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Adrianna Solhjoo is bringing mental health to the fitness world.

Adrianna Solhjoo is a personal trainer working on her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Read how she is making a bigger role for mental health in the fitness world.

GBE: Tell us about your business and when did you start it?

AS: I own a personal training business called AdriFit, and launched it after graduating from college in 2020. It was when we were in the pandemic lockdown and I knew we were going to be home for a while. 

One of the things I was working on during this time was forcing myself to take breaks and not overwork myself like I was prior to the pandemic. I wanted to make use of my free time and receive a training/certification in something I have been wanting to do for a long time, but didn’t have the time or money to pursue. I considered doing personal training, empowerment coaching, ABA training, etc. basically anything relating to and would benefit my future career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. 

After continuous research and reaching out to other people who pursued similar trainings, I decided to pursue my certification in Personal Training with a specialty in Sports Nutrition and Transformation Specialist. I ended up doing the program with one of my friends in January of 2020. 

At the time, I was about to start my last semester of my undergraduate career and made every excuse in the world as to why I couldn’t start then. It just so happened that my friend wanted to wait until she graduated that semester as well, to begin the program. It worked out because we would study for the quizzes and the final exam together. Once I completed the certification, I was in the next stage of realizing “What am I going to do now?!” Of course, so many ideas instantly came to my head (and it hasn’t stopped since). I briefly considered working in a gym and threw that out the window because of obvious reasons at the time, COVID, and all the gyms were closed until further notice. I had 0 patience to wait around until that happened, so I began to reflect more about the circles around me. 

I am a part of a multicultural sorority and I have met plenty of women who have pursued entrepreneurship and/or a side hustle. Witnessing women, like me, in a leadership role gave me the confidence and motivation to see myself in that role one day as well. And in that moment, I realized the time had come. I decided I would start my own personal training business. I knew I simply couldn’t work for someone else, take a pay cut, and honestly, with the intense field I am getting into I knew I needed a balance to get back and do something I enjoyed and get paid for it. I instantly fell in love with the idea of being my own boss and simply believing that it was going to happen drove me to disregard anything that could be related to working for someone else, of course until I start my career. But, I have time. 

GBE: What got you interested in helping people with their mental health, along with fitness and nutrition?

AS: When I started my business, I wanted to research other trainers and compare what they all have in common, and see how I can be different. I am passionate about mental health and even more so when the pandemic started, discovering that I genuinely needed to learn a whole new level of taking care of myself. 

For me, it was taking that huge halt to pump the breaks in my life and realize there are going to be things that will be out of my control and that is okay. If you are someone who works well with a tight schedule, you would know that this was the toughest pill I had to swallow. I definitely dealt with negative self-talk and didn’t think I was worthy of resting and taking time for myself. 

Then, I had a “light bulb moment”, after a few therapy sessions I asked myself, “Why is it difficult to prioritize what I want, what I feel, just to simply prioritize myself? Why is that up for debate? Why do I allow others’ problems to live rent-free in my mind and life? How can I expect myself to help anyone or be there for anyone if I’m not even there for myself, tending to my needs and my mental health? 

That’s where my motto was created, “Prioritize Yourself”. Simple, and straight to the point. No further explanation is needed. The pandemic taught us that we need to put ourselves first and it’s okay if something does not get done. Tomorrow is a new day. And hello??? We are in a pandemic!! How can anyone be fully functioning and mentally okay 100% of the time?? 

Giving ourselves grace and permission to do what WE want and what WE feel is going to bring us joy even if it is for 5 minutes out of our 24-hour day. We deserve that ounce of joy in the midst of our crazy lifestyles and the constant pressures we get from everyone else. We have to stop convincing ourselves otherwise. Without checking in to make sure we are okay mentally, that determines the results of our actions. We can’t begin anything in life without putting our mental health in check first. 

And this is equal to the amount of energy we put into fitness and nutrition. We tend to neglect the mental health aspect of anything and that prevents us from achieving our goals and causes plateaus. Discouraging us to continue and give up on ourselves when things are just getting started. 

GBE: You’ve mentioned that you’re in grad school while running your business today. How do you balance both significant demands on your schedule?

AS: To be real, it’s a lot. I didn’t know how I would do it at first. Sure I had my friends and family telling me, “This is going to be huge!” and that they love my purpose. But it’s different when you are the one putting in the work and have the pressure to stay consistent and relevant. 

In the beginning, I tried my best to build my Instagram page by posting content when I could, and tried not to beat myself up when I physically couldn’t because my courses were so demanding. Reminding myself that my community knows I am in grad school and I am doing more than many people would be in my position. 

I have had a great support system, specifically from my close friend and linesister, Cassidy. She has been there through my venting sessions, my rollercoaster of ideas, my full-thought out plan essentially of what AdriFit is and will grow to be. She has grounded me when I would overthink a task or when I would doubt myself. 

My clients also have been amazing and super understanding of the demands from school as well. They, at times, would remind me of the skills that I taught them when I needed to hear it most.

When I started to progress more in my Master’s program, I started to realize how the demands would be for school and my time would be more limited for AdriFit. I mentally prepared for that. But when the time was coming I knew I had to be more organized and do what I loved best, plan as much as I could in advance. 

I created what most people would call a Content Calendar and scheduled my posts a few days to eventually 3 months in advance. It was a huge learning curve, but it has helped me so much now in my 5th semester of grad school. I had to remind myself that it would be worth it and my “why” to motivate myself to stick to that structure. I usually would utilize my holiday breaks and weekends to do my planning and most of all my content batching. 

GBE: What’s your mission for the people you serve in 2022?

AS: My motto, “Prioritize Yourself” develops a new meaning each year, specifically based on my personal experiences and stages of life. The skills and lessons I learn to help myself is what I translate when serving my community, and 9 times out of 10 they are experiencing a similar situation that they can connect with in some way. 

My mission for 2022 is to not let anyone feel guilty or devalued for setting boundaries and putting themselves first. Some people in your circles can be at a different stage of life and that is completely okay. They only connect with 1 piece of you. It’s time to get comfortable with expanding our circles that mold the other aspects of ourselves. Breaking out of your shell and showing up for yourself. Not allowing your wants and needs to be up for debate. We have worked so hard on ourselves to get to this point in our lives to allow other people to write the next chapter of our personal health and wellness journey.

GBE: What are three tips you would give to the girl reading this who is struggling with her own mental health?

AS: The first tip I would give to the girl reading this is to write down three things that they are grateful for. This simple, yet authentic activity allows you to be present with yourself and acknowledge the positive things that are going well in your life that we forget about sometimes. Giving yourself permission to see the good and the progress you have made in difficult times is the first step to being the best version of yourself. 

The second tip I would give her is to give yourself grace. Understand and accept that there are going to be things that are out of your control and that is completely okay. You’re not meant to understand everything right away and have the answers to why things are not going the way you want them to, but feeling these emotions is human. 

The last tip I would give her is to remind yourself that you are a lot stronger than you think you are, and others' views of you do not define who you are or the hard work you have been putting in to better yourself. You are prepared for the current and future struggles you will encounter because you have the experience that has prepared you for this moment. Each one makes you stronger each time. 

There are going to be days where you’ll feel like you’re losing it, have no motivation to keep going, or even have 0 trust and confidence in yourself that you’re capable of obtaining the dreams you have for yourself. Once you allow yourself to envision the life that you deserve, believe it. You deserve to be happy, You deserve to do things that you love, and you deserve to surround yourself with people that share the same values and uplift you to be better than the person you were yesterday. Just because you may not have some of these things now, doesn’t mean they are not attainable. No matter how little hope you have, hold onto that as tight as you can to drive you forward because small realistic goals are more attainable than temporary ones. Be real with yourself and start taking control of your story. Do it for you. 

GBE: Now for the girl who wants to start her own business, but hasn’t taken the big leap yet, what advice would you give?

AS: A lot of women struggle with self-doubt and lack of trust in themselves because they’ve been told they are not capable of doing something, they won’t be good enough, or won’t make it. This false-narrative sets back so many women from creating the life that they deserve and expanding on an idea that can be so much bigger than someone else’s perspective. 

A lot of common excuses is that “someone else is already doing it so what makes me different?” If you’re able to explain to yourself or anyone else why you are so passionate about your idea, you simply make space for yourself. No room is too small and there is no table that has enough chairs. 

With our crazy lives, we should allow ourselves the opportunity to create a business that we know will connect with so many people and have a balance with the other struggles we’re dealing with. Plusl, the biggest factor we all love: to get paid doing something we love. 

You can’t start anything in life without a positive mindset. If you allow negative self-talk and fear to be the root of your goal, that reflects in your results and many plateaus will follow. This is the reason why so many people can’t commit 100% to something because they don’t fully trust themselves. Envision yourself in that role, believe in yourself that you’re capable of being your own boss, and show up as her every day until you make it happen.

To connect with Adrianna and learn more about her business, you can find her here…

Website: https://www.adri.fit/ 
Instagram: @adri_fit4 (https://www.instagram.com/adri_fit4/?hl=en)
TikTok: @adrifit_4 (https://www.tiktok.com/@adrifit_4)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrifit4  

New members will receive a 1-week free trial with no commitment for personal training + 25% off an AdriFit tee-shirt.

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