#LETSCHAT: Meet Elizabeth Dickerson of @FromSkinny2Strong

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Last Fall I introduced a series of interviews called #LETSCHAT with the amazing women that inspire me. This weekly series is based on incredible, strong and empowering individuals that inspire me through health and wellness. They are people that have made an impact on my life, big and small, that motivate me to be a better version of me, and I hope they can inspire you as well. Happy Sunday, friends!! Ready for this weeks #LETSCHAT? Each week, I’ve been shining the spotlight in the health and wellness community or someone that we might not know too much about or love and follow. This week I’m bringing you an interview with someone that continues to inspire me and has become a friend over the last 5-ish months.

Meet Elizabeth "Liz" Dickerson of @FromSkinny2Strong! She's an Atlanta-based Fitness + Wellness Lifestyle blogger, with an IG feed filled with amazingly awesome fitspo and healthy living vibes for a happy, balanced life. This is one strong chick! She not only used to compete in bodybuilding in the bikini division and is inspired by 4 things I love: fitness, travel, food, and fun!

And, although I've never met Liz in person (yet), I'm motivated and inspired by her each day. I hope she inspires you to be the best version of YOU as well!

So, let’s get started…

VF: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: WHAT DO YOU DO, LOCATION, HOBBIES...

ED: I am the creator + editor of Fromskinny2strong.com which is my fitness + wellness lifestyle blog. It’s my baby! I live in Atlanta + I recently got engaged! I have 2 really cute dogs. I work professionally as a designer for the team at Walker + Cash. I do video production, editing, graphic + web design, copywriting—I feel like a jack of all trades! Haha. We do blog redesigns, copywriting, social media, etc. for small businesses, bloggers, and influencers!

VF: WHAT GOT YOU INTO HEALTH + FITNESS?

ED: I’ve always been active—I grew up as a dancer doing ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe. I also ran track and cross country. However, while I ran track in high school, I fractured my tibia and had to stop… so I did cheerleading since it was less impactful (I didn’t tumble, heck no, not for me.) Long story short, I didn’t reach 100lbs until I was in college. I’m just a naturally skinny person and I don’t have much of an appetite—I’m healthy, btw! It’s just how I was made. I think my small structure + lack of nutrients (because I didn’t eat much) led to my bone fracturing. In college, I was friends with a bunch of athletes and their bodies were strong and killer! I was like, ummm… yes please! I want muscle like that! A few years into college, I gave running a go again, so I would do track exercises by myself on the university track. I started seeing muscle growth due to the sprint exercises I was doing, and I was hooked. I began training by myself more, began lifting weights, and eventually, the school track coach (a D1 university) saw me running one day at the track while he was eating lunch, and when I was done he offered me a full ride scholarship…. 3 months before I was to graduate! UGH! But still, was an honor being offered. This was around the time instagram started growing, and I was following all the girls who did fitness competitions. Again, I was like ummm… yes please! Ha. So I hired a coach in LA and did my first fitness “bikini” competition in July 2013.

VF: WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS SECRET?

ED: Understanding that life happens and being OK with that. I know that’s not a “fitness” secret, but it’s a mindset secret that makes fitness more manageable. Back when I trained for bodybuilding shows, it was all or nothing. It’s eating plain tilapia, plain asparagus, egg whites, and grapefruit, and anything outside of that was a NO. It was going to the gym 7 days a week, 2x a day, and anything less than that was a NO. So many rules, you know?! That restrictive mentality is what causes people to fail. So if you have a program you follow with set workout plan, meal plan, etc., that’s GREAT for guidance and structure, but acknowledging that there will be days where you can’t go to the gym, have to skip a meal, or get to celebrate your BFFs birthday (which means cake, obvi)... THAT’S the secret to being successful when it comes to fitness.

VF: WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

ED: Conquer. It always has been my word. Always will be. That word gives me chills. It’s so powerful. Say it… “CONQUER” Dude… it’s killer. Like no matter what you want to do, you can do it…. CONQUER IT. I used to (still do) repeat this word over and over when I do walking lunges. It gives my body some extra miracle push.

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VF: I'M INSPIRED BY YOU AND YOUR AMAZING TIPS THAT YOU SHARE ON INSTA AND YOUR BLOG. WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?

ED: Aw thanks! :) I honestly have to say my fiance inspires the heck out of me. He’s started and sold 2 business. He now is a day trader—and that biz is not easy. It take grit and dedication, like any business, but this is a whole other level. Seeing him day in and day out so dedicated to learning, studying, making the best moves, analyzing, failing, succeeding, etc… it moves me. That’s something I love about him so much… he’s FULL THROTTLE in everything he does. Even our relationship, it’s 200% or nothing. In every little thing. I feed off of his energy and hustle. I could get teary eyed writing about this, ha! I think he lives the definition of the word “conquer” that I love so much. He doesn’t let anything get in his way. He doesn’t give up. Even with the stuff gets hard (and let me tell you, it does sometimes) he keeps going. He’s incredible and he inspires me and my personal endeavors so much. We support each other to be our best selves.

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VF: THROUGH YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY, YOU’VE EXPRESSED HOW MUCH YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT HOW A FITNESS LIFESTYLE SHOULD AND SHOULDN’T BE. WHAT TIPS OF ADVICE CAN YOU OFFER SOMEONE STARTING OUT ON THEIR OWN PATH?

ED: Ahhh yes… this goes back to restrictive dieting/exercise programs. I lived that life for 2 years, and by the end of that I had to get a therapy session because my view on food was not healthy and I could sense an eating disorder forming. Thankfully, I’m so aware of my body and what I do, so I could see the trouble starting—but I finally reached a point of thinking “this is not okay. I could seriously fall down a dark path.” And I quit. I quit everything for a year and a half to get back to normal + mentally healthy again. With this being said, my advice would be no matter what program you are doing, whether it’s my 8 Week Change Your Life Challenge (coming soon!), BBG, a competition prep plan, etc… that plan is NOT the end all be all. If you go “off track”, THAT IS OKAY. And “fitness” is meant to be a lifestyle, not a 12 week only plan where you restrict so hard once the 12 weeks are over you feel lost. That is NOT FITNESS. So a fitness/wellness lifestyle will have ups and downs, just like everything in life does. Because life is full of ebbs and flows right? So when you feel unhappy about super greasy, cheesy burrito and margarita you had on a Friday night (like I just did, tbh), don’t sweat! If you feel yucky, just eat a nice healthy meal the next day and make mindful decisions to be healthy. Progress > Perfection.

 

VF: YOU’VE STARTED A FS2S FITNESS COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK. WHAT INSPIRED THAT?

ED: Yes! It’s called Fit + Health Friends, and anyone is welcome to join. I wanted to create a community for anyone who is interested in fitness, health, wellness—whether someone is a professional, personal trainer, nutritionist, fitness blogger, or even just wants some motivation! It’s for anyone. Every day we have a daily thread that prompts our community to share blog posts that inspired them, goals they’re working on, recipe favorites (I need you to share some of yours in there, Val!), healthy tips + tricks, etc. It’s a lot of fun! There are people from all walks of life. You can join here!

VF: WHAT DOES YOUR PERFECT DAY LOOK LIKE?

ED: Omg waking up semi-early, make a cold-brew coffee (I use chameleon cold brew with a splash of almond milk,) do a yoga class, spend time writing and growing From Skinny 2 Strong, go to the pool + get a tan, come home and cuddle with my fiance watching Dateline NVM (we’re secretly 50yrs old inside, lol, that’s our Friday night… almost every night. Love it.)

VF: NOW, WHAT DOES IT REALLY LOOK LIKE?

ED: I’m going to be real honest here. I wake up an hour before I have to be at work. I rush to get ready (thankfully I have short hair, so doesn’t take me too long to get ready!) I sit at my desk for 8 hours editing a ton of video. I still have a 9-5 while growing From Skinny 2 Strong + working for Walker + Cash. I sit in traffic for an hour during my commute home, and then I spend the rest of the night working on my From Skinny 2 Strong and Walker + Cash projects. I’m dedicated to creating a fulfilling life for myself—and right now that means working a 9-5 while also nurturing my hustles when I’m not at the office. I’m so dedicated. That “perfect day” will come.

VF: WHAT IS YOUR RECIPE FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY LIFE?

ED: Working hard so your dreams will come true. Surrounding yourself with people who love you and push you. Don’t focus on what other people may think… who cares. Do you. Get stuff done. Love your people. Be thankful. Always hustle.

VF: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GO-TO FOOD?

ED: I love a good taco! And also breakfast—eggs, bacon, biscuit, potatoes...YUM! My favorite healthy go-to is a spinach salad with chicken, strawberries, feta cheese, and sliced almonds…. SO GOOD.

#LETSCHAT: Meet Elizabeth Dickerson of From @Skinny2Strong

VF: SPEAKING OF FOOD... YOU’VE CREATED A 5-DAY MEAL PLANNER PRO CHALLENGE. WHAT CAN READERS AND YOUR COMMUNITY EXPECT FROM THAT?

ED: I studied nutrition in addition to marketing + art school, so I’m so intrigued and passionate about how food affects the body. The biggest struggle I hear from people who are ready to start a healthy lifestyle is how to meal plan + prep. It can be pretty complex, so where does one even begin?! The 5 Day Meal Planner Pro Challenge is a 100% FREE email course created to solve this problem. Each day, challengers will receive meal planning tips + tricks, so by the end of the 5 days, they will have the tools and know-how to confidently go to the grocery store, pick out what they needs, and execute their meal planning for the week like a pro! I break it down into a super easy step-by-step process. Each challenger also gets freebie printables to help stay organized and also access to my free fitness resource library! It’s for anyone, so you can join right now!

VF: FINISH THESE STATEMENTS:

"EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER WITH A LITTLE…" ED: Old-bay seasoning. Thank me later.

“THE FIRST THING I DO WHEN I WAKE UP IS…” ED: hit snooze… like 5 times. HA! I’m so serious. Then I stretch for a few minutes once I’m up. "THE ONE THING THAT I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS…" ED: My external hard drive. That baby goes with me everrryyywhere.

“THE FIRST THING I DO WHEN I WAKE UP IS…” ED: hit snooze… like 5 times. HA! I’m so serious. Then I stretch for a few minutes once I’m up. "THE ONE THING THAT I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS…" ED: My external hard drive. That baby goes with me everrryyywhere.

VF: WHERE CAN WE FOLLOW YOU?

ED: Follow me on Instagram @lizashleyatl | Follow me on Twitter @lizashleyfit Join my Fit + Healthy Friends Facebook Group | Pinterest | Facebook