@brittanylesser youtube.com/user/brittanylesserfitnes brittanylesser.com
1) Many people struggle with body image from what they see on social media, how can people avoid wanting to have the “perfect” body?
I have definitely been there, trust me. I am always talking about loving YOUR body at every stage and having a positive body image. It's important to remember that everyone is different and there really is no "perfect" body. Everyone has different body types, genetics, and looks that they like or want to achieve. Focus on loving yourself and being your best self. Do not compare yourself to other people because everyone is perfect in their own way!
2)Have you had any struggles throughout your fitness career?
Oh yes, so many. First I was caught up in the extremes of a ton of cardio and restricting my diet. It was a struggle realizing that it was no way to live and it's unnecessary to go to extremes while trying to reach your goals. During that time I also had a lot of health issues including dealing with IBS, being told I had a colon tumor, having gallbladder surgery, and so much more. Every day I am grateful for these struggles, because it allows me to help other people.
3)What has been your biggest motivation?
My biggest motivation honestly is myself - it comes from within. I am the type of person that is always wanting to go above and beyond and will do anything I need to in order to get where I want. Seeing how far I've come, how much I've overcome, and wanting to constantly better myself is the best motivation in my eyes.
4)How have you balanced a social life and maintained being fit?
Making fitness a lifestyle is how I've been able to balance a social life while being fit. I personally love to eat healthy, workout, and I don't really drink or anything like that. All of my friends know my lifestyle, and I choose to live the way I do. If I'm not in competition prep, I'm definitely not as strict with my macros or anything like that, so while I still live a healthy lifestyle I do enjoy going out and being social! If I am in prep, I'm a bit more strict but that doesn't mean I have to lock myself in my room and not do anything. It's really just important to do what you have to do to reach your goals, but also allow yourself to live life. Fitness should improve your life, not be the only thing in your life.
5)Many people look to lose weight, but do you have any advice for those people looking to gain?
Absolutely! I have been there myself, I went from being underweight with barely any muscle to a healthy weight with a good base of muscle. It's important to eat in a surplus if you're trying to gain. I personally like to slowly increase my calories and have a more controlled type of gain. Doing minimal to no cardio also helps if you are trying to gain muscle, but you can definitely still gain while doing cardio if you enjoy it - it mostly comes down to implementing weight lifting and eating more calories than your maintenance level.
6)What does your workout schedule look like?
I currently lift 5-6 days per week with a mixture of strength and hypertrophy. I love to lift heavy and try to increase my strength with the big lifts such as squats and deadlifts, although it's a bit harder to increase strength while dieting. I also include hypertrophy exercises to supplement the strength lifts and sometimes do super-sets and just switch it up to keep it interesting. Since I am prepping right now, I've also started to implement two 20 minute low-intensity cardio into the mix, which I'm sure will increase as prep goes on.
7)What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Hmmm this is a tough question! I have done a lot of things I am proud of. Honestly, the fact that I have been able to make an impact in other people's lives is definitely my biggest accomplishment. I get emails from people all the time telling them I have inspired them or changed their life in some way, whether it was to get fit, to get healthy and gain weight, or with body image and learning to love themselves at every stage of they journey. I am huge on loving yourself and positive body image, so hearing that brings tears to my eyes. I still can't get over the fact that people say I am an inspiration to them, there is no greater feeling than to know you have truly helped someone and made a positive impact in their lives.
8)How do you recommend people avoid letting food get in there head all the time?
Remember that food literally keeps us alive. It gives us energy, fuels our workouts, nourishes our body, and is social and enjoyable. I know it's easy to get a bit overwhelmed by food in this lifestyle, but reminding yourself that it is just food is key. Just like fitness, food should enhance your life and not take over your life. Food is incredible, and it's important to learn to eat for your goals but also for your sanity and because you enjoy it!
9)Will you be competing again soon?
Yes! I have my eyes on some spring shows this year :) I plan to compete a couple of times and hopefully do my first national show either this year or next year depending on how the season goes.
10)Has social media made an impact on your life?
Oh yes, absolutely! I know there can be some negatives to it, but overall I've had almost all positives. The amount of people I have "met" and been able to interact with through social media is the absolute best thing that it has brought me. Some of my best friends I have met online through social media, and it is amazing to be able to connect with so many people with the same interests as you from all over the world. As I stated in my biggest accomplishment question, being able to be an inspiration to others is what social media is all about to me. I share my struggles, my ups, my downs, and try to be as real and transparent as possible. I share so much of my life in hopes to do just that - to show others that we all go through the same things but it is possible to do anything you want. Knowing that I have changed people's lives for the better through my social media is insane to me, and there is no greater feeling than that.
11)What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Ah, so many things I want to accomplish! I definitely want to continue to grow as an athlete and continue to improve every single day. I want to grow my blog (brittanylesser.com) and my youtube channel (youtube.com/user/brittanylesserfitnes) in hopes of reaching more people to help and inspire them. I want to be a resource to everyone and show people that you can reach your goals in a healthy way while still enjoying your life. I also want to own my own business and I have a ton of different ideas, so that is definitely to come in the future!