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Life and Work with Cassy Velez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassy Velez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I first became interested in health and fitness about 9 years ago after gaining the dreaded Freshman 15. Before that, I hated anything to do with healthy eating and exercise. There was a running joke amongst my friends and family about how out of shape I was and how I would never sweat. I would eat candy bars before dinner, cereal for breakfast and late night McDonald’s with absolutely, no exercise at all.

I started taking nutrition courses during my sophomore year at The University of Delaware to learn how to eat healthier and was able to lose all of that weight but, unfortunately, took it to an unhealthy extreme to the point where I was at a very low weight that was highly unsustainable for my frame.

That journey taught me that, unlike what everyone would like you to think, your happiness and health (mental and physical) has nothing to do with your weight or appearance and everything to do with my mindset and how happy you are with yourself on the inside.

Since then, it became my goal to help others find a healthy balance that works for them, not what society tells them it should be. With that, I became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and ACE Group Fitness Instructor in order to help people on their unique journeys.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road to get to this point and I anticipate many more bumps along the way because that’s what life is all about – how you handle and overcome the obstacles set in your path.

About 6 years ago, I originally started to study to get my fitness certifications, but stopped. Then again, about 4 years ago, I started, but stopped. There was a subconscious fear in the back of my mind that I would fail if I tried to get into the health and fitness field and because I’m so passionate about it, it was easier to just quit and not take that risk and stay on the safe path. So, I got into the field of marketing, which is what I went to school for. I was able to grow in the marketing field and make an excellent living, but was so unhappy. I didn’t love what I did and it left me with a feeling of emptiness on a regular basis. My job working at a marketing agency gave me so much anxiety to the point, where I would go into the bathroom at work and cry at times.

Finally, I came to the realization that it’s better to risk failing at something I love and have the opportunity to really help people than to keep putting myself through the torture of living an unfulfilled life. So, I quit my job at the agency and have since went full force into realizing my dream of helping people to lead healthier lives. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and I encourage anyone who has that little thought in the back of their mind, that they want to be doing something more to listen to it. That thought is there for a reason.

Please tell us about your business.
My mission with my business is really quite simple. The internet is flooded with “professionals” telling you how to do exercises and what to eat in order to look a certain way that society deems is acceptable. I want to stop making your health and fitness synonymous with your appearance and shift the focus back onto what proper nutrition and exercise can do for your body, mind, relationships and overall quality of life because THAT’S what matters, not your dress size or percent of lean mass. I empower people with knowledge so they can make the most informed decisions about what makes sense for them and their bodies in the long term.

So many women start to eat healthy only with the goal in mind to look like a particular person or to have a particular body and when they see that’s either impossible or extremely difficult to achieve, they stop. If they went into it with the mindset that they’re just doing it to be healthy and confident and lead an empowered life where they can do all those things they’ve always dreamed of, then they would never stop because they would have already achieved their goal the second they stepped into the gym. The second they nourished their body properly. The second they nourished their soul properly.

Unlike other fitness professionals, you won’t find me delivering workouts to “grow your booty” or to get “sexy abs”. I create workouts to help people get healthier, in better shape and feel more confident. With that, the physical results almost always come even still, but they’re just a byproduct of living a healthy life and not the main goal.

Who have you been inspired by?
Like a lot of girls, my mom is probably my biggest source of inspiration and motivation. She’s an incredibly hard worker and is always taking care of other people. She’s also part of the reason why I originally wanted to get into health and fitness. She’s struggled with her weight for most of her adult life, which has caused some health issues over the years. Seeing her struggles, as well as other women in my family, made me want to help other people to take back control of their health since proper nutrition and exercise are two of the best things we can do to prevent illnesses and live long and happy lives.

My mom is also a fighter and has recently restarted on her weight loss journey and with a little guidance, has already lost over 20 pounds! I’m so incredibly proud of her and the commitment she’s made to her new healthy lifestyle.

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