O’Neill 365 Icon Questionnaire

By Emily on Monday, April 30, 2012 2:20 PM

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O’Neill 365 Icon Questionnaire

Emily Reynolds grew up health conscience and fit most her life. After college, she started noticing that she wasn’t feeling like herself anymore. She didn’t have the energy she used to. She started experiencing ailments she never had. Eventually, these ailments worsened to the point that she could barely get out of bed some days. After countless doctor visits, she finally found a doctor who accurately diagnosed her with Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to over-activity in the thyroid gland. The thyroid does many things in the body, one of which is regulating a person’s weight. Even though weight gain was the least of her concerns, in the years that she was sick, she gained an unprecedented amount of weight: 40 pounds. She went from an extra small to a size 13.

So one day, she made a life-changing decision. She decided to fire her doctors and hire herself to take control of her health. Emily didn’t just want change; she needed change. There simply was no other option in her life. From that decision, began her journey. She hired a personal trainer, a nutritionist and started to take wellness supplements. She worked with holistic practitioners who taught her the power of natural medicine. She was driven, dedicated and determined to take back her health and her life.

At the end of Emily’s first 12 weeks of serious focus, exercise and nutrition, she couldn’t believe her progress. She had lost 27 pounds and dropped to 18 percent body fat. She then took that step she never thought she could or would; she entered her first figure competition at the NPC. Emily ranked fourth place in her first show and just recently received her Pro Card as an INBA Bikini Competitor. Figure and bikini competitions soon became another passion of hers. Emily knew she had to do something with her journey. She wanted to share it with the world. And that’s exactly what she does every single day. As a fitness personality, competition coach and trainer, she is able to share her knowledge. Emily’s mission is to inspire and change lives through her experiences and her love for helping people.

Emily loves being in the fitness industry because she gets to see people every day take charge of their bodies, and empower themselves to make the changes they want in their lives and experience incredible results. There is no greater feeling than the rewards of a healthy, fit lifestyle.

What is your area of expertise?
I am a national-level bikini and figure competitor and coach, personal trainer with a specialization in remote and online training, nutritional and wellness consultant, fitness personality and model.

What are your personal, professional and health goals for the next year?
I would like to find more time to revisit one of my other passions unrelated to my profession, such as my love for painting. For my career, I’m excited to produce more educational materials for my coaching, nutrition and personal training business, such as eBooks (coming soon) and instructional workout videos. As far as health, I’m always in pursuit on being stronger; increasing my cardio endurance and a goal of mine is to incorporate juicing my veggies religiously, so that I never ever skip a day!

How and when did you get interested in fitness?
I first got the itch in middle school when my dad took me to the gym. My biggest push to make fitness my life’s mission and educate others on the need to stay fit was when I was diagnosed with Graves disease. This is when I first came to realize that we are given one body and one life to live, and I was determined to make sure that I made the best of what I was given regardless of a debilitating thyroid disease. I made the decision to overcome the disease rather than let it overtake my body and my life.

Do you have any hobbies?
I love the peace and serenity of the outdoors and really enjoy camping. I need to have adventures to look forward to, whether it be a weekend getaway to Palm Springs or a four-day day backpacking trip in Yosemite. Anything adventurous is what I am all about!

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that I took control of my health and wellness and beat my graves disease, which is a severe thyroid condition – all on my own. I was determined to not let the disease take over my life, and now, against all odds, it’s a thing of the past. I also love helping others find the strength within them to take control of their own health and wellness.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by the self confidence that I see develop in my clients. There in nothing more beautiful than watching the pride a client gets out of reaching their goals. That drives me harder to reach mine.

When you’re feeling unmotivated, how do you motivate yourself?
I always know that I’m going to have times when it’s harder than other times to get to the gym or stay on my clean-eating plan. When this happens, I remind myself that I cannot let my mind take over and let negative thoughts rule my actions. I know that in the end, I am in control of my choices, and the sense of pride that I will have by just pushing through the tougher times motivates me.

How do you prioritize and incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into a busy lifestyle?
I make it a point to make my health my No. 1 priority. If my body is not on point, then everything else in my life will follow. I want to live the most productive and success life possible every day. I write out my meal plan, post it on my fridge and keep one in my purse and gym bag as a reminder. I also prep my meals three to four days in advance, and have them all ready to grab and go in the fridge. This helps leave little room for failure when eating clean.

How many days a week do you exercise and for how long?
I lift weights five to six days per week for 45 to 60 minutes. Then I incorporate a wide variety of cardio three to five days per week for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the intensity of the exercise or my own personal goals.

What’s your workout routine?
My workout routine is always changing; it’s all about muscle confusion in order to continue to see results. I base my workouts on what results I am going for or how far out from a competition, shoot or vacation I am. I always focus on gluts and legs because just like many women, I find them the hardest body parts to keep in amazing shape.

Favorite workout when you don’t have a lot of time?
My “Commercial Break” fitness workout that I shot in my living room with my puppies by my side is easy and so fun!

What music is on your playlist?
I love bass-pumping techno most of all: DJ Irene, DJ Scooter, a variety of drum beats and house music. I also like POD, Korn and some very heavy metal tunes. The louder, the better!

What does your diet consist of?
I live by a clean-eating, healthy lifestyle meal plan. I personally stay away from processed foods, dairy, gluten and sugar because I see how it impacts my body and health. My meal plan is high in protein and healthy fats. I juice my vegetables and love it! I make sure my carbs are healthy choices like oatmeal, quinoa and sweet potatoes. I also love to have my 70% dark chocolate as a treat.

Biggest fear?
My biggest fear is ever having regrets. That is why I am so thankful to love my career in the fitness and health industry. I never want to regret a day in my life, and I feel like my purpose in this world is to help people be as happy and as fulfilled as I am, and strive to be each day. We need to live healthy first, and then all else follows. A healthy body makes for a healthy mind and positive attitude, and this is the only way we can pursue what we want in this world and live with no regrets!

Who’s your role model?
Jamie Eason would have to be my role model. I see so much in her that I admire. She overcame breast cancer, eats clean and stays lean 365 days a year. She strikes a great balance between being a super fitness celebrity and just your average American girl. She is lovable as heck, and as gorgeously fit as they come!


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