Who is Taylor Ryan?
I am Taylor Ryan! I am from Charleston, South Carolina where I currently live with my husband Dan (my partner here at FWW) and our two girls: Nike and Zoe. Fitness and healthy living is my passion and I love teaching and coaching women to help them achieve the results they want. I guess you can say I am in my element when I am talking about exercise, nutrition, and all things health related.
My Earlier Years
I am 28 years old, but over the past decade, I have gone through and learned so much about the health and fitness field.
I haven't always been a role model for healthy living. In fact not all that long ago, I was about 32 pounds overweight, depressed, grossed out with myself and lacked any and all confidence. That happens when you go through your childhood and teenage years being fit through sports and then suddenly the sports stop, the college drinking begins, cafeteria lunches are unlimited and you give up. At least that's what happened to me, and I bet 99% of women can relate in some way.
I felt as if I went to bed in great shape with a great body and woke up with a new body, something unrecognizable.
I guess it seemed that way to my family too, because while on a trip home one weekend, my worst fears were reinforced when my family kept making comments about my "fuller" figure and my need to "go on a diet". Having the "A" type personality that I do, I took their words to heart, determined to show them what I could accomplish. I went a little too far.
Here I am at Christmas with my brother:
I started working out (running) at least twice a day, every day, seven days a week. I started to count every single calorie that went into my mouth. I denied myself any leeway and just kept focused on the goal: to lose as much weight as possible. To be smallest I could be.
Every pound down was a fist pumpin' good time, or so I thought. I wish I had known then what I know now
Okay so here's what happened: I had no direction. The trainers at the gym just kept telling me to run more and eat less. But there was no way I could do either, I was only eating 500 calories/day! And while I lost serious weight, I was also losing muscle mass and my body was hoarding onto body fat because it thought I was starving (it thought right). So instead of having this tight, toned body I had expected... I was still mushy and loose... something called skinny fat.
This happened because my body was trying to protect me to make sure I had enough energy (calories) to do day to day activities. And to make that happen, the result was a close to nonexistant metabolism. My body adapted to the severe low calorie diet I had put myself on. If I started to eat a normal diet again, I would have gained ALL the weight back, plus some. That's what happens to 95% of women that diet. They drop the weight only to have it pile right back on again.
Not only did my figure suffer but everything suffered. I lost hair, I was constantly sick, tired, cold and weak. It was just one thing after another and I had no idea what to do.
Finding A New Passion
Clearly something had to change. This was hard on me, my body and my relationships (no one wants to hang out with the girl that doesn't eat). And that's where Dan comes into play. I hate giving him credit (haha) but he deserves it.
He saw how badly I wanted to achieve a "fit" body and to have a healthy relationship with food. So he challenged me. He challenged me to 30 days of a strength training based workout and asked me to eat more. He kept reminding me, it's only 30 days. Just give it a try, what do you have to lose?
So I pushed my doubts aside, as well as my fear of looking like a man and gave it all a go. And guess what... I actually started to see results. The fat finally started to go away and I actually saw some muscle definition when I worked out. It also stoked up my metabolism so I was able to eat more without feeling guilty allowing me to estabilish a healthy outlook to food. I actually statet to eat to enjoy food, not just because I knew I was suppose to eat.
From there my passion for fitness exploited. I pretty much became obsessed with program design, nutrition, and fitness in general. I read every book and after graduating, quickly got my National Academy of Sports Medicine personal training certification. This is one of the most respected certifications in the industry.
A few years later I also got my Venice Nutrition Consultant certification.
Nutrition and fitness have equally become the driving force in my life and businesses.
A New Women's Community Is Born
However having knowledge from books and testing on your own body is one thing... I had to begin getting into the trenches with real women. So I quit my job as a medical assistant and created a women's only boot camp here in Charleston. It's now getting ready to open it's 8th location! These women are the backbone to my experience and confidence. It's being in front of them every day that makes me feel 100% comfortable in giving advice to you.
This website was also started around the same time that I started that first boot camp. Well, to be honest at the time it was called, The Art of Weight Lifting. I wanted to create a strength training site for women by a woman helping as many as I could learn about their bodies, their workouts and their weight loss. I wanted to toss out the idea that running on a treadmill was what a woman was suppose to do to lose weight. It's what I still preach today (and yes, I do love to run).
As my own training continues to evolve so does the training here, which is why I later changed it to be Fit Womens Weekly. It is the dream site I had imagined, the community for women wanting to be around other positive women, looking for amazing results and challenges.
No Label Fitness
I hear fit people put labels on themselves all the time... "I'm a runner"; "I'm a weightlifter"; "I'm a cyclist"; "I'm a triathlete"; this list goes on and on. I will never label myself because I am a believer that being fit means having the ability to dabble in all things health and fitness. With that said here are a few fun event's I've done in my fitness career (so far):
- More than a dozen 5Ks
- Figure competition: Excalibur
- Charleston's Strong Woman Contest
- Cooper River Bridge 10K
- USMC Mud Run x 2
- Rugged Manic Mud Run
- 1/2 Marathon x 2
- 17K Mountain Trail Run
Fitness is my life and I am excited to share that life with you!
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