June marks Whole Fit’s one year anniversary on Instagram. 🙂 It marks a lot for Whole Fit really – the one year anniversary for all social media presence with Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as when I first publicly announced the relaunch of my company Whole Fit: Wellness Coaching and Communications. Yeah, putting things on social media means they’re for real.
Wow, a year has passed. Well, technically Whole Fit has existed since February 2016. There were breaks in the chronology for full-time jobs and experience-soaking-up. I would not call it fully formed until the relaunch in May 2019, when service offerings were solidified and felt right, when passion and time aligned to actually make things happen.
In January 2014, I was doing major soul-searching about my career. I had a quality house and car and a solid, amazing romance going. They say when someone is no longer preoccupied with survival or love, the mind wanders to other worries.
I had been working since age 14, and along the way taking the necessary jobs. In high school, I worked towards college. In college, I worked towards the real world. Then, frankly, I took any credible job that would have me. I climbed the ladder with better and better job opportunities. Even though I dangled from a rung at times unsure if I would fall or jump off out of disgust, I was blessed.
It was imperative to move upwards, always. But there came this time when I was finally secure enough to look around, to ask existential questions. Determining a simple philosophy… If I’m going to spend one-third of my life working, it should be doing work that matters.
To make at least this part of a long story short… I decided that my biggest passion area was Health and Fitness. Health and Fitness, which are fundamentals of life for all humans, regardless of age, education, socioeconomic status, religion, race or gender. Health and Fitness, which have given me so much personal joy, that I wished to be a catalyst for change and to watch the ripple effect.
Now… I’m ready. My “first career” was in Communications. My “second career” was in Health and Fitness. I’ve been learning and exploring and honing and practicing. I’m blending every skill and experience for the Cause!
As of May 1, 2018, I relaunched my company Whole Fit, specializing in Wellness Marketing, Programming and Coaching. Why it works together…
What better way to help people than by helping businesses that help people? I believe branding and messaging are keys to opening minds about wellness, creating awareness and action.
Organizations prioritizing wellness will be the winners. Providing your group opportunities to lose weight, prevent disease and change behavior leads to healthy, happy people.
Knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. The first step is education. The next step is continued accountability for the journey with eating well and exercising.
Wellness rules, and I am one person offering what I have to make a difference for you, your organization or your business. Soooooo… Check me out. Tell anyone and everyone. Call me if you have ideas!
“Fluor is one of the world’s largest publicly-traded engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction and maintenance companies, offering integrated solutions for clients’ complex and challenging capital projects.” Fluor Enterprises in Greenville, South Carolina is one of the city’s biggest employers. And, thankfully, one of my closest friends happens to work in Human Resources and happened to be coordinating Wellness Lunch and Learns.
So, I had the honor of presenting at Fluor on behalf of Doctor for Life on three occasions. DFL has three service areas. Great fit. The January presentation was on Stress and Self-Care. The February presentation was on Office Life Nutrition. And the March presentation was on Office Life Fitness. I worked with my friend Natalie to tailor Fluor-specific lessons – based on their known health and fitness challenges, subject to an office environment and relentlessly busy schedules.
Sounds pretty straight-forward. But this was my first time presenting a wellness series at a major international corporation. Gulp. The personal enthusiasm… A no-brainer. I could talk about wellness all day. I was terribly worried I’d be boring to this audience for some reason though.
I was actually surprised at the vigor with which I development my topics and tweaked PowerPoints. Having the knowledge is not the hard part. Organizing information thoughtfully and conveying messages in an engaging way is the hard part.
I presented and Doctor for Life provided their Healthy Meals To Go. My favorite moments were interactive… Having participants write goals, share challenges aloud, provide helpful tips for each other and getting physical with self massage and stretches.
Turns out I did a fine job! I was overjoyed to hear that Natalie received a lot of pointedly positive feedback from attendees. Booyah! I feel relieved and proud. I am also now a big fan of Fluor. Any company taking initiative to bring employees Wellness is an innovator in my book.
Welcome the newest member of our team – Fitness Director and Development Lead Aarika Johnson!
Doctor for Life is a medical practice specializing in Healthy Weight Lifestyle. With a unique and complex operation, combining Clinical, Nutrition and Fitness services to change lives, the right talent can be hard to find.
Aarika comes to us with diverse experience in communications and health and fitness. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Counselor, formerly the Wellness Director at the YMCA of Greater Spartanburg, and formerly owning her own marketing and advertising agency Brandfarmers. This blending of industries is an excellent fit for the future vision at Doctor for Life, where our main objective for the coming years is to raise awareness about who we are and how we approach holistic patient care.
I’ve always wanted to help people. I used to say as a child I’d like to be a doctor or a nurse. But school and career took me down a different path in communications. My love for talking and writing was certainly utilized and honed. After many years though, I knew I was not fulfilled. I soul-searched and realized that I wanted to follow my passion for health and fitness, doing something that really matters to me, and to others. I mean, one has to work. Why not let that be work with such purpose? I suppose you could say I quick-started my “second career.” I believe I was so highly motivated and, thankfully, blessed with skills, that I just pushed forward to learn as much as possible, meet countless inspiring professionals and embed myself in a new field. Now, I can say with certainty, I have chosen to be here. Get ready Doctor for Life clients!
We are two weeks out, and I can hardly focus my brain on anything but wedding. My current to-do list is 22 items long, and that’s not including subcategories. It is fun. I suppose more planning for and looking forward to fun. But I am trying to enjoy the journey. On my bachelorette trip a couple weekends ago, the fortune teller in New Orleans said, “You are the most happy you’ve ever been. You are also the most anxious you’ve ever been.” Geez, did she nail it.
Part of preparing for the Big Day is attempting to look my best… Multiple dress fittings. Finding the perfect shoes. Figuring out somethings old, new, borrowed and blue. Another show-stopping factor there is physique.
Thankful to the heavens, I am a personal trainer and nutrition counselor. I know all the right things to do in a two-week countdown to maximize appearances. Same as other ladies, I am working on the need-to-be-accentuated areas. My number one is triceps, because of a sleeveless gown. I am also considering the honeymoon in Aruba to follow. I’ll be in a swimsuit every day, and some part of me does strive for the fantasy of outer body matching the inner glow on the most splendid vacation of my life.
So… I’m beyond excited. But what does this all mean for business?
I wanted to remind everyone out there that although I train and counsel a plethora of different clients, I also offer a wealth of knowledge as a bride. I definitely have a ton of experience shaping Aarika up – thinking muscle targeting, toning, various modalities and balance.
Maybe you as a bride need a push to get to your goals. Maybe you and your groom-to-be need couples training. Perhaps your whole bridal party needs a boot camp. Or even your parents might be aiming for improvements for that special occasion.
I have to admit, I’m not just considering your future bikini bod. I’m hoping this is an ideal platform to make healthy changes in your life and start to establish a real happily ever after.
Like many, as the holidays approached, I began to say to myself, “I’ll tackle that in January.” Now it is January, eight days gone in fact, and I’m left with no excuses.
I am a trainer, a very aware health connoisseur. But I am not immune to powers of the anti-routine. Rich, salty, sugary foods all around. Sacrificing time exercising for time with family and friends. And just plain procrastination.
The holidays are great for cherishing and indulging. I am better off accepting that. Doesn’t sound too strange to a lot of you who also treat January as a go-to month, a time to get everything back on track or begin again. So here we go…
January is famous for resolutions. The New Year brings a hope and a determination. I admire the spirit. The problem is how often good intentions still breed failure, when after a few months, or less, we give in to life’s hustle, conveniences and lethargy. We fall short. Because the adage “it’s easier said than done” holds true. That’s why there’s a saying.
Particularly in health and fitness, identifying areas for improvement and dreaming of that is not so hard. Yet the follow-through is what people lack. There is such a visible drop-off in gym attendance around March that professionals could laugh (or cry). Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions are really more infamous these days.
This year, along with whipping this body back into shape, part of my objective is to help. Yeah, yeah. Altruistic. And maybe cliché. But I am very proud to be in this position to preach what I love and attempt to preserve what I believe to be a completely worthwhile tradition – setting goals, creating plans, committing to change.
In short, my resolution is to focus on building my health-ness business, for my wellbeing and for others’.
Hello world! I started this website today, my very own health and fitness site to promote my new personal training business. I filled it with some backdated content from my everyday blog TheSideNote.com. I plan to maintain both sites, only this one will be geared toward “health-ness” matters – advice, literature, research, tips, recipes and more to fuel your mind, body and soul.
It’s been a long, calculated journey for me to get here. (I used to be a marketer.) I’m psyched about this newness – new career, new city, new opportunities. I’m ready to kick butt and build something awesome.
Toe is in the water. I’m working at the YMCA of Spartanburg, Thomas E. Hannah family branch in downtown, as well as at Key 2 Fitness, an independent studio on East Main Street. Two jobs. Bam.
Business cards and stationary are in the mail. I will soon start networking for real. How could January New Year’s resolution timing be bad for such a venture? 🙂