Community//

Women In Wellness: Why we need a movement to be “fearlessly authentic”, With Lauren Reilly

A movement that I have started and hope to expand is the concept of being ‘fearlessly authentic.’ Being authentic is a superpower. It comes from copying no one. It comes from doing what only you do best. It comes from being wholly you.I started my brand and even my Instagram page to break the “norms” […]


A movement that I have started and hope to expand is the concept of being ‘fearlessly authentic.’ Being authentic is a superpower. It comes from copying no one. It comes from doing what only you do best. It comes from being wholly you.I started my brand and even my Instagram page to break the “norms” of social media — instead of supplying the standard ‘sexified’ and over-filtered photos… my goal has and continues to be, to provide AUTHENTIC content, to help motivate people, and to share my true story. Too many days are wasted scrolling through social media and comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s when you accept everything you are and everything you aren’t that you will truly succeed in life. So I ask this: Make peace with the mirror and watch your reflection change.


As part of my series about health and wellness leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Reilly. Lauren is an entrepreneur, fitness expert and skilled publicist. She’s the Founder and Head Coach of Buns & Gunz Training, which provides a completely customized approach to the traditional workout. As the CEO of Knockout Communications, a lifestyle public relations firm, she combines her professional communications background with her passion for fitness and wellness to deliver results both in and out of the gym. Finding refuge through working out, she uses her own life experiences to inspire, motivate and encourage her clients to be the best version of themselves.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Lauren! What is your “backstory”?

After a decade of working in a fast-paced career in PR, I realized that it was the gym that held my passion, not the work being done behind a computer, and thus I set out to help change the lives of others looking to better themselves inside and out.

For me — working out and boxing (specifically) became my own form of therapy so

I wanted to use my life experiences to inspire, motivate and encourage women and men to be the best version of themselves through an innovative approach to fitness.

Thus, I combined my professional expertise of branding, communications, marketing, etc. and paired it with my love for wellness and created a unique fitness and wellness brand called Buns & Gunz Training

(while simultaneously also creating my own consumer lifestyle PR firm, Knockout Communications).

Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

When I first launched both my businesses, many told me that I could not successfully do both and that I would eventually have to choose one over the other. However, I silenced the external voices, followed my heart and have created two profitable companies in just two years. It is very easy to fall into the trap of listening to family, friends, etc. — but one of the greatest things I have learned is to pursue YOU. I don’t know what the future will hold, but what I do know, is that most self-made millionaires generate their income from multiple sources.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There is nothing simple or easy about being entrepreneur — you are constantly learning and evolving and I think the most growth comes from mistakes or failure. Though I wouldn’t consider this a funny story per say — I learned that you cannot neglect your health and wellness during your pursuit of success. Working 12+ hour days with limited sleep caused me to make silly mistakes so I quickly learned that taking care of myself was equally as important as taking care of my clients, my businesses and everything else. That being said, I implemented small strategies, like a monthly massage, Sunday recovery days (where I try to implement “no” more than “yes” and make sure there is ample couch time). As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup!

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

I have a lot of things in the works, but I am one of those people that I rather work in silence and if it comes to fruition then I will be more than happy to share it with the world. Until then…you will just have to wait and see!

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?

Absolutely! I am particularly grateful for my boxing coach, Scott Fairlamb — not only has he helped me through some difficult points in my life, but he has provided a platform through his gym to grow my business and my brand. He believed in me from the gecko and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his support and encouragement.

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help people feel great?

Looking good, feeling good and becoming the best version of you is a marathon, not a sprint: It’s the result of many decisions that we make over an extended period of time. That being said, I believe the best way to feel your best is to:

1) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate — up your H2O. There are a multitude of benefits from drinking water — it accelerates movement through our system; cleanses out waste and toxins, clears skin, increases energy and more. Simply carry water with you 24/7, whether you’re at home or the office or in the car. Personally, I like to jumpstart my morning with a glass of warm water and lemon everyday!

2) Get moving and don’t be afraid to pick up those weights! Not only is strength training beneficial if you are trying to tone those ‘buns and gunz’ — working out has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. In particular, lifting those weights can help to protect bone health and muscle mass, burn calories, boosts energy levels, and more!

3) Get your beauty rest! Sleep is absolutely crucial for your mind and body. It stabilizes energy and your appetite the next day. So turn off your phone or TV and get some solid shut eye. If I know my alarm is going off at 4:30am (yes…that early); then I will make sure I am in bed early! Try to aim for at least 7–8 hours of zzz’s a night.

Is there a particular book that made an impact on you? Can you share a story?

Yes! A particular book that truly resonated with me was David Goggin’s ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ and his ideation of

developing “a calloused mind.” Just like when you weight train and your soft palms develop strong calluses as protection…your mind works the same way. The more friction, the stronger it gets. But it is up to you determine how you use those calluses. Do you play victim or do you use your struggles to your advantage? Whether it’s on a simplistic level of lifting weights — or perhaps a higher level when it comes to taking my brand/company nationally — there are plenty of times I get frustrated and I want to give up… but that is exactly when you have to KEEP GOING. I have learned to go back down memory lane and rehash all the struggle that brought me to where I am today. From life disappointments to abusive relationships to failures and mistakes…I have an arsenal of memories that I would love to forget… but instead, I remind myself of everything I have been through and ALL THAT NEGATIVITY becomes FUEL.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

A movement that I have started and hope to expand is the concept of being ‘fearlessly authentic.’ Being authentic is a superpower. It comes from copying no one. It comes from doing what only you do best. It comes from being wholly you.I started my brand and even my Instagram page to break the “norms” of social media — instead of supplying the standard ‘sexified’ and over-filtered photos… my goal has and continues to be, to provide AUTHENTIC content, to help motivate people, and to share my true story. Too many days are wasted scrolling through social media and comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s when you accept everything you are and everything you aren’t that you will truly succeed in life. So I ask this: Make peace with the mirror and watch your reflection change.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

As I mentioned, this is more than just about sculpting nice glutes — it’s about helping people change their lives, to help them find strength they never knew they had. The greatest transformation to experience, is when a client comes to me and not only has he or she found physical results, but mental results. Many of those that I work with have struggled with body image for years and they are at a turning point in their lives (whether that means weight loss or gain). By telling my story, sharing the struggles that I too have overcome — I relate to my clients on a different level and help them be the best version that they can be.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable — whether you are starting your fitness journey or stating your own business — it requires you to do things you don’t necessarily want to do or feel comfortable doing. By pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, you will learn more and grow more.

2. Time management is key. Juggling two businesses, wearing multiple hats, it’s easy to lose track of time but I have learned that creating a power list of daily/weekly and even monthly tasks increases productivity. For my personal training company, I use an online booking software to help organize (which has saved me a great deal of time). But for any other items — I use an old school notebook, write down each responsibility I have to accomplish for the day and attribute a time stamp per task. Time is money, and the more time you have to give; the more value you can deliver.

3. You will sacrifice time, relationships and money. You will learn to work on a shoestring budget, make tough sacrifices and face sleepless nights — because at the end of the day, your brand is a representation of you and your company becomes your livelihood. Understand you will have limited income in the beginning; but save and prepare accordingly. Additionally, it is inevitable that the stress of a startup will affect everything you do — from social plans to relationships with family and friends. I recommend maintaining open communication with loved ones and be ready to let go of those in your circle that may not support your endeavors.

4. Stay true to you and your core beliefs. As I continue to preach: strive for authenticity in everything that you do. In a world inundated by social media, it has become trendy for people to pretend; to wear different hats to portray whom they want the world to see rather than who they truly are. Your business will thrive if you create a value system that is implemented day in and day out. Do not confirm to what you think you should be or what you think the world wants you to be. Work hard. Be passionate. And stay true to your dream.

5. Never lose sight of your customers/customer experience. I believe that the key to success is creating and sustaining value for your customer base. Always be in touch with your customer’s needs. From contacting clients directly to requesting reviews through a variety of online platforms, their feedback is invaluable. My goal is to never lose the customer service, personalization and attention, I provide to my clientele.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

One step at a time. One punch at a time. One round at a time. — Rocky Balboa.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love the opportunity to meet and chat with Bedros Keuilian — as a successful entrepreneur in the fitness industry and beyond, I have been following his journey for quite some time and would greatly value any advice he may have for someone like me who is trying to expand my vision and business. He is considered to be a hidden genius that many entrepreneurs turn to when they want to create highly successful businesses and it would be an honor to pick his brain and learn from someone who I truly admire and look up to.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Please follow my journey! I love to share motivational tidbits, workouts and recipes. You can find me below:

Instagram: @msbunsandgunz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bunsandgunz/

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“THIS WILL NOT LAST: Everything in life except change is temporary.” With Achea Redd

by Dr. Ely Weinschneider, Psy.D.
Community//

“Finding Your Authentic Voice Is Crucial” With Lifestyle Editor Christina-Lauren Pollack

by Akemi Sue Fisher
Community//

Lift Your Legacy: Saying no, staying vulnerable, and keeping your priorities in check with Martha Krejci and Rabbi Jacob Rupp

by Jacob Rupp

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.