Meet Larissa Nicole Online Personal Trainer (PT) and Wellness Coach and this month’s WE Magazine Woman on the Move
Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include?
It’s funny, I never actually wanted to be a fitness coach growing up. I was convinced I’d become a screenwriter for Film & TV. My educational background is entirely based in the Media industry, and it wasn’t until recent years that my whole life took a turn in the direction of Fitness and Health.
As a background, I struggled with my own health, weight and body image issues throughout my childhood. I was always the chubby kid – at birthday parties, in elementary school, at camp, and in high school. By the time I was about 16, I had already tried every “crash diet” and weight loss trap out there. I let others dictate my self-worth, and felt like I wasn’t in control of my own life. When I started my first year of university, I weighed close to 200 pounds. I realized that I had missed out on so many opportunities and felt like my weight was the sole reason why I was holding myself back from living my best life. So, I made it my mission to lose weight, and fast.
Long story short – I went from extreme dieting to extreme exercise, never truly being able to find a balance. There was a moment after I had come home from living in Australia for about a year that I knew I had to make a choice: either I keep running on this hamster wheel in pursuit of my “ideal body” or I actually do the RESEARCH and figure out what works for my body myself. So, naturally, I decided to do as much research into fitness and nutrition as I possibly could. I tested new eating patterns, learned about various diet types, followed plans that bikini competitors use when prepping for a show, and even trained (and ate) like a bodybuilder. Before I knew it, I was in the best shape of my life.
Once I had figured out how to achieve my own health and fitness goals, I began receiving requests from friends, family and strangers to help them achieve theirs too. I’ve been passionately helping women achieve their health and fitness goals ever since through private coaching, group training, blogging, content creation, and writing and selling comprehensive fitness guides, like my newest Stronger Ever After 4-week nutrition & training program.
Tell us about the company you work for or own?
Larissa Nicole Fitness is the umbrella company that houses all of the products and services I offer as a trainer & wellness coach. I mainly work with young, independent women (ages 18-34) who are currently struggling with their weight and/or body image and looking for ways to break out of the cycle of “diet culture” and into a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
I also run and manage a blog of the same name, where I share countless healthy recipes, fitness tips, workouts, special announcements and other motivating and inspiring stories with my audience.
My blog’s mission is to encourage the following 3 KEY PRINCIPLES:
1) MOVE WELL – I truly believe that moving your body every day, whatever that looks like for you – whether it’s jogging, weight lifting, rock climbing or yoga – contributes to a healthier mind, body and spirit.
2) EAT WELL – I believe that eating nutrient-dense, healthy meals should never equal boring, and that you shouldn’t have to wait until your next “cheat meal” to be able to treat yourself to a meal you absolutely love.
3) LIVE WELL – It’s all about balance. By focusing on setting small, attainable goals each day, listening to your body, caring for your mind and trusting the process – you will see lasting and lifelong change.
What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far?
Being asked to be the cover model for Issue 7 of FemEvolve magazine – a science-based women’s health & wellness magazine based in Toronto – was a big one for me. It was amazing to have a platform to share my story and connect with the magazine’s readers to let them know that they are NOT alone in their fitness journey. I also love that the FemEvolve advocates for alternative healthcare options, versus the typical band-aid solutions. It was right in my ballpark, since I’m all about long-term sustainability versus short term fixes, so it was incredible to be able to work with them on that issue.
Another amazing project I was involved in, was having the opportunity to be a speaker and panelist for MonBrand Toronto’s Women’s Networking event in 2018. It was such an honour to be able to speak to women all over the city about my fitness journey, to be able to provide them with simple tools and tips they could use to immediately improve their overall health & fitness, and just to be able to meet so many women, like myself, who had (or still) struggle with their weight and body image. It was definitely fulfilling to be able to know that my message resonated with these women, and I was so grateful for the opportunity.
Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
Oh, there are so many! I’d love to meet strong, female entrepreneurs like Lori Harder, Kelsey Wells, Amanda Bucci & Katie Willcox. Although some of their businesses go way beyond the health and fitness space now, I’d love to learn more from them about how they built their business, mastered their message and were able to reach such a large audience and make an incredible impact.
I’d also love to meet some of my OG personal trainer inspirations, too – the ones who got me started using home workout videos when I was too afraid to work out in gyms – like Jillian Michaels, Tony Horton and Shaun T. I’m forever grateful to them, and it would be amazing learn more from them or work with them in some capacity.
What are some of your favorite ways to network?
Other than attending the occasional networking event, I really love using social media! It’s been such an amazing way to connect with like-minded individuals in my industry, but also to meet women from all over the world who truly need (and love!) the resources I share on my social accounts. It’s also helped me to build relationships with an incredible tribe of women who are all on a mission to improve themselves in one way or another – whether that’s through nourishing their bodies with healthy foods, strengthening their bodies through exercise and movement, or just learning to love themselves a little more.
Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another? If not, is this something you think would benefit your career and is there anyone you would like to have as a mentor?
I don’t really have a mentor, per se, but I do have an accountability partner. She’s a close friend who is also a budding business owner in a different industry. We have regular calls and meetings to hold each other accountable to reach our respective goals. We encourage each other, help problem solve (in some occasions), give critical feedback and support each other in all our endeavours. I definitely think it’s beneficial to have an accountability partner (or many accountability partners!), but I’d also love to have a mentor one day, as well. We’ll see where my journey leads!
What have you learned from your mentor? What do you hope to learn?
I feel like there is still so much that I have yet to learn. I’m still relatively new to the industry, so I’m just trying to be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge and experience and opportunity as possible. On top of running my own business, I’m also currently studying to be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), so that I can further support my clients with their nutrition goals. The learning is endless for me, and I find that really exciting.
What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened to you so far in your career?
I think I’m constantly feeling surprised that what once started as a personal journey towards finding my own balance between fitness, health and happiness has now grown into a full-blown business. And, the larger it grows, the more messages I read from women all over the world who have benefitted from my content, and the more client transformation photos I receive, the more grateful I am to have started this journey all along. It truly is my life’s purpose, and I’m so excited for all the amazing things that are in store for Larissa Nicole Fitness in the future.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love good food, travel, sunny days & spending time with my loved ones. I’m also obsessed with house plants (even though they may not be so obsessed with me) and DIY-furnishing my adorable 1940’s apartment by the river.
Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Yes! There are two pieces of advice I would give, depending on the circumstance:
1. For someone wanting to become a health coach or personal trainer…
Remember that just showing up and being there for others is already making an impact. You can have all the education in the world (and it’s important that you are educated and have the right credentials before offering any type of fitness advice); however, it’s truly not the education that will get you results. Fitness is such a saturated market. There’s trainers and coaches all over the globe that promote the latest diet, fitness trend or meal plan. But if you truly want to help people, it’s important to be as authentic and real as possible. Take the time to connect with your clients. Understand where they are coming from. And, most of all, support them throughout all the ups and downs of their journey. It’s our job to show our clients that health is a lifelong journey – not a destination. And ultimately, it’s not one that they have to go alone if they choose to ask for help.
2. For someone struggling with their weight and looking to make a change…
Remember that real, lifelong change takes time. In a world where everyone is looking for a quick fix, or the fastest way to a certain destination, it’s important to remember to be patient and put in the real work for the things that are truly worth it. Because, at the end of the day, that same time will pass regardless. Living a truly balanced & sustainable lifestyle is more about what you do consistently over month (and years!), versus what you do perfectly right now. So, don’t worry too much about falling off the wagon, eating an unhealthy meal or skipping a workout. As long as you get back up every time you fall, you’ll always win. Ultimately, we all have two choices: we can either start today and eventually reach that goal of being stronger, healthier and happier, or we can be exactly where we are, right now, wishing we had started all along.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Myspace, etc and websites)?
I honestly LOVE connecting with people, and I do my best to show up and deliver LOTS of value as much as I can. If you’d like to connect with me, you can find me sharing workout videos, recipes & fitness tips on my Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook accounts, or via my blog on my website at www.larissanicolefitness.com .
Larissa’s Social Media Profiles: