Felicia Romero | Crain's Phoenix

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Felicia Romero

Background:  

Felicia Romero’s Fit Method opened in Gilbert, Arizona, in 2015. Felicia is a former fitness model, who is now a fitness trainer and entrepreneur. She uses her platform to encourage others to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

The Mistake:

I developed some major health issues as a result of participating in fitness competitions.

Back when I first started in fitness, I was studying law at Arizona State. I had a passion for fitness. I loved helping people, and I loved training people. It was just something that came naturally to me.

I started to get involved in fitness competitions at that time. I competed for about nine years. It’s a very extreme sport. I no longer compete, but at that time, I was really into it, and I felt like it really set the foundation for me. I was on the covers of magazines. I was getting opportunities all around the world with speaking engagements, competing and traveling.

But I was also extremely unhealthy. Even though I physically epitomized health and people would tell me I looked great, inside I was not. I had a lot of body dysmorphia. I didn’t see myself the way others saw me. I had food issues. I would binge, and I was an extreme dieter. I was terrified to put certain foods in my body, and I lived like that for years.

As a result of all that, I developed some major health issues: metabolic issues, adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues. I had hypothyroidism. I put myself through all these things, and if I had known then what I know now, I would never have done that to myself. But I think it served a purpose for what my journey is all about.

I battled and I suffered. I was anxious, unhappy with myself and unhappy with life, until I knew that I had to make a change.

I started doing the opposite of what I knew.

The Lesson:

No one is going to make a change for you except for you. No one is going to force you to change your mindset or your habits. It’s something that has to come from within you. So, I did. I wanted to heal. I wanted to get better. I didn’t want to live that way. 

I started researching. I started going to a naturopath. I started doing the opposite of what I knew. I had to get to a point where I was comfortable in my body, no matter what I looked like. That was the true moment of self-acceptance. It was really hard. I had to let go of all the physical aspirations and the dieting and the extreme workouts because that’s not what life is all about, but it took me a while to figure that out.

I had to go through all that. It took me about 15 or 16 months to heal my thyroid and my metabolism. Most importantly, I healed my mind, in the sense that I value my health more than how I look physically. Even though I was in that fitness space and everyone looked to me as the epitome of health physically, I knew that it had to come from somewhere else. It had to come from within.

At Fit Method in Gilbert, we incorporate activity with mindset. When I or any of my teachers teach, we give a positive affirmation afterward. Sometimes I put the class through a five-minute meditation because, after everything I’ve gone through, it’s so much more than just the exercise or eating the healthy diet. It really has to come from the mind. The mindset is everything and that’s what I try to teach now.

I look at my journey and I don’t regret it. Obviously, there are things I wish had done differently. There are times that I still suffer mentally with certain things, but being mindful really helps get me through it. I’m very open about my experiences. I feel that everything I’ve gone through in the past has helped me in my current business. I had to go through those things so that I could help others not make the same mistakes.​

Follow Felicia Romero on Twitter at @FeliciaRomero.

Photo courtesy of Felicia Romero

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