Welcome to the Sweats & Balances Blog - The Balancing Act. Here, we will be featuring #goals women and their answer to the simple, but complicated question - What does Balance mean to you?
Next up, we have Shayna Schmidt - co-owner of The Weighted Plate, a personal training and meal preparation coaching company AND currently working on a new digital fitness venture called Livekick.
In staying true to my “rule follower” brand, I looked up the definition of the word balance before writing this post (lol). The Merriam Webster definition for the noun is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” Okay. Upright and steady. I dig that. The verb’s definition is “to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.” Now that, I love. If the various aspects of my life are not balanced, I will fall down. Literally and figuratively. Balance is a very special and challenging state to attain. It’s all about prioritization, isn’t it? You decide what the most important facets of life are to you, and you devote time and energy to them. It’s the other sneaky things that get in the way that make it complicated. That lunch I “should” go to, that networking event I “promised” I’d attend. Those pile up, and my heart starts to palpitate.
It’s something I struggle with every day, to be honest, but I’ll happily share a bit about what I do. Writing this post is actually catching me at an interesting time, because 2018 has already given me a lifetime of change in less than a month. Come Jan 1, a new fitness startup position presented itself to me, and I felt it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. This meant I suddenly transitioned from my life of running a business/training anywhere from 1-8 clients in a day/auditioning/sometimes leaving NYC for months at a time for performing gigs, to a steady 9-5 (read: 7 to 7) job in the startup world (while still balancing many of the other things). Life is funny, isn’t it?!
When the universe handed me this wonderful opportunity, I knew it meant I had to shift some things around and re-prioritize. I have many purposes in this life, and it’s okay that one takes precedence over another at a given time. However, to my horror, I realized that the first thing that gets left by the wayside when devoting 10 or so hours each day to work (in office and with clients) is MY workout! So, I had to start taking my own advice: schedule workouts into the calendar. I never had to do this when I was spending my days running around the city and bopping from gym to gym, but now I certainly do. And I absolutely hate working out at night, but now sometimes if I have an AM client or an early AM meeting, I just have to. And boy, does it feel good to get my sweat on after sitting for hours at a time.
Ultimately, what I’ve learned about achieving balance is that it requires selfishness. I spent many years of my life being the people pleaser who said yes to everything, never put myself first, and always took on the stress of others. I’ve learned it the hard way, over and over again, but it always comes back to the same lesson: be selfish. As females, we often apologize for ourselves and don’t ask for what we need. In a currently male-dominated office, with my Weighted Plate male co-owner, and really just with all of the males in my life, I am striving to take up more space. I am striving to speak my truth, striving to not feel like I have to prove myself all of the time, and striving to remember that NO ONE IS GOING TO DIE if I don’t do everything perfectly. The stress is never worth it. It’s almost never that deep.
"As females, we often apologize for ourselves and don’t ask for what we need."
One of the specific ways I’ve recently learned to take care of myself is through meditation. I started meditating (thank you @headspace) in 2017, and now don’t know where I’d be without it. I try to do one 10-minute meditation while I’m commuting home at the end of each day day (gotta love that NYC rush hour commute), and I do the other meditation before bed. The one before bed is a 15-minute one, and I do this one like it’s really “supposed to” be done (see my #perfectionist tendencies, lol), seated in my room with no stimuli around me. My boyfriend has actually started doing this one next to me and doesn’t hate it haha.
Regarding establishing a name for myself in the health and wellness sphere, I think the two ways I’ve managed to do this are via a) educating myself as much as possible and b) pulling a Shonda Rhimes and freakin’ saying YES. I’m always on a quest for new knowledge, always trying to use every experience as a teachable moment. I’m making an effort to attend more fitness classes and visit new studios this year because every time I do, I learn so much from fellow trainers. I adore reading and learning from Neghar Fonooni’s blog-- I think she’s a freakin’ goddess. I’m all over the Nourishing Women podcast with Meg & Victoria right now, as well as Balanced Bites, and also my pals Joanna Shaw Flamm and Daphnie Yang over at Just One More podcast. Females in the health and wellness sphere inspire the hell out of me, and I learn so much from them. Re: saying yes, if I had let my fears and insecurities get in the way of me incorporating my business, or saying yes to this new kickass position, I would have sorely regretted it. My theory is: you say yes, and THEN you figure it out. Life is fluid. Life is an experiment. You throw some stuff at the wall and you see what sticks. There are no labels. I am not just one thing if being that one thing means I have to say no to other things that feel exciting to me. If we were to live our lives that way, we’d be living pretty limited lives, don’t you think? Let’s make 2018 the year of saying yes and taking up all of the space in the room, shall we ladies? #thefutureisfemale
"My theory is: you say yes, and THEN you figure it out."
About Shayna -
While working as a professional actor & singer in NYC and across the country for 5+ years, Shayna learned how important it is to take care of her body and health. Her love of eating well and staying active led her to pursue a career in wellness, and she has helped many people achieve their goals. She is a certified personal trainer (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition), and holds further certifications in TRX Suspension Training, TriggerPoint therapy, kettlebells, Bulgarian bags, and more.
After working for several years as a personal trainer in the NYC commercial gym circuit, in early 2017 Shayna co-founded Weighted Plate, a personal training and meal preparation coaching company. Her specialties include weight loss, hypertrophy, mobility, flexibility, circuit training (she loves HIIT!), meal prep coaching, and healthy recipe development. She has been featured on Well + Good, in Shape magazine, & more for her expertise. Shayna admittedly battled many body image and health struggles of her own before finding her happy place in the world of health and fitness. She discovered heavy lifting and intuitive eating and hasn’t looked back, desiring now to pay it forward. Her passion for helping others live their happiest, healthiest, and most fulfilled lives is an undeniable force that radiates to all who cross her path.
To learn more about Shayna, check out Weighted Plate’s website (www.weightedplate.com) and follow her on Instagram (@shaynaschmidt).