You may recognize 24-year-old Emily Schromm as the ripped beauty from “Real World D.C.,” or the competitor no girl wants to go up against on “The Challenge." (Hell, even most of the male competitors' abs pale in comparison to hers!) But did you know she’s also a personal trainer whose goal is to help everyone look and feel better from the inside out?
We recently spoke with Emily about why health is so important to her, and how you can best keep your fitness resolutions this year. Turns out you don’t have to take 10-mile runs or share meals with your pet rabbit.
ACT: Why is fitness important to you?
EMILY: Fitness means a multitude of things for me. Not only do I have more energy throughout the day, but I also feel more confident and sexy in my own skin. I know that I am strong inside and out, and that resonates into all portions of my life. Becoming "fit" has made the happiest I have ever been.
ACT: How can we motivate more people to be healthier in 2013?
EMILY: Getting healthy shouldn't be a scary thing. It can be so much fun when people commit to a goal and learn how to take steps to achieve it! It just takes strong will and dedication. Sick of not feeling good? Do something about it! Tired of not feeling energized? Let’s make it happen!
ACT: What are some easy ways to get healthier in 2013? What is the first step to a healthier year?
EMILY: Realize that even just small steps can be taken to get healthier. You don’t have to live a "calorie-restricting, salad only, run 10 mile" lifestyle. It is all about finding what works best for you. Did you used to play volleyball in high school? Join an open gym once a week and start playing again. Do you like lifting weights? Get back into a weightlifting program. Like being outside? Go on a hike! When you do the things you love, it doesn't feel like a chore. You are working out and you don't even realize it. You are much more likely to stick to a program that you enjoy.
Photo: Emily werkin' it. (Twitter/@emilyschromm)
ACT: What are some myths about healthy living/eating that are untrue?
EMILY: Firstly, I might get some heat for this, but I think whole grains are a joke. And saturated fat? Good in moderation. Eat the whole egg, not just the egg whites. Educate yourself on nutrition, and you might be surprised what you find.
Secondly, lifting is how you will lose weight, not hours on the treadmill. Lean muscle mass burns more calories and shapes your body. Long cardio is not all that healthy and let's be honest, it’s boring!
Third, not eating is the worst way to lose weight. Your body needs fuel. It is not always about the number of calories you are consuming, but the quality of calories you are consuming.
ACT: What if I have a friend who needs to better their physical or mental health? How can I support him or her?
EMILY: Don't surround them with things that you know they struggle with. Try to support them by eating healthy with them. Go to the gym with them; go on a walk or a run with them; be there for them and don't let them give up. Congratulate them when they make progress, and hug them when they are struggling. Support systems are key to success.