Fitness Files: Sheila Viers
Sheila Viers is the CEO of the premium gym bag brand, Live Well 360, and creator of the ROCK Your Dream Body program. Renowned for her practical and intuitive self-love philosophy, Sheila's journey began a decade ago when she decided it was time to end her struggle with emotional eating and self-sabotage for good.
After years of yo-yo dieting, over-exercising, and issues ranging from food sensitivities to hormonal problems, she learned how to get out of "body jail," lost 35 pounds, and now teaches women how to create this freedom and ease in their own lives. I instantly connected and related to Sheila's fitness journey and decided to interview her for this weeks Fitness Files. Continue reading to learn more about Sheila and how she has maintained a fit and healthy lifestyle!
NMF : Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
SV : I’ve always been active ever since I was little. I started focusing on working out when I was around 15 years old because I wanted to lose weight and be skinnier. At that point, it wasn’t about health for me. It was more about fitting in and feeling good about myself.
I thought that to be beautiful, I had to be skinny.
I was a cheerleader and I was often the “base,” which meant that I held the smaller girls up in shoulder stands and such above my head. I sooo wanted to be a “top” so I could be cute and small and thrown around in the air. It was hard for me to be proud of my strength because my appreciation for my body was so clouded by me wanting to be thin. My obsession with thinness continued and even escalated through college. It wasn’t until after graduation, starting my career, and developing a bunch of health issues related to digestion and hormone imbalances that I was able to let go of my need to be a certain weight or to see a specific number on the waistband of my pants. Something shifted for me and I was able to finally begin honoring and listening to my body, appreciating my strength, and focusing on more of a holistic approach to health. The ironic thing is, through the years of trying to be thin, I actually gained about 20 pounds due to yo-yo dieting and binging. I eventually lost most of that through strict dieting, but it was only when I switched my focus to what I practice now, the non-diet approach to wellness, that I ended up losing an additional 10 pounds and have been able to maintain it with ease ever since. I know the question asked about fitness and my answer goes beyond that, but I think this is a story that a lot of women can relate to. I only bring up the weight loss to prove a point that feeling my best and looking my best happened when I let go of trying to be something in order to feel good about myself.
These days I eat foods that are nourishing to my body and satisfying to my taste buds. I work out in the same way too. I no longer do workouts that I hate in order to hopefully achieve the results I am after. I move my body in ways that feel good. I see health and fitness as something I GET to do, not something I HAVE to do.
That’s a big difference from where I started.
NMF : What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
SV : I’m not much of a snacker because I tend to stick to 3 fairly substantial meals a day.
That being said, I love sweets, so having healthi-fied version of my favorite treats (cookies being at the top of the list) is important! At Live Well 360, we put together this list of sugar-free holiday cookies. I love making a batch, freezing them, and then having 1-2 when I have a craving for something sweet.
I also have a favorite chocolate protein powder + peanut butter concoction that is my go-to dessert.
Other favorites snacks are:
- Greek yogurt with fresh berries and mixed nuts.
- I make my own trail mix with organic cashews, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, and mulberries. Then I use it as a topping on yogurt and oatmeal!
- Guacamole with veggies or seed crackers
- Smoothie with kale, ½ frozen banana, 1 cup of milk, 2 tbsp cacao powder, 1 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp maca powder, 2 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch of celtic sea salt, few drops of liquid stevia (optional), and ice.
- Apple slices or carrot sticks served with peanut butter
- Half a banana smeared with sunflower seed butter
On the go favorites:
- Peanut Butter Cookie ALT Larabar
- Cookie Dough Quest Bar
NMF : At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
SV : My “mind training” has evolved over the years. I used to spend a lot of time researching the next best fitness plan or diet or memorizing the latest “eat this not that” food lists. Then I got burnt out and realized that it just wasn’t working AND it was sucking the life out of me. So, I stopped doing that.
These days I train my mind by reading books that make me feel at peace, happy, and abundant in every way. A few instrumental books in helping me to have a better relationship with food, my body, my work, and other people have been:
- The Slow Down Diet by Marc David
- The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover
- Dear Lover by David Deida
- Ask And It Is Given by Esther Hicks
Each one of these books were life-changing for me.
NMF : How do you change your body? What are your fitness favorites?
SV : I changed my body by learning how to let go of pushing myself so hard. I used to be super hard on myself and felt guilty most of the time for not being perfect (or good enough).
I set standards for myself that no one could ever measure up to.
When I finally became aware of all of the blocks, limiting beliefs, and this sort of self-induced “body jail” that I was living in, I began to peel back the layers and replace those limiting behaviors with new, more empowering ones. I also did a lot of forgiving—forgiving of others, and most importantly, myself for guilt, fear, resentment, and anger that I had been hanging onto for years.
These days, my fitness favorites are any sort of movement that is FUN. Dance is at the top of the list, along with rollerblading, and running/hiking along the beautiful coast here in Santa Monica.
I also love circuit-training workouts from Live Well 360 ambassadors like Tracy Campoli and Valerie Waters, who both have tons on YouTube for free.
Training minds, changing bodies!
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