Angela shares her story about the power of overcoming. She tells us how it is important to get the right mindset and that starts by knowing that you can do it.
We go into detail about how your body holds onto life trauma through your fascia. You need to listen to your body and wait for it to tell you that it’s ready, otherwise you are only hurting yourself.
Fitlosophy's founder, Angela Mader, created the fitbook™ and subsequent line of products and programs, to promote embracing a healthy lifestyle and taking a positive approach to reaching goals. What was once her own personal battle has evolved into her passion for positively influencing the lives of others. Born and raised in Colorado, Angela is a graduate of CU-Boulder, holds an MBA from UC-Irvine, and has certifications in personal training and fitness nutrition. Angela is a self-proclaimed goal guru, motivational speaker and type-a entrepreneur who thrives on new ideas, is driven by passion and powered by coffee.
Erica: Our guest on this episode is a very, very dear friend of mine. Her name is Angela Mader and she is the owner + creator of Fitlosophy. This conversation we are going to have might open some emotions for you as your story is going to touch so many people and help people realize that no matter where they are at in their lives, there is always the opportunity to change and do better for yourself.
Angela: Yes, I haven’t always been the way that I am now. I come from the fitness industry, as a personal trainer and always had the six-pack abs, I was at the gym six to seven days a week and the gym became my medication at the time and started Fitlosophy in 2008. I started the business because I had previously battled eating disorders starting at age 14 and going on for about seven years. It was through the process of journaling that I learned to get a handle on my life, and that is where Fitbook came from.
There was this transition when I started the business that went from eating disorder to over-exercising. So, was the battle won? My eating disorder became managed, but I found a way to redirect those same characteristics into over-exercising. That is where the products have evolved with my life.
Fitbook helped me, and many others, journal fitness and nutrition. Keeping you accountable for that physical part of your life. Fast-forward, now the products we focus on creating come from the mental aspect and giving your body the self-love that it needs + deserves. That is where the Fitspiration Journal comes into play as it is a fitness meets gratitude journal. This journal takes it one step further and asks you every day one thing that you appreciate about your strong body, and I worded that so specifically. Trust me, I take much care into every single word because there is research behind it.
Erica: Remember that all of this takes time. Whether you are wanting to drop a few pounds, start eating healthier or even beginning to create a more positive mindset… these things take time and there are no quick fixes. I think sometimes, we try to shove it all in so quickly, that we never get to experience the connections with your body, how you feel after eating good, quality food or the clarity you feel with your mind.
I want to dive in and talk even deeper about what happened to you last year.
Angela: My attackaversry. I like to call it that because it puts a hilarious spin on something that wasn’t hilarious and very scary. The reason I am so open to sharing this traumatic event in my life is that I feel like if we are dealt something in life and we don’t see the positive in it, and if we don’t share it so it can help other people, it’s a waste. I don’t like the idea of wasting a hurt. This event doesn’t define me. It is a chapter in my life that I am going to use to make myself better and make other people’s lives better.
In November, right before it happened, I was going through an intense exercise program. It made me feel strong and I was in a good spot physically and mentally. Then in December, I was in Orange County and a 230-pound intruder knocked down the door to the condo I was staying at. Imagine wrestling a guy, more than twice your size, trying to getaway. I still to this day do not know him, all I know is that he was trying to kill me. He is now in prison for attempted murder. I know this sounds crazy, but it happened. Lots of physical damage, obviously, I was dealing with trauma and a lot of that trauma + emotion goes into the tissue of our body.
Erica: A little stat on fascia is that it takes six to 24 months to remold the fascia. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. Dealing with trauma in your fascia is a different ballgame than just having bad posture and needing the fascia to lengthen. Adding trauma into the mix can take your fascia longer to heal because there can be really, really, deep fascia in the body that is still holding onto that trauma.
Angela: I’m glad you said that because knowing that helps legitimize how I feel. The toughest part for me has been feeling like a pansy. I went from crushing this intense lifting program to barely being able to walk. My only workouts were walking and Erica was always the one that said, “That’s okay Ang, that’s a workout,” and I was like no I want to be at the gym sweating.
Erica: When you start to rebalance your body, it has to be slow. You want it to be slow.
Angela: Through all of the people I was working with, Erica included, what interested me the most is that I would feel pain in one place and it wasn’t at all where the injury was. What I learned through this process is if I moved too fast, my body would lock up because it thought that we were experiencing the trauma all over again.
Erica: You are on the edge of going back into that fight or flight mode. At that deep cellular level, we have to give our body time to heal and unfold. Remember, that it can be done, it can be healed, it just takes time. That is where working on your mindset can have a big impact on your fascia letting go of that trauma.
Angela: It did a number on my mindset. I can tell the story of the attack easily, it’s like a soundbite for me in my head. But when I start talking about how it made me feel after and knowing that I was in a place where I couldn’t move; I started to question myself because who was I if I couldn’t workout. And that challenged me, it still is a challenge.
People would tell me to listen to my body, and before this incident, I would totally agree with you on that because I was so used to saying it and hearing you say it. But then I was at a point where I was like, well what if everything hurts. Going from a state of exercise being this constant in my life and then having it taken away from me and replacing it with pelvic tilts. And I didn’t see it as an exercise until it was.
I started seeing progress when I decided to set my ego aside. It became this mind shift from me as that was who I used to be and this is who I am now. It still is a struggle at times. One thing that helped me was learning to do what you can.
Erica: And that can go for anything. It’s a change of habit and being connected to that mentality.
Angela: It’s interesting because I was at a point where my only goal was to be able to walk. Never in my life has my fitness goal been to be able to walk without hurting. What that did for me was to reframe everything I was grateful for. There are people that didn’t have the abilities that I had as someone that was struggling with walking. If you don’t appreciate what you have now, you might not have it a week from now.
Erica: Absolutely, I always tell myself that I am grateful for my health and my family because you never know what tomorrow brings.
Angela: You never know. And you never know what you are going to take from a situation either. I obviously gained weight through this entire process, but I walked by the mirror the other day and I was like, “Oh, I think I like the curvier Ang a little bit more.” I used to be so focused on what I looked like 10 years ago, but guess what? The girl 10 years ago that started this company, hadn’t been through half of what I have been through. We all change, but sometimes we don’t allow our expectations to change.
Erica: I hope everyone walks away being a little more grateful for yourself, your body and your health. Start realizing that you have more power and control over your body than you think. Sometimes, it’s just a mindset shift.
Angela: The big takeaway for me has been to choose grateful. Choose to be grateful every single day. It doesn’t mean you won’t have down days, because you will. Just try to not stay in that place for too long. I feel like I was given another chance. I feel like I am here for a reason and I don’t want to waste one moment of that seeming ungrateful.
You can find me on Instagram at fitbook or online at getfitbook.com. We have a whole line of fitness and nutrition products, but it’s not about that. It’s about finding what works for you. Come find me on social media because I love meeting new people and any people of yours are people of mine.
The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).
I know how busy life can get which is why I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to get in some "you time". Join me in my 10-minute Pilates Flow workout to tone, strengthen and improve the functionality of your body without the dread of going to the gym.