Mind and Body Transformation: Allie Ruby
Here is a little Monday motivation for you! Allie Ruby lost 75lbs and found happiness with fitness! Instantly I gravitated to her story for several reasons and wanted to get her story on my blog! Below you will find my interview with Allie, she shares her fitness journey and her fit family connection with BodyBuilding.com.
NMF: I LOVE your IG handle, do you think losing the weight for yourself is why you were able to successfully lose it and keep it off?
Thank you! It actually wasn't my first choice for a username, but it ended up fitting me perfectly! Around the time I was using bodybuilding.com for at home workouts and nutrition I was also using Tumblr. My username was "Imdoingitformysef". I wasn't finding the kind of inspiration and motivation I wanted and needed on Tumblr so I deleted my account.
I actually didn't use any social media for about a year. Within that year I got sciatica! I healed 8 months later and I actually gained some weight back - definitely a mental game and slightly embarrassing. I told myself I was going to go balls-to-the-walls this round and do everything I could to see how drastic of a change I could make physically. I wanted to use something to archive my progress, so I chose Instagram. Unfortunately "imdoingitformyself" was already taken. By this time I knew that I already made MONSTROUS behavior changes prior to my injury and I was already mentally deep into my transformation. So I chose "ididitformyself"
Ok, back to your question.
Not exactly. I was at a time I could focus on myself. I'm your average people-pleaser type personality. I needed validation from others to know I was going in the right direction. When I started I was living by myself, just fulfilled the expectations of society (graduate college, and a great job, got a new car) and I thought what now? What do I want? What don't I want?
The best thing I may have done was actually create my Instagram and first connecting with Bodybuilding.com ("30 Days of Fit Challenge" back in December 2015 and then the 250KChallenge timeline worked perfectly with my Russian Kettlebell Certification training). By the end of the first month, I connected with thousands of people who were on the same mission as myself - to become their best self. It is SO hard living your daily life when not everyone understands WHY you are doing what you're doing, understands the struggle, has experience in what you're interested and can give you advice. Which is completely fine! But having a support system that can do those things is very...reassuring. I wouldn't say validating, more like you're not the weirdo for not being like everyone else.
Through my connections, I have been motivated more than ever to do what makes me happy. Being active and continuously throwing myself in new intimidating situations is a result of my little community :) I just so happened to keep it off.
NMF: Similar to you, I experienced weight gain in college. Were you fit before college? Was fitness always part of your life?
Fitness certainly wasn't a priority prior to college. Aside from soccer I didn't play any sports and actually took drums in band more seriously than being active. I grew up in Kasson & Rochester Minnesota (divorced parents) which means a lot of meat and potatoes in hotdish form (no it is not a casserole ;) ). I didn't have a problem with my weight in high school because of soccer and the food didn't really take a toll on me. Once I went to Iowa State University the most exercise I got was tailgating at football games.
I did date someone in college and we tried to use the gym a few times. I was the elliptical queen and didn't do much more than 30 minutes of work while reading textbooks. We would reward our hard work at the gym with $1-pint night.
NMF: How do you hope to encourage others?
Exactly what I learned from Bodybuilding.com - to work toward YOUR best self. I believe before we are born our world is already identified for us and so we go about living a life with expectations already in place. We believe that we will only find happiness if we do these things in a particular order and at a particular time because we see everyone else doing these things so we expect they do them because they are happy. I tried to follow the plan, tried doing what everyone else did in and out of the gym and I was miserable until I gave up a "plan" and did what felt RIGHT for me. We don't need to be doing what everyone else is doing. We can be inspired, influenced and motivated by others to become our best selves but we don't need to behave, feel and be who they are.
I'm going to break the fitness standard - you can change your life with fitness but you can do it your way and define your own standards. The stereotype has been so focused on getting that perfect stage ready body and then we hold ourselves to this expectation to consistently be this perfect human physically, mentally and emotionally. THIS ISN'T POSSIBLE. I hit my goal weight and once I was there I was already over it months prior. I avoided so many potential memorable experiences, continued to punish myself mentally for eating foods I enjoyed and stopped taking care of my spirit, the real Al Pal.
I lead by example. If you're going to talk the talk you better walk the walk. I know I hold a power to influence people with my transformation. I will continue to use my Instagram sharing what REALLY happens in my life. That's what the BB.com family does - we give back to those who helped us. I share the dirty, personal and embarrassing moments. When I started on IG I believed I had to be the perfect human described above physically, mentally and emotionally because I didn't see the REAL human emotion and life behind the accounts. There are so many other phenomenal and amazing individuals I have "met" through IG who hold a similar power and we're going to change this fitness standard.
NMF: Back to your IG, it's so inspiring! Have you received positive feedback from your posts?
Thank you! I have actually! I had absolutely no idea how big of an impact sharing the mental side of a transformation was to people. It isn’t something a lot of people want to talk about and I think the reason why is 1.) Nobody likes to be seen starting from the bottom. I don’t care that I’m starting from the bottom (exp powerlifting) failing and struggling because I have done it before. I needed someone doing this when I was in the beginning days of my transformation
2.) Nobody likes to talk about their feelings. IG has this horrible stigma to be “perfect” with all the right lighting and all the perfect lifts. No, working out is ugly. Transformations are ugly. It can be a super ugly road to change your entire life. Why not find someone who has done it?
I have definitely shifted from the extrinsic transformation to intrinsic transformation. It is so so powerful to understand your real RAW self.
NMF: When did you become a BB Ambassador? How has that role influenced your lifestyle?
I became a Bodybuilding.com Ambassador in June 2016. I overcame every grateful emotion you can think of. BBCOM was the biggest turning point for me to really kick my tail into gear from the very beginning of my transformation. Then the people behind this company thought my work ethic, attitude and hunger represents them...WHAT?! How can this not influence your lifestyle?! The biggest company in the fitness industry thought I was worthy of carrying their name? I wouldn't call it validation it is more of a "Hey, you're kicking ass and we want you to help us help others to kick ass and share your story".
Being a part of the BBCOM Family gave me a whole new level of support. The first thing I learned was how being an ambassador has far less to do with a product than it does the people - I believe you will hit all milestones you set if you have a strong and supportive community. I love the products, but BBCOM really gave me more family.The people of this company genuinely care about my opinion! It still amazes me to this day.
My lifestyle has changed a lot since I became a BBCOM ambassador. I have always done what I've wanted to do, but having the support of my BBCOM family is indescribable. For example...I've never done a bodybuilding show. I was in the works for my first one but surgery and life got a hold of my finances so I shifted to another area I was interested in - powerlifting. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. You see, Bodybuilding.com doesn't care what sport you're doing. They only care that you are working hard as hell to become your best self. Since becoming an ambassador my confidence in my physical and mental toughness has grown every damn day. It's all about the people I've found through BBCom.
For more information on Allie click here!