Former college athlete Christie Nix always envisioned her Exercise Science degree being put to use training high performance athletes.
However, the weight gain of her first two pregnancies (more than 50lbs, each time) gave her not only a new challenge to deal with, personally, but a new mindset about the direction of her calling.
“When I became a mom, I also became a new kind of busy that often left me feeling like last place. I understood the hard part of a healthy journey is what happens once we leave the gym or finish the workout.”
While Christie says that her formal education has been helpful in her pursuits as an online personal trainer, fitness coach, and figure/powerlifting athlete, she maintains that her personal experience with pregnancy weight gain, weight loss and bodybuilding is what has taught her the most.
“Weight loss and muscle gain are very much scientific approaches,” Christie says, “But the mental and spiritual part is more of an emotion than a textbook answer.”
That "been-there-done-that" empathy sets Christie apart as a trainer, and her approach reflects both her academic understanding of fitness and nutrition, and her mindset as a mom. Out of respect for the time crunch that most modern women find themselves in, Christie makes the most of what technology has to offer in order to make herself available to clients—an availability that she believes is necessary for support in a weight loss/fitness journey.
“My coaching is very hands on and custom to the individual,” Christie says. “The challenging part of online coaching is the distance, but because of that I make myself available to my clients almost all day. We're able to create a bond over a common goal regardless of distance.”
As an online coach I’m with my clients at all times as they balance life and make fitness and nutrition a part of it! Text messaging and phone appointments fill my time but when a client sends me a flex picture or a mindset victory, I know I’m making a difference."
Christie also emphasizes that while modern conveniences like the internet can make finding a fitness “tribe” easier, it has to be a concentrated effort to find the right kind of support.
“As a woman and mom, it’s been critical to let myself be inspired by photos, articles, and thoughts that I relate to,” Christie says. “Today’s 'Fitspiration' is typically an over-sexualized photo, articles with the most recent diet fad, and one extreme after the other. At some point, I began to understand that 'fit' is so much more than a look or fad. As I evolved to that mindset, I also drastically transformed what I exposed my mind and eyes to in order to be inspired.”
Finding that group can be transformative, Christie says. When asked about her inspiration, she points to very specific sources: “Established women from the fitness industry, fellow GORGO Girls, fit moms sharing the balancing act of it all… women who gave up extremes and gained a lifestyle of year round balance.
“Women who understand where I was because they've been there. As I've dived into being inspired by these women, I've gained my tribe. A group of women, like me, who just want to encourage, motivate and empower. Women who live their days so similar to mine and inspire me because they are committed to their everyday fit. When you lean into women who authentically want to see you succeed, relate to your journey, and inspire you to keep going... self-belief blossoms into reality.”
In addition to being a busy mom of three, Army wife, and online SiS Coach, Christie has maintained personal goals, as well. After competing for the first time in a figure competition in 2011, she was hooked. She spent the next few years competing before adding baby number three to her family.
After documenting the process of pregnancy, birth, the postpartum recovery, and getting back into competition shape on her social media, Christie returned to competing in April 2015, at the Kentucky Derby. Calling it her “best physique yet”, Christie has not only proven that motherhood doesn’t negate competitive life... she’s actually taken on a new challenge: powerlifting.
In Spring 2016, Christie took 1st place in the USA Georgia Spring Open Powerlifting competition. "It’s been fun to add the dynamic of strength to my bodybuilding aspirations.” That same year, she placed 1st in the Fitness division and 2nd in the Figure division at UFE Liberty.
Although competing is definitely a labor of love, connecting with other women and her role as a SiS coach is one that Christie takes just as seriously. She sees one of the biggest benefits of training—competitive or not—as a chance for inner discovery.
“It's become a passion of mine to show Moms that we can carve a little time each day, a few times a week, to work on the big things over time,” Christie says. “My everyday fitness is the good stuff, my journey is all about learning to be content each day while working for progress each time I train. Competition or not, I choose to step up to the bar eager to learn something new about myself.”
While a voice for a fit life for women, Christie is also a champion of balance—keeping yourself accountable in a realistic way. She maintains that contentment is possible while still seeking positive change—an idea that is key, she believes, to a healthy approach to training.
“I feel as though I am a very content person, but I also don't want to be complacent. I know there is a difference,” Christie says.
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