I met Allison when I joined her Facebook community, Corporate Women Getting Fit. The group inspired me to get moving, quite literally -- I picked up a Fitbit Charge 4 and began getting my 10,000 steps and posting my watch photos to the group!
What I didn't realize was that she was running her business part-time, alongside a full-time job and raising two kids. That was also inspiring to me, and I wanted to give her a chance to let you know her thoughts on 'having it all' while staying fit & healthy.
Read on for some great insights!
On Getting it all done
So you and I connected when I joined your Facebook group for corporate women looking to get fit. What motivated you to create the group? What's one unexpected joy about running it?
Yes, I love my private Facebook group. I created it so I could have a place for my tribe, where like-minded women (hard-working mommas juggling lots of roles and responsibilities) can connect, support each other and stay motivated.
I love sharing recipes, workouts, knowledge and helping others stay accountable to their goals. Not everyone wants or can afford personal coaching so this gives everyone a chance to get some support.
One unexpected joy is seeing other women help other. I love when complete strangers are praising and supporting other women. It brings me such joy.
I didn't realize at the time that you were running your business on the side of a full-time job -- what's your secret that you can manage to work full-time, parent two teenagers AND stay fit?
It's all about timing management and prioritization. Some days my kids need me more and some days my job does.
Family is always my #1 non-negotiable priority with my my own health/fitness coming in #2, then my job and then my business. But the needs of each change on a daily basis.
I think the most important thing is to be self aware, know when you need to stop and decompress. All of it at once can be stressful, overwhelming and crazy, and I have meltdowns like everyone else.
But knowing what keeps you focused and grounded will help keep you on track. For me it's meditation and weight training.
On struggling with weight &
You write on your website that you have a fitness bug and you also struggled with your weight -- I can so relate to this, I consider myself pretty sporty, and yet it can be so hard to get off that baby weight!
Do you have any theories about why the struggle is so real? And for the person who's looking to get their fitness back, what do you recommend as the easiest first steps?
I have always struggled with my weight and body image. I just love food. I eat when I'm happy, sad or angry. It seems our culture revolves around eating and food.
I'm also super-competitive and love to try different physical activities. Plus, as we get older, our metabolisms change. We can't eat everything and anything. Portion control is so crucial.
The easiest first steps is to track your food using MyFitnessPal or another convenient, free app. And then track your steps and shoot for 10,000 steps per day. It's calories in vs calories out. You need to take in just a little bit less than you burn.
I also highly recommend weight training at least 3x per week. We lose muscle as we age. It helps keep our metabolisms going, prevents injury and looks good to boot!
I know that you re-discovered your fitness bug through figure competitions (I've seen the photos, OMG I'm seriously impressed!!). What's one lesson you discovered through those competitions that you also apply to your corporate life?
Competing in bodybuilding has completely changed my confidence and outlook. I've always been mildly confident.
Once I started competing, I really felt invincible, like I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. That confidence has transferred to my corporate life.
It's elevated my work and how I present myself to the leaders I support. I feel so much more empowered, so it's been an incredible transformation for me mentally as well as physically.
On getting out of the comfort zone
My audience is all about breaking through glass ceilings, and one hesitation they have about going for a promotion is that they'll be too busy & stressed to spend time with family or on themselves. Can you share any words of encouragement that it IS possible to have a leadership role and stay healthy?
I used to think the same way. But remember, the magic happens outside your comfort zone. It's true outside of work as well as inside.
As you climb the corporate ladder, as a leader you need to establish boundaries and hold fast to them. That includes making time to take care of yourself.
Carving out a lunchtime workout or clocking out in the evening to have dinner with your family is going to make you a better leader in the long run and prevent burnout.
I work with women who feel impostor syndrome and who are being given impostor messages, for example when women see that it’s mainly men getting promoted, it’s a silent message that women don’t belong in leadership in their company. Have you witnessed or experienced impostor message in your career or business? What advice do you have for getting past it?
Yes, I go through impostor syndrome on a regular basis. Now you'd think my increased confidence would diminish that, but it doesn't. It's about the false stories you're telling yourself. I know many times men go for roles that they're barely qualified for, while women want to make sure every box is checked before they even think about applying.
My advice is push until you get push-back. Apply for the job, throw your hat in the ring for the promotion, change careers if you want to pursue your passion, and keep pushing until you get a "no."
And when you do, start asking why? That's the only way you will learn and grow. Most importantly, you may find out you're more qualified than you think.
On Big Dreams
Ok, I'm going to slip in ONE coach-y question 😉 If you KNEW you couldn't fail, what would you do?
I've always has the entrepreneurship bug and started my first business when I was 11. I would definitely love to have my business go full-time on a much larger scale to create a legacy, helping as many women as possible reach their health and fitness goals.
And one "dream big" question -- If I could wave a magic wand and you could change ONE thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?
It would be to have the confidence to go after what they wanted and support other women along the way.
Her Recommended Resources
One of my favourite things is book recommendations - what’s ONE book you’d recommend for every professional woman to read?
It would be at tie between "You are a Bad Ass" by Jen Sincero or "Everything is Figureoutable" by Marie Forleo
Who do you love following online? What are your favourite blogs or Instagram accounts?
I'm a huge Marie Forleo fan. Stacy Tuschl on IG. Good Girls Get Rich podcast.
You will absolutely want Allison's enthusiasm in your life - You can find her Fitness & Nutrition coaching website here, her Facebook group here and you can follow her on Instagram @allisonjacksonfitness.