We had the chance to chat with CEO of fitness mega-website, Fit Bottomed Girls, Jennipher Walters, to talk about her success as a CEO, her fitness tips for college girls and so much more. Settle in because this is gonna be a good one!
What is Fit Bottomed Girls?
Fit Bottomed Girls is a combo website and blog that features multiple weekday posts with fresh fitness content for real women (and even the guys) interested in improving their health and their lives through physical activity and healthy eating, minus the deprivation and dieting. The site offers tips, workouts, reviews, personal accounts of our exercise endeavors, tidbits on healthy food, workout music suggestions and plenty fitness humor. We pride ourselves on our honest reviews, our inclusive and fun-loving attitude, and ability to tell it like it is.
FBG started in 2008 and in 2010, we added a sister site, Fit Bottomed Mamas, to the line-up to bring the FBG approach of fitness and a balanced, healthy lifestyle to pregnancy women, new mothers and families. In 2013, we added Fit Bottomed Eats to the FBG world as well, bringing fit foodies lots of recipes, blogs and nutritional info to eat right and love it! In May 2014, we wrote our first FBG-branded book: The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet, published by Random House. The book has received praise from the likes of the TODAY Show, Tony Horton, Fitness Magazine, and was named one of the best health and fitness books of 2014 by Greatist. In April 2016, we added Fit Bottomed Zen to bring a Fit-Bottomed approached to mindful and whole-heart living.
How did Fit Bottomed Girls start?
Erin and I met while we were both working for a magazine publishing company in the Kansas City area. We quickly noticed the big similarities in our lives: we lived in Lawrence, Kansas, while our boyfriends were attending graduate school, and we both endured a lengthy 50-minute commute. Once we became carpooling buddies, we realized that not only were we saving the planet one tank of gas at time, but that we were also forming a fast and lasting friendship. Among dissecting all aspects of life, from reality TV to their existential crises, fitness was always a topic of conversation on those commutes. I would keep Erin motivated when workout motivation was lacking, and we’d take Zumba classes together or go for walks for lunch. It wasn’t until Erin sadly moved states away in 2008 that we came up with the idea of a fitness blog — effectively marrying our love of fitness with our love of writing.
Just a couple of years after starting the site, I attended a fitness event where I met Kristen, who lives in Florida and was then an editor at an AOL fitness blog. Later on the three of us realized they we all had a similar attitude when it came to the FBG mission (and awesome 90s tunes), and soon, Kristen became a regular contributor to FBG before joining as an official business partner in 2015.
Have you had any struggles in the fitness industry being a woman?
Early in my fitness and writing career, I don’t think people took me very seriously because I was a young “aerobics instructor” with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to get people moving. I usually laughed most of those struggles or stereotypes off — but also made a point to get my certification as a personal trainer and a masters degree in health journalism. I did this to help my career — but also to be taken more seriously as a female fitness professional.
What was it like writing your own book!?
Crazy! And actually not as glamorous as I expected, ha! Erin and I co-wrote the book, and everything I wrote was usually written at my dining room table, on a laptop, after a workout and with a big ol’ green smoothie and cup of coffee. For some reason I wrote and focused best that way. For about six months of my life, every weekend morning was spent that way — just pouring all of our life and readers’ lives lessons onto a page. It’s so cool to see it in book format now. Have to pinch myself sometimes!
What is your advice for any college girl wanting to become a CEO?
Believe that you can do it, and takes steps to do it. Be passionate about the company you’re running and bring everything back to your mission. And don’t feel like you need to know everything. When we started we were CLUELESS. We just dove in, read some books and Googled A LOT, and figured things out as we went. Also, if you can find a mentor — someone who is doing what you want to do — spend as much time as them as you can with them and ask a ton of questions. The female entrepreneur community is strong across the country and online, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Would you suggest going on a trendy or fad diet while in college?
That’s such a big question! If you’re looking to lose weight or have a history with yo-yo dieting, we don’t recommend going on any trendy diet — ever. That’s because, in general, restrictive diets don’t work (no matter how popular they may be). Here’s why!
But, if you are just looking for a new and fun way to challenge yourself to eat a little healthier, then doing something like a meat-free challenge for 2 weeks or whole 30 for a month can be an interesting way to see how eating different ways make you feel. It may sound like semantics, but it’s really about the intention you bring to the process. If you’ve got a lot of self-love and curiosity, then trying a challenge can be good. But, if you’re doing it as a way to change yourself or be different than what you are, then it’s probably a sign that it’s not a healthy behavior.
What are your favorite health or fitness related apps?
How can you keep a workout routine exciting?
It’s all about choosing activities you like but mixing in workouts that push you out of your comfort zone. Try something new at least once a month and get your friends involved! Remember that workouts can be at the gym, but they can also be outside (hiking, climbing, etc.) or be a sport. Also, setting a goal — like running a race or lifting a heavier weight — can be a great way to stay motivated!
How do you get the motivation to stick to a workout schedule or workout when you absolutely don’t want to?
Besides setting a goal, working out with friends and doing new activities (all great ways to stay motivated!), we recommend putting on your favorite feel-good, high-energy jams or simply putting on your favorite and best workout outfit and shoes. It’s funny, once you have the music going and you’re dressed for a workout, it’s kinda hard NOT to do it. 😉 And if that doesn’t work, head on over to our Motivation board on Pinterest or Instagram. It’s FULL of awesome sayings to help you feel inspired to be your best!
What is your biggest motivation to be in shape/ what was your biggest motivation to change your lifestyle?
What a great question! We love for readers to think about their “why” — what really drives them and motivates them. And while it may seem like the answer is to look good or feel good, it’s usually even deeper and more emotionally driven than that. For example, my why is to be a good role model for my daughter — and because, honestly, I like feeling like a bad ass. Like I can do anything! Eating right and pushing myself in workouts gives me confidence in all areas of my life. And I’m addicted to that feel-good feeling.
Jennipher Walters: As co-founder and co-author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet and Editor-in-Chief at Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Zen, Jenn has several fitness credentials under her belt: She is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, and advanced health and fitness specialist, and an AFAA-certified group exercise instructor. Jenn has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MA in health journalism from the University of Minnesota. She has also written for numerous online publications including Shape magazine, The Huffington Post, SparkPeople and Diets in Review. In her free time, Jenn can be found doing HIIT workouts with her husband, making a mean green smoothie, running with her pup and snuggling with her daughter.