiences into something that can inspire and empower others. How does it help you better relate with your audience and clients?
Minna: When it comes to training my personal training and nutrition coaching clients in particular, I think my rather colorful history of injury, health issues, and athleticism really helps them feel that I can empathize with not just their journey to their goals, but also their starting points. When someone feels understood, they’re more likely to be willing to be vulnerable and access those challenging places that are needed to put in the work. I think my relatability helps me help them empower themselves!
Because I’ve had to fight for the body and health I have, I know what it feels like to work against the odds and not have those things handed to you.
I personally believe it’s harder to coach someone through the ups and downs when you haven’t been through the gamut yourself. I also think that when it comes to talking about my autoimmune disease with my blogging community, it’s helpful to see someone who isn’t as polarizing about certain healing protocols or lifestyles. I operate from a very science-based background with understanding how the body works, but I also respect the fact that there is SO much we don’t yet know about the human body, and especially about autoimmune diseases. I don’t pretend to know it all– because I don’t. So, I just try to share what has helped me, to help empower others to take charge of their own health in the same manner.
Monica: That is such a beautiful reminder that we can’t take our health for granted. I’m curious, how has that influenced the way you view health and happiness?
Minna: I have a bit of contention with the concept of “happiness,” or more the pursuit of it. I believe in chasing fullness instead – the full spectrums of human emotion and experience. Life is meant to encompass all the ups and downs, and the biggest lessons we learn are from riding all those waves. So for me, happiness is more about resiliency and appreciation for it all. Health is just another relationship in life, and honestly the most important one– both the mental and physical aspects. If you don’t have a good relationship with your health, that has a trickle-down effect onto the other relationships in your life: yourself, your family, your loved ones / friends, your work.
Monica: That is so true! Health is more than just about ourselves, but also about our surrounding community. Do you ever find yourself impacted by your own clients?
Minna: I think as a coach or teacher, you’re constantly learning from your clients and students. They’re the daily reminders for me of how I want to continue leveling up with my health and life on both professional and personal levels. My clients not only act as a great mirror for me to reflect on my own challenges and things I need to work on, but they also motivate me so much when I see them reaching the next levels or have breakthroughs on their journey.
Monica: There’s such a depth and sense of purpose to help others through your work. How do you see it impacting others?
Minna: I think we all help change and better the world in our own differing ways, utilizing our unique talents we possess. For me, I think the ultimate way I can help people is by empowering them– helping them realize that the keys to their freedom in life already lie in their hands, but just assisting in developing those tools to help them along the way.
I feel like I accomplish this through my personal coaching, and through the products we offer through my company Live 24k, but I am excited to keep expanding towards new methods that reach more people and touch them in some way. I love to introduce new ideas and offer different perspectives, and I love doing so by helping people share their stories to forge connections. I definitely intend on expanding in this realm further in the near future.
Monica: I have no doubt you’ll keep pushing forward, can’t wait to see what’s coming up next! One last question before we go: what is the one thing you want others to know that will help them thrive?
Minna: Little consistent changes (or “leveling up,” as I like to say) win every time. Us humans are incredibly adaptive beings. Our bodies can absolutely be manipulated in wonderful ways to feel and move better, and live our best lives. Our minds can be trained, expanded, and pushed to wonderful new heights as long as we stay open and feed that brain with growth-encouraging stimulus.
I think that understanding just how much power you possess in your hands to change your life is the most game-changing thing someone can do.
Learn more about Minna at www.livingminnaly.com.