This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Robyn Baldwin.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Robyn Baldwin and I call myself an Alpha Female. We'll get into the definition shortly. I am also a full time Marketing Manager, a fitness & lifestyle blogger, a podcast host of The Alpha Female Podcast, an author or the book Love Lost, Life Found: 8 Practical Steps to Heal A Broken Heart, an obstacle course racer, a runner, a yogi, a weight lifter, a daughter, girlfriend, sister, fur mama, Essential Oil Network Marketer, MS Warrior and Proactive Health Care Advocate.
I got involved in health and fitness because I didn't like what I saw in the mirror one day and decided to set a goal to compete in a fitness competition. The rest is history and has evolved in leaps and bounds since then.
You've been at it for several years now, what is the most unexpected lesson you've learned during your fitness journey?
That my fitness journey would develop into a health journey. I started out in the fitness industry for vain reasons. I wanted to look good naked. I got up on stage and pranced around in a sparkly bikini and stripper heels and then I realized I was being judged on how I look but not what I could do in the gym. I got into Obstacle Course races in 2012 and my journey evolved from there.
I could train to become stronger or more agile and I could see the results by being able to cross monkey bars for the first time or climb the rope at a Spartan Race. I could place top 10 in my age group and know I had earned that placement. My health journey evolved even further in 2014 when I was diagnosed with MS. I started doing a ton of research and realized even though I was training hard and eating clean I wasn't properly supporting my body.
My journey evolved into one where I put nourishment, decreasing stress, removing toxins from life, learning to rest properly, supplement based on what my body actually needs because of testing and moving in a way that supports my health.
You talk about the Alpha Female and in fact wrote an eBook about the subject. What do you mean when you call yourself an Alpha Female?
My definition has changed over the years. I even launched a podcast in 2016 so I could interview other Alpha Females and create a positive word movement around the term.
Here is my definition:
An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life harmony. She is the brightest star in her constellation. When an Alpha Female stays true to their authentic selves and their missions they shine. An Alpha Female puts herself first so that she can fill up her cup and then have more energy for her friends, family, and coworkers. She strives for synergy with the world around her. She knows that work/life harmony is found by staying true to your priorities and what makes you happy. She is never complacent about striving for better and nurtures relationships with all the people in her life.
Have you always been an Alpha Female? And do you feel there's an Alpha Female inside all of us?
I was brought up to go after my goals and my dreams. To be assertive and ambitious. I taught myself how to be an overachiever and my parents have always supported me as I strive for better. I believe once you own your priorities in life and choose to take care of yourself you discover the Alpha Female was always there to begin with.
In your book you talk about 5 key areas of your life to find a work / life balance, what can you share about those 5 areas?
My definition has evolved since I wrote my short eBook. I believe we have work / life harmony and that we can have it all flow together. It's no longer about equal hours of work and life but choosing your passions and priorities and staying true to them. At the time I wrote the eBook I believed work / life balance could be achieved based on focusing on fitness, nutrition, health, career and smartphone organization. I now believe to find work/life harmony we need to focus on fitness (or how we move), nutrition (how we nourish ourselves), health (finding a health care team and educating ourselves), reducing stress, getting proper sleep and removing toxins from your life to live an optimal life.
You've also participated in several fitness competitions, what drives you to compete and what have you learned in doing so?
I haven't competed since 2013. I believe it served a purpose to start my fitness and health journey but it's an incredibly unhealthy industry focused on a subjective sport that creates unhealthy body issues, unhealthy relationships with food and ultimately many unhealthy bodies.
Aside from your career as a fitness professional, you're also an advertising media executive - what is the single best advice you could give women who spend a lot of time on their career and struggle to find the time to work out?
I made the jump from an advertising executive to a marketing career in 2013. The single best advice I could give to working women is make the time. Become a morning person and get it in before the day gets away from you. Or schedule a lunchtime workout. In 2015 I loved going for a lunch time run or (runch). If you find the time and make the time you'll succeed. You wouldn't dare miss a boardroom meeting so don't miss your workouts.
On your website you share your personal motto, a quote by Henry David Thoreau, can you share it with us?
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've always imagined.
For many people confidence is an issue, they feel they're not good enough or are afraid to fail, what advice could you give them?
You have every tool available to you to succeed. You just have to choose. Build up your confidence daily. It won't happen overnight but it's a daily practice that you can own. No one is going to do it for you.
Do you ever find yourself in a moment of uncertainty when you're working towards your biggest goals? How do you handle that?
Always. Even Alpha Females are really good at negative self talk. That's when I immerse myself in self development books and podcasts and seek the motivators I need.
And if things don't go your way - how do you go about dealing with setbacks and adversity?
I cry. I self care (epsom salt baths, reading and meditation). I cuddle my puppies and kiss my boyfriend. I sleep 8 hours and I start over the next day.
What are your biggest goals for 2017?
I write this interview at the end of December and I'm about to go into my 2017 goal setting phase. First and foremost I am going to sit with my core desired feelings of how I want to feel when I achieve goals in 2017 which are vital, brave, inspired, love, ease and lit up and from there I'll start dreaming. Every single year on January 1st I announce my goals for the year on my blog so you'll just have to stay tuned.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!