10/09/2015 05:41 EDT | Updated 10/09/2016 05:12 EDT

Mandy Gill: Building Muscle and Business

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Mandy Gill is a survivor and a dynamic entrepreneur. She recovered from anorexia and found strength in Crossfit and landed a sponsorship with Reebok. She built a business providing personal training services - MGM Fitness and a food delivery service - MGM Fit Foods.

She wasn't always a self-employed fitness professional. Mandy Gill enjoyed a career in broadcasting as a beloved radio personality and has made countless television appearances. When she was downsized in corporate restructuring, she focussed on growing her business and establishing herself in the fitness community. She took some time to talk about her journey.

I read in your bio that you recovered from anorexia as a teen. What advice would you have for someone starting their own journey to recovery?

Have the right support in place. Friends, family, therapists and coaches, setting yourself up with people around you who can help you. My body went from being frail to having food again and it was hard to love the transition and accept myself. Don't be scared; enjoy the journey. Start to love yourself for whatever is going to occur.

How do you stay motivated?

I am not the type to sit and watch tv. I lean towards my passions: foods, fitness and clients. My motivation comes from doing what I enjoy. It motivates me to see change in other people reaching their goals.

What does your self-care plan look like? How do you take care of you when you are helping people realize their fitness dreams?

I do Crossfit five times a week and promise those hours to myself. I set an appointment like a meeting with a client. I take my dogs to the off-leash park. I communicate with family. I talk to my mom, sister and dad every day. I travel and take one day a week off. I love painting; it relaxes me. I paint with a mug of tea, listening to spa or country music.

What do people get wrong when they imagine the life of a fitness trainer? What's closer to the truth?

People think we are perfect. Truthfully, we need balance. We have days that aren't the best in the gym but we keep going because each day gets you closer to your goal.

You run a company that provides a fresh food delivery service. What's that like as someone who has had a complicated relationship with food?

It's the best recovery I could offer myself. I get to watch people learn what I wish people had taught me. It's fulfilling to share with others education, something that's delicious and will give them energy for the rest of their day.

How has crossfit/fitness changed how you see your body?

There have been ups and downs. I confidently love my body. In Crossfit, sometimes I feel uncomfortable in my body but I focus on my goals. What's good for the mind and spirit is good for the body.

What have you found most rewarding in your career change to becoming a fitness professional?

Believing in myself. I've struggled with self-doubt and self-sabotage. I've learned more about myself because I'm my own boss and my own employee. My knowledge of myself has grown in many aspects of my life, not just business.

What have you found most challenging?

Learning to say no. I feel so accountable to others.

What's next for you? What are your goals right now?

I've recently become single and I'm taking care of myself. I'm focussed on fulfilling every passion and dream in my business. I'm making sure my pets are taken care of. I'm taking care of me, laughing, spending time with friends and just breathing. I'm working with a coach one on one who is one of my best resources.

You're going to be speaking at Recharge Body and have professional experience as a broadcaster. Have you ever had jitters about public speaking? Any pointers on getting past them?

Most of my career public speaking has spent in front of a microphone or a teleprompter. I remember that I'm there to just be me. I remember to slow down - I tend to speed up when I'm anxious. I'm there to share my story. If there's one person I motivated, I've done my job.

Lots of people start a fitness journey and have a sense of dissatisfaction about their bodies. What is your approach to addressing negative self -talk with your clients?

I help them become aware of negative self-talk. All clients in their first sessions say "I suck at..", "I can't...", or "my body doesn't". I work with them to identify what makes them feel intimidated, belittled or is creating negative energy. It's about breaking it down for them, making them aware and practicing through challenging repetitions of those thoughts. My job is making them realize that they are doing the work and I just help guide them.

To learn more about Mandy, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram and see her speak at Recharge Body on October 15, 2015 in Vancouver.

This post was written for publication on Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops.