Interview 26: "Give yourself permission to be happy"

Alli is a total badass!  If you go to her Instagram you’ll see video after video of her doing the most impressive fitness routines.  I thought I put up a good video now and then...this girl is legit!  Alli will give your fitness routine a run for it’s money!  She’s incredible and I can’t wait for you to meet her!

Alli is back in Austin, Texas after leaving to live in San Francisco for 5 years.  She’s been in the fitness world for over 15 years now and is taking on a whole new approach.  “I call myself a wellness consultant now because I have no idea what other titles to give” she said referring to all the things she does on top of her training. 

Alli grew up swimming and knowing the world of sports all through high school.  However, when she went off to college she gained the freshman 50 not 15.  “I got off the plane to see my mom and she didn’t recognize me” Alli shared.  At the time her mother had gotten back into working out so she encouraged Alli to come with her to the gym. They started doing Atkins together and they went to the gym every day over her break.  It was Alli’s first glimpse into total “wellness.”  She had always been into sports but had never been into total wellness as a lifestyle.  From that college break on, health has been consistent in her life.  

During the last year or so of college Alli got into a serious relationship.  “I was 20 and he was 31” she shared.  This relationship was the catalyst for the next chapter of Alli’s life.  He was very abusive and at age 22 she found herself in the throws of adult onset bulimia.  This changed the course of Alli’s life.  After two and a half years she left that relationship and moved on however the eating disorder remained.  It wasn’t until after a conversation with her Aunt who said, “figure out what you do for free and do it well enough that people pay you” she realized her passion for being at the gym could in fact be something she pursued in life.  It had made a measurable and healing difference in Alli’s life both physically and emotionally and so she became a trainer.  

She got into a huge training facility in Austin and started her business in her early 20s.  It was not always easy for Alli.  Almost all of her colleagues had their Masters in Sports Science and that was intimidating.  “The fact that you don’t know what you’re doing and you have to kind of talk yourself into and other people into that you know what you’re doing” is incredible challenging and emotionally taxing in your early 20’s Alli discovered.  During that time of starting a business and training others she still struggled with her own disorder.  “I’m either real good or going down the wrong path. I did that for a long time. Being really healthy, then being really unhealthy” she shared as she talked about having her eating disorder for 15 years.  

Alli talked about how it was a big shame for her.  When things weren’t going well the wheels would come off and her eating disorder would come back.  I can totally relate.  My eating disorder started at age 11 and lasted until well out of college.  While the physical acts stopped after 11 years the mentality stayed with me for much much longer.  If things were out of control in my life I could go back to my habits and “control” that one area of my life.  Eating disorders and the mentality that comes along with them are incredibly powerful.  We use controlling our weight as a coping mechanism to our current situations and struggles.  It takes a lot of personal growth, development and accountability to reprogram your response.  But it can be done and Alli is a fantastic example of that.  She struggled with the self limiting beliefs that “for some reason I think I don’t deserve this” or being afraid of people’s response.  But Alli finally came to terms with her eating disorder almost 4 years ago and she has reoriented her focus back to fitness and health.  

Alli has put in the work on herself and as a result she is a better trainer and coach to all of her clients.  She is no longer comparing herself to the person in her past.  That person that no longer exists.  She is moving forward and forging ahead creating a beautiful and joyful life she can be proud of.  “It’s a game changer to give yourself permission to be happy!”  says Alli.  And her mission is to spread that message.  Alli now works with people on a one-on-one basis but you better get comfortable with being uncomfortable because with Alli, it’s not just about the physical body.  You’re going to work on your “stuff” in order to get through those emotional hot spots and truly get the results you’re after.  

Alli inspired me tremendously on our call. I was laughing, I was moved and I was filled with joy all in one call!  I asked her to share her top 3 tips with you so you can start your journey where you’re at right now.  Here is what she said: 

1. Set up a good morning routine. It completely orchestrates how your day goes. Support your mental and emotional health. That alone can drastically can change your life in a matter of a few months.  

2. Do something physical every single day. Whatever that is.  It’s super important just to get your body moving. 

3. Try to enjoy your food with another human with no technology at least 1 time a day.  Eat something together was how people used to commune. Our community is breaking down b/c we can’t connect with people anymore.

I admire Alli’s honestly, grit, and dedication to creating an awesome life.  She’s an inspiration to all and I am honored to have met her.  I have no doubt you’ll be seeing more of Alli as she continues to grow and build her business and share her message.


Thank you for taking the time to engage in my 26th interview of inspiring women.  Please feel free to share your comments, feelings and send this to a friend you think would benefit from reading this!  If you want me to interview someone you find incredibly inspiring, I would be truly honored to meet them. This is a journey that has no parameters or rules.  Let’s have fun with it and continue to spread the message of empowerment, love and kindness - to ourselves and others!

You can follow Alli on Instagram @AlliWaddell