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How a fitness competition transformed this trainer’s body image issues


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We want to recognize the fitness instructors who don’t just look great on Instagram—but actually inspire us to be better. So together with ReebokONE, we asked you to nominate trainers for the second annual America’s Most Inspiring Trainer search. After over a thousand amazing stories, we’ve narrowed it down to 12 finalists—which means it’s time for you to choose a winner! Learn more about Elyse Miller below, and cast your vote by November 26.

Elyse Miller, Nashville, Tennessee

Private personal trainer, workout video creator, and host

Her favorite post-workout smoothie

My favorite is a vegan protein powder, raw oats, plain Greek yogurt, and coconut water.

What inspired you to become a trainer?

In my teens and early twenties, I struggled with eating disorders and poor body image. I didn’t know how to shape my body or eat healthy, so I just barely ate anything. Then, I met someone who did fitness competitions and I was inspired to train for a competition.

“I focus on inner health first, and then the outside will match.”

In the process, I learned the importance of nutrition and  fell in love with working out and creating fun workouts to beat boredom. I strive to teach my clients how to be healthy…not skinny. I focus on inner health first, and then the outside will match.

What’s your fitness philosophy?

Work smarter, not longer. You can push yourself to the max for 20 to 30 minutes and be done. I use HIIT to maximize time and results. People often say they don’t have time to workout…well, we all do! Just wake up 30 minutes earlier in the morning or go to bed a little later. We all have 24 hours in day; use them wisely.

What’s the most surprising thing you discovered about being a fitness pro?

Starting out, I just thought I was helping people get in shape. But I’ve learned that there’s a ripple effect. Once a client starts working out, they’ll start eating clean, and they feed their families better food. They also quit bad habits and set good examples for their kids. I’m in awe of how clients change at their core and how their entire families benefit. We aren’t just training that one person, but we are really educating and shaping future generations.

The winner of America’s Most Inspiring Trainer will score a one-year contract with Reebok and major coverage on Well+Good. Cast your vote now!

In partnership with ReebokONE

Photo: Matthew Brush

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