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10 Questions with Valerie Williams

Valerie is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach with over 15 years of experience in the wellness space. In addition to her board certification, she is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and soon to be graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Valerie’s passion is centered around helping women with sensible, realistic health and fitness programs that are not only individual but also sustainable. By using her strong motivational interviewing skills, Valerie helps clients dig into their deepest goals, identify and overcome obstacles and find the motivation needed to make big dreams come true, allowing clients to truly live their best life.

Valerie’s previous careers include serving in the United States Air Force for over 21 years, teaching and coaching at various boutique fitness studios, and training private clients. She holds graduate degrees in both Management and International Relations. In her free time, you can find Valerie running, lifting weights, enjoying wine, and spending time with her family traveling and making memories around the world.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED AND WHY?
Probably more of a quote that someone turned into advice. As I was advancing through the ranks in the military, I was doing it so fairly quickly - at least compared to the standard averages. At one point a senior leader responded to what I had said. I said: "I've been pretty lucky...". He replied with ... "you know, funny thing is, I've always found that people who have prepared and done what was necessary tend to be the luckiest."

Never underestimate the power of discipline when looking to achieve your goals. Whether that be in work, relationships or wellness - don't rely on being lucky, rely on the fact that you've put in the work! If you've done your part, the rest will take care of itself!

WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU AND WHY?
This is a tough question for me to narrow down. I'm just going to say that the underdog inspires me. I've always felt a bit like an underdog myself, chasing after dreams that seem out of my reach. Once I was told - in not so many words - that based on my background and gender no one would ever take me seriously. From that day on, I realized that I had to fight for my "place at the table." Believe it or not, those words motivated me more than anything anyone else has ever said to me. To all my underdogs out there - I see you! Keep showing up! 

WHAT IS THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD SHARE WITH OUR READERS TO UPLIFT THEM IN LIFE AND CAREER?
You have the answers. There is no question that you have that you haven't already been equipped to answer. You know how to find success. You know how to live and eat, and be at peace in your body. You just need to dig a little. Dig deep inside yourself, that's where you'll find the answers. Not from a celebrity, not from me, not from anyone. Sure, we can help point you in the right direction, we can ask those questions that help you dig. But you have the answers already! If you're feeling it. If you're dreaming it. If you can't stop thinking about it. It's yours. Go get it. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK AND HOW DID IT INSPIRE YOU?
I love reading and it's - unfortunately - one of the things I haven't dedicated enough time to lately. But, one of my favorite books is Born to Run, A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. The author tells an incredible story of a tribe in Mexico who are known for their innate ability to run. And, of course, it includes underdogs. Running and racing is primal. This book reminds me to find the joy in running.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
Running, reading, playing games with my family and wine! Not necessarily in that order!

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU OR YOUR INDUSTRY FACES, AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOSE?
The biggest challenges we face in the wellness industry is the promise of quick results. Time after time we have seen how these promises are not only FALSE, but also damaging. An estimated 80-90 percent of people who have lost weight through dieting, gain it back. This constant yo-yo cycle not only impacts metabolism long term, but also leaves many feeling defeated. The answer: Don't diet. Find a long-term sustainable approach to healthy living.

WHAT IS ONE TREND IN YOUR INDUSTRY THAT EXCITES YOU?
The transition away from fad diets. Though they are still strong in the industry, many people are realizing they are not the answer to lifelong success. With the push to more holistic approaches to weight loss and wellness, and more emphasis on proactive care versus reactive care, we are finally starting to see the shift happen.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU DO EVERY DAY THAT ADDS TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I show up. It sounds simple, perhaps cliche - but, it's the basic building block for success in anything. Just. Show. Up.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY PRODUCT CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
iPhone. I ask myself daily what I would do without it. From directions, to ordering meals on the go, to streaming workout music, to having the ability to be in contact with everyone and anyone at the touch of a button... it's my #1 must have. My iWatch is a close 2nd!

PLEASE, FINISH THIS STATEMENT: LEADERSHIP IS...
Everything. Leadership is what motivates people to perform their best. It's what allows businesses to thrive. It's what encourages people to contribute. It's what makes people feel welcome and complete, just as they are. It's what gives people the confidence to show up. Leadership is action more than words. Leadership is colorful, energetic, optimistic, motivated, present and sometimes quiet... all at the same time.   

 

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