FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
TW: I’m Tonya Williams, Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor for the past 12+ yrs and I recently started Coaching classes at Orange Theory Fitness….but I also like to think of myself as a Life Coach as well.
FFFC: How did you get started in fitness and working out.
TW: I’ve always been active since walking myself down to the youth center on Moody Air Force Base when I was in the 5th grade and joining the basketball team. It just so happened that day they were putting together the different age group basketball teams and even though I had never played before i gave it a go. I LOVED IT and played every year all the way through high school (except 9th grade…I chose an elite singing group over bball) lol And even played In Italy for the base team while stationed there. I also cheered for the base , did gymnastics and was on the dance team in High School.
FFFC: Why did you make fitness your career choice? How?
TW: I was working a 9 to 5 at an Architectural firm and even though I was getting paid great money, it was becoming harder and harder to walk into work daily. It was even a job that I really wasn’t qualified for…but felt the Lord blessed me with for over 2 yrs…. because I was supposed to be there for that season.
Right around the time the job was no longer fulfilling I heard a message from Joyce Meyer that talked about being graced for some things for a period of time and once the grace has lifted, you are keeping yourself in that position and it will become difficult. I think difficult was an understatement when one day I put my fingers in my ears like a kid to block out my boss talking. Yes, she could see me. lol Couple that with hearing a message from Bishop Eddie Long that said you should be able to get paid for what you’re passionate about….so, I started thinking about what I was really passionate about and how I could make a living from it.
I’ve always loved encouraging and uplifting women and I wanted to help them feel better about themselves. Being someone who had struggled with body image issues all my life and then weight issues after having my kids, the gym was a huge part of me transforming my body and a better relationship w/God and aligning my thoughts w/the Word of God transformed my mind. I wanted to help other women learn to love themselves and embrace who they are as well. I never knew being a Personal Trainer would be the avenue that I would get do that. And, it’s not limited to just women.
FFFC: How do you balance making time to get in your workouts with the demands of your career and personal life?
TW: One thing I’m huge on is practicing what I preach. I try to teach BALANCE to my clients. You can’t spend all your time working and neglecting yourself. So, in the same way I expect them to make time in their day for their workouts, I make sure I do the same. Working in a gym does make it a bit easier to do….but it’s still a choice and I don’t cheat! lol Finishing all my workouts for the week makes Date Night on the weekend that much more fun. I don’t feel guilty if I have a “treat”….I know I’ve done the work to enjoy it!
FFFC: What do you consider the most useful workout equipment?
TW: Hmmm, the most useful workout equipment? Your own BODY! Learning how to properly move, align and balance your own body is sometimes more challenging for people than using dumbbells or machines. I’ve had grown men talk about how sore they are after taking my Yoga classes….but they’re in the gym every day lifting weights. Nothing will trump functional movement to me….and that comes from training with your bodyweight, moving in all planes of motion and balancing.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this field and about what you do?
TW: I think the biggest misconception is that it’s naturally easy for me to workout daily just because I am a trainer and that I never had weight to lose. Some people look at me and think I could never understand their struggles with food, being overweight or lack of motivation. Trust me, there are days when I don’t want to do it either…..but knowing that my body will thank me later, I do it anyway. And, did I mention Date Night? Lol
Another misconception is that workouts have to be grueling for them to be effective. I’ve seen trainers take new clients and pound them in the ground in their first session….and then the client feels that all workouts have to have the same intensity. To me it’s not necessary. Work hard? Yes! Break something in the process? NO!
FFFC: What general tips do you have for the average woman trying to balance family, career with a fitness lifestyle?
TW: As women we are such natural nurturers and it’s so easy to put everyone else first. I encourage women to put on their own oxygen mask first. You can’t truly give from a glass that’s empty. Taking care of self is one of the most important things you can do. You owe it to yourself to give YOU the same care and concern that you give others. Stop thinking of you time as selfish….it’s SELF CARE!
FFFC: Do you have any words of wisdom to share with our readers who continue to struggle with poor eating and drinking choices and habits?
TW: Instead of thinking of something to take away, think of things you may not be getting in (water, fruits, veggies) and add those things. People often use the word “diet ” and it becomes so negative. The more you add nutrients that are missing, the more full and satisfied you will become and the cravings that you may have had for other junk food will start to subside. Make it a LIFESTYLE and not a diet. Diet is just DIE w/a “T” on the end to me.
I’d also like to remind everyone that we’re all here for a reason. Your life matters. Honor your body and take care of yourself so you can complete your mission in life!
FFFC: What is the “Body by Tonya” program and how does it work?
TW: Body by Tonya is really me just trying to love people to HEALTH. To me it’s not just about a person’s physical body…..I want to make sure your mental health and your spiritual self are intact and thriving as well.
As people shed physical weight hopefully the emotional weight is also being released and for those who may look fit on the outside….I want to make sure they really are and that the inside matches as well.
Body by Tonya is about getting you your Best Body (and Mind) For Life….not just an event or a season.
FFFC: How can our readers find you on the web or inquire about your services?
TW: Readers can feel free to inbox me on Facebook: Tonya Williams/tonyaw67. Follow me on Instagram: Body By Tonya and Tonyaw967 or email me:[email protected]