In our series Fit Chicks, we chat with female fitness bloggers and trainers from all over the country. Equipped with their collective experience, expertise and practical tips, you’ll be happy to know that a healthier lifestyle is right around the corner.
Name: Lacey Dunn, 22
Business/Blog: UpliftFit Nutrition
Location: Athens, Georgia
Lacey Dunn is a senior dietetics student at the University of Georgia. Her personal and fitness account has been a hit on social media, but in September of last year she decided to take her passion for health onto a whole new level by starting UpliftFit. She will be moving in Houston in August to work on her Master’s and internship in hopes to become a register dietician.
Paste Health: Where did your love of being active come from?
Lacey Dunn: That stemmed from years of cheerleading and loving being in the cheerleading world. Then I dived into getting ready for tryouts for the University of Central Florida team and had to get into weight lifting for that. I just fell totally fell in love with weight training from there.
PH: Describe the moment when you decided you wanted to start UpliftFit Nutrition?
LD: I knew that I was going to soon become a registered dietician and I wanted a way to reach out and help others knowing that I would have full year before I was able to do that clinically. So it just hit in my mind, “Why I don’t open up this coaching business to help people now instead of waiting?” So I just wanted to help as many people as possible now and that’s why I created it.
PH: What have been some reactions from your clients? What’s the highlight for you of watching them transform?
LD: Definitely the highlight for me is getting to see the difference in the mental changes people make along the way. Getting emails that say, “I feel so free, I don’t feel like I’m restricted or stuck in a rigid diet.” Having their self-esteem build while making changes in their body – those psychological changes are the reasons why I love coaching. Getting to see people grow and change as people way more than just their physical changes.
PH: Comparison seems to be a huge issue for college girls. What’s your advice for college women to overcome that?
LD: My biggest advice is knowing no matter how you strive to change your body, you will never fully love yourself until you accept and learn to love yourself. Look at your body as a blessing it. Look at what it does for you every single day – it fights for you and you really have to fight for it. Love it for the fact that you are living and breathing. God created everyone a certain way, don’t look at the way He made somebody else, because they aren’t you. You are you.
PH: You talk a lot on your site about macros. For those who are unfamiliar with macros, can you describe what they are and how they work?
LD: Macros are macronutrients and macros make up calories. Your calories come from fats, proteins and carbs. When you macro-track, you’re specifically tracking the calories per macro nutrient allowing you to both adhere to a diet and have more consistency. The point with macros is to allow you to switch up those foods. Say you wanted to have a potato instead of brown rice, or you wanted to have nuts instead of an egg – you are able to switch up those foods and it allows you to adhere to the diet so you have flexibility. Those macronutrients are different for everybody and they’re great because you can actually see a lot better than if you just counted calories and see what specific ways your body prefers for methods of fuel.
PH: Obviously weight-lifting is a huge passion of yours. Why is weight lifting important for women to incorporate into their exercise routine?
LD: The most important aspect of weight training is for health reasons. Weight training increases lean muscle tissue which helps both increase your metabolic rate and reduce those lipid levels. It leads to increasing your bone mineral density which naturally decreases with age. Weight training is just an amazing tool to get fit, stay healthy and have fun. It just has so many health benefits in addition to those physical benefits.
PH: Do you have a favorite weight lifting exercise?
LD: Lateral raises, hands down.
PH: What’s your favorite healthy snack? What’s a treat you can’t pass up?
LD: My favorite healthy snack is some organic whole wheat cereal – I love cereal. Or popchips, those are delicious. My sweet treat would be a chocolate molten lava cake. I’m a chocolate junkie, so turning down chocolate can be hard for me.
PH: What are some of your goals for 2017?
LD: My goal is to start in my Master’s program and my internship, get into Houston and dive into volunteer opportunities. I really want to grow my business and reach out for others. I have a podcast, UpliftFit Nutrition, and I want that to grow. I want to increase the scientific knowledge in the realm of fitness and nutrition and just really bring out science in the fitness realm, because there is very much a lack of it.
McGee Nall is a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia. She was probably eating Nilla wafers and Nutella while writing this.