Can you give us a brief background about yourself (where you were born, how it was like growing up, profession, education, where you live, etc.)?
I was born in Los Angeles, California, moved to New York City at 5 years old when my parents divorced, and then my mom, sister and I moved to Saint Cloud, Florida when I was 9 years old. Moving from big cities to a small town where people raised cattle and did rodeo was a HUGE culture shock for me! The pro was that I had lots more freedom and the con was it was a small town where everyone knew everyone! I wasn’t born and raised there, so no one knew who I was. I got teased for my accent, the way I dressed, my bow legs…I never felt like I fit in. I left Saint Cloud at 17 years old and went to college to study Psychology at the University of South Florida and then got a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. While living in Fort Lauderdale, I met my husband. Soon after we got married, we moved to San Diego, where we lived for a couple years. While living in San Diego, I started a business in life and weight loss coaching. I loved what I was doing, but felt like a piece was missing. I wanted to get my personal training certification so I could incorporate my formal education in healing the mind with helping people achieve goals in transforming their bodies! My husband and I moved back to Florida for 2 months and then we ended up in Guam! Now I am enjoying life and helping people achieve their goals on the beautiful island of Guam with my hubs and two doggies, Trixie and Koko!
When did you first find interest in the fitness industry? Have you always been active? What and/or who inspired your decision to become a fitness trainer and consultant?
I was active at a young age, playing street hockey with my cousins, putting on dance shows for our family, and playing flag football in my neighborhood. Once I got to high school, my activity level ceased to exist! In college, I did enjoy going to yoga and taking group fitness classes. When I met my husband, the young sporty girl who once was inside me came back again! My husband is very active, so when we met each weekend we were doing something outdoors, like hiking, kayaking, skiing, snorkeling, and even scuba diving, which is something I never thought I would do! In regards to making the decision to become a trainer, my friend Shawn, who is a personal trainer in San Diego, helped give me the push I needed to actually get certified. Now I not only love being outdoors, I also really enjoy kicking ass in the weight room. I hope to inspire other women to feel confident and comfortable in the weight room, too!
How did your decision to create URStrong come about? Can you tell us more about what services you provide and what URStrong stands for as a whole? What makes your fitness programs different and worthwhile for women in comparison to others?
Urs is my nickname, strong is how I want all my clients to feel, and kind of my motto, so hence URStrong is a play on those two things! Aside from lifting weights, I want women to feel strong in every aspect of their lives. I have dealt with a lot of adversity, but I feel like I came out on top. All the shitty things that happen in our lives can either tear us down or make us stronger. I think it’s evident that I chose for it to make me stronger.
My programs are different because I believe living a healthy lifestyle first starts with your mind. I use my education in psychology to help clients figure out where their bad habits stem from. I provide them with the right tools, so even when they fall off the wagon, they can get right back on it the next day.
I also keep in touch with my clients long after they have completed one of my programs. I enjoy building relationships with my clients and being there for them along their journey to better health. I truly am their biggest fan!
With your career within fitness, you get to work with many clients. How has that been and have any of them influenced you in regards to your own health and fitness?
My clients influence me daily. When I don’t feel like working out or when I think my body can’t lift anymore, I think of my clients. They wouldn’t quit on me, so how can I quit? I push them to their limits, so it’s only fair I push myself.
Where does your motivation come from to stay consistent with your fitness and career and strive to assist others with theirs?
My family members have suffered from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and just inactivity in general. I don’t want to continue the cycle of disease, therefore I strive to change this for the future of my family. My motivation to continue to assist others comes from the same thing. It literally hurts me to see that so many people are sick or dying from diseases that are preventable. Lifestyle changes don’t have to be that hard, I want to show people how easy it can be, so they can start living a happy fulfilling life!
As someone within the fitness industry, have you had any interest in the fitness competition world? If so, have you ever participated in any or would you?
I had not thought of competing until I moved to Guam. Being around people here, who have competed has sparked the thought of competing one day in my mind. Who knows, you may see me on stage, never say never, right?
With living a healthy and fit lifestyle, we’re curious, what does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”? Do you have any favorite clean recipes you would like to share?
I love to EAT and cook! An average day for me starts with:
5:30 am – Ezekiel Raisin bread with almond butter and half a banana
8:00 am – Unsweetened Almond milk with Raw Protein
10:00 am – Greek Yogurt with berries
1:00 pm – A hearty salad with lots of veggies (Grow Guam greens and chicken)
3:00 pm – Apple and almond butter
6:00 pm – A protein, either fish, chicken or steak and a veggie!
I personally am not a believer in the concept of “cheat meals.” Some people use cheat meals as a reward for eating healthy all week and I don’t believe in food related rewards. Psychologically, the concept of a cheat meal can become a crutch and/or self sabotaging. I believe eating to indulge a craving is more psychological and will set you back. Your body doesn’t really need that cookie or piece of candy, but mentally you want it. This is when you have to dig deep and figure out what is triggering that craving. With that being said…I don’t believe in depriving yourself either; I believe in portion control! Therefore, if I want to indulge I either make myself a healthier version of something yummy or just have a smaller portion of it. Check out my video for Frozen Greek Yogurt.
What does your work-out routine consist of? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
I get bored really easily, so I constantly have to switch things up. I love weight training, but I don’t like steady state cardio. You will probably never see me on a treadmill for longer than 5 minutes! I prefer HIIT, Tabata, or Metabolic training; 20 minutes of hitting it hard and then I am done! I have built workout programs for myself, worked with other trainers, and love having the support of working out with friends.
Currently, my training looks like this:
Monday – 20 minute HIIT
Tuesday – Chest/Back
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Legs
Friday – 20 minute HIIT
Saturday – Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps
Sunday – Rest
In addition to your diet and work-outs, do you believe in supplements? If so, which kinds do you use and what results have these given you?
It is hard for most people to get all their nutrients from eating whole fresh foods. I believe supplements should be taken for exactly what they are called for, to “supplement your diet.” I currently take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, and use protein powder. Since taking supplements, I definitely feel like I have more energy and don’t get sick a lot less.
We recently had the opportunity to work together to create and launch a new website for your fitness business. How would you describe your overall experience with Natalie Minh Interactive? Did all your thoughts and ideas come across easily?
I have worked with other web designers and by far, Natalie Minh is the best. When I first spoke to Natalie on the phone, I thought “She totally gets it, she knows exactly what I am looking for!” I felt confident in her and her team from the very beginning. If I sent an email with a question or a suggestion within 24 hours, I got a response. I felt like I was part of the team, which I liked. My experience with Natalie Minh Interactive was AWESOME and they brought my thoughts and ideas to life!
Were there any key factors (career, business, fitness, etc.) you came out with during our time working together?
I think the whole experience with Natalie Minh and the launch of my website was a re-branding for me and really brought all my thoughts and aspirations about my career together as URStrong Fitness.
Besides broadening one’s knowledge about you and what you do, what other functions does your website contain that our readers can expect to see and use when visiting the site? Are there any special features?
There are so many products on the market that “claim to be healthy” and the My Fav’s page showcases the products I stand by. This will help my clients in knowing what truly is healthy! Next, if you are one of my current or previous clients, you get access to my Members page where I have lots of healthy recipes. Lastly, my Blog page, which I am always updating with good reads on health, fitness, and personal growth.
As an individual who lives and breathes health and wellness, what advice would you give someone who wants to transition their life towards a more healthy and fit lifestyle, but don’t know where to start?
Baby steps is what comes to mind first and foremost. We tend to want everything NOW and we rush into things. That just sets you up for failure. Start small! If you want to drink more water, start with 1 more glass a day and then build up from there. If you want to stop drinking 4 cans of soda a day, start by drinking 3 and wean yourself off by one each week. If you’re sedentary and want to start working out, start with 2-3 times a week and then build from there. It’s not typical for a healthy lifestyle to happen overnight. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle for life, you need to start small!
What is next for you in this new year? What are your future plans and goals?
2014 has started off with a bang for me. My site is up and running, I have a weekly column in Pacific Daily News called Be Strong, and I am training some strong chicks. My future goal: to start a URStrong Revolution! Instead of just personal training, but starting a URStrong Camp and also working with younger girls, building their confidence, and giving them the tools and strength to change unhealthy habits for their future.
Any shout outs?
Got to give a shout out to my parents, Kathleen and Giovanni Davi, for bringing me into this world. My husband Rob Myer for inspiring me everyday to be the best that I can be. My dear and close friends who have always supported me! Shawn Marshall for encouraging me to get my personal training certification. Miriam Howard, Ashley Horner, and Steve Oshiro, three trainers I have had the privilege of working with in Guam. They all have taught me so much and inspired me to be a better trainer. Last, but definitely not least, my clients. You have all humbled me and are an inspiration in my life. You will each forever hold a special place in my heart.
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?